How to study effectively
Revised September 2015
In this factsheet
Making the best use of your time
Creating an appropriate environment
Making notes effectively
Keeping your study materials organised
Finding appropriate resources
Further readingMaking the best use of your timeIn today’s busy world we all struggle to find enough time to do everything that we need to achieve.
This is particularly so when studying. Many students are balancing a number of other commitments
such as a job and family responsibilities as well as study. Given the difficulty of juggling all these,
good time management is vital.
When to study
An important starting point is deciding when to study. Some students decide to study for a small
period of time every day. Some work better in the mornings while others are more effective later in the
day. Others have just one or two days a week when they devote a longer period to study. You’ll need
to decide what works best for you.
It’s important not to set out with study plans which are doomed to failure. If you’re working full time it’s
not realistic to study for several hours at the end of the day. You’ll need to work out what’s possible
for you, and sustainable, given your other commitments.
It is possible to do little more than work and study, but only for a short period of time. Your
concentration and health will suffer if there are no breaks in working and studying. So it’s important to
schedule appropriate time for leisure which might be a hobby, meeting friends, playing games or just
Making good use of ‘dead time’
Effective time management requires you to be aware of how all your time is spent. It can be useful
occasionally to analyse a week’s activity and to identify any ‘dead time’ – time when you’re not really
doing anything useful. For many students, it is travel…