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How to study smart

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Often in our lives as a student, we hear mentors and teachers giving us a well-known tip, “Learn to study smart, not hard.” Then, it leaves us pondering, “What does study smart mean?

Isn’t the only way to excel and obtain good grades is to constantly study and work hard for it?” Little did we know, the concept of studying smart is so important that it can help us reduce the time spent on revisions, decrease the overwhelming stress we face and achieve optimal results.

Let’s take a student who studies hard, Joe, as an example. Joe is a really studious student, he is known to be studying every single day without fail, and spends no time wasted on computer games or any other recreational activities.

Whenever there are upcoming major examinations, Joe will work doubly as hard in his revisions in order to strive for the results he eagerly wants. However, he always seems to under perform during examinations, which frustrates him as it does not justify the amount of effort he placed into studying.

Now, let’s take a look at a student who studies smart, Jack. Jack is the captain of the basketball team in his school, he has never skipped trainings and is always full of energy. He is well-disciplined in his studies as well, always handing in his homework on time and does revisions frequently.

Although he does not study as much as Joe in terms of time spent on revisions, his grades show consistent higher scores than Joe for all the subjects.

How did Jack, someone that engages in different activities and has so many commitments, outperformed Joe, who is constantly on the book?

What we failed to realize is the difference in their method of approach in studying. Although Joe studies every day for very long hours, he spent most of the time struggling to focus and concentrate during his revisions due to the lack of rest.

Furthermore, his lack of planning and organizing in his workload is a huge red flag, because he will have no idea what objective he wants to complete for the day, and will always try to cramp everything that he wants to study into a single revision session.

With his mind filled with all these all-over-the-place objectives serving as a distraction, it is close to impossible to have a productive and efficient study session. As such, the vicious cycle repeats itself.

The worst part comes when a major examination is around the corner, with the long-term accrued sleep debt, working doubly as hard without rest and burning the midnight oil every single night, there is no doubt Joe’s results will flunk despite his efforts.

On the other hand, although Jack is the captain of the basketball team in his school and has never skipped trainings, Jack never lets his exhaustion from the basketball trainings affect his revisions. He always rested when he needed to, and his self-discipline played a big part in ensuring that he starts studying once his break time was over.

He is always consistent and diligent in his revisions, although he doesn’t spend any more time than Joe in revising but he ensures that each and every of his study session is productive and since Jack always studies after he is well-rested, he is capable of absorbing the contents of the curriculum easily like a sponge.

Even during times of major examinations, with no sleep debt creeping up on him, is always consistently absorbing the content that he learns and made sure he had sufficient rest before the examination, Jack is able to stay in-form and focus on the examinations, which is directly reflected in his grades.

In conclusion, studying is not as easy as it seems, doing it the wrong ways: half-heartedly or blindly brute forcing through it, will never show the results you are looking for.

Joe was so fixated on studying the notes and lecture slides, that he neglected the other aspects such as organizing his targets for the day and focusing on a task one at a time that makes up a good and effective study session.

Jack definitely studied less than Joe in terms of number of hours due to additional commitments, but he made every of his study sessions count, and that is one of the most important factors to take note of.

And that’s all for today, students! Math Lobby hopes that you enjoyed reading this article and understood the meaning of studying smart! If you have any pending questions, please do go on to our Facebook page, Instagram or contact us directly at Math Lobby!

As always: Work hard, stay motivated and we wish all students a successful and enjoyable journey with Math Lobby!

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