6 Fun Study Tips (No Really!) | Top Universities

6 Fun Study Tips (No Really!)

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Laura Bridgestock

Updated Mar 30, 2021



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There’s no shortage of tried and tested study tips around, and most of us know the basics: make a clear plan, find a distraction-free study space, take regular breaks, exchange information with friends, get plenty of sleep, eat well, and so on. But sometimes you need something a bit different to stay focused and functioning at your best. Ready to inject fresh energy into your studies? Try one of these slightly more frivolous and fun study tips…

1. Write a song

Remember at primary school, when your teacher taught you a song to help you remember a multiplication table, a rhyme to teach a spelling rule, or made you all cringe with a self-composed rap about photosynthesis? Ok, so the facts you need to remember when preparing for exams at university may be a bit lengthier and more complex – but if there’s a set of dates, names or numbers you need to be able to recall under pressure, why not try putting them to music/rhyme? (Just try not to hum too loudly in the exam...)

2. Reward yourself with kittens

…or pictures of kittens at least! Writtenkitten.co presents you with a cute picture of a kitten (or puppy or bunny if you prefer) after every 100 words you type (ramp it up to 200/500/1000 words if you want to stretch yourself) – a little visual reward to keep you plugging away at that essay! (Discover more fun and useful apps for students here.)

3. Think on the move

Ever noticed how as soon as you leave your desk and move somewhere, a fresh idea seems to pop up? Instead of forcing your body (and brain) to stay still for too long, try revising/thinking on the move more often, to stimulate more of these kind of mobility-prompted insights. Dance around your room, take completely unnecessary walks across the library, take your notes for a stroll in the park – just don’t let your body or mind stay still for too long!

4. Make a recording

Preparing for exams? Instead of just writing, reading, re-writing and re-reading your notes, how about turning them into an audio recording (musical or otherwise)? The process of talking through everything will help get things clear in your mind, and you can then put the recording on your phone/MP3 player/tablet, and play it back to yourself while jogging/driving/cooking/dozing. Bonus tip: keep a notepad handy so you can jot down any additional ideas that pop up when you’re listening back.

5. Turn your doodles into study notes

Drawing is not so unusual among lists of study tips – we’ve probably all used some kind of visual representation to help when preparing for exams or planning essays. So instead of fighting the urge to doodle during lectures, why not harness that creativity to come up with artistic representations of the course content? Fit theorems into crazy cityscapes, scrawl Shakespearian graffiti across sketched street signs, hang causal elements on your jewelry designs or show quotations coming from caricatures of your classmates… Challenge your brain to be creative AND attentive, and (hopefully) you’ll find the subject matter ends up even more firmly wedged in your mind.

6. Pursue lots of hobbies

You might think time spent indulging in your favorite activities is time entirely wasted in terms of contributing to your studies. But in fact there’s all kinds of research linking an active and variously stimulating lifestyle to improved cognitive abilities. Time spent on physical exercise, playing a musical instrument or speaking/learning foreign languages can all be especially beneficial for your brain’s continued health and development – so keep them up!

Want more study tips? Check out these 10 exam preparation tips, these brain-boosting foods, and these time management apps.

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