Posted on 18 April 2022
Developing good study habits will ensure you perform to the best of your ability. The tips below are backed up by research - some of them may surprise you.
Psychologists say we can only concentrate properly for 30-45 minutes. There are lots of apps that help you take regular breaks. When you're on your break, do something completely different - move away from your work, make a cup of tea.
Biscuits and chocolate may give you an immediate rush of energy but high blood sugar combined with mentally challenging tasks can increase your cortisol levels and impair your memory. By snacking on slow release high protein foods like yoghurt, cheese, fruit, veg or nuts and seeds you can keep your blood sugar levels more even.
The human brain is about 85% water and it needs a steady supply to function properly. You will be more focused and able to think faster with more creativity and clarity if you keep hydrated. (Note: drinking lots of water will also help you take more frequent breaks...)
Think about when and where you work best. Are you a morning person or do you work better in the evening? Find what works best for you.
Exercising is one of the quickest and most effective ways to de-stress. Regular exercise can actually help your brain work better. Fresh air will clear your head and perk you up, even a short walk will do.
Research shows there are strong links between sleep, learning and memory - aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Have trouble sleeping? There are lots of things you can do to help yourself. Our information on sleep contains advice on how to get a good night’s rest.
Relaxation is important to help you manage stress and anxiety. If you never relax, your cortisol levels may continue to build and interfere with your learning and memory. Try a hot bath, watching a film, dancing, meditation, or doing something creative. Schedule this down-time into your day.
See our advice for dealing with academic pressures, anxiety, exam stress, perfectionism, procrastination, sleep issues, and stress.