Healthy Study Habits

By Thomas Cazneau

Being a student could mean that test scores are a crucial part of your world and that you are constantly working hard to boost them. At a junior college, for example, test scores drive your grades and affect your ability to transfer to 4-year colleges and universities.

Study habits are related to mental health and wellness. Implementing some simple steps before you study could make for a very productive study session, as well as promote your mental health and wellness during it. I like to think of them as “healthy study habits”.

Healthy Study Habit #1: Find a Peaceful Place
One quick and easy way to improve test scores is to choose a regular place to study. For most of us, we want to study in a quiet room, without distractions. However, that is not actually the most effective way for every student. You must ask yourself when you are best focused and most able to concentrate. What were you doing in terms of making yourself comfortable? Were you sitting at a desk, sitting in a comfortable chair where you could curl up your legs, were you standing at a kitchen table? Were you inside your home, at a quiet café, or at a park? Some students actually have found that even though they have desks ready for them to work at, they achieve better focus and have increased attention if they are standing. Identifying where you find yourself most at peace can be a great initial step in developing other healthy study habits.

Healthy Study Habit #2: Create Mood Lighting
Make sure that the lighting you are using to study is conducive to learning. On one hand, it’s important for your eyes to not strain your eyes because of poor lighting. On the other hand, bright lights could cause your eyes to become easily fatigued. Moderate the lights so that they are bright enough to work at a steady pace but low enough to study from a relaxed state of mind.

Healthy Study Habit #3: Try Background Music
Some students do well with light background music playing while they study for a test, while others find it to be a distraction. Consider trying both methods before making a decision about whether to play some tunes or not. Perhaps one way to see if you would study better with music would be to turn on an instrumental track at moderate volume, work for five minute intervals, and then lower the volume ever five minutes to see what the correct volume could be for your personal study needs.

Healthy Study Habit #4: Consider Group Studying
Not every project requires groups. When it comes to test-taking, however, sometimes it helps to have other sets of eyes double check your work beforehand. This can help create visual and verbal queues, because most likely you will hear the question spoken verbally from your classmate or friends and respond in a visual or verbal way in return. This also creates an amplified study session, noting that most personal study habits are done quietly and are less interactive than group studying.

These are just some of several healthy study habits you can implement to achieve higher test scores. What are some your own healthy study habits?

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