The Adult Learner’s Guide to Effective Studying

Looking to replace ineffective study habits with techniques that actually work? These proven strategies can help you improve your comprehension and recall.

Set up a designated study space

Find or create an environment where you can concentrate. Keep distractions like phones, tablets, laundry, and bills out of sight while studying. 

Experiment with sound or silence

Whether it’s instrumental soundtracks, the hum of a café, or absolute silence, experiment to find what level of noise and what kinds of sounds help you focus best.

Make the time to study

Set aside time each week to study. Make it part of your routine. If something comes up, don’t cancel your study time; move it to a different slot on your calendar.

Space out study sessions

Break your studying into chunks, such as for an hour each day during the week before a test.  You’ll retain more details from what you’re learning than if you cram. 

Set your boundaries

Communicate your study needs to others. This might mean asking loved ones to respect closed doors or quiet time in your designated study space.

Try a new reading method

Avoid simply reading a text over and over. Try previewing the text, generating questions, and then answering them as you read to improve comprehension.

Revise your notes

Rewrite your class notes longhand, supplementing with important information from your reading. Sketching and labeling diagrams can also improve your memory.

Teach to learn

Try teaching the material to a study group or to an empty room. Record yourself; then, play back later, such as during a walk or your commute to and from work.

Need more study tips?

ReUp Success Coaches are here to listen and help you brainstorm study strategies tailored to your precise learning needs. Your support team is available by phone, text, or email. Would you like guidance on achieving success—both inside and outside the classroom?