Only study when you are not tired

When you’re too tired, you are not very efficient, so continuing studying is a waste of time (the mind barely assimilates it).

The student has to respect sleeping times.

Sleeping hours (minimum 7, preferably 8) are “sacred”. You can’t sacrifice yourself thinking that you don’t need much sleep and that you can stay up and study more, because in the end, this will cost you.

The student starts getting tired, and intellectual performance is considerably reduced.

When you don’t have exams, you can use the weekends mostly to get some rest and do some leisure activities.

However, when you have exams, you need to find the strength to give up on these other more pleasurable activities, and focus on studies.

It’s only a few weekends a year, so this sacrifice is easy to make. You’ll soon get other Saturdays and Sundays to enjoy.

It’s good to do complementary activities (sports, languages, music or anything else), and not focus exclusively on studies.

This lets you disconnect and find other incentives, which helps your mind be “fresh” for when you have to work.

These activities should be complementary, so you have to do them with a certain level of relaxation, trying not to turn them into an obligation for the student.

These activities can be done both on weekends and during the week, as long as they’re not incompatible with the study plan. It’s just a matter of organization.

Lastly, we need to say that it’s good for the student to learn some relaxation exercises, something that can help him lose tension, especially during exams.

Stop wasting your time before studying

Time-wasting is a problem that affects practically every student.

We all waste time, but we have to try to minimize that waste.

The reason for the waste of time might be that studying is an activity that demands effort; it’s tiring, and the student can often find other alternative activities that are much more pleasurable. So, the student always keeps procrastinating and doesn’t study.

The result is always the same:

Since the student has to really learn to pass the test, he’s then forced to make up for the lost time, and sometimes it’s too late for that.

If you don’t make up for lost time, you run the risk of failing the test, and so you have to go retake the class during the summer, while all of your classmates are having fun in theirs.

When you waste time, you’ll have to dedicate 3 to 4 hours to an assignment you could have studied in a couple of hours if you had followed your study planning.

Let’s see an exaggerated example of waste of time:

Let’s think about a lesson you can have ready in a couple of hours (for example, from 5 pm to 7 pm). The student starts working late (at 6 pm).

First, he reads the lesson with the TV on, so he’s not really paying attention (he does this for an hour). Now, it’s 7 pm, and he could have finished already if he had made the best of his time.

At 7 pm, he takes a break that lasts until 8:30 pm. At that time, he decides to continue, just in time for dinner (which makes his mother mad). In the end, after arguing with his mother, he decides to continue after dinner.

Then, he notices it’s late already, and he starts getting worried, so he does some serious work (from 11 pm to 12:30 am). Now he’s tired and he doesn’t really learn. Besides, now he can’t watch the movie he really wanted to watch, and he goes to bed late, so he’ll be exhausted the next day.

Other recommendations for study preparation

If it’s a written test:

– Read all the questions.
– Mark those questions you feel you are more prepared for.
– Always be aware of the time you have and the order in which you’ll answer the questions.
– Think about what you’ll answer.
– Express your ideas logically and coherently.
– Write clearly and keep things clean.
– Answer the largest amount of questions that you can.
– Don’t take too long to try and answer something you don’t know; move on to the next question
– If you have extra time, check your answers.

If it’s an oral exam:

– Understand what’s being asked.
– Think about what you’ll answer and structure your answer.
– Speak slowly and clearly.
– Think logically and coherently, supporting your answers.


The most important thing about the outlining technique is that it helps us highlight the most important ideas, and there are several different procedures to do it.

You might think that outlining slows down your reading, and logically, it’s true, but it also helps you get a better comprehension, and it keeps you active during your reading.


Lastly, outlining is personal: you outline according to what you know and what you want. Two classmates can outline different things in the same subject, because, for example, one of them might know a lot about a subject, and so she outlines fewer words. than the one who doesn’t know about it.

Because of this, you shouldn’t study from texts that have been outlined by other people, and you shouldn’t outline texts that other people will use.


Outlining is about highlighting; highlight the points, ideas, details and important notes in the text, using a personal code (lines, highlights, signs, etc.).



When you have a limited amount of money to spend, you work according to a budget. In the same way, when you have a limited amount of time, you have to plan accordingly.

You make an economic budget so you don’t spend more than you should, or so that you make sure to only buy what you need. Allocating your time properly helps you to avoid wasting it, so you can do everything that’s important.


So, we need to make a timetable that should be:


  • Personal: it should be written by you, keeping in mind every element. First, you have to get to know yourself so you can plan according to your skills and aptitudes. We all have different levels of intelligence, and we all have different skills. Some people find studying to be hard, and others think it’s easy. We’re better at some subjects than others, because we are more intellectually prepared for them.

In regards to interests, it’s really important to keep your eyes on the future so you can give special attention to those areas that are more closely related to subsequent subjects, depending also on the choices you make.

  • Realistic: on the one hand, it should be based on study needs and specific activities. On the other hand, it should be based on what you realistically can do. Don’t write an ideal plan. Remember that you’re writing something you must stick to, so keep your skills and available time in mind.
  • Flexible: you should always include some extra time in case of unexpected events. You might get an unexpected visit, or you might have to go out for some reason. If you’ve left some margin of extra time, this won’t be an inconvenience, and you’ll be able to do most of the work you need to do.

Mental preparation

Making environmental changes and being fit is not enough to succeed. There’s still something fundamental remaining: “Mental preparation”; working hard on the other aspects doesn’t do much good if you’re not psychologically prepared.

Remember that studying is a mental activity, so it’s necessary to be psychologically ready to face studying.

You need to be confident about yourself, to be interested and to want to learn, to be optimistic, to set goals and of course, to be able to control your personal problems. How many times has it happened that while you’re studying, you lose concentration because you’re trying to find a solution to something that worries you or makes you mad, like money issues or even problems in a relationship?


It’s difficult to focus and perform well at school if you don’t feel motivated.

Studying should be seen as our “job” (a professional task that has to be done responsibly), just as an actual job will have to be done in the future.

Feeling motivated about the studied subject gives the following advantages, among others:


  • It makes studying interesting and useful.
  • Improves concentration and comprehension levels.
  • Improves concentration and makes things easier to understand.
  • The subject becomes more interesting.
  • School performance improves.


To succeed when studying, it’s necessary to reflect on the reasons that lead you to take that class, because if you know your motives, it will be easier to reach your goals.

E.g..: Why do I study? ……… What will I get if I pass this class? ……….. What’s positive about it? ………… How will it help me? …………. What can it do for me?


To study, it’s necessary to:


  • DO: have the minimum “abilities” necessary (intelligence and aptitudes)
  • WANT: there must be enough “motivation” to start, guide and maintain the studying. “He who wants does more than he who already can”.
  • KNOW: develop the necessary “study habits and techniques”.


It’s necessary to immerse yourself in a good environment, in conditions that facilitate studying and concentration; you must control the internal and external stimuli before, during and after the studying session, in order to obtain an ideal performance.

In regards to types of stimuli, there are some conditions that can cause a positive or negative effect in studying, and they’re worth considering. On the one hand, we have environmental stimuli, and on the other hand, we have personal stimuli.


Just as a doctor looks for a well-equipped hospital with good sanitary conditions, and a football player looks for a field with grass that’s well taken care of, studying requires specific environmental conditions that can help you do your best.