1. Study When You Study
The most important tip I have when it comes to studying is to not multi-task. You may think that Facebook, Youtube, TV, video games and internet surfing only have a slight impact on your studying, but we both know that’s not true. Something as simple as turning your TV off can improve your productivity by 500%. Seriously.
When you study, study. Period.
2. Make Studying Fun
There will always be things you must do that you don’t enjoy. It’s a part of life. But, there will always be ways to make any activity more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Study with a friend, make challenges to yourself, act things out, promise yourself a reward (e.g. ice cream), make bets with your friends (e.g. who can get the better grade), study somewhere you’ve never studied before, or make your studying into a game.
You might not be able to change the material, but you can always change the process.
3. Exercise Regularly
Keeping your body in shape keeps your hormone balance in check, improves your cardio-vascular system, increases your self esteem, regulates your body’s sleeping schedule, reduces stress and has countless other benefits. Dozens of studies have shown that those who exercise regularly perform better in school than those who don’t.
Healthy body, healthy mind.
4. Eat Healthy
Stay away from junk food. Drink lots of water. Eat more vegetables and fruit. These may seem cliche, but they can’t be stressed enough. Like exercise, what you eat has a huge impact on your cognitive abilities. Your brain really does function better when it’s being fuelled with proper nutrients. I know it’s tough to eat healthy sometimes, but just start with small steps and work your way up.
You are what you eat.
5. Have A Hobby
There is more to life than success in school. You should always have friends and always have a hobby (or 2). Universities and colleges are increasingly implementing broad based admissions standards that weigh extra-curricular activities just as importantly as academic performance. The same goes for employers. In fact, almost all employers look for experience, leadership and practical knowledge before your grades.
Don’t only be smart; be interesting.
Humans are not designed to sleep on irregular schedules. Before the invention of the candle and light bulb, we slept when it got dark and woke up when it was bright. That is how we are designed. Being sleep deprive is basically equivalent to being sick. Control your sleep schedule and I guarantee you will be more alert, energetic and smart.
Control your sleep; don’t let it control you.
7. Don’t Excel In School, Excel In Life
School is meant to prepare you for your adult, working life. But it doesn’t resemble an adult’s working life. In the real world there are no exams, no teachers, no grades and no homework. Instead, there are interpersonal relationships, practical knowledge and experience, real-life consequences for mistakes, and self-lead experiments and projects.
Many students that graduate with stellar grades end up performing horribly in their professional lives because they lack the more important life-skills such as teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, stress management and time management.
School is not life; it only helps prepare you for it.
8. Learn From Others
Every question or problem you face has been solved a thousand times before by other people. If you want answers, all you need to do is ask. From experts (Quora), online communities (Reddit), your classmates, your teachers, your parents, your siblings, your mentors, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia) to knowledge engines (Wolfram Alpha), never has so much information been so readily accessible.
Thousands of years of human history, knowledge and experience are at your fingertips; it’s up to you how you use it.
9. Set Clear Objectives
Is your goal to maintain a 90% average in your classes? If that’s the case, what exactly do you need to do to achieve that? How long do you have to study? What books do you have to read? What other activities or opportunities do you have to sacrifice (there is always a sacrifice)? Your goals and how you pursue them will always determine your outcome. Never rely on luck or chance.
You control your future.
10. Work Hard, Play Hard
Don’t burn out. The key to success in school and life is balance. You always need a mix of social, athletic, academic and self-interest activities. So, study hard when you need to, but don’t forget to have fun as well. Your grades and your life will both improve as a result.
BONUS: Help Others
There are many benefits to helping your peers:
- Teaching is one of the most effective ways to solidify your own understanding of the material.
- It’s a powerful stress fighting and happiness inducing activity.
- It will help you create new friendships and strengthen existing ones.
- You are more likely to receive help in the future when you require it.
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