Top Tips to Improve Your Study Habits

Written by: UPSU

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Many University of Plymouth students will be buried in books, highlighting their notebook preparing for their summer exams. We understand that studying can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are someone who finds themselves easily distracted either by other tasks, other people or the temptation to take a "break" every five minutes. More people than you think will struggle with revising, however, there are some tips and tricks that you can implement into your study sessions so you can use your time effectively without getting overwhelmed or wandering off from your material for hours on end. 


1. Establish some key things you want to achieve from each of your study sessions

Before you begin revising, think about what you want to get out of your time. Create an agenda for yourself by listing the topics you want to cover or the number of pages you want to read. Make sure you are being realistic with what you can achieve; try and find a middle point between setting your goals too high and therefore unachievable, and setting your goals too low and therefore not pushing yourself to do your best.


2. If you can, plan your study slots ahead of time

With students often having busy schedules, sometimes juggling their student, work and social life all at once, planning ahead and 'booking in' time with yourself to study is important. Seeing an overview of your study week means you can plan other activities around these sessions and not feel like you are scrambling to find time to revise last minute.


3. Breakup your revision tasks into manageable sections

Don't try to squeeze all your revision into just a few sessions. Either you won't study as in-depth as you should, or you will burn yourself out by working for long hours. Divide your study material into manageable chunks and give yourself chance to go over topics more than once if needed.


4. Create flashcards to test yourself on what you have learnt

You can either create double-sided cards with questions on one side and answers on the other to test yourself, or if you have a friend or family member who is willing to help you, you can ask them to read out the questions for you to answer. Plus, writing down what you are learning as you go can help you to retain information.


5. Make sure you are getting enough rest and exercise and eating well 

It can be easy to burn yourself out during exam season by feeling as though you should always be buried in books at the library or sat behind your laptop screen, but it is important to take breaks often and get some fresh air and exercise in. Just 20 minutes of exercise before starting a study session can massively improve your concentration due to the increased blood flow to the brain. With that being said, also ensure you are getting enough sleep and eating well to give your body the energy you need to succeed. 


6. Give yourself rewards

There are no two ways around it, most students will find studying to be a chore. Establish some rewards for yourself for completing a study session or for getting full marks on your flash card test. Simple rewards could include sweet treats, 30 minutes watching your favourite television show, or going out to buy yourself a coffee from campus. Taking these breaks can help you energise and come back to your studies ready to go!


7. Study in a different environment

If you live in Plymouth, it may be an idea to get our your accomodation and make use of the spaces on the University of Plymouth campus to study, for exampe, The Charles Seale-Hayne Library. The library offers a great environment to work in, with plenty of quiet areas, computers to use and of course, a lot of useful, academic books! 


8. Ask for help if you are struggling

If you start to feel too overwhelmed, or anxious or are struggling with your mental well-being in any way and want additional support, our friendly SU Advice staff are here to support you and signpost you to helpful well-being activities and services the SU has to offer. Our advice team are available between 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Visit: or email


Please remember to check out University of Plymouth's exam rules and regulations page which contains important information you'll need to know about their policies, rules and regulations during your exams.