The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that he or she will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove her point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, he or she still has to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and she already knows everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality she or he expects.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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25 Scientifically Proven Tips for More Effective Studying

How to study tips for students

Staying on top of schoolwork can be tough.

Whether you’re in high school, or an adult going back to college, balancing coursework with other responsibilities can be challenging. If you’re teetering on the edge of burnout, here are some study tips that are scientifically proven to help you succeed!

2023 Ultimate Study Tips Guide

In this guide, we explore scientifically-proven study techniques from scientific journals and some of the world’s best resources like Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Cornell.

In a hurry? Skip ahead to the section that interests you most.

  • How to Prepare for Success
  • Create Your Perfect Study Space
  • Pick a Study Method that Works for You
  • Effective Study Skills
  • How to Study More Efficiently
  • How to Study for Tests
  • Memory Improvement Techniques
  • Top 10 Study Hacks Backed by Science
  • Best Study Apps
  • Study Skills Worksheets
  • Key Takeaways

This comprehensive guide covers everything from studying for exams to the best study apps. So, let’s get started!

Part 1 – How to Prepare for Success

Prepare to Study

1. Set a Schedule

“Oh, I’ll get to it soon” isn’t a valid study strategy. Rather, you have to be intentional about planning set study sessions .

On your calendar, mark out chunks of time that you can devote to your studies. You should aim to schedule some study time each day, but other commitments may necessitate that some sessions are longer than others.

Harder classes require more study time. So, too, do classes that are worth several credits. For each credit hour that you’re taking, consider devoting one to three hours to studying each week.

2. Study at Your Own Pace

Do you digest content quickly, or do you need time to let the material sink in? Only you know what pace is best for you.

There’s no right (or wrong) study pace. So, don’t try matching someone else’s speed.

Instead, through trial and error, find what works for you. Just remember that slower studying will require that you devote more time to your schoolwork.

3. Get Some Rest

Exhaustion helps no one perform their best. Your body needs rest ; getting enough sleep is crucial for memory function.

This is one reason that scheduling study time is so important: It reduces the temptation to stay up all night cramming for a big test. Instead, you should aim for seven or more hours of sleep the night before an exam.

Student napping after studying

Limit pre-studying naps to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Upon waking, do a few stretches or light exercises to prepare your body and brain for work.

4. Silence Your Cell Phone

Interruptions from your phone are notorious for breaking your concentration. If you pull away to check a notification, you’ll have to refocus your brain before diving back into your studies.

Consider turning off your phone’s sounds or putting your device into do not disturb mode before you start. You can also download apps to temporarily block your access to social media .

If you’re still tempted to check your device, simply power it off until you’re finished studying.

Research shows that stress makes it harder to learn and to retain information.

Stress-busting ideas include:

  • Taking deep breaths
  • Writing down a list of tasks you need to tackle
  • Doing light exercise

Try to clear your head before you begin studying.

Part 2 – Create Your Perfect Study Space

college student studying at desk

1. Pick a Good Place to Study

There’s a delicate balance when it comes to the best study spot : You need a place that’s comfortable without being so relaxing that you end up falling asleep. For some people, that means working at a desk. Others do better on the couch or at the kitchen table. Your bed, on the other hand, may be too comfy.

Surrounding yourself with peace and quiet helps you focus. If your kids are being loud or there’s construction going on outside your window, you might need to relocate to an upstairs bedroom, a quiet cafe or your local library.

2. Choose Your Music Wisely

Noise-canceling headphones can also help limit distractions.

It’s better to listen to quiet music than loud tunes. Some people do best with instrumental music playing in the background.

Study listening to music

Songs with lyrics may pull your attention away from your textbooks. However, some folks can handle listening to songs with words, so you may want to experiment and see what works for you.

Just remember that there’s no pressure to listen to any music. If you do your best work in silence, then feel free to turn your music player off.

3. Turn Off Netflix

If song lyrics are distracting, just imagine what an attention sucker the television can be! Serious studying requires that you turn off the TV.

The same goes for listening to radio deejays. Hearing voices in the background takes your brainpower off of your studies.

4. Use Background Sounds

Turning off the television, talk radio and your favorite pop song doesn’t mean that you have to study in total silence. Soft background sounds are a great alternative.

Some people enjoy listening to nature sounds, such as ocean waves or cracks of thunder. Others prefer the whir of a fan.

5. Snack on Brain Food

A growling stomach can pull your mind from your studies, so feel free to snack as you work. Keep your snacks within arm’s reach, so you don’t have to leave your books to find food.

Fuel your next study session with some of the following items:

  • Lean deli meat
  • Grapes or apple slices
  • Dark chocolate

Go for snacks that will power your brain and keep you alert. Steer clear of items that are high in sugar, fat and processed carbs.

Part 3 – Pick a Study Method That Works for You

List of Study Methods

Mindlessly reading through your notes or textbooks isn’t an effective method of studying; it doesn’t help you process the information. Instead, you should use a proven study strategy that will help you think through the material and retain the information.

Strategy #1 – SQ3R Method

With the SQ3R approach to reading , you’ll learn to think critically about a text.

There are five steps:

  • Survey : Skim through the assigned material. Focus on headings, words in bold print and any diagrams.
  • Question : Ask yourself questions related to the topic.
  • Read : Read the text carefully. As you go, look for answers to your questions.
  • Recite : Tell yourself the answers to your questions. Write notes about them, even.
  • Review : Go over the material again by rereading the text and reading your notes aloud.

Strategy #2 – PQ4R Method

PQ4R is another study strategy that can help you digest the information you read.

This approach has six steps:

  • Preview : Skim the material. Read the titles, headings and other highlighted text.
  • Question : Think through questions that pertain to the material.
  • Read : As you work through the material, try to find answers to your questions.
  • Reflect : Consider whether you have any unanswered questions or new questions.
  • Recite : Speak aloud about the things you just read.
  • Review : Look over the material one more time.

Strategy #3 – THIEVES Method

The THIEVES approach can help you prepare to read for information.

There are seven pre-reading steps:

  • Title : Read the title.
  • Headings : Look through the headings.
  • Introduction : Skim the intro.
  • Every first sentence in a section : Take a look at how each section begins.
  • Visuals and vocabulary : Look at the pictures and the words in bold print.
  • End questions : Review the questions at the end of the chapter.
  • Summary : Read the overview of the text.

Ask yourself thought-provoking questions as you work through these steps. After completing them, read the text.

Studying Online

Although these three study strategies can be useful in any setting, studying online has its own set of challenges.

Dr. Tony Bates has written a thoughtful and thorough guide to studying online, A Student Guide to Studying Online . Not only does he highlight the importance of paying attention to course design, but he also offers helpful tips on how to choose the best online program and manage your course load.

Part 4 – Effective Study Skills

1. Highlight Key Concepts

Looking for the most important information as you read helps you stay engaged with the material . This can help keep your mind from wandering as you read.

As you find important details, mark them with a highlighter, or underline them. It can also be effective to jot notes along the edges of the text. Write on removable sticky notes if the book doesn’t belong to you.

When you’re preparing for a test, begin your studies by reviewing your highlighted sections and the notes you wrote down.

2. Summarize Important Details

One good way to get information to stick in your brain is to tell it again in your own words. Writing out a summary can be especially effective. You can organize your summaries in paragraph form or in outline form.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t include every bit of information in a summary. Stick to the key points.

Consider using different colors on your paper. Research shows that information presented in color is more memorable than things written in plain type. You could use colored pens or go over your words with highlighters.

After writing about what you read, reinforce the information yet again by reading aloud what you wrote on your paper.

3. Create Your Own Flashcards

For an easy way to quiz yourself , prepare notecards that feature a keyword on one side and important facts or definitions about that topic on the reverse.

Writing out the cards will help you learn the information. Quizzing yourself on the cards will continue that reinforcement.

The great thing about flashcards is that they’re easily portable. Slip them in your bag, so you can pull them out whenever you have a spare minute. This is a fantastic way to squeeze in extra practice time outside of your regularly scheduled study sessions.

As an alternative to paper flashcards, you can also use a computer program or a smartphone app to make digital flashcards that you can click through again and again.

Small group studying together

4. Improve Recall with Association

Sometimes your brain could use an extra hand to help you hold onto the information that you’re studying. Creating imaginary pictures, crafting word puzzles or doing other mental exercises can help make your material easier to remember.

Try improving recall with the following ideas:

  • Sing the information to a catchy tune.
  • Think of a mnemonic phrase in which the words start with the same letters as the words that you need to remember.
  • Draw a picture that helps you make a humorous connection between the new information and the things that you already know.
  • Envision what it would be like to experience your topic in person. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells and more.
  • Think up rhymes or tongue twisters that can help the information stick in your brain.
  • Visualize the details with a web-style mind map that illustrates the relationships between concepts.

5. Absorb Information in Smaller Chunks

Think about how you memorize a phone number: You divide the 10-digit number into three smaller groups. It’s easier to get these three chunks to stick in your mind than it is to remember the whole thing as a single string of information.

You can use this strategy when studying by breaking a list down into smaller parts. Work on memorizing each part as its own group.

6. Make Your Own Study Sheet

Condensing your most important notes onto one page is an excellent way to keep priority information at your fingertips. The more you look over this sheet and read it aloud, the better that you’ll know the material.

Student making a study sheet

Furthermore, the act of typing or writing out the information will help you memorize the details. Using different colors or lettering styles can help you picture the information later.

Just like flashcards, a study sheet is portable. You can pull it out of your bag whenever you have a spare minute.

7. Be the Teacher

To teach information to others, you first have to understand it yourself. Therefore, when you’re trying to learn something new, challenge yourself to consider how you’d teach it to someone else. Wrestling with this concept will help you gain a better understanding of the topic.

In fact, you can even recruit a friend, a family member or a study group member to listen to your mini-lesson. Reciting your presentation aloud to someone else will help the details stick in your mind, and your audience may be able to point out gaps in your knowledge.

8. Know When to Call It a Day

Yes, you really can get too much of a good thing. Although your studies are important, they shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. It’s also important to have a social life, get plenty of exercise, and take care of your non-school responsibilities.

Studies show that too much time with your nose in the books can elevate your stress level , which can have a negative effect on your school performance and your personal relationships.

Too much studying may also keep you from getting enough exercise. This could lower your bone density or increase your percentage of body fat.

Part 5 – How to Study More Efficiently

How to study more efficiently

1. Take Regular Breaks

Study sessions will be more productive if you allow yourself to take planned breaks. Consider a schedule of 50 minutes spent working followed by a 10-minute break.

Your downtime provides a good chance to stand up and stretch your legs. You can also use this as an opportunity to check your phone or respond to emails. When your 10 minutes are up, however, it’s time to get back to work.

At the end of a long study session, try to allow yourself a longer break — half an hour, perhaps — before you move on to other responsibilities.

2. Take Notes in Class

The things that your teacher talks about in class are most likely topics that he or she feels are quite important to your studies. So, it’s a good idea to become a thorough note-taker.

The following tips can help you become an efficient, effective note-taker:

  • Stick to the main points.
  • Use shorthand when possible.
  • If you don’t have time to write all the details, jot down a keyword or a name. After class, you can use your textbook to elaborate on these items.
  • For consistency, use the same organizational system each time you take notes.
  • Consider writing your notes by hand, which can help you remember the information better. However, typing may help you be faster or more organized.

Recording important points is effective because it forces you to pay attention to what’s being said during a lecture.

3. Exercise First

Would you believe that exercise has the potential to grow your brain ? Scientists have shown this to be true!

Student exercising before studying

In fact, exercise is most effective at generating new brain cells when it’s immediately followed by learning new information.

There are short-term benefits to exercising before studying as well. Physical activity helps wake you up so you feel alert and ready when you sit down with your books.

4. Review and Revise Your Notes at Home

If your notes are incomplete — for example, you wrote down dates with no additional information — take time after class to fill in the missing details. You may also want to swap notes with a classmate so you can catch things that you missed during the lecture.

  • Rewrite your notes if you need to clean them up
  • Rewriting will help you retain the information
  • Add helpful diagrams or pictures
  • Read through them again within one day

If you find that there are concepts in your notes that you don’t understand, ask your professor for help. You may be able to set up a meeting or communicate through email.

After rewriting your notes, put them to good use by reading through them again within the next 24 hours. You can use them as a reference when you create study sheets or flashcards.

5. Start with Your Toughest Assignments

Let’s face it: There are some subjects that you like more than others. If you want to do things the smart way, save your least challenging tasks for the end of your studies. Get the hardest things done first.

If you save the toughest tasks for last, you’ll have them hanging over your head for the whole study session. That can cost you unnecessary mental energy.

Effective study skills

Furthermore, if you end with your favorite assignments, it will give you a more positive feeling about your academic pursuits. You’ll be more likely to approach your next study session with a good attitude.

6. Focus on Key Vocabulary

To really understand a subject, you have to know the words that relate to it. Vocabulary words are often written in textbooks in bold print. As you scan the text, write these words down in a list.

Look them up in a dictionary or in the glossary at the back of the book. To help you become familiar with the terms, you could make a study sheet with the definitions or make flashcards.

7. Join a Study Group

Studying doesn’t always have to be an individual activity.

Benefits of a study group include:

  • Explaining the material to one another
  • Being able to ask questions about things you don’t understand
  • Quizzing each other or playing review games
  • Learning the material more quickly than you might on your own
  • Developing soft skills that will be useful in your career, such as teamwork and problem solving
  • Having fun as you study

Gather a few classmates to form a study group.

Part 6 – How to Study for Tests

How to study for tests and exams

1. Study for Understanding, Not Just for the Test

Cramming the night before a big test usually involves trying to memorize information long enough to be able to regurgitate it the next morning. Although that might help you get a decent grade or your test, it won’t help you really learn the material .

Within a day or two, you’ll have forgotten most of what you studied. You’ll have missed the goal of your classes: mastery of the subject matter.

Instead, commit yourself to long-term learning by studying throughout the semester.

2. Begin Studying at Least One Week in Advance

Of course, you may need to put in extra time before a big test, but you shouldn’t put this off until the night before.

Instead, in the week leading up to the exam, block off a daily time segment for test preparation. Regular studying will help you really learn the material.

3. Spend at Least One Hour per Day Studying

One week out from a big test, study for an hour per night. If you have two big tests coming up, increase your daily study time, and divide it between the two subjects.

How to study for finals

The day before the exam, spend as much time as possible studying — all day, even.

4. Re-write Class Notes

After each class, you should have fleshed out your notes and rewritten them in a neat, organized format. Now, it’s time to take your re-done notes and write them once again.

This time, however, your goal is to condense them down to only the most important material. Ideally, you want your rewritten notes to fit on just one or two sheets of paper.

These sheets should be your main study resource during test preparation.

5. Create a Study Outline

Early in the week, make a long outline that includes many of the details from your notes. Rewrite it a few days later, but cut the material in half.

Shortly before the test, write it one more time; include only the most important information. Quiz yourself on the missing details.

6. Make Your Own Flashcards

Another way to quiz yourself is to make flashcards that you can use for practice written tests.

First, read the term on the front side. Encourage yourself to write out the definition or details of that term. Compare your written answer with what’s on the back of the card.

This can be extra helpful when prepping for an entrance exam like the GRE, though there are a growing number of schools that don’t require GRE scores for admission.

7. Do Sample Problems and Essays from Your Textbook

There are additional things you can do to practice test-taking. For example, crack open your book, and solve problems like the ones you expect to see on the test.

Write out the answers to essay questions as well. There may be suggested essay topics in your textbook.

Part 7 – Memory Improvement Techniques

Man studying before bed time

1. Study Right Before Bed

Although you shouldn’t pull all-nighters, studying right before bedtime can be a great idea.

Sleep helps cement information in your brain. Studies show that you’re more likely to recall information 24 hours later if you went to bed shortly after learning it.

Right before bed, read through your study sheet, quiz yourself on flashcards or recite lists of information.

2. Study Small Chunks at a Time

If you want to remember information over the long haul, don’t try to cram it all in during one sitting.

Instead, use an approach called spaced repetition :

  • Break the information into parts
  • Learn one new part at a time over the course of days or weeks
  • Review your earlier acquisitions each time you study

The brain stores information that it thinks is important. So, when you regularly go over a topic at set intervals over time, it strengthens your memory of it.

3. Tell a Story

Sometimes, you just need to make information silly in order to help it stick in your brain.

To remember a list of items or the particular order of events, make up a humorous story that links those things or words together. It doesn’t necessarily need to make sense; it just needs to be memorable .

Study to improve memory

4. Change Study Locations Often

Studying the same information in multiple places helps the details stick in your mind better.

Consider some of the following locations:

  • Your desk at home
  • A coffee shop
  • The library
  • Your backyard

It’s best to switch between several different study spots instead of always hitting the books in the same place.

5. Swap Topics Regularly

Keeping your brain trained on the same information for long periods of time isn’t beneficial. It’s smarter to jump from one subject to another a few times during a long study session.

Along those same lines, you should study the same material in multiple ways. Research shows that using varied study methods for the same topic helps you perform better on tests.

6. Quiz Yourself

Challenge yourself to see what you can remember. Quizzing yourself is like practicing for the test, and it’s one of the most effective methods of memory retention .

If it’s hard to remember the information at first, don’t worry; the struggle makes it more likely that you’ll remember it in the end.

7. Go Old-school: Use a Pen and Paper

The act of writing answers helps you remember the information. Here are some ways to use writing while studying:

  • Recopy your notes
  • Write the answers to flashcards
  • Make a study sheet
  • Practice writing essay answers

Writing by hand is best because it requires your attention and focus.

8. See It & Hear It

Say information out loud, and you’ll be more likely to remember it. You’re engaging your eyes as you read the words, your mouth as you say them, and your ears as you hear yourself.

Scientists call the benefit of speaking information aloud production effect .

Part 8 – Top 10 Study Hacks Backed by Science

Form a study group

1. Grab a Coffee

Drinking coffee (or your preferred high-octane beverage) while you study may help keep you alert so you don’t doze off mid-session. There’s even evidence that caffeine can improve your memory skills.

However, avoid sugary beverages. These could cause your energy level to crash in a few hours.

2. Reward Yourself

Studies show that giving yourself a reward for doing your work helps you enjoy the effort more.

Do it right away; don’t wait until the test is over to celebrate. For example, after finishing a three-hour study session, treat yourself to an ice cream cone or a relaxing bath.

3. Study with Others

Working with a study group holds you accountable so it’s harder to procrastinate on your work.

When you study together, you can fill in gaps in one another’s understanding, and you can quiz each other on the material.

Besides, studying with a group can be fun!

4. Meditate

It may be hard to imagine adding anything else to your packed schedule, but dedicating time to mindfulness practices can really pay off.

Meditate during study sessions

Studies show that people who meditate may perform better on tests , and they are generally more attentive.

Mindfulness apps can help you get started with this practice.

5. Hit the Gym

To boost the blood flow to your brain, do half an hour of cardio exercise before sitting down to study.

Aerobic exercise gives your brain a major dose of oxygen and other important nutrients, which may help you think clearly, remember facts and do your best work.

6. Play Some Music

Listening to tunes can help you focus. Studies show that the best study music is anything that features a rhythmic beat .

It’s smart to choose a style that you like. If you like classical, that’s fine, but you could also go for electronica or modern piano solos.

7. Grab Some Walnuts

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps your brain do its best work.

Good sources include:

  • Fish: cod liver oil, salmon and mackerel
  • Vegetables: spinach and Brussels sprouts

To calm your pre-test jitters, eat a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 foods.

8. Take Regular Breaks

Your brain needs some downtime. Don’t try to push through for hours on end. Every hour, take a break for several minutes.

Take regular study breaks

Breaks are good for your mental health . They also improve your attention span, your creativity and your productivity.

During a break, it’s best to move around and exercise a bit.

9. Get Some Sleep

Although studying is important, it can’t come at the expense of your rest. Sleep gives your brain a chance to process the information that you’ve learned that day.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have a hard time focusing and remembering information.

Even during busy test weeks, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

10. Eliminate Distractions

It’s hard to get much studying done when you’re busy scrolling Instagram. Put away your phone and computer while studying, or at least block your social media apps.

Turn off the television while you work, too.

If you’re studying in a noisy area, put on headphones that can help block the distracting sounds.

Part 9 – The Best Study Apps

Student using Study App on iPhone

1. iStudiez Pro Legend

Scheduling study time is a must, and iStudiez Pro Legend lets you put study sessions, classes and assignments on your calendar. Color coding the entries can help you stay organized.

istudiez pro study app

For each class, you can enter meeting times and homework assignments, and you can keep track of your grades.

2. Dragon Anywhere

Instead of writing notes in the margins of your textbooks, you can use Dragon Anywhere’s voice dictation feature to record your thoughts and insights.

Dragon Anywhere study app

Just be sure to rewrite your dictated notes in your own handwriting later for maximum learning!

3. Evernote

When you’re in school, you have a lot of responsibilities to juggle, but Evernote can help you organize them.

Evernote Study App

You can add notes and documents to store them in one digital spot, and tagging them will help you quickly pull up all files for a class or a topic.

4. Quizlet Go

Make digital flashcards that you can practice on your mobile device with Quizlet Go .

Quizlet Study App

This means that you can pull out your phone for a quick study session whenever you have a couple of minutes of downtime. You don’t even need internet access to practice these flashcards.

5. My Study Life

Enter your upcoming tests and assignments into My Study Life , and the app will send you reminder messages.

My Study Life Study App

The app has a calendar so you can keep track of your class schedule. It can even notify you when it’s time to go to class.

6. Exam Countdown Lite

You should start studying for tests at least a week in advance. Input the dates for your exams and assignments into Exam Countdown Lite so you’ll have a visual reminder of when you should begin your test prep.

Exam Countdown Study App

The app can send you notifications as well.

7. Flashcards+

With Chegg’s Flashcards+ , you can make your own digital flashcards or use ones designed by others.

Chegg Flashcards Study App

Because you can add images to your cards, you can quiz yourself on the names of famous artworks, important historical artifacts or parts of a scientific diagram.

Organize information into categories by creating a visual mind map on XMind . This can help you classify facts and figures so you see how they relate to one another.

Xmind Study App

This visual representation can also help you recall the information later.

9. ScannerPro

Do you have piles of handwritten notes everywhere? Once you have written them out, consider scanning them into digital form. ScannerPro lets you use your phone as a scanner.

Scanner Pro Study App

You can store your scanned files in this app or transfer them to Evernote or another organization system.

Part 10 – Study Skills Worksheets

Could you use more help to develop your study skills? Rutgers University has dozens of study skills worksheets online .

Study Skills Worksheets

These documents are packed with tips that can help you become a better student. The checklists and charts can help you evaluate your current strengths and organize your work.

Part 11 – Key Takeaways

Study tips summary

You’re a busy person, so you need to make the most of every study session.

By now, you should understand the basics of effective studies:

  • Schedule study time
  • Study regularly
  • Minimize distractions
  • Read for information
  • Write the important stuff down
  • Use creative memory tricks
  • Quiz yourself
  • Be good to your body and your brain

Put these study tips to good use, and you’ll soon learn that you’ve learned how to study smarter.

assignment study tips

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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., 12 study tips for back to school.

Now is the time to break out of your same-old homework habits. Try these study tips and get the brain boost you need for back to school.

Back to school study tips

1. You don’t need ONE study space.

A well-stocked desk in a quiet place at home is key, but sometimes you need variety. Coffee shops, libraries, parks, or even just moving to the kitchen table will give you a change of scenery which can prompt your brain to retain information better.

2. Track more than HW in your school planner.

Keeping a calendar helps you plan ahead—but you’ve got more going on than just homework assignments! Make sure you’re marking your extracurricular, work, and social commitments, too. (Tests, band practice, away games, SAT dates , half-days and holidays are just a few examples of reminders for your planner.)

Read More: Your College Prep Timeline

3. Start small.

If you’ve got a big assignment looming, like a research paper , stay motivated by completing a piece of the project every few days. Write one paragraph each night. Or, do 5 algebra problems from your problem set at a time, and then take a break.

4. School supplies (alone) don’t make you organized.

Come up with a system and keep to it. Do you keep one big binder for all your classes with color-coded tabs? Or do you prefer to keep separate notebooks and a folder for handouts? Keep the system simple—if it’s too fancy or complicated, you are less likely to keep it up everyday.

5. Get into a routine.

When will you make the time to do your homework every day? Find the time of day that works best for you (this can change day-to-day, depending on your schedule!), and make a plan to hit the books.

6. Learn how to create a distraction-free zone.

A study on workplace distractions found that it takes workers an average of 25 minutes to return to what they were working on pre-interruption. Try turning off your phone notifications or blocking Twitter (temporarily) on your computer so you can concentrate on the homework tasks at hand.

7. Get real.

When you’re looking at the homework you have to get done tonight, be realistic about how long things actually take. Gauging that reading a history chapter will take an hour and writing a response will take another 30 minutes will help you plan how you spend your time.

8. Use class time wisely.

Is your teacher finished lecturing, but you still have 10 minutes of class left? Get a jump on your chemistry homework while it’s still fresh in your mind. Or use the time to ask your teacher about concepts that were fuzzy the first time.

9. Look over your notes each night to make sure you've got it.

Fill in details, edit the parts that don’t make sense, and star or highlight the bits of information that you know are most important. Interacting with your notes will help you remember them. You can also use Homework Help to get your questions answered 24/7.

10. Study a little every day.

Cramming Spanish vocabulary for a quiz might work in the short-term, but when comes time to study for midterms, you’ll be back at square 1. You might remember the vocab list long enough to ace the quiz, but reviewing the terms later will help you store them for the long haul.

11. Don’t let a bad grade keep you down.

A rough start to the semester doesn’t have to sink your GPA. Take proactive steps by checking your grades regularly online and getting a tutor if you need one.

Read More: How to Bounce Back from Bad Grades

12. Make a friend in every class.

Find a few people you can contact from each of your classes if you have a homework question or had to miss class (and do the same for them!).  Then when it comes time to study for exams , you'll already have a study group.

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Student staring at laptop screen as they try to write an assignment

5 tips on writing better university assignments

assignment study tips

Lecturer in Student Learning and Communication Development, University of Sydney

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Alexandra Garcia does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

University of Sydney provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

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University life comes with its share of challenges. One of these is writing longer assignments that require higher information, communication and critical thinking skills than what you might have been used to in high school. Here are five tips to help you get ahead.

1. Use all available sources of information

Beyond instructions and deadlines, lecturers make available an increasing number of resources. But students often overlook these.

For example, to understand how your assignment will be graded, you can examine the rubric . This is a chart indicating what you need to do to obtain a high distinction, a credit or a pass, as well as the course objectives – also known as “learning outcomes”.

Other resources include lecture recordings, reading lists, sample assignments and discussion boards. All this information is usually put together in an online platform called a learning management system (LMS). Examples include Blackboard , Moodle , Canvas and iLearn . Research shows students who use their LMS more frequently tend to obtain higher final grades.

If after scrolling through your LMS you still have questions about your assignment, you can check your lecturer’s consultation hours.

2. Take referencing seriously

Plagiarism – using somebody else’s words or ideas without attribution – is a serious offence at university. It is a form of cheating.

Hands on a keyboard using the Ctrl C copy function

In many cases, though, students are unaware they have cheated. They are simply not familiar with referencing styles – such as APA , Harvard , Vancouver , Chicago , etc – or lack the skills to put the information from their sources into their own words.

To avoid making this mistake, you may approach your university’s library, which is likely to offer face-to-face workshops or online resources on referencing. Academic support units may also help with paraphrasing.

You can also use referencing management software, such as EndNote or Mendeley . You can then store your sources, retrieve citations and create reference lists with only a few clicks. For undergraduate students, Zotero has been recommended as it seems to be more user-friendly.

Using this kind of software will certainly save you time searching for and formatting references. However, you still need to become familiar with the citation style in your discipline and revise the formatting accordingly.

3. Plan before you write

If you were to build a house, you wouldn’t start by laying bricks at random. You’d start with a blueprint. Likewise, writing an academic paper requires careful planning: you need to decide the number of sections, their organisation, and the information and sources you will include in each.

Research shows students who prepare detailed outlines produce higher-quality texts. Planning will not only help you get better grades, but will also reduce the time you spend staring blankly at the screen thinking about what to write next.

Young woman sitting at desk with laptop and checking notes for assignment

During the planning stage, using programs like OneNote from Microsoft Office or Outline for Mac can make the task easier as they allow you to organise information in tabs. These bits of information can be easily rearranged for later drafting. Navigating through the tabs is also easier than scrolling through a long Word file.

4. Choose the right words

Which of these sentences is more appropriate for an assignment?

a. “This paper talks about why the planet is getting hotter”, or b. “This paper examines the causes of climate change”.

The written language used at university is more formal and technical than the language you normally use in social media or while chatting with your friends. Academic words tend to be longer and their meaning is also more precise. “Climate change” implies more than just the planet “getting hotter”.

To find the right words, you can use SkELL , which shows you the words that appear more frequently, with your search entry categorised grammatically. For example, if you enter “paper”, it will tell you it is often the subject of verbs such as “present”, “describe”, “examine” and “discuss”.

Another option is the Writefull app, which does a similar job without having to use an online browser.

5. Edit and proofread

If you’re typing the last paragraph of the assignment ten minutes before the deadline, you will be missing a very important step in the writing process: editing and proofreading your text. A 2018 study found a group of university students did significantly better in a test after incorporating the process of planning, drafting and editing in their writing.

Hand holding red pen to edit paper.

You probably already know to check the spelling of a word if it appears underlined in red. You may even use a grammar checker such as Grammarly . However, no software to date can detect every error and it is not uncommon to be given inaccurate suggestions.

So, in addition to your choice of proofreader, you need to improve and expand your grammar knowledge. Check with the academic support services at your university if they offer any relevant courses.

Written communication is a skill that requires effort and dedication. That’s why universities are investing in support services – face-to-face workshops, individual consultations, and online courses – to help students in this process. You can also take advantage of a wide range of web-based resources such as spell checkers, vocabulary tools and referencing software – many of them free.

Improving your written communication will help you succeed at university and beyond.

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  • Writing tips
  • Essay writing
  • Student assessment

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  • Steps for writing assignments
  • Information and services
  • Student support
  • Study skills and learning advice
  • Study skills and learning advice overview
  • Assignment writing

Follow this step-by-step guide to assignment writing to help you to manage your time and produce a better assignment.

This is a general guide. It's primarily for research essays, but can be used for all assignments. The specific requirements for your course may be different. Make sure you read through any assignment requirements carefully and ask your lecturer or tutor if you're unsure how to meet them.

  • Analysing the topic
  • Researching and note-taking
  • Planning your assignment
  • Writing your assignment
  • Editing your assignment

1. Analysing the topic

Before you start researching or writing, take some time to analyse the assignment topic to make sure you know what you need to do.

Understand what you need to do

Read through the topic a few times to make sure you understand it. Think about the:

  • learning objectives listed in the course profile – understand what you should be able to do after completing the course and its assessment tasks
  • criteria you'll be marked on – find out what you need to do to achieve the grade you want
  • questions you need to answer – try to explain the topic in your own words.

Identify keywords

Identify keywords in the topic that will help guide your research, including any:

  • task words – what you have to do (usually verbs)
  • topic words – ideas, concepts or issues you need to discuss (often nouns)
  • limiting words – restrict the focus of the topic (e.g. to a place, population or time period).

If you're writing your own topic, include task words, topic words and limiting words to help you to focus on exactly what you have to do.

Example keyword identification - text version

Topic: Evaluate the usefulness of a task analysis approach to assignment writing, especially with regard to the writing skill development of second language learners in the early stages of university study in the Australian university context.   Task words: Evaluate Topic words: task analysis approach, assignment writing, writing skill development Limiting words : second language learners (population), early stages of university (time period), Australian university (place)  

Brainstorm your ideas

Brainstorm information about the topic that you:

  • already know
  • will need to research to write the assignment.

When you brainstorm:

  • use 'Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?' questions to get you thinking
  • write down all your ideas – don't censor yourself or worry about the order
  • try making a concept map to capture your ideas – start with the topic in the centre and record your ideas branching out from it.
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11 Good Study Habits to Develop

Good study habits include finding a quiet location to study, taking breaks, settings goals, and taking practice tests. Here's the full list, and the psychological reasons why they work.

[Featured image] Woman studying in a quiet place at her home

Studying can be hard. The good news is that anybody can develop good study habits to make studying more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.

Want to develop good study habits? Start small—don’t expect to do everything in this list, at least not right away; pick one or two instead. It’s also important to set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. 

Good study habits to develop

Here are 11 tips to improve your study habits:

Find a good place to study.

Minimize distractions.

Take breaks.

Space out your studying.

Set study goals for each session.

Reward yourself.

Study with a group.

Take practice tests.

Use your own words.

Ask for help.

Take care of yourself.

Let's take a closer look at how you can implement each of these habits.

1. Find a good place to study.

Finding a good location to study is one of the most important elements of studying well. Look for a quiet place with minimal distractions—someplace where you’ll be able to focus, and won’t be interrupted by loud sounds or people who constantly want your attention.

A school or public library, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of your house can all be good places to start. 

Should I stick to one place to study?

Not necessarily. Some studies show that occasionally changing where you study can help retain information. This is because studying the same material in different locations helps your brain create multiple associations with that material, making it easier for you to remember it [ 1 ]. It can be beneficial to find three or four places you like to study and switch locations when you’re feeling stuck or need a change of pace. That said, everybody is different. Find what works best for you.

2. Minimize distractions.

Picking a good location to study can be the first step in keeping yourself focused on your work. But there are many types of distractions that can reach you no matter where you choose to work. Here are some tips on minimizing these distractions:

Turn off your wifi: If you’re working on a computer and you don’t need your wifi, try turning it off. This can keep you from inadvertently wandering into the distracting parts of the internet.

Be mindful of your phone: It’s no secret that our smartphones can be hugely distracting. Turning off your notifications, keeping your phone out of sight in your bag, or giving it to a friend to keep you from checking it too often can help you stay focused. You might also try a focus app, like Forest or Focus To-Do , that can block distracting apps and set timers for study sessions.

Study with a friend: Sometimes studying with a friend or two, whether or not you’re working on the same material, can help keep you accountable and focused. Make sure you each are on the same page about studying and keeping one another distraction-free, at least until it’s time to take a break.

Should I listen to music while I study?

Listening to music while you study has some benefits; it can boost your mood and calm anxiety or stress. But studies show that reading comprehension tends to fall when the music is too loud, fast-paced, or contains lyrics [ 2 ]. Stick with calming, wordless songs while studying, and save the upbeat numbers for breaks.

3. Take breaks.

Taking intentional breaks has been linked to better retention, increased attention, and boosts in energy. Research shows that working for around 50 minutes, then giving yourself a 15- to 20-minute break, can lead to optimum productivity [ 3 ]. Here are a few ways you can give yourself a break:

Take a short walk

Listen to a mood-boosting song

Relax with a friend

Zone out and daydream

Have a snack

Take a shower

Clean your desk or room

Not all breaks are created equal. Checking your phone or social media as a study break has actually been linked to a decrease in performance [ 4 ]. 

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4. Space out your studying.

Cramming can still help you get a good grade on a test, but studies show that you’re much more likely to forget that information as soon as the test is over. Really holding onto the material you learned (and making exam seasons less stressful) requires consistent and well-spaced study sessions.

Instead of saving your studying for before a test, briefly review material you learned once a week. If you are studying for an exam, space out your studying up to several weeks (or even months, depending on the test) leading up to the exam day. This can help you retain the information long term. 

5. Set study goals for each session.

Set study goals for each session of studying you have. These can be time-based or content-based. For example, you might aim to study for two hours, or review three chapters of your textbook—or both.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you didn’t get through as much as you had planned; sometimes studying can take longer than expected. Keep taking well-spaced breaks, and schedule another study session.

6. Reward yourself.

Rewarding yourself with treats—“bribing” yourself—has been linked to better self-control, and can be helpful in forming good habits [ 5 ]. Telling yourself you’ll get a small reward if you finish the section you wanted to get through, or perhaps a larger reward if you have a productive day of studying, can be good motivation to get to your goal. 

Small rewards can be a candy bar, a hot drink from your favorite coffee shop, a quick game of your choice, or a short episode of a TV show. Bigger rewards for a long day of studying or getting done with an exam can include getting your favorite meal, spending some time relaxing with friends, or making time for your favorite activity. 

7. Study with a group.

There are several benefits to forming a study group. Group members can help one another work through difficult problems, provide encouragement, hold each other accountable to studying goals, provide different perspectives, and make studying more enjoyable. Even explaining difficult concepts to others can help with comprehension and retention. 

If you have a group study session, set a goal the group will work towards and take periodic breaks as you would studying by yourself.

8. Take practice tests.

Tests and practice tests have been long seen as useful tools to help students learn and retain information. Besides revealing gaps in knowledge and reducing exam anxiety, being tested makes us retrieve information from memory—a powerful, study-backed way of holding onto information we’ve learned [ 6 ].

Don’t have a practice exam? There are several ways you can “test” yourself and gain the same benefits. Try the following methods:

Create flashcards

Write your own questions

Search for practice questions online

Have a friend quiz you

9. Use your own words.

Expressing an idea in your own words increases your understanding of a subject and helps your brain hang on to information. After you read a section of text, summarize important points by paraphrasing. 

10. Ask for help.

You might find yourself stuck on a problem or unable to understand the explanation in a textbook. Somebody who is able to walk through the issue with you might provide the fresh explanation you need. Approach your teacher or professor, teaching assistant, friend, or study group member for new ways to understand what you’re stuck on. Feel like you can benefit from being coached through a subject? Consider looking for a tutor.

And don’t forget the myriad online tools that might be at your disposal, like the Khan Academy . A quick search through Google or YouTube can also surface helpful articles or videos on subjects you’re trying to grasp.

11. Take care of yourself.

At the end of the day, your brain is an organ in your body—take care of it by taking care of yourself. Get regular exercise, eat well, don’t overdrink, get good sleep, and take care of your mental wellbeing. 

Sleep: Studies have linked sleep deprivation to decreased cognitive function, including reduced attention spans and doing worse on tests [ 7 ]. Everybody’s sleep needs are different, but people typically need between seven and eight-and-a-half hours of sleep a night. Plus, getting more sleep can make you happier and benefit your social life.

Food: Try to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, plant sources of proteins, nuts, and unsaturated oils like olive oil into your diet, all of which have been linked to better cognitive performance [ 8 ]. 

Exercise: Exercise brings oxygen to the part of your brain responsible for thought, encourages the development of new nerve cells, and boosts brain cell connections [ 8 ]. This makes for brains that are more neuroplastic and efficient—plus it brings a host of other health benefits, like lower blood pressure, reduced mental stress, and weight control.

Mental wellness: Mental health is important because it helps us deal with stress, improves our relationships with others, allows us to live more meaningfully, and be more productive in our work. Exercising, eating well, and getting good sleep can each boost our mental health. But there are other ways of fortifying mental strength, such as connecting with others, practicing gratitude, meditating, and developing a sense of meaning in life [ 9 ].

Getting started

Forming good habits can be difficult, but starting with small, achievable steps can set you up to have consistent study habits for the rest of your life. Explore more personal development courses from leading universities and institutions on Coursera. Sign up for a free 7-day trial and start learning today.

Looking to get a degree? Knowing what’s out there is a good first step. Take a look at bachelor’s and master’s degrees on Coursera .

Article sources

New York Times. " Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

University of Wollongong Australia. " Is it OK to listen to music while studying? ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

TIME Magazine. " The Exact Perfect Amount of Time to Take a Break, According to Data ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

Bustle. " A New Study Says Scrolling Through Social Media Doesn’t Actually Give You A Mental Break ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

PsychCentral. " The Pscyhology of Rewarding Yourself with Treats ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

KQED. " A Better Way to Study Through Self-Testing and Distributed Practice ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

Forbes. " New Studies Show What Sleep Loss Does To The Brain And Cognition ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

Harvard Health Publishing. " 12 ways to keep your brain young ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

MedlinePlus. " How to Improve Mental Health ," Accessed July 27, 2022.

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How to write the best college assignments.

By Lois Weldon

When it comes to writing assignments, it is difficult to find a conceptualized guide with clear and simple tips that are easy to follow. That’s exactly what this guide will provide: few simple tips on how to write great assignments, right when you need them. Some of these points will probably be familiar to you, but there is no harm in being reminded of the most important things before you start writing the assignments, which are usually determining on your credits.

The most important aspects: Outline and Introduction

Preparation is the key to success, especially when it comes to academic assignments. It is recommended to always write an outline before you start writing the actual assignment. The outline should include the main points of discussion, which will keep you focused throughout the work and will make your key points clearly defined. Outlining the assignment will save you a lot of time because it will organize your thoughts and make your literature searches much easier. The outline will also help you to create different sections and divide up the word count between them, which will make the assignment more organized.

The introduction is the next important part you should focus on. This is the part that defines the quality of your assignment in the eyes of the reader. The introduction must include a brief background on the main points of discussion, the purpose of developing such work and clear indications on how the assignment is being organized. Keep this part brief, within one or two paragraphs.

This is an example of including the above mentioned points into the introduction of an assignment that elaborates the topic of obesity reaching proportions:

Background : The twenty first century is characterized by many public health challenges, among which obesity takes a major part. The increasing prevalence of obesity is creating an alarming situation in both developed and developing regions of the world.

Structure and aim : This assignment will elaborate and discuss the specific pattern of obesity epidemic development, as well as its epidemiology. Debt, trade and globalization will also be analyzed as factors that led to escalation of the problem. Moreover, the assignment will discuss the governmental interventions that make efforts to address this issue.

Practical tips on assignment writing

Here are some practical tips that will keep your work focused and effective:

–         Critical thinking – Academic writing has to be characterized by critical thinking, not only to provide the work with the needed level, but also because it takes part in the final mark.

–         Continuity of ideas – When you get to the middle of assignment, things can get confusing. You have to make sure that the ideas are flowing continuously within and between paragraphs, so the reader will be enabled to follow the argument easily. Dividing the work in different paragraphs is very important for this purpose.

–         Usage of ‘you’ and ‘I’ – According to the academic writing standards, the assignments should be written in an impersonal language, which means that the usage of ‘you’ and ‘I’ should be avoided. The only acceptable way of building your arguments is by using opinions and evidence from authoritative sources.

–         Referencing – this part of the assignment is extremely important and it takes a big part in the final mark. Make sure to use either Vancouver or Harvard referencing systems, and use the same system in the bibliography and while citing work of other sources within the text.  

–         Usage of examples – A clear understanding on your assignment’s topic should be provided by comparing different sources and identifying their strengths and weaknesses in an objective manner. This is the part where you should show how the knowledge can be applied into practice.

–         Numbering and bullets – Instead of using numbering and bullets, the academic writing style prefers the usage of paragraphs.

–         Including figures and tables – The figures and tables are an effective way of conveying information to the reader in a clear manner, without disturbing the word count. Each figure and table should have clear headings and you should make sure to mention their sources in the bibliography.

–         Word count – the word count of your assignment mustn’t be far above or far below the required word count. The outline will provide you with help in this aspect, so make sure to plan the work in order to keep it within the boundaries.

The importance of an effective conclusion

The conclusion of your assignment is your ultimate chance to provide powerful arguments that will impress the reader. The conclusion in academic writing is usually expressed through three main parts:

–         Stating the context and aim of the assignment

–         Summarizing the main points briefly

–         Providing final comments with consideration of the future (discussing clear examples of things that can be done in order to improve the situation concerning your topic of discussion).

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Lois Weldon is writer at . Lives happily at London with her husband and lovely daughter. Adores writing tips for students. Passionate about Star Wars and yoga.

7 comments on “How To Write The Best College Assignments”

Extremely useful tip for students wanting to score well on their assignments. I concur with the writer that writing an outline before ACTUALLY starting to write assignments is extremely important. I have observed students who start off quite well but they tend to lose focus in between which causes them to lose marks. So an outline helps them to maintain the theme focused.

Hello Great information…. write assignments

Well elabrated

Thanks for the information. This site has amazing articles. Looking forward to continuing on this site.

This article is certainly going to help student . Well written.

Really good, thanks

Practical tips on assignment writing, the’re fantastic. Thank you!

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Home / Blog / 15 foolproof tips for writing a great assignment

15 foolproof tips for writing a great assignment

15th Aug 2015

Student advice


If you’re the kind of person that only has to hear the word “assignment” and immediately has flashbacks to stuffy classrooms, ticking clocks and staring a blank page for hours….DON’T PANIC.

Our 15 foolproof tips for writing a great assignment will guide you to success.

Before you start…

1. do your reading.

Your course or module will have a reading list; make sure you actually use it! Your tutors choose texts to specifically help with your assignments and modules, and you’ll gain some valuable insights into the topic that are sure to make writing your assignment easier.

Expert tip:  If you have the time, do some reading from other sources not on your list to back up your argument.

2. Check the deadline

There’s nothing worse than scheduling time to sit down and write then glancing at the calendar and realising you’ve only got a few days left. Double-checking the deadline means you’ll have no nasty surprises.

Expert tip:  There are many apps out there that can add a ‘countdown’ to your phone or tablet. Use these to keep your assignment deadline front of mind.

3. Plan your time

Finding time to write is easier said than done, but if you break your time down into manageable chunks you’ll find it’s much easier to keep on top of your workload. Try scheduling mini-deadlines along the way (e.g. aim to have the first section done by a certain day) to keep your momentum going.

Expert tip:  Be realistic about the time you have spare, and the time you’re willing to give up. If you schedule a writing session at 9 p.m. on Friday evening when you’d rather be relaxing, chances are you won’t get anything done.

4. Ask for help (if you need it)

If there’s any doubt in your mind about the question or the requirements of the assignment, ask your tutor. It’s better to start right than have to re-write in the last few days.

Expert tip:  Remember, your tutor wants you to do well. He or she will not be annoyed if you need to ask a few questions.

5. Plan your assignment structure

Before you start, it can help to create a basic assignment structure. This can be as detailed as you like but the basic structure should contain your introduction points, your key arguments and points, and your planned conclusion.

Expert tip:  Try writing out your plan on sticky notes. These will allow you to rearrange your arguments and points easily as your plan develops.

As you’re writing…

6. introduction.

You wouldn’t start a conversation without introducing yourself; your assignment is the same. Your first paragraph should introduce your key argument, add a bit of context and the key issues of the question, and then go on to explain how you plan to answer it.

Expert tip:  Some people find it easier to write their introduction after they’ve finished the rest of their assignment. Give it a try!

7. Structure your argument

As you write the body of your assignment, make sure that each point you make has some supporting evidence. Use statistics or quotes you gathered during your reading to support your argument, or even as something to argue against.

Expert tip:  If you’re using a lot of different sources, it’s easy to forget to add them to your reference list. Make things easier for yourself by writing it as you go along.

8. Conclusion

Your conclusion is your final chance to summarise your argument and leave a lasting impression with your reader. Make sure you recap the key points and arguments you made in your assignment, including supporting evidence if needed.

Expert tip:  Make sure that you don’t introduce any new ideas in your conclusion; this section is purely for summarising your previous arguments.

9. Getting over writer’s block

Struggling to write? There’s nothing more frustrating than putting aside time to write and then just staring at a blank page. Luckily, there are lots of thing to try to get you inspired : a change of scenery, putting on some music, writing another section of the essay or just taking a short break.

Expert tip:  If you find yourself unable to write, try to use your time to read ahead or re-read what you’ve already written.

10. Make sure you use your ‘essay voice’

While each university, school or each college will probably have its own style guide, you should always use a neutral and professional tone when writing an assignment. Try to avoid slang, overly-familiar phrases and definitely don’t use text-speak!

Expert tip:  If you’re not sure about a phrase or word, search for it online to see what other publications use it. If it’s in a dictionary or used by a national newspaper it’s probably OK to use in your assignment.

After you finish…

11. get a little distance.

If you’ve got time (and you should have if you managed to stick to your schedule!), put your first draft aside for a day or two before re-reading it. This will give you time to step back and read your assignment objectively, making it easier to spot mistakes and issues.

Expert tip:  If you find it easier to review on paper, print out your assignment with double-line spacing to accommodate your notes and corrections.

12. Make sure you’ve answered the question

As you’re reading through your first draft of your assignment, check that all your points are relevant to the original question. It’s easy to drift off on a tangent when you’re in mid-flow.

Expert tip:  Read each paragraph and consider it on its own merit as to whether it answers the question, and also to check that it contributes to your overall argument.

13. Don’t be afraid to cut text out

Sometimes, when you’ve struggled to reach a word count it can be hard to remove text that you’ve slaved over. But if a piece of text isn’t supporting your argument then it doesn’t have a place in your assignment.

Expert tip:  With word processing software, the ‘Track Changes’ feature allows you to edit text without losing it forever. And if you realise later that you’ve made a mistake, just reject the change.

14. Check and double-check your spelling

Nothing can give a bad impression as quickly as a spelling mistake. Errors are distracting, look unprofessional and in the worst case they can undermine your argument. If you’re unsure about the correct use of a word, look it up online or use an alternative that you’re more comfortable with.

Expert tip:  While you’re running your spell-checker, check your word count too. You’re usually allowed to deviate by 10% above or below the assignment word count, but check with your institution’s guidelines.

15. Cite your sources

References and creating a bibliography are key skills that you unfortunately have to master when writing an assignment. Check your institution’s guidelines before you start to make sure you’re including all the information you need.

Expert tip:  Some eBooks have a citation feature that automatically collates all the information you need for your bibliography.

Wondering how you can apply these skills? Download a prospectus to choose your course today!

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Ultimate Study Skills Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Every Grade

Because they really do need to learn how to learn.

WeAreTeachers study skills guide.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that study skills are life skills. Taking good notes, creating a focused workspace, managing distractions, making plans—any and all of these are skills people of all ages use every single day. Taking time to teach good study skills up front can equip students to succeed in school and beyond.

We’ve broken down many of the top study skills students need, including examples by grade level. Remember that there are a lot of different ways to study successfully. Offer students options and help them find the strategies that work best for them.

Study Spaces

Organization and time management study skills, learning styles, taking and using notes, effective reading study skills, completing assignments, test taking, finding help.

Study spaces.

Choosing the right place to study is the first step to good study skills. Teach students to consider these elements.

Choose Your Space

For some students, this means a dedicated study space like a desk in their room. Others may prefer to curl up in a chair with a lap desk or work at a table in a common space. Whichever they choose, it should be an area that’s dedicated to study while they’re using it.

Homework desk in child's bedroom with supplies they can use to build study skills

Source: organizeandarrangeit/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Many students begin doing homework on the dining room or kitchen table, where parents can supervise. As students get older, encourage them to explore other spaces too, especially those where they can work independently.
  • Middle School: By this age, kids will probably need a dedicated study space of their own, where they can keep supplies and works-in-progress. If that’s not possible, create a bin or box where they can store stuff while they’re not using it, then pull it out when it’s time to study.
  • High School: Older students should be able to carve out a study space pretty much anywhere, since that’s something they’ll need to be able to do in the working world too. As long as they’re able to concentrate and get their work done, don’t be too picky about where they choose to do it.

Make Yourself Comfortable

“Comfortable” looks different for every person, so don’t assume all kids need to be sitting at a desk to work well. At the same time, they shouldn’t be so comfortable that they’ll fall asleep!

  • Elementary School: When kids are doing independent reading, let them choose any spot they like. For other work, make sure they have a sturdy writing surface, like a table or lap desk. Ensure they have enough light to see what they’re doing, and teach them good posture if they’re sitting in a chair so they don’t develop stiff muscles.
  • Middle and High School: Show them how to adjust the font size on screens so they’re not squinting to read. Encourage them to use blue light filters if they’re spending a lot of time on computers.

Manage Distractions

Learning to concentrate while ignoring distractions is a key life skill, and one that we all need to develop. Some students will have no trouble tuning things out, while others are going to need a lot of help with this one.

  • Elementary School: Kids at this age are very easily distracted, so their study space should be as calm as possible. If a quiet room isn’t available, they might need noise-canceling headphones or even a white-noise machine to help them concentrate. Muting the TV isn’t enough—be sure it’s off completely. Remind friends and siblings to leave kids alone while they’re working.
  • Middle School: These kids are old enough to recognize distractions but might still have trouble handling them. Encourage them to turn off phones and electronics (although some students are fine listening to music while they work). Students at this age are old enough to politely ask friends or family not to interrupt them while they work.
  • High School: By this time, students know that the world is full of distractions and you can’t quiet them all. But you can teach them to mute their phone and messaging notifications, close all unnecessary windows on their laptops, and be firm about letting others know they need to be left alone to study.

Gather Your Supplies

One way to eliminate distractions is to ensure you have everything you need in place before you start. This includes books, notes, office supplies, and more. All kids should have water and some healthy snacks on hand too.

Study skills supplies caddy

Source: jugglingactmama/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Having a dedicated, well-stocked study space makes it much easier for kids to settle down to their work. Keep a supply of sharpened pencils, glue sticks, scissors, markers, and other items in a nearby drawer or a bin they can grab when they’re ready to get started.
  • Middle School: Students this age likely keep just about everything they need in their backpacks, so they’ll want it nearby when they study. Remind them to restock their supplies once a week (including sharpening pencils in advance).
  • High School: Depending on the assignment, these students may not need a lot of physical supplies, but they should still gather any books, notes, laptops, pens and highlighters, etc., they need before they settle in for a study session.

Organization and time management study skills.

These two study skills are also vital life skills, so the sooner kids learn them, the better. They’ll be grateful later in life!

Use a Homework Planner

As soon as kids starting having any kind of homework, they need a planner. For younger students, this could be a daily take-home folder, while older kids will need a more sophisticated system. Either way, use it consistently so it becomes a habit.

  • Elementary School: Take-home folders are perfect for organizing worksheets and other assignments. Put unfinished work on the left and finished work on the right. Use sticky notes on the worksheets or the front of the folder to write reminders about what needs to be done, including any due dates. Parents of younger students can review these folders each day, while upper elementary kids should mostly be able to keep track of things on their own.

Green homework folder with cutout hand that says Left at Home and Right Back to School

Source: Busy Classroom

  • Middle School: Use a planner notebook that includes calendars to help keep track of long-term assignments, with pages for daily notes and to-do lists. Teach students to make notes in them during class or immediately after, and start every study session by reviewing any current assignments and their due dates.

Example of a weekly middle school planner filled out by a student to build their study skills

Source: Starts at Eight

  • High School: Kids can continue using paper planners, or transition to online calendars or apps. Show them how to set useful reminders online, so things don’t slip through the cracks.

Example of high school planner filled out on a wooden table with pen and sticky notes

Source: LP Tutoring

Create a Daily Study Plan

When kids sit down to tackle the day’s work, encourage them to begin by making a plan. Assess what needs to be done, estimate the amount of time it will take, and decide what to do first.

Sample homework study plan with times.

Source: Beyond Booksmart

  • Elementary School: Parents and young kids should sit down together to look over the day’s assignments and talk about what to work on first. Some students might like to get easy tasks out of the way before settling in to harder ones, while others prefer to handle more difficult things first. Help them find the method that works best for them.
  • Middle School and High School: This age brings a higher amount of homework, so students should always start by determining how much time they’ll need to complete it. Let them experiment a bit—do they work best by completely finishing one assignment before moving on to the next, or do they like to do a little bit of each and take some breaks in between? Over time, they’ll find the methods they like best.

Chose the Best Study Time

Kids’ days are often jam-packed with activities, leaving homework and studying to get squeezed in whenever it fits. Take time to find out what time of day kids are at their best, and prioritize that time for study. For instance, if a student seems to learn better if they do their homework right after school, try to choose extracurriculars that meet in the evenings or weekends instead. Some students might even prefer to get up early in the morning and work, and that’s OK too as long as they’re getting enough sleep.

  • Elementary School: Let kids try doing their homework at different times throughout the day, and see if there are times when they’re better at concentrating. If so, teach them to schedule their schoolwork during those times, and make extracurricular choices for them accordingly.
  • Middle and High School: Students probably know by now when they work best, but busy schedules can make that more difficult to accommodate. Remind them to try to make smart choices and to tackle schoolwork when they’re feeling as fresh and alert as possible.

Keep Materials Neat and Organized

Some adults thrive in messy work spaces, and that’s OK. But kids should make an effort to keep their spaces and materials organized so they have fewer excuses for not getting things done.

Teen boy practicing study skills on computer at his organized desk.

Source: mywallpro/Instagram

  • Elementary School: In early grades, parents should help kids go through their backpack each night, cleaning out trash and restocking supplies. Help them set up an organization system using the different pockets. Show them how to use different-color folders and notebooks for each subject, and clean out every folder regularly. Set the backpack by the front door each night so it’s ready to go in the morning. Upper grade students should gradually do some or all of these things on their own.
  • Middle School: Transition to entirely managing backpacks and study spaces on their own. Parents might check in once a week or at the beginning of a school quarter to see if students need some assistance getting organized.
  • High School: In addition to managing their physical study materials, ensure kids at this age know how to keep things organized online. Show them how to use files and folders, where to back things up, and how to manage their email and message inboxes. Encourage them to set aside a regular time to make sure everything is in order, and make improvements as needed.

Take Breaks

Students need both physical and mental brain breaks while they study! Remind kids to get up and move around regularly, rest their eyes, and give their brain a break for a few minutes every so often.

  • Elementary School: Younger students should be able to work for about 15-20 minutes before taking a break, with upper grades going as long as 30 minutes. They usually won’t need reminders to take breaks, but they might need some help keeping those breaks to no more than 10 minutes or so.
  • Middle School: These kids can work 30-45 minutes at a time and should learn to recognize the signs of needing a break on their own. When they start to get very fidgety, feel a headache coming on, squint while they’re reading, or feel hungry or thirsty, it’s time for a short break. Teach them to set a timer to know when the break is over and they need to get back to work.
  • High School: By now, students can work an hour at a time but should be encouraged to take regular breaks all the same. In fact, just like adults, they should aim to get up and move for at least 5 minutes every hour. Physical activity like stretching, yoga, or even dancing to music will help refresh them so they can get back down to it. If they have trouble remembering to take breaks, have them set a timer to remind them.

Learning styles.

All students use different learning methods to retain and understand the same information. Some like written words, some prefer to hear it and talk about it. Others need to do something with their hands or see images and diagrams. These are known as learning styles. While it’s important not to pigeonhole students into any one style, kids should be aware of any strengths they have and use them to create strong study skills.

Visual-See It Auditory-Hear/Say It Read/Write-It Kinesthetic-Do It (Learning Styles)

Source:  Nnenna Walters

Know Your Style

There are four generally accepted styles: visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic (movement). You can learn more about them here. It’s worth taking time to understand which (if any) style appeals to a student more.

  • Elementary School: Most kids are exposed to a wide array of learning activities, strategies, and methods here and will slowly form preferences. If parents or teachers notice that kids aren’t learning well using one method (e.g., flash cards to learn math facts), have students try activities from different styles instead (like videos or songs).
  • Middle School: At this age, students should have some idea of which study methods fit their learning styles. They should continue to experiment, especially in subjects where they struggle to master the material.
  • High School: Kids in these grades who still don’t understand how they learn best may benefit from taking the VARK questionnaire . It will point them in the right direction and help them find the best study methods.

Choose Appropriate Study Materials

Here are some examples of study materials and activities that appeal to different learning styles, no matter the age or grade level.

nonfiction anchor charts

Source: Elementary Shenanigans

  • Visual: Diagrams; charts; graphs; maps; videos with or without sound; photos and other images; graphic organizers and sketchnotes
  • Auditory: Lectures; audiobooks; videos with sound; music and songs; text-to-speech translation; discussion and debate; teaching others
  • Read/Write: Reading textbooks, articles, and handouts; watching video with subtitles turned on; using speech-to-text translation and transcripts; making lists; writing answers to questions
  • Kinesthetic: Hands-on practice; educational craft projects; experiments and demonstrations; trial and error; moving and playing games while learning

Taking and using notes.

Study after study have shown the importance of actively taking notes rather than passively reading a handout later on. The act of writing engages different parts of the brain, forging new pathways that help students retain information in long-term memory. Taking good notes and using them properly are study skills every student needs to master.

Learn Different Note-Taking Strategies

There are a variety of good strategies, like outlines, the Cornell Method, sketchnotes, and more. There’s no one best method; it often depends on the material and the learner.

Page demonstrating the Cornell method of note taking (Note Taking Strategies)

Source:  Think Insights

  • Elementary School: Actively teach kids how to take notes in a variety of styles. Learn about seven top note-taking strategies here , and share them with your students. Teachers can start with handouts and graphic organizers but should slowly transition to more independent methods.
  • Middle School: Students should be mastering the skill of taking their own notes, choosing a style that works best for them. They may need reminders of key points to capture but should now be able to isolate the important info.
  • High School: Note-taking should be automatic by now, and many students will have developed preferred styles. Teachers should not insist on a specific note-taking strategy, but should ensure kids are capturing the information they need.

Organize and Review

Taking notes is just one part of the process. Students with good study skills also know how to use them effectively.

Example of how to use colored tabs or flags to organize notes and build study skills.

Source: The Mad Scientist

  • Elementary School: Help students keep all notes from one subject or project in one notebook or folder. Show them how to place them in an order that makes sense, and use tabs, tables of contents, or other organizational methods. Encourage them to review each day’s notes when they go home at night, to reinforce the learning.
  • Middle School: Students in these grades might want to reorganize their notes on their own when they get home, re-copying them or even typing them into a computer. They should be able to use effective organization strategies, to find the notes they need later on during a study session.
  • High School: Students should plan to spend time after every class going over that day’s notes, reviewing and reinforcing what they learned. They should be able to rely heavily on their own notes when reviewing for a test or completing a project.

Effective reading study skills.

“Read chapter three for homework tonight.” Sounds simple enough, right? But there’s a big difference between skimming the material and actually learning from it. Here are the study skills students need to learn while they read.


Everybody loves a handful of colorful highlighters, but using them effectively is a study skill all on its own. Kids can highlight both texts and their own notes.

Notebook page highlighted in yellow and green

Source: cozmic_mae/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Read material with students, showing them how to highlight key words and phrases instead of whole blocks of text. Show them color-coding strategies for organizing the information. Give them practice passages specifically for learning these skills.
  • Middle School: Introduce students to online highlighting tools, since many of the texts they’ll be reading are digital. If necessary, they can print out reading material to highlight physically instead.
  • High School: Kids should be pretty expert at highlighting by now, but watch for students who are still highlighting whole blocks without really knowing why, and show them the fundamentals.

Rereading and Taking Notes

In a lot of cases, reading something once simply isn’t enough. All students should learn to reread materials, using that time to highlight and take notes.

Sample pages in student notebook with notes about volcanos to use to develop study skills

Source: SERC

  • Elementary School: Reread passages together, pointing out key words, phrases, and ideas. Make notes while reading, both in the text and on separate paper. Try to complete review questions without referring to the text.
  • Middle School: Students will know they’ve read thoroughly when they can complete review questions without looking back. Show students how to write their own review questions as they study (the Cornell Method of Note-Taking is perfect for this) so they’ll know they truly understand the material.
  • High School: Continue to reinforce good reading study skills by giving students review questions to complete or asking them to make an outline or sketchnotes to sum up what they’ve learned.

Kids need to learn how to thoroughly complete an assignment, whether it’s a worksheet, an essay, or a term-long research project. These are the study skills they should know.

Understand the Assignment

Having a clear understanding of what’s being asked is so important. Otherwise, kids might wind up doing the wrong work, then having to tackle it all over again.

  • Elementary School: Show kids how to carefully read directions at the beginning. Have them repeat back what they’re expected to do, and make notes if they need reminders. Teachers should provide instructions in writing whenever possible and make them clear and simple.
  • Middle School: Encourage students to ask questions about assignments up front, or throughout if necessary. Continue to ensure they fully understand the directions before they start, especially when there are multiple steps.
  • High School: By now, students should be able to make their own notes about expectations and can handle a series of more complicated steps. They should make a habit of reviewing all that information before they begin work.

Make a Plan

Once they know the expectations, students should plan how they’ll do the work.

  • Elementary School: Help students evaluate the assignment and decide which parts they’ll do first. This is also a good time to estimate how long the work will take.
  • Middle School: Encourage kids to think about how they like to approach assignments. Do they like doing easy problems first, then circling back around to harder stuff? Do they sometimes get stuck and frustrated? If so, how can they get “unstuck” and continue to make progress?
  • High School: Many high school assignments are more complex, and students will need to lay out the steps to take. For instance, a research project might require choosing a topic, getting approval, starting research, planning a presentation, and giving the presentation, with multiple sub-steps in each. This all feels more manageable when you have a plan in place first.

Save Your Work

Such a basic study skill, and so extremely important!

  • Elementary School: Help students ensure all assignments go back into the appropriate folders and all folders make it into their backpack when they’re done. Don’t leave things lying around where they can get lost.
  • Middle and High School: In addition to keeping physical papers in order, be sure kids know how to save files online, including backing up their work. Many programs save automatically, but that’s not always the case. Show them how to keep backed-up files on an external drive or in the cloud, in case their hardware fails.

Review and Revise

Finishing the last problem on the page or typing the final word on a paper doesn’t mean you’re done. Good study skills means going back to review your work and make revisions.

English essay with revisions in colored pen made by student.


  • Elementary School: Parents and younger kids should go back over completed homework together to make sure it’s complete and correct. Perform math problems “backwards” to see if the answers make sense. As kids get older, parents should remind them to review and check their answers on their own.
  • Middle School: Students should regularly remember to check their answers before turning in an assignment. Advise them to make sure they’ve done everything they’ve been asked to, to the best of their ability.
  • High School: Reviewing and revising should be automatic now. Writing assignments should include plans for multiple revisions. Teach students to use spell-check and grammar-check programs as needed, and encourage them to read their writing out loud to hear how it sounds.

Test taking.

Some kids naturally do well on tests, but others freeze up and forget everything they’ve learned . Fortunately, test-taking study skills are something kids can learn over time.

Test taking skills anchor chart to build study skills.

Source: Tammy DeShaw/The Owl Teacher

Review the Material

Kids should develop a variety of strategies for reviewing for a test, including review questions, flash cards, discussions, looking over notes, and more. It’s also important to follow a regular study schedule on any subject, instead of leaving all the review to the last minute.

  • Elementary School: Whenever possible, adults should work with kids to help them study. Make flash cards, talk over the material together, sing spelling word songs—model good study skills for them to help them learn.
  • Middle School: Help students continue to use a variety of review strategies. Teachers can provide review questions, set up study groups, and create online materials for them to use, just to name a few.
  • High School: Kids should be coordinating their own review by now, whether independently or in groups. Make sure they know how to contact you if they have questions while they’re studying.

Get Rest and Eat Well

At any age, feeling your best is key to acing a test. Discourage students from staying up late to cram, and see that they have healthy meals and snacks on the day of the test. If they’re allowed, be sure they have bottled water on hand to stay hydrated before and during the test itself.

Tackle Easy Questions First

This one is especially important for students who have difficulty managing their time, or those who get incredibly nervous about tests. Focus on showing what you know, and build confidence as you go along.

  • Elementary School: Teach kids to look over the entire test first so they can see what they’ll be expected to do. Tell them to ask questions right away if they have any. On the second run-through, they should answer any questions or problems they’re certain about. Finally, they can go back and handle more challenging questions, one at a time. In younger grades, practice this skill by using guided test-taking sessions.
  • Middle School: Before a test, remind students of the process. Have them look the whole thing over first, and ask if anyone has any general questions before they begin. Monitor kids as they complete the test, and nudge along any who seem stuck on one particular question or section.
  • High School: By now, kids should have the process down pat, but teachers should be aware of nervous test-takers and quietly remind them to focus on what they know.

Watch the Time

It’s a simple skill but a valuable one. Get kids used to glancing at the clock, but not obsessing over how much time is left.

  • Elementary School: Tell kids how much time they have up front. Offer reminders several times, especially toward the end, but don’t do it in a way that amps up anxiety.
  • Middle School: Make time expectations clear up front, and remind students once or twice of the remaining time as they work. Students should be glancing at the clock occasionally as they work; at the end of every page or section is a good rule of thumb. If they feel like they’re running out of time, remind them to use the “easy questions first” strategy.
  • High School: Older students should be able to look over a test and compare it to the amount of time they have, so they know they’re working at the right pace. Teachers can offer a reminder halfway through and five minutes before the end.

Review Before Submitting

Just like with assignments, students should try to make time to review test answers before they turn it in. (And to make sure they put their names on their paper!)

  • Elementary School: Actively ask students who are turning in their papers to go back to their seats and review their answers first. Build in a little extra test time so every student has a chance to review their work.
  • Middle School: Remind students to review their work before submitting it when you pass out the tests. Offer additional reminders to those who regularly turn in work that needed another look.
  • High School: Students should remember to build in time to look things over at the end as they start taking the test. The five-minute reminder toward the end is their cue to look over what they’ve done.

Finding help.

Even when you have terrific study skills, sometimes you need some assistance. Asking for help when you need it is something everyone needs to be able to do. While kids can’t expect adults to walk them through every step of the process, they should feel free to reach out for guidance when they need it.

Know How and When To Contact Teachers

Help students keep contact information handy and know the appropriate ways to contact their teachers as needed.

Teacher contact cards on desk with name, email, phone, etc.

Source: StudentSavvy/Teachers Pay Teachers

  • Elementary School: Most outside-school communication is between parents and teachers at this point, but kids should be encouraged to ask their own questions during the school day whenever possible. As they get older, parents should do their best to let kids take the lead.
  • Middle School: Students should be almost entirely independent of parents when communicating with teachers now. They should know when teachers are available to chat in person (including before and after school, if possible). Adults can also show them how to write respectful emails or texts if teachers have made that contact information available.
  • High School: At this point, students should be nearly 100% responsible for talking to their teachers when they need to. They should keep a contact list of email addresses, phone numbers, or other info. Additionally, they should recognize and respect preferred methods of contact.

Create Study Groups

While some kids work best on their own, many others thrive working with others to keep them on track and motivated. Setting up study buddies or groups enhances everyone’s study skills.

Group of middle school students in a study group

Source: MiddleWeb

  • Elementary School: Parents will likely have to coordinate any in-person or online study sessions. Teachers can help by pairing students together as partners or for tutoring, and providing virtual study spaces when necessary.
  • Middle School: As students get older, they should learn to seek out strong study partners. Help them recognize that their best friends may not always be the best choices when it comes to studying. Encourage them to have peers over to study, or to meet in public places like libraries.
  • High School: Kids should be independently forming their own study support systems. However, they might ask teachers for help when they need one-on-one tutor recommendations. They may work together at school, at home, at the library, or online.

Use Resource Tools

There are more ways to learn and study than ever before. Help students find the right options to support their studies.

  • Elementary School: Encourage students to look up answers in the right places: What does a word mean? Check the dictionary. When did the Civil War start? Here’s how to Google that. Help younger students use the resources to ensure they’re finding the information they need.
  • Middle School: “Hey Google, how many moons does Jupiter have?” Kids this age know how to ask questions on the web. However, they need to learn how to make sure the answers are reliable. Teach them about primary sources (like following Wikipedia info back to its original source) and how to verify information in several different places.
  • High School: A huge number of resources are online these days, so be sure students know where to find them and how to use them. Provide trusted online dictionaries and encyclopedias, show them how to seek out a thesaurus or rhyming dictionary, and guide them to video sites beyond YouTube, just to name a few.

How do you teach study skills in your classroom? Come share your ideas and ask for advice in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook !

Plus, check out 15 life skills every teen should learn ..

We rarely teach students study skills, but they're key to success. Show kids how to set up a study space, take and use good notes, and more.

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Exam Study Expert

51 PROVEN Study Tips For Students (That Work Like A Charm In 2023)

by William Wadsworth | Apr 22, 2021

William Wadsworth

by William Wadsworth

The Cambridge-educated memory psychologist & study coach on a mission to help YOU ace your exams . Helping half a million students in 175+ countries every year to study smarter, not harder. Supercharge your studies today with our time-saving, grade-boosting “genius” study tips sheet .

These are the BEST exam study tips to help students build effective study skills. They’re simple, fast, and actionable, and based on the latest science.

I’m a memory psychologist and study productivity expert, and have taught thousands of students how to study more effectively over the years.

These are nothing more or less than the 51 all-time BEST science-backed tips, tricks and hacks to help you:

  • Learn faster and remember more
  • Make the most of your study time
  • Write high-scoring assignments
  • Create effective study goals
  • Tackle exam day with confidence

They’re simple, fast and actionable – try them out TODAY and you’ll be acing your exams and improving your grades in no time.

Prefer to listen? Find these exam study tips as a podcast episode here:

Find the exam study tips you need by using these shortcuts to jump to the different sections of this article:

Are you ready to supercharge your studying? Read on!

Part 1: Study Tips For Mastering Your Student Mindset

Use these motivational study tips to keep calm and know your goals – so you can get your head in the study zone!

1. Find Your “Why”

Motivational study tip

According to the renowned Simon Sinek, motivation starts with why * , so make sure you’ve got the answer clear before you do anything else.

Ask: what is this subject designed to teach me?

Knowledge? A skill for a later course or career? Tenacity, creativity, resilience?

Or simply the grades to get you where you’re going?

Think beyond the obvious, challenge yourself to come up with 10 reasons. For inspiration, try these suggestions .

2. Don’t Fear Your Boundaries

Remember that everything you want is just outside your comfort zone .

Otherwise… you would have it already!

Exam study tip

3. Have Alternative Ways To Win The Day

For all it’s great to push your comfort zone, when you do, there will be good days and… less good days.

That’s all part of the process.

But to reduce feelings of disappointment, consider setting up alternative goals for each day.

If you have a bad day on your dissertation, you can make up for it with a personal best on your run or in the gym. Or by trying a recipe you’ve always wanted to make, or remembering to call your Mum.

4. Reinforce Your Progress

Once you start making progress, track it, to feed yet more motivation.

I’m 30 years old and I still have a gold star chart on the wall to track the weekly actions and long-term milestones for growing Exam Study Expert. This stuff is simple, but it works!

I like to get a calendar on the wall, and tick off each day I did what I set out to do. There’s a real satisfaction that comes from building your “streak” of days.

5. Play The “Yet” Game

This is one of my favourite exam study tips: Play the “yet” game.

Never say you can’t do something. Only that you can’t do it YET .

Not good at Math(s)? Make that “I’m not good at Math(s)… YET”.

It acknowledges your present reality in a very honest way, while also opening the mental door to future possibilities. It’s all about the power of growth mindset, as developed by Carol Dweck . Check out our handy guide , or try her book Mindset to learn more!

6. Take The Pressure Off With A Great Plan B

If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by a single-minded long-term goal, add in a plan B .

Ask: What’s my alternative outcome?

Put mental effort and research time into finding reasons to be excited about your Plan B.

Go ahead and shoot for the moon AND have a viable alternative destination in mind. It will take the pressure off, and in some cases can make it more likely you achieve Plan A, because you’re less anxious and burned-out.

Free: Exam Success Cheat Sheet

My Top 6 Strategies To Study Smarter and Ace Your Exams

assignment study tips

Privacy protected because life’s too short for spam. Unsubcribe anytime.

Part 2: Study Tips To Supercharge Your Productivity: Time Management & Study Routines

Apply these simple exam study tips to build yourself an effortlessly effective study routine , and get productive TODAY.

7. Just Do It (Now)

If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it right now , rather than making a plan to do it later.

Your to-do list will thank you!

8. Never Know Where The Time Goes?

Try this experiment for, say, a week: record how you spend each day, each hour, each 10-minute chunk of time, and include every activity.

You might just be in for a few surprises about what you’re doing with your days.

9. Study Tip For Overcoming Procrastianation: Break It Down

Studying often comes down to big projects: big tests to study for in school or college, big essays and assignments.

There’s nothing like a big, hairy, fuzzy goal to unleash your inner procrastinator.

assignment study tips

So if you’re procrastinating on a big project break it down into milestones . If you’re procrastinating on a milestone, break it down further into an inchpebble .

Tiny, incredibly specific goals that give you the momentum to do more AND carry on.

Read one paper abstract. Write two sentences. Come up with your headings structure.

And once you’ve done one inchpebble, do another! Keep going, and before long, you’ll be deep into it.

10. Stay Sane While Studying With Effective Compartmentalisation

Spending a lot of time in one place, especially if it’s just one room? Use every trick in the book to compartmentalise your life : by time, by space, even by the clothes you wear.

  • Time – have a timetable and know when it’s time to study and when it’s time to rest.
  • Space – have different spaces within the room for studying, resting, working out and sleeping, even if that’s just different corners of the same room.
  • Clothes – even consider changing your clothes to help mark the transition from work time to relaxation time.

Your brain is surprisingly sensitive to these kinds of environmental cues, and they will really help you stay focused when it’s time to study, and relax when the work is done.

Above all else, don’t ever study on your bed!

11. Use This Quick Study Tip To Kick-Start Your Day

Start the day by eating a frog , and you’ll know that’s the worst thing that can happen to you all day, DONE.

If you get your most aversive task done first, preferably by 11am, that will give you more momentum and energy to carry you through the day.

This is called the “Eat The Frog” time management technique, made famous by productivity legend Brian Tracy , who was on the Exam Study Expert podcast recently.

12. Know When To Stop

Have a guilt-free stopping time for the night, and stick to it .

This might sound counter-intuitive as an exam study tip but it’s an important one! Enjoying some proper time off will increase your motivation and productivity the following day.

13. Make Time Off Quality Time Off

Remember that time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted !

Don’t live your life in the “dark playground” of the procrastinator, doing neither productive work nor doing things you truly enjoy.

Schedule quality time for each activity, work and rest, and use it well.

14. One Calendar To Rule It All

If you want to make something happen, put it on the calendar .

Make sure that everything you want to achieve each day is on the calendar and part of your study routine – that includes time to look after yourself, as well as academic activities.

Do you have time blocked out for exercise? If not, add some now!

Study routine

15. Don’t Bite Off More (Studying) Than You Can Chew

In other words, never knowingly embark on a plan for the day that you know you’ll fail .

Ask: Is there too much in the calendar or to-do list for today?

If the answer is yes, make the hard choices right now and cut or scale back activities so that you stand a fighting chance of delivering on your intentions.

Make your daily study goal achievable.

16. What If I Miss?

If you miss your “achievable goals” for the day three days in a row, then recognise that they’re not achievable goals for you – YET .

Make them smaller.

Stop aiming to study for 6 hours a day; try 3.

Stop trying to fit in 2 hours studying before breakfast; try half an hour.

Make it something that you can absolutely achieve, no matter how little energy or willpower you have that day.

You can build back up as your stamina grows!

Part 3: Study Tips To Maximise Focus And Concentrate For Longer

Use these study tips built for students to help you level up your concentration.

No more mind-wandering and distractions.

It’s time to get focused on your studies.

17. [TOP STUDY TIP] Do One Thing

A distracted brain is a sick brain: stop multitasking .

Technology distractions from your phone, laptop and more are a major problem in academia , associated with lower performance for students in school, college and university.

So: turn the phone off, and put all other distractions away and out of sight.

18. Distraction-Proof Your Laptop

But what if you need your laptop to study?

If you really must keep the laptop on when you’re studying, get rid of the distractions with this three-step method:

  • Set impossible-to-remember passwords for Netflix, social media and anything else distracting.
  • Write the passwords down on paper and store them as far away from your study desk as possible.
  • Log out of everything, and get to down to some distraction-free studying!

19. Motivational Study Tip: Make Your Environment Your Ally

If you can’t focus, change your environment .

Best study tips

Go to a library if you can – they’re great for that study atmosphere.

If that’s not physically an option for you then try the next best thing:

Study to the sounds of the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, and let the library soundscape transport you to a world of intense, studious concentration.

Listening to music can also help you concentrate!

20. Keep A Distractions List

If your brain’s buzzing with thoughts while you’re studying, make a distractions list .

Write them down, get them out of your head, and keep your mind clear so you can focus on the task at hand .

(The same tip applies if you’re struggling to fall asleep because you’ve got too many buzzing thoughts – keep a little list by your bed, write it all down and worry about it later!)

Study tip for students

21. Study Tip For Training Your Concentration Muscle

If your attention is weak, try meditating .

It’s like a workout for concentration, helping you focus harder and for longer.

One of my favourite study tips for students, this also works for calming exam nerves!

And as a bonus tip: I wholeheartedly recommend that you get started on your meditation journey using Headspace . They have loads of fantastic content tailored for students, from sleep soundscapes and focus playlists to exam stress mediations. You can click here to get started with Headspace for free. Plus, you can learn all about the Headspace app in my thorough, honest review!* **

22. Make Hydration A Habit While Studying

If you struggle to remember to stay hydrated , start the day with a generous glass or bottle of water.

You can even pour it the night before! Refill it and keep it by your study desk throughout the day.

You’ll habitually start sipping from it, you’ll be more hydrated, and your performance and concentration will improve. Win!

23. Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

If the only thing you have energy for is TV or playing on your phone, ask yourself whether you’re getting enough sleep !

Regular sleep is important for reducing stress, improving your health and even boosting your memory !

Check out sleep expert and neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s TED Talk for tips on better sleep that could really help students.

24. Take Regular Breaks: Study Tip For Improved Focus

Remember to take regular breaks – at least a few mins off each hour, a few hours off each day.

It will work wonders for your focus!

Effective study tips

Part 4: Science-Backed Exam Study Tips To Learn Faster & Remember More

These proven tips and tricks will take your study skills to the next level – killer study sessions, here you come!

25. [TOP STUDY TIP] Pull It OUT, Don’t Push It In

Testing yourself isn’t just about checking whether you know something or not.

Testing is actually when the learning happens – it’s called retrieval practice .

It’s widely regarded by psychologists as the most important strategy to help you learn faster and remember for longer, and as such is probably the single best exam study tip for students I can offer.

If you’re new to the idea, read my article on memorisation techniques for exams for details and lots of practical advice.

Study tips for memorization

26. Feel The Burn When You Learn!

The most effective retrieval practice is when it feels challenging to remember the information .

So if it feels too easy to accurately remember what you need to know, leave longer time gaps before re-testing yourself.

(It’s called “ spaced learning “, also known as spaced repetition.)

27. Don’t “Cheat” Your Retrieval Practice

Don’t make the mistake of reading through your notes as a refresher before doing a retrieval practice session.

The best retrieval practice SHOULD feel hard , which means coming into your re-test cold, without a refresher immediately beforehand.

28. Familiarity Doesn’t Mean Knowing

Don’t confuse being familiar with what you’re studying with actually knowing it!

Just because something looks familiar when you read it doesn’t mean you can actually reproduce it from memory.

Work to improve your memory with retrieval practice and spaced learning .

29. Ditch Neat & Beautiful, Aim For FAST

When it comes to your study materials, make them fast, train with them slow .

In other words, overly beautiful study resources are ineffective because they prioritise style over substance and leave you less time to learn the content. Ugly works great!

Save your time for training: retrieval practice and testing yourself on what you know.

30. Test Yourself After A Break

A simple but effective study tip that is great for exam revision:

Get in the habit of using the first 5 mins after a break to test yourself on what you just did in the previous study session before your break.

31. Less Is More On Flashcards

Flashcards are a fabulous way to do retrieval practice.

If you’re using flashcards , remember that the whole point is to test yourself on the information on the back based on a question or cue on the front.

Don’t put so much on the back that you can’t remember it all in one go!

32. Study Tip For Students Who Make Notes

As a means of learning, note-making is a terrible idea: you learn slow and forget fast (the opposite of what you’re aiming for!).

But if you spend a lot of time making notes, I have good news:

Switch to my “Q&A Ultranotes” technique for VASTLY improved memory results!

Split your page in half, and put questions down the left-hand side, answers down the right.

Then cover the right-hand side, and test yourself on the questions – beautiful retrieval practice!

Effective study tips

33. Practice Papers Properly With This Study Tip

For practice papers , do your practice in two stages:

  • Stage 1 : test yourself with your notes and books closed!
  • Stage 2 : check what you got right.

Don’t be tempted to combine Stages 1 and 2! Keep them separate.

That will help you to:

34. Learn From Your Mistakes

Pay attention to your mistakes, learn from them , and prioritise revisiting them.

Humans evolved to learn more from things we find surprising. And making a mistake is in some small way, surprising. So when you catch anything you’ve misremembered, you’re much more likely to remember it next time around.

35. Right Once Isn’t Right Forever

Remember that getting something right once doesn’t mean you’ll get it right forever .

You still need to test yourself on it on a different day. Make time to do so!

See this study by renowned learning psychologists Kornell & Bjork that showed “dropping” flashcards you know from a pack hurts your test score.

36. Get More From Re-Reading With This Study Tip

As a way to learn, re-reading is even WORSE than note-making!

But if you must re-read your books and notes, there are some ways to get more out of the exercise.

For a slight benefit, add highlighting or underlining of the key words.

For a much bigger benefit , pre-test yourself on the topic by scribbling down whatever you can remember about it BEFORE you do the reading.

37. Top Study Tip For Math(s) Students: Mix Up Your Practice

Use interleaving to add an extra challenge to your study sessions by jumbling up your practice.

assignment study tips

Need an example?

Rather than doing an hour of math(s) differentiation followed by an hour of integration, mix it up! Switch back and forth between a couple of differentiation problems, then a couple of integration problems.

This works a charm in math(s), but also in practising science problems, language grammar exercises, and even for training physical skills.

In the original famous study that got the world excited about interleaving, researchers found a 25-percentage-point test score improvement from interleaving ( Rohrer & Taylor, 2007 ).

Part 5: Tips For Crushing Essays, Assignments & Tricky Problems

I know you can nail this – because these are the BEST study tips to whip your assignments into shape and get you into a great place for your exams!

38. Study Tip For Top Marks In Essays: Use Signposts

Make sure you’re signposting clearly in your writing.

  • Tell your reader what you’re going to write about ( first, second, third ).
  • Then point out where you are in the structure as you write about it.
  • Use headings to separate your arguments.

39. One Step At A Time

This useful exam study tip is a great reminder to break up your essay or assignment into more stages (similar to Tip #9 !).

Best study tips

If you’re writing a first draft, don’t be afraid to be rough or sketch-y at first.

It’s often easier to do a rough pass and then polish it up later, than try to produce polished prose first time round.

And ironically, by breaking it up into more stages you often get the final result quicker!

40. If You’re Lost, Make A Map

Sketch out the big building blocks of the topic.

This study tip works whether you’re trying to craft an essay or get your head round a tricky chapter you need to learn for an exam.

Use post-it notes if you want, so you can move the building blocks around as your understanding or ideas evolve.

41. If You’re Stuck, Take A Walk

This is a favourite exam study tip of mine as it has so many benefits!

If you’re getting stuck with your task , take a walk , preferably in nature.

It’s great for creativity and problem solving, and lets you return with fresh eyes and fresh energy.

42. Capture The Unexpected Ideas

Good ideas often come to us when we least expect them (not least when we’re out for a walk!).

Capture them in the moment – the notes app on your phone is often a good place to go.

I even know people that have waterproof notebooks in the shower for when mid-shower inspiration strikes!

assignment study tips

43. Understand The Components

If you don’t understand the component parts , you’ll have no chance of understanding the whole.

Pause what you’re trying to do, and spend time zooming in on those little details , getting comfortable with anything you don’t properly understand.

That could mean going and looking up definitions, terminology, or better still, spending a moment memorising those key component parts. Then when you go back to the whole it all should make a lot more sense!

If you still can’t make sense of it, try a different explanation : Places like YouTube and Khan Academy are great places to try for alternatively explained videos.

44. Don’t Fall At The Final Hurdle

Get into the editing mindset and make sure you complete the final steps checklist . Don’t let careless mistakes drag your grade down:

  • Double check your formatting is spot on and consistent!
  • Have you included and checked all your references, cross-references and figures?
  • Proofread carefully before handing in – know yourself and the common errors you make, and make use of available tools (like Grammarly **).

Part 6: The BEST Study Tips For Stellar Exam Performance

It’s exam day and you’re READY. How do I know? Because you’re going to use these study tips for students who ACE their exams:

45. Immunise Yourself Against Nerves

Take a vaccine against exam-day nerves .

How? By taking mocks under timed conditions to get used to performing under pressure.

Study tips for exams

46. Prioritise Planning

If your paper includes long written answers or essays, be generous in the time you allocate to planning .

Spending at least a quarter of your time just planning your response can be a fantastic investment of your time.

Try it out and feel the difference it makes!

47. Cheat-Sheets Without Cheating (yes, really!)

Don’t be afraid to use cheat sheets : and I don’t mean bring them into exams, that’s cheating and will land you in trouble!

I mean spending the first few minutes of the exam writing out any mission-critical information you’ll need throughout the paper, such as:

  • All the key formulas you’ve got to know for maths and science.
  • Grammar tables for languages.

48. Master The Questions … With A Pen

When we read, our eyes don’t focus on every word, they move in jumps called saccades .

Don’t let a combination of stress and your eyes’ natural saccadic movements let you skip over key words in a question!

Read with a pen in hand and underline key words and commands in the question.

If you’re taking a paper on the computer, you can use your mouse to follow along or temporarily highlight those keywords in the question as well.

It’s an often under-used exam study tip, but one that will serve you well in combatting those exam nerves!

49. Don’t Fly Blind

Have a clear gameplan for how you’ll spend time in the exam.

Plan it out: How long am I going to allocate to each section?

Final exam study tips

50. Find The Best Order For You

The order the exam paper is set is not necessarily the best order for you to tackle it in.

Be strategic, and don’t be afraid to work in a different order than set out in the paper.

Include details like this in your exam paper gameplan !


You made it! I hope these exam study tips for students have got you feeling SUPER inspired to boost your studying game.

What was your favourite tip? Have you got any to add? Tell us in the comments section below!

Here’s my final (and important!) BONUS TIP :

51. Outsmart Your Exams

For many more strategies to score maximum marks on exam day, you might like to check out my book on the subject, Outsmart Your Exams .

You won’t be disappointed, it’s awesome and action-packed.

Outsmart your exams book

Another great way to get regular access to proven, science-backed tips and hints is to join the Exam Study Expert newsletter . It’s full of killer strategies that will have you studying smarter and boosting your grades in no time. Sign up below and download my free exam success cheat sheet today!

As always, I wish you every success in your studies!

The Science Of Studying Smart

Download my free exam success cheat sheet: all my #1 must-know strategies to supercharge your learning today.

Your privacy protected. No spam. Unsubscribe any time.

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** Please note : Grammarly is one of very few products I’m sufficiently enthusiastic about to recommend to my readers, and I may earn a small commission if you sign up to Grammarly services through the above link.

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assignment study tips

8 Important Assignment Writing Steps Every Student Should Know

assignment planning steps

Writing a college assignment or essay is not always an easy feat, especially if it’s your first time. The good news is that you don’t have to procrastinate or waste your time staring at a blank page! 

We’ve prepared this straightforward guide to help you write high-quality assignments and score good grades in no time .

1. Check Assignment Deadline and Create a Plan

Some students rush to complete assignments a few hours before the deadline. In most cases, rushed work results in low-quality assignments and low grades. You can avoid the last-minute hassle by checking your assignment deadlines and creating a schedule for completing the work early. 

Once you know the deadlines, evaluate the steps you’ll need to take to complete the assignment, for instance:

  • Analysing the assignment
  • Researching the topic
  • Outlining your main ideas 
  • Writing the first draft
  • Editing and proofreading your work

You can then add deadlines to each step of the assignment. Breaking the writing process into manageable chunks makes it easier to complete the workload, even if you don’t have a lot of time in a day to devote to essay or assignment writing.

2. Analyse the Assignment or Essay

Before you research or write anything, make sure you fully understand what is required for the assignment. It will help you avoid the pain and struggle of rewriting later if you discover that you didn’t understand the requirements. 

Read the assignment instructions and identify the following:

  • Assignment type—Determine the type of assignment you have, e.g., an essay, presentation, thesis, case study, literature review, or a report (because it will determine how to best approach it)
  • Instructions—Check any instruction words, like evaluate, describe, summarise, discuss, argue, and analyse. Go out of your way to explore what the instruction word means or requires you to do
  • The topic—Look for topic words to identify what your assignment is all about. What do you need to evaluate, discuss, or analyse? It’s as simple as taking the instruction word and adding “what” to it. For instance, discuss what? 
  • Limiting words—Identify the words that narrow down what you need to focus on. It could be anything from a place to a particular time

If you are unsure about anything, you can reach out to your lecturer or get assignment help from expert tutors . Doing a good analysis of your assignment topic will guide your research and help you answer the assignment question thoroughly. 

From your analysis, you can then create a checklist that you can use to ensure you complete your assignment successfully. 

If you are provided with an assessment checklist, go through it to understand what your professor will be looking for when awarding you marks for the essay or assignment. It will help you create a checklist to focus on to get the maximum possible scores.

3. Perform Research

Once you know what the assignment requires of you, it’s time to do research. It’s an important step to collect relevant and reliable information for writing an excellent assignment. 

Start by identifying your sources. The type of information—definitions, statistics, examples, research studies, and visuals—you are looking for will hugely determine where you look. It’s a good idea to use all the available sources of information, which includes:

  • Course materials and recommended reading lists. These sources can have crucial information and can also direct you to other reliable sources like books, websites, or articles
  • Your school’s library resources like e-books, print books, etc.
  • Online sources like journals, research papers, and credible websites
  • Sample assignments from your school’s website or learning management system (LMS)
  • Lecture recordings 
  • Local public library resources

When conducting your search online, you can use Google Scholar to find peer-reviewed papers. Use the keyword from your task and try searching using related terms that describe your topic. Keep searching until you have found credible sources for all your major points, exhausted all new ideas for your case, or run out of time allotted to research. 

Ensure that you keep a list of every reliable and relevant information source or research paper you come across. The list will come in handy when it’s time to cite your sources or to double-check some details during the writing process. 

4. Plan Your Assignment Structure

Ever spent time staring at a blank page, wondering what to write next? You can make the process of writing an assignment easier by carefully planning and outlining the structure of your assignment. A basic assignment structure will help you answer the assignment task correctly and concentrate on the sections with the most marks. Generally, most long-form assignments or essays contain:

  • An introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Body or key arguments 
  • Conclusion 

The main body is usually the section that requires the most work. The easiest way to organise your key arguments in the body section is to check the logical flow and connections between the ideas. You can use sticky notes or programs like OneNote and Outline to arrange and reorganise your ideas as you find connections between them. 

5. Write the First Draft in Your Own Words

Before you start writing, make sure you are in a conducive environment for studying. Minimise distractions and do anything that will help you concentrate, like playing background study music. 

The first draft doesn’t need to be perfect. Just put down all the valuable information in your own words while following your assignment structure. Don’t worry about the wording, grammar, or anything at this point. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing the different sections: 

  • Introduction—Write a paragraph introducing your key points and briefly explaining how you answer the question. Include the thesis statement at the end of your introduction. It’s the one sentence that states the key argument of your essay
  • Body—Organise your key arguments or ideas using headings, subheadings, and paragraphs. The goal is to answer the assignment question. Use the statistics, examples, facts, quotations, and data you collected during your research to support each idea you present in the body paragraphs
  • Conclusion—Summarise your argument and recap all the major points in your assignment in a way that leaves a lasting impression. Do not introduce any new ideas here

Don’t feel the pressure to write all the sections in one sitting. Take breaks when you need to. You can work in cycles using the Pomodoro technique . For instance, set a timer to write for 25 minutes and take a 5-15 minutes break.

6. Cite Your Sources

Most writing assignments require you to cite and reference your sources. Start by checking the citation guidelines in your course materials to ensure you use the correct referencing style and include all the necessary information. You could be required to use different referencing styles such as APA , MLA , Harvard , Vancouver , Chicago , etc.

You can also use referencing management software, such as Zotero or Mendeley . Such software allows you to save time that you would otherwise use to search and format your references. However, it’s still good to work with the various citation styles. 

7. Revise and Edit Your Work

It’s not easy to do all the assignment writing in one sitting—planning, researching, drafting, editing, and proofreading. If you have followed your schedule, you should have some time left before the deadline. Step back from the first draft for a day or two. When you return to read the assignment draft, you’ll do it objectively, identify gaps, and spot mistakes or issues quickly. 

As you read through your assignment, look at your checklist to ensure that you:

  • Have answered the assignment question or task clearly and exhaustively
  • Remove any text that doesn’t add to the overall argument. It can be painful to remove some text if you have struggled to reach a word count, but fluffy text won’t help you get better marks
  • Have a logically arranged and well flowing argument
  • Fine-tune your wording. The language you need to use in academic assignments is formal and technical. You can use SkELL or the Writefull app to identify the words that are most relevant to your topic
  • Have included all the parts listed in your assignment structure, i.e., the title page, contents page, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference list
  • Have acknowledged all your sources

8. Proofread and Check for Accuracy

Proofreading is a must for any academic paper that you write. It’s the step to check all the mistakes you may have overlooked before submitting your work. Verify links, reference list, quotations, spelling, target word count, punctuation, page numbers, the date on pages, your name, and citations. Minor mistakes like typos, punctuation, and grammar issues can give you a bad impression. 

You can use the Microsoft Word spell checker tool or run a proofreading tool like Grammarly to spot mistakes in grammar and punctuation. Grammarly can also help you find out if you have any plagiarism issues. Remember that no tool is 100% right, so use your judgment when implementing suggestions! 

Final Thoughts 

Building assignment writing skills takes time and practice. Implement the helpful assignment tips you have learned in this guide to build key skills—like analysing and structuring your assignment—to enhance your ability to write an excellent assignment consistently. Following these steps early on can help set you up for the long run, build-essential assignment writing habits, and help you develop solid study skills . 

If you get stuck while working on your assignment, your timely help is only a few clicks away. Zookal Study , our online study app, will provide the guidance you need to write quality assignments and achieve high scores. Our expert tutors are always available to respond to your questions in a matter of minutes. The best part is that you can try our homework help services right now !

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How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide

14 Sep 2022

Quick Navigation

❓How to Structure an Assignment?

✍️Main Steps of Assignment Writing

  • 📖The research part
  • 🗒Planning your text
  • ✒️Writing major parts

📑Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment

✅Will I succeed with my assignments?


It is common for students of institutes and universities to get a task as a written assignment for a page or two. This academic type of work is widespread in the subjects of literature, history, or philosophy, but students of other specialties usually have to complete them too. For many, this becomes a real difficulty because not everyone has the talent for writing. In addition, even having decent knowledge in the field does not mean a well-executed written assignment.

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Writing essays

How to Structure an Assignment?

To cope with assignments, you should familiarize yourself with the tips on formatting and presenting assignments or any written paper, which are given below. It is worth paying attention to the content of the paper, making it structured and understandable so that ideas are not lost and thoughts do not refute each other.

If the topic is free or you can choose from the given list — be sure to choose the one you understand best. Especially if that could affect your semester score or scholarship. It is important to select an  engaging title that is contextualized within your topic. A topic that should captivate you or at least give you a general sense of what is needed there. It’s easier to dwell upon what interests you, so the process goes faster.

To construct an assignment structure, use outlines. These are pieces of text that relate to your topic. It can be ideas, quotes, all your thoughts, or disparate arguments. Type in everything that you think about. Separate thoughts scattered across the sheets of Word will help in the next step.

Then it is time to form the text. At this stage, you have to form a coherent story from separate pieces, where each new thought reinforces the previous one, and one idea smoothly flows into another.

Main Steps of Assignment Writing

These are steps to take to get a worthy paper. If you complete these step-by-step, your text will be among the most exemplary ones.

The research part

If the topic is unique and no one has written about it yet, look at materials close to this topic to gain thoughts about it. You should feel that you are ready to express your thoughts. Also, while reading, get acquainted with the format of the articles, study the details, collect material for your thoughts, and accumulate different points of view for your article. Be careful at this stage, as the process can help you develop your ideas. If you are already struggling here, pay for assignment to be done , and it will be processed in a split second via special services. These services are especially helpful when the deadline is near as they guarantee fast delivery of high-quality papers on any subject.

If you use Google to search for material for your assignment, you will, of course, find a lot of information very quickly. Still, the databases available on your library’s website will give you the clearest and most reliable facts that satisfy your teacher or professor. Be sure you copy the addresses of all the web pages you will use when composing your paper, so you don’t lose them. You can use them later in your bibliography if you add a bit of description! Select resources and extract quotes from them that you can use while working. At this stage, you may also create a  request for late assignment if you realize the paper requires a lot of effort and is time-consuming. This way, you’ll have a backup plan if something goes wrong.

Planning your text

Assemble a layout. It may be appropriate to use the structure of the paper of some outstanding scientists in your field and argue it in one of the parts. As the planning progresses, you can add suggestions that come to mind. If you use citations that require footnotes, and if you use single spacing throughout the paper and double spacing at the end, it will take you a very long time to make sure that all the citations are on the exact pages you specified! Add a reference list or bibliography. If you haven’t already done so, don’t put off writing an essay until the last day. It will be more difficult to do later as you will be stressed out because of time pressure.

Writing major parts

It happens that there is simply no mood or strength to get started and zero thoughts. In that case, postpone this process for 2-3 hours, and, perhaps, soon, you will be able to start with renewed vigor. Writing essays is a great (albeit controversial) way to improve your skills. This experience will not be forgotten. It will certainly come in handy and bring many benefits in the future. Do your best here because asking for an extension is not always possible, so you probably won’t have time to redo it later. And the quality of this part defines the success of the whole paper.

Writing the major part does not mean the matter is finished. To review the text, make sure that the ideas of the introduction and conclusion coincide because such a discrepancy is the first thing that will catch the reader’s eye and can spoil the impression. Add or remove anything from your intro to edit it to fit the entire paper. Also, check your spelling and grammar to ensure there are no typos or draft comments. Check the sources of your quotes so that your it is honest and does not violate any rules. And do not forget the formatting rules.

with the right tips and guidance, it can be easier than it looks. To make the process even more straightforward, students can also use an assignment service to get the job done. This way they can get professional assistance and make sure that their assignments are up to the mark. At PapersOwl, we provide a professional writing service where students can order custom-made assignments that meet their exact requirements.

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Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment

Want to write like a pro? Here’s what you should consider:

  • Save the document! Send the finished document by email to yourself so you have a backup copy in case your computer crashes.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to complete a list of citations or a bibliography after the paper is finished. It will be much longer and more difficult, so add to them as you go.
  • If you find a lot of information on the topic of your search, then arrange it in a separate paragraph.
  • If possible, choose a topic that you know and are interested in.
  • Believe in yourself! If you set yourself up well and use your limited time wisely, you will be able to deliver the paper on time.
  • Do not copy information directly from the Internet without citing them.

Writing assignments is a tedious and time-consuming process. It requires a lot of research and hard work to produce a quality paper. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty understanding the concept, you may want to consider getting accounting homework help online . Professional experts can assist you in understanding how to complete your assignment effectively. offers expert help from highly qualified and experienced writers who can provide you with the homework help you need.

Will I succeed with my assignments?

Anyone can learn how to be good at writing: follow simple rules of creating the structure and be creative where it is appropriate. At one moment, you will need some additional study tools, study support, or solid study tips. And you can easily get help in writing assignments or any other work. This is especially useful since the strategy of learning how to write an assignment can take more time than a student has.

Therefore all students are happy that there is an option to  order your paper at a professional service to pass all the courses perfectly and sleep still at night. You can also find the sample of the assignment there to check if you are on the same page and if not — focus on your papers more diligently.

So, in the times of studies online, the desire and skill to research and write may be lost. Planning your assignment carefully and presenting arguments step-by-step is necessary to succeed with your homework. When going through your references, note the questions that appear and answer them, building your text. Create a cover page, proofread the whole text, and take care of formatting. Feel free to use these rules for passing your next assignments.

When it comes to writing an assignment, it can be overwhelming and stressful, but Papersowl is here to make it easier for you. With a range of helpful resources available, Papersowl can assist you in creating high-quality written work, regardless of whether you're starting from scratch or refining an existing draft. From conducting research to creating an outline, and from proofreading to formatting, the team at Papersowl has the expertise to guide you through the entire writing process and ensure that your assignment meets all the necessary requirements.

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assignment study tips

How to Prepare for your First University Assignment | The Study Guide

17 Dec 2021

Matthew King

Moving to university is a massive step in your life. It will shape your first few years as an adult, propel you into the unknown and help you grow up, learn vital skills that will stand you in good stead for your future, and help you build a career.

There are certain ways in which your GCSEs and A-Levels are formatted, and you’ll have become accustomed to how best to write essays in your school years to get the best results.

All of this now goes out of the window when you enter university and you’ll be taking on coursework and exams that are the next level up from anything you’ve encountered before.

That’s not to say you should be worried though. As your first university assignment approaches there are some clear and effective ways that you can approach it.

We’ve put together some helpful hints as to how you can best prepare for your first university assignments. If you are clever with your approach, hardworking and determined to succeed, you’ll do well at university life.

1. Attend All Your Lectures And Seminars

lectures you need to attend at university

You are attending university to learn, and your lectures and seminars are there for you to take on board all the information and expertise that your tutors will pass on to you.

You might find that it is a struggle to get out of bed on a daily basis and go to university after you’ve been partying hard during freshers’ week and getting to know new friends.

It is vital though that you get into the habit and that you attend everything. There are times you might not be able to attend, but always let your tutors know and try to get access to notes from those you will miss.

The more information you take on board, the better your knowledge and assignments will be.

2. Plan Carefully And Be Prepared

a girl managing her workload

The first thing to consider with any university assignment is that the best way to do well is to be as fully prepared as possible.

Take the time to plan carefully and methodically. It is perfectly ok to take as much time as you need to look over the details of the assignment and to plan accordingly.

Look at the criteria of the assignment, write down a list of all your ideas relating to the specifics of the assignment and think about what questions you need to ask and what the purpose and end result of the assignment is.

Writing a plan at this point will help you when it comes time to write and complete the assignment.

3. Research Thoroughly

research in a library with books

This is the phase of a university assignment that takes the longest, but it can be truly fulfilling and will help you learn key research skills that will help throughout the cycle of your university course and beyond into your post-graduate life.

If you are unsure about the types of sources that you need, take the time to speak to your tutors and ask the university library for help in finding them.

At this point, you should take as many detailed notes as possible, before working through and bringing the puzzle together.

4. Using Academic Journals

academic journals which you can find online

One of the best ways to improve your referencing and research is to understand how to effectively use academic journals, rather than relying on Wikipedia and other easy to find Internet sources.

Using peer-reviewed journals and books is the best way to enhance your university assignments and make sure your thoughts and opinions are based on a solid foundation of academic research.

Journals are found in university libraries in both physical and digital form.

5. Write A Draft


Your first draft of any university assignment is important, as it is the first chance you get to try and bring together your research, notes and knowledge to try and get to that end point you’d written about in your plan.

Put together a draft that is in some semblance of working order, but at this point you don’t have to worry about your spelling and grammar being perfect, just make sure you have a general draft written that follows the specific guidelines of your course.

6. Re-draft

a typewriter which has typed out a rough draft

This is the point where you need to schedule in a big chunk of time to look through your first draft and figure out what works, what doesn’t, tweak and amend things, delete, and add sections where necessary and then finally, proofread.

At this point you are tightening everything up into a clear university assignment that is ready to hand in.

7. Understand How To Reference

man referencing his own work

This is one of the biggest changes you’ll encounter between school learning and university learning.

Your first university assignment is where you’ll learn how to reference for the first time. It is an essential part of almost every single course at university, and you’ll find that your tutors will bring it into lectures and seminars early on in your time at university to ensure you get to grips with it as quickly as possible.

There are different referencing guides and systems depending on which university and course you are studying, so always make sure you understand what is expected of you and always ask questions of your tutor and other students to make sure you are doing things the right way.

There is no shame in asking for help.

8. Lay A Marker Down

woman writing her goals in her folder

Think of your first university assignment as your first marker for the year ahead. In your first year of university, you generally only need to get a passing grade to go through to the second year.

After that, your grades will go towards your final degree classification. This takes the pressure off the first year in some ways, but it also gives you a chance to hone your skills and your first university assignment is a chance to see where you are right now and to work out where you need to improve with future assignments.

You can use this first assignment as a template and a marker to look back on in future and to see how far you have come.

As you can see, there are some clear steps that you can take to ensure that you are fully prepared for your first university assignment . Be fully involved with your lectures and seminars, utilise the university library to find journals and other academic sources, ask about referencing and what you need to do, and always have a plan of action and thorough research to back up your first draft. You’ll get there, we have faith in you to work hard and get results with your university assignments, whatever course you are studying.

Table of Contents

The ultimate guide to joining a uni society: making the most of your student experience  .

20 Oct 2023

Journey Of Self-Discovery In University: Finding Your Passions & Purpose

14 Aug 2023

Choosing A Masters: How to Make Informed Decisions About Your Academic Path

Bit Blog

9 Awesome Assignment Writing Tips to Get Better Marks!

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There are some things that are common among every student in the universe: they do not like getting up early, they hate it when their best friend is absent, and they absolutely despise writing assignments.

Well, we can’t solve the first two problems (because it’s between you, your parents and your best friend) – we can definitely solve the third one – writing assignments.

We know that the word ‘assignment’ usually sends shivers down your spine. You have got a blank page, a ticking clock, and probably your best buddy – procrastination. Those are enough things to send you into panic mode.

So what if we tell you that writing those dreadful assignments can be a really fun and easy process? All you need is some assignment writing tips up your sleeve, and we’re going to give you just that.

Yes, in this blog, we’ll be sharing 9 tips that will completely transform your assignment writing process (and get you an A Grade.) Ready? Let’s go!

List of 9 Tips That Will Help You Write Awesome Assignments

1. understand what exactly you need to do.

Yes, we can use the “just swing it” method while doing a lot of things in life. But, it’s not very wise to practice it while writing assignments. (Unless you want to face the wrath of your teacher.)

Basically, even if there is even one tiny thing that you don’t get about the assignment, clarify it with your teacher or classmates BEFORE starting the assignment.

Otherwise, you’d end up working on something that wasn’t even supposed to be done, and all your effort and time would go down the drain, along with a good grade.

Moral of the story: If you want to ace the assignment, you’ve to be very, very clear about what you need to work on. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – because it’s always worth it.

2. Plan Your Time Well

Sometimes, we all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. That way, we’d have so much more time to do assignments and meet the deadlines, right?

Well, you can still write great assignments on time. All you need to do is plan your time well. As soon as you get your assignment, create a solid schedule and follow it religiously until the deadline.

For example, you can set a deadline yourself for each sub-topic in the assignment, OR you can create a time-table and allot a few hours of the day to writing that assignment. Home Page CTA

If you want to know more about how you can manage your time well and beat the procrastination monster, you can check out our comprehensive list of time management strategies.

3. Always Start With Research

First things first, gather as much knowledge as you can about the topic of your assignment. Read all the pre-existing material. In fact, take a deep dive into it.

After that, note down all the important points that you came across. Once that’s done, start working on your assignment using the knowledge you gained.

This way, you will be able to hand in a much more solid assignment because 1) the assignment would be more detailed and comprehensive, and 2) You do better when you know better.

Read more:   How To Make Class Notes Worth Reading?

4. Prepare a Structure Beforehand

Even though all those inspirational quotes ask us to ‘go with the flow’, it’s not the right thing to do while writing assignments. Assignment writing isn’t a piece of cake, so it’s better to be prepared.

Before writing the content of your assignment, first lay down the structure you’re going to follow. This will make your assignment writing process a lot smoother.

For example, if you need to write about what buyer persona is, you should first divide your assignment into different subtopics like the definition, importance, steps to create one, and so on.

5. Write a Classy Introduction

A boy writing an assignment

Your introduction is going to set the tone for the rest of your assignment, so you need to make it awesome. Write an intro that makes the reader feel like you know what you’re talking about.

Also, don’t keep the introduction too long. Cut to the chase and get to the meat of your assignment quickly. Remember, your introduction needs to hook the readers and grab their attention in a matter of seconds!

At the end of the intro, write a little about everything that you’ve included in the assignment. You can include a little background information about the topic to establish the context.

6. Don’t Use Slang Words

This isn’t a chat room. This isn’t an extra paper you’re scribbling on to pass time. This is an assignment – a professional thing that needs to be written professionally.

Even though you might have the habit of using slang words while talking or texting, you absolutely can’t use them while writing your assignment. As simple as that.

For example, you can’t write, “LOL girl, that was hilarious” to describe a funny anecdote or “Damn, that was dope” to describe an incredible thing that happened. 🙂

7. Proofread, Proofread & Proofread

Don’t just hand over the assignment to your teacher the minute your write the last word. Proofread it at least three times. Read it out loud. Check for spellings, punctuations, and other grammatical mistakes.

No matter how great your assignment is and how hard you worked on it, if the teacher comes across tons of mistakes in the assignment, it won’t be able to leave a good impression.

So, if you don’t want your effort to go down the drain, have some patience and proofread your assignment until you’re sure that there are no more mistakes.

Read more:   Study Guide: What is it & How to Create an Amazing One?

8. Cite Your References

A girl sitting on a book

When you’ll write your assignment, it’s natural that you’ll refer to books and other materials related to the topic. After all, as we said, research is the key to writing great assignments.

So, if you’re using a few lines, phrases, or stats from SOMEONE else’s work in YOUR assignment, don’t forget to cite the reference. Here’s why you need to do it:

First, if you cite the source of the information, your work won’t seem copied and it won’t be termed as ‘plagiarised’. Secondly, it’d give the impression that you researched thoroughly before writing the assignment!

9. Use

Last but definitely not least on our list of assignment writing tips is: use . This nifty platform simplifies and automates your entire documentation process.

See, you’ve spent hours working on the assignment. You did all the research, you compiled all the information, and you wrote the assignment really well.

But, between all this, you might overlook the presentation aspect of your assignment, which matters as much as the content of your assignment.

We totally understand. The deadline is lingering upon you, so you don’t have the time to care about the format of your assignment. But that doesn’t change the fact that a clumsy-looking assignment never works.

Luckily, Bit solves that problem for you by automating the design aspect of your documents for you. 😎 With over 90+ fully responsive and gorgeous templates , Bit has made the process of writing assignments super smooth.

With just one click, you can change the look of your entire assignment. You can even change the layout of the theme and update the color of your assignment too. How great is that?

Before you go!

Our team at  has created a few awesome education templates to make your processes more efficient. Make sure to check them out before you go, y ou might need them!

  • Class Notes Template
  • Lesson Plan Template
  • Letter of Recommendation Template
  • Recommended Reading Template
  • Research Paper Template
  • Thesis Template
  • Checklist Template
  • To-Do List Template
  • White Paper Template
  • eBook Template

Start Writing Efficient Assignments Today!

If you made it this far, we’re sure you’re going to ace your next assignment. Just follow all the tips we’ve given, use, and you’d end up with an assignment you could be proud of.

Remember, assignment writing doesn’t have to be a dreadful task. Just do thorough research on the topic first, prepare a structure beforehand, and you’ll be on your way to writing a great assignment.

If you’ve got any other assignment writing tips that worked for you, let us know by tweeting us @bit_docs. We’d be more than happy to include it on our list. Good luck!

Further reads: 

11 Grammarly Alternatives and Competitors You Must Know!

8 Different Types of Writing Styles (And How to Improve Your Own)

Top 9 Writing Checkers Every Writer Should Use!

9 Best Paraphrasing Tools In 2022 (Free & Paid)

Collaborative Teaching: What is it & How to Do it the Right Way?

12 Best Student Tools for Better Learning in 2022

Student Collaboration: What, Why, and Tools!

Lesson plan: What is it & How to Create an Effective One? (Free template)

Learning Objectives: What are they & How to Write them?

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Thesis Statement: Definition, Importance, Steps & Tips!

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Daniel Wong

Equipping Students to Be Successful and Happy

The Ultimate List of 101 Study Tips for Students

Updated on April 19, 2023 By Daniel Wong 49 Comments

Study tips for students

Have you ever wished you could get inside the minds of straight-A students and learn their best study tips?

If so, keep reading.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the study tips that will enable you to succeed academically.

This list of 101 study tips for students is divided into the following categories:

Tips to improve studying attitude and mindset

Studying methods and techniques, study tips related to habits and commitments, study tips to enhance focus, tips to get the best academic support, study tips for optimal memory and brain function.

  • Tips to improve studying routine and structure

Are you ready?

Let’s dive in!

Enter your email below to download a step-by-step planning worksheet as a PDF. The planning worksheet will enable you to implement the tips in this article and get better grades!

Study tips are only effective when you’re in the right frame of mind to use them. Develop the right attitude and mindset for studying to stay motivated and reach your goals.

1. Don’t say “I have to”, and instead say “I get to”

The words you use when you talk to yourself are important. They shape your attitude.

Saying to yourself: “Today, I have to work on this assignment” will produce feelings of stress and frustration.

Instead, try saying to yourself: “Today, I get to work on this assignment.” Saying this will remind you that education is a privilege.

This simple change in attitude will give you more motivation and focus to get the task done .

2. Take full responsibility for your own learning

When you take responsibility for your learning, you’ll become more proactive.

One way to bring about a change in this area is to ask yourself: “If I’m not responsible for my learning, then who is?”

Asking yourself this question will help you to realise that no one else is responsible for your learning – not your teachers, and not your parents.

3. Do more than what others are willing to do

In academics – as in any other area of human endeavour – the students who excel are the ones who are prepared to go the extra mile.

Instead of doing the bare minimum to meet the requirements, do more than what others are willing to do.

This might mean doing two or three more questions than the ones that your teacher assigned.

It might mean looking up additional resources, or it might mean proofreading your essay one final time.

4. Don’t focus on grades too much

As a student, it’s easy to become fixated on grades.

But remember that grades are just a form of feedback; they aren’t an end in themselves.

Don’t allow a focus on grades to cause you to forget that it’s the process of learning that counts in the long run.

5. View challenges positively


When you’re learning something new, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed.

When anxiety and stress settle in, students can develop a fear of learning that prevents them from focusing and prioritizing, ultimately hindering their performance.

This is why you must develop what Dr Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” .

This means that instead of telling yourself that something is “too hard”, you tell yourself that it’s an opportunity to “grow” your brain.

After all, the more challenges you take on, the more you’ll learn.

6. Write down 3 to 5 reasons why you want to do well academically

One key to succeeding as a student is to be clear about why you want to succeed.

As Jim Rohn once said: “If you have enough reasons, you can do the most incredible things.”

Write down 3 to 5 reasons why you want to perform well in school, and read the list daily.

7. Volunteer and serve others regularly

This will remind you that education never occurs in a vacuum. Education is always about learning from others or passing on that knowledge to others.

By volunteering and serving others, you’ll start to see that your life isn’t mainly about you. It’s about using your skills and knowledge to make the world a better place.

In turn, this will give you the willpower to persevere in the midst of obstacles.

8. Regain your focus by asking these two questions…

The first question is: “What’s important now?”

The second question is: “What’s important next?”

A lack of focus is often the result of trying to do too many things at the same time.

When you find yourself unable to focus, these two questions will bring you back to the present.

9. Use systems and routines

Focus on developing systems and routines, instead of continually thinking about what you want to accomplish.

Students who perform well attribute their success not to lofty goals, but to their daily systems and processes.

The problem with focusing too much on goals is that this doesn’t enable you to connect your goals with the effort required.

Success involves committing to a discipline and a routine, even when the going gets tough.

10. Develop gratitude

Every day, write down at least one thing you’re thankful for.

It’s been shown that students who develop a sense of gratitude are able to harness positive thinking to improve their grades and quality of life.

You can develop your “gratitude muscle” by writing down one thing each day that you’re thankful for.

11. Be a “professional” student

Professional student

When you’re in school, it’s easy to think that you’re just a student. It seems like you don’t have a job or profession yet – that’s why you’re still in school.

But you do have a job: being a “professional” student.

As a professional student, you should take it just as seriously as the job you’ll have when you’ve completed your formal education.

Professional students are responsible, focused and hardworking!

12. Be clear about your purpose

If you lack motivation, think about the purposes of education that are bigger than yourself.

Remember that the purpose of education is less about you and more about the contribution you can make to society.

With a strong sense of purpose, you’ll be more committed.

This is one of the most crucial study tips for students that will always be relevant.

13. Don’t blame others

Resist the urge to blame your teachers, parents, etc.

If things go wrong, remind yourself that your academics are your responsibility, not anyone else’s.

Different learning methods can improve your understanding and help you retain more information. Try these tips for studying to engage different parts of your brain and make studying more fun .

14. Vocalise to memorise

When trying to memorise key information or equations, say it out loud.

This study found that saying information out loud helps to move it to your long-term memory.

15. Create summary notes

Create summary notes of each chapter or topic you’re learning.

Condensing each chapter into a handful of key points will make it easier for you to consolidate your learning.

16. Take a study break every 30 to 45 minutes

Research shows that even brief diversions can dramatically increase your ability to focus.

Even if it’s a break of just a few minutes, your concentration will improve.

17. Use the Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro technique for students

If you can’t focus for 30 to 45 minutes straight, try the Pomodoro Technique instead.

(“Pomodoro” is the Italian word for “tomato”.)

The Pomodoro Technique is a way of studying in short bursts. Study in blocks of 25 minutes, with a 5-minute break in between blocks.

Once you’ve completed four blocks of 25 minutes, take a break of 15 to 30 minutes.

18. Test yourself often

Another useful study tip is to test yourself at regular intervals on what you’ve been learning.

This not only enables you to consolidate the new information, but it also ensures that you’re mastering the material.

19. Break tasks down

Break down overwhelming tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.

By doing this, you’ll feel more motivated to do your work and to study . You’ll also be less likely to feel discouraged or anxious.

Overall, you’ll become a far more productive student.

20. Keep a “done” list

As you complete the tasks on your list, check them off as “done”.

Keep this list for future reference.

Keeping a “done” list will give you a sense of accomplishment. As such, you’ll feel more productive, which will lead to you getting more done in the long run.

21. Give yourself a reward

Give yourself a reward – even a small one works – for each task you complete.

This serves as a reminder that you’re making progress. This will enable you to sustain your focus over the weeks and months.

22. Keep a list of the doubts and questions you have

Keep a running list of any doubts or questions that arise during your study sessions.

By noting them down, you won’t feel as if you have to remember them. This will free up your mind and allow you to concentrate better on the material you’re studying.

Once you have a chance, clarify your doubts with your teacher.

If your teacher isn’t available, then look for a suitable online resource instead.

23. Set tiny goals

If you find yourself procrastinating, set tiny goals.

The objective is to get started, which is always the hardest part of getting the work done.

For example, your goal for the next 15 minutes might be to read and summarise one page of a textbook (instead of the whole chapter).

In terms of the study tips for students that I recommend, this is an exceptionally practical one.

24. Make the material interesting by asking the right questions

Make the material interesting by asking questions such as:

  • Who developed this theory?
  • How did he or she develop this theory?
  • What challenges did he or she face?
  • What are the applications of this theory?

25. To improve your writing, use the Hemingway App

The Hemingway App checks your writing for overly complex sentences, as well as other common writing errors.

I use the app every time I write articles, and it has enabled me to correct many of my bad writing habits.

26. Never memorise information without first understanding it

Understand information

The human brain is designed to process information, not to store information like it’s a hard drive.

This is why meaningful learning is far more effective than rote learning.

Meaningful learning happens when you understand the information and make sense of it.

If you don’t understand the material after reading through it several times, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.

27. Take practice tests under test conditions

This will help to ensure that you understand what you’re learning.

By taking the tests under test conditions, it will also prepare you for the exam stress that you’ll face.

28. Explain the concept to someone else

An excellent way to master a complex topic is to explain it to someone else.

Through the act of explaining the topic to another person, you’ll get a better understanding of the topic.

If you can’t explain the concept in a simple way, it means that you probably haven’t mastered the concept yet.

29. Read the syllabus carefully

The syllabus is the scope of a subject or an outline of the topics covered in a particular course.

Don’t assume that you know the syllabus based on what material your teacher has been covering.

Read the syllabus for yourself so that you know exactly what topics will be tested.

This will make it easier for you to be well prepared for every test and exam.

30. Become familiar with the structure of the test or exam

While you won’t know the exact questions that will appear in a test or exam , your teacher should be able to tell you about the structure of the test or exam.

Having this information will allow you to be more specific in the way you prepare. In turn, this will enable you to get better grades.

31. Use free online resources

If you have trouble understanding the material, use free online resources like Khan Academy to learn the information.

32. Participate in class

Actively participating in class will help you to engage with the subject matter.

This will deepen your interest in the topic and allow you to learn the concepts more effectively.

33. Cultivate the habit of reading for leisure


Develop the habit of reading as a pastime.

Try reading both fiction and non-fiction books. I recommend reading biographies in particular as they tend to be inspirational.

By cultivating this habit, you’ll associate reading with something that’s enjoyable, rather than as something that you’re forced to do.

As such, you’ll be a happier and better student.

34. Set “focused attention” goals

If you think your teacher is especially boring, set “focused attention” goals.

Focus for 5 minutes, then take a 3-minute break. Repeat this until the class ends.

The following week, focus for 7 minutes at a go before taking a 3-minute break. As the weeks go by, increase the “focus” periods gradually.

This may not seem ideal, but it’s better than not paying attention at all.

Over time, you’ll be able to focus for longer stretches, even if your teacher is boring.

35. Before writing an essay or paper, create an outline first

Having an outline will make it possible for you to write better essays in less time.

The outline doesn’t have to be that detailed; just list the bullet points that summarise what you want to write about.

36. Write down every single resource you could use to prepare for a test or exam

By doing this, you’ll ensure that you don’t overlook any vital resources that will facilitate your preparation for the test or exam.

37. After you finish studying a set of notes, write down the date when you studied it

This will allow you to keep track of when you studied a particular topic.

As such, you’ll know when you ought to do a more thorough review of the topic, and when a more cursory review will suffice.

38. Make your notes visually appealing


For example, you could use different colours for different sub-topics, use headings and sub-headings, or add diagrams to illustrate key points.

In addition, you could create mind maps to represent the connections between different concepts and ideas.

When your notes are visually appealing, it will make your study sessions more interesting and satisfying.

39. To improve your writing, ask your teachers if you can submit additional essays

Most teachers will agree to this request.

By submitting additional essays, you’ll have more practice and more opportunities for feedback.

As a result, you’ll become a better writer.

40. Use a stopwatch

Use a stopwatch to time your study sessions and breaks.

This will enable you to stay on task and ensure that a 10-minute break doesn’t turn into a 2-hour break.

41. Complete unpleasant tasks first

This accomplishes two things.

Firstly, it gets you in the mindset where you’re not hiding from your challenges. Instead, you’re facing them head-on.

Secondly, having dealt with the unpleasant tasks first, they’ll no longer be hanging over your head. This means that you’ll maintain your levels of productivity.

42. When taking notes, write down only the key points

When taking notes during class, never try to write down everything the teacher says – you won’t be able to.

Instead, write down keywords or key points. By summarising the concepts in your own words, you’ll deepen your understanding of the topic.

43. Increase your reading speed

Increase your reading speed by using an online tool like Spreeder .

Learning to read faster allows you to take control of information overload, save time, and become a more effective student.

This isn’t just a study tip that I recommend to students; it’s a life skill.

44. Take notes by hand instead of on your computer

Research shows that taking notes on a computer results in shallower processing and understanding of the material as compared to taking notes by hand.

45. If you don’t feel like getting to work, set a timer for just 3 minutes


By doing this, you’re setting a goal to work for just 3 minutes.

Setting such a low target will push you to get started.

In this way, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate on school-related tasks .

You’ll probably find that you’ll keep going beyond those 3 minutes.

46. Use your finger or pen as a guide whenever you’re reading

This video shows you how to do this.

Combining a physical action with the act of reading will enable you to concentrate for longer.

You’ll daydream less, thus improving your studying efficiency.

When good study habits become part of your daily routine, success happens naturally. Commit to cultivating these habits, while you also pay attention to the poor study habits you want to avoid or change.

47. Check through your homework at least once before you submit it

By doing this, you’ll almost always find at least one or two mistakes that would otherwise have gone uncorrected.

48. Submit 100% of your homework on time

Make this a personal commitment, because it’s your responsibility as a student.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes a studying-related habit that you’re unwilling to break .

49. To form new healthy study habits, make use of technology

Develop new study habits using apps like Habitica and HabitBull .

These apps help you to keep track of the new habits you’re trying to develop.

They also turn the habit formation process into an enjoyable one.

50. Before starting on a homework assignment, read through your notes

Don’t assume that you’ve already mastered the topic, even before doing the homework assignment.

The act of reading your notes will jog your memory and make doing the homework a more meaningful learning process.

51. Review any new information learned on the same day

Review information

Review and consolidate any new information on the same day that you learned it.

This will ensure that you understand the information and will make it easier for you to move the new information to your long-term memory.

In the long run, you won’t need to spend so much time studying to master the material.

52. Take notes during every class

Research shows that we forget about 40% of new information learned over the subsequent 24 hours .

Taking notes helps you to retain more information, and also helps you to concentrate during class.

53. Do plenty of practice tests and exams

Do practice tests and exams at regular intervals.

This will allow you to gauge whether or not you’re mastering the topics and concepts.

Another form of practice that can be fun is the Feynman technique . Try this out with a classmate or a friend.

54. Don’t cram for tests or exams

Cramming is what happens when you leave your studying to the last minute.

Not surprisingly, 90% of students report that learning is more effective when it’s spaced out, as opposed to cramming.

So be consistent and don’t cram!

55. Prepare for every class

Do the recommended readings before each class.

If you know what your teacher will be covering in the upcoming class, skim the relevant textbook chapter to get an idea of what the class will be about.

56. Pay attention in class, even if you already understand the material

If you already know the concepts well, treat the class as a review session.

You’ll consolidate your learning and retain the information for longer.

57. Decide specifically when you’ll start studying for every test and exam

Mark the date on your calendar, because this will make it much more likely that you’ll start studying on that day.

Don’t just make a vague commitment that you’ll start studying “early” – we all know that doesn’t work.

58. Complete all of your homework the day it is assigned, as far as possible

Doing homework

Do your best to keep this commitment.

Use the fun things you want to do as a reward for completing your homework – you’ll enjoy them more for having first completed your assignments.

What’s more, the undone homework assignments won’t pile up and cause you unnecessary stress.

59. After every test and exam, analyse how you can improve in the future

After you’ve received your graded test or exam, look through it carefully.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Which topics do I know well?
  • Which topics do I not know so well?
  • What avoidable mistakes did I make?
  • How can I ensure that I don’t make these mistakes in the future?
  • What do I need to do differently to better prepare for the next test or exam?

60. Don’t rely on your memory

Nobody’s memory is perfect, so write things down.

I encourage you to write down every single thing that you want to remember, e.g. homework assignments, deadlines, events, ideas, key concepts.

Don’t leave it to chance.

Of the study tips for students mentioned in this article, this is one of the simplest but most powerful ones.

61. Never skip classes

Don’t skip classes, even if you think the class is “useless”.

Missing classes can quickly turn into a bad habit. And besides, it’s not worth it.

When you consider the amount of time you’ll spend catching up on what you missed, you might as well have attended the class in the first place.

62. Proofread every essay you write

A few spelling errors will ruin even the most brilliant essay.

And don’t rely too much on a spell-checker.

Your essay may contain words that are spelled correctly but are nevertheless errors, such as “there” instead of “their”, or “form” instead of “from”.

63. Do filing at least once a week


Organisation is a crucial part of becoming a successful student .

Not being able to find key information when you need it will make you waste precious time.

As such, I recommend that you file your notes, assignments, etc. at least once a week.

Make an appointment with yourself to do your filing on the same day each week, so you’ll be more likely to do it.

64. Don’t study or do work on your bed

It’s essential that the place where you study isn’t the same place where you sleep.

Your bed might be the most comfortable place to be in, but you’ll feel sleepy while studying . You may even end up taking a nap when you didn’t intend to!

65. Pre-commit to the habits that you want to develop

Pre-commitment is the act of making it impossible for you to allow a lack of willpower to get in the way of positive behavioural change.

For example, you could ask your parents to take away your phone or tablet every evening at 6pm. This would ensure that you’ll be more focused when you study in the evening.

Another example would be booking a study room at the library so that you and your friends can study together. This way, you won’t forego the study session.

List the positive habits you want to develop as a student , and think about ways to pre-commit to them.

66. Make full use of your travel time

On the train ride home, for example, you can review what you learned earlier that day in school.

Or you could make use of the bus ride home to plan what tasks you intend to complete by the end of the day.

By making the most of your travel time, you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy.

67. Sit at the front of the class whenever possible

Research has shown that when students are randomly assigned to different seats in a classroom, the ones who sit at the front get better grades.

Sitting at the front of the class makes it easier for you to stay focused, and makes it less likely that you’ll fall asleep in class.

Don’t let distractions and a lack of focus get in your way. These are the best study tips to create a distraction-free environment.

68. Create an area that is conducive to studying

Before you begin a study session, make sure that you have easy access to everything you need, e.g. textbooks, writing paper, stationery.

Adjust the lighting so that it’s comfortable for reading.

Also, make sure the temperature is right. Research shows that the temperature most conducive to studying is roughly 22.0°C (71.6°F).

69. When you feel like you’re about to get distracted, write down the distraction

For example, if you’re in the middle of a study session and you suddenly feel like watching a YouTube video, write down “YouTube” on a sheet of paper.

This is a way of saying to your brain: “I’ll come back to that later.”

It will give you a sense of release from the distraction and leave you free to focus on the present task.

During your next break, you can indulge in that distraction.

70. Get rid of all distractions before you start studying


Put your phone and tablet on “silent”.

Even better, put them in another room.

I recommend that you use a tool like Freedom to prevent you from accessing distracting apps and websites during study sessions.

If you’re a distracted student, you won’t be an effective student.

So take this tip seriously!

71. If you start worrying while studying, write down your worries

If you find yourself worrying excessively before a test or exam, write down your worries on a piece of paper.

Research by the University of Chicago has shown that this exercise allows students to relieve their anxieties.

This, in turn, leads to students getting better grades .

72. Never study while watching TV, videos, etc.

Don’t attempt to study with TV or videos playing in the background.

Don’t scroll through your social media feed while trying to get some work done, either.

In other words, don’t multitask.

To have a fruitful study session, you need to remove all external stimuli that take your focus away from the task at hand.

73. Tell your family and friends when you’ll be studying

When your family members and friends know when you’ll be studying, they won’t interrupt or distract you.

74. If you’re too busy, make a list of your commitments

Review this list and eliminate those commitments that are less important.

Remind yourself that it’s impossible to do everything in life; you need to focus.

By prioritising, you’ll carve out more time to study and to do other meaningful things.

Prioritisation is a key time management principle for students to apply!

75. Use earplugs to block out noise

If noise from your surroundings – such as traffic, people talking, or dogs barking – is distracting you, use earplugs to create your own “quiet zone”.

76. Listen to classical music while studying

Classical music

If you don’t like to study in silence, play classical music in the background.

Research indicates that listening to classical music while studying can help you to retain information.

Here are 10 recommended pieces by composers such as Mozart, Brahms, and Bach.

77. Listen to white noise while studying

This is an alternative, in case you’re not a fan of classical music.

Research from the University of Chicago has shown that we think better and are more creative when there’s a moderate level of background noise.

Coffitivity and Hipstersound are two tools you can check out for suitable white noise to listen to while doing work.

A strong support system will help you stay on track. Plus, having the right people around you will help you study more effectively.

78. Study with motivated friends

There are powerful benefits related to studying in a group.

One benefit is that it makes you accountable to a group of friends who expect you to show up to study sessions.

Another benefit is that you can share notes. When you do this, you’ll be able to see how other students take notes, which will enable you to improve your own note-taking skills.

79. Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help

If you need assistance, ask for it.

A study by Saint Louis University researchers found that students who ask for help are more likely to get A’s.

This isn’t a surprising finding. What is surprising is that the study also found that fewer than 1 in 5 students ask their instructors for help.

80. Ask your teachers for additional feedback

Ask your teachers for additional feedback, especially when all the feedback you’ve received is what letter grade you got.

This is especially so for essays.

The more feedback you get, the easier it will be for you to focus on improving specific areas of knowledge.

Most teachers will be more than happy to provide you with additional feedback.

81. Work with an academic coach

If you’re wondering how to deal with bad grades or with a lack of motivation, get guidance from an academic coach.

An educational coach can help you to pinpoint the root causes of problems and suggest solutions.

I work with pre-teens and teens 1-to-1 through this coaching programme (it’s about life coaching and much more) . In this programme, I equip them to become motivated, disciplined, responsible and resilient.

You’re in the best position to learn when your brain is healthy, rested, and calm. Use these strategies to optimise your brain function and memory, and you’ll learn faster.

82. Do deep breathing exercises

Do deep breathing exercises for just a few minutes every day to improve your brain function and focus.

Researchers found that focused deep breathing raises levels of noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine). Noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter that increases your alertness.

83. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night


This research highlights the vital role that sleep plays in processing information.

The study found that during “slow wave” sleep, the brain replays information learned while awake.

This results in the consolidation of information and memories, and moves them into long-term storage.

Losing sleep means losing time for this consolidation process to occur. So if you want to study effectively, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

There are so many study tips for students in this article, but I encourage you to put this one into practice as a priority.

84. Exercise regularly

Research by Harvard Medical School shows that exercise improves learning by encouraging nerve cells to bind to one another. This is the cellular basis for learning new information.

Do your best to get at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

85. Drink plenty of water

Research has shown that water consumption improves cognitive performance and information processing in both children and adults.

86. Use mnemonics to improve your memory

A mnemonic is a memory system that links certain words to specific information, like an anchor.

For instance, you could use the phrase “Super Man Helps Every One” to remember the order of the Great Lakes from west to east (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario).

Create your own mnemonics to memorise “sequential” information you encounter across your various subjects.

87. Use images and sounds to improve your memory

Use the visualisation and association technique to link vivid mental images with concepts or facts that you want to remember.

This is far more effective than just trying to memorise the information without using a specific memory technique .

88. Develop healthy eating habits

Healthy eating

Research from the University of Melbourne shows that high fat and high sugar diets have a negative impact on learning, memory, and information processing .

This means that a diet that’s good for your body is good for your brain.

If you want to do well in school, you must go the extra mile in terms of taking care of your physical health too.

89. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Research shows that test anxiety can be improved by eating foods high in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.

These foods include salmon, flaxseed and walnuts.

90. Don’t rely on energy drinks or caffeine to stay awake

If you’re tired, the only real remedy is a good night’s sleep.

Over time, energy drinks won’t give you the boost that you’re hoping for.

Like coffee, they’ll disrupt your sleep cycle, which will only make the situation worse.

91. Train your brain

Use an online tool like BrainHQ , which will give your brain a workout in areas such as attention, memory, navigation, and intelligence.

Tips to improve studying routines and structure

As a student, you need to stay organised and manage your time well. These study tips will enable you to create structure and routine in your life, so you’ll never have to cram the night before an exam.

92. Use technology to organise your student life

For example, MyStudyLife is an app that keeps track of your tasks, in addition to your schedule and timetable.

Such apps make it far easier for students to stay organised.

93. Keep a time log

Time log

Keep a time log so that you can see how much time you’re spending on different tasks. You’ll be surprised at the results!

Keep the log for at least three days, writing down every single thing you do each day.

By reviewing your time log, you’ll be able to minimise or eliminate low-value activities.

This will allow you to spend more time doing high-value work, while still having the same amount of free time.

94. Create a daily plan for each day

Create a daily plan for each day, so that you’ll know your priorities in terms of which tasks you’ll work on.

Without a plan, the days’ distractions will quickly take over. A plan reminds you what it is you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.

95. Create a weekly schedule

Creating a weekly schedule gives you the structure needed to be a productive student.

Set aside time in your schedule for the things that are most important to you, e.g. family time, religious activities, school activities.

When you’ve created a weekly schedule, you’ll rely more on your schedule to get things done, instead of waiting to feel “motivated”.

96. Block out time for studying

On your calendar, block out the periods that you intend to spend studying.

Colour-code the blocks of time to indicate different subjects or studying-related activities.

This is a representation of your commitment to be a focused and effective student.

97. Use a calendar or planner and keep it with you at all times

In this way, you’ll be able to update your calendar or planner when changes come up – which is bound to happen.

With an updated schedule, you’ll be a more organised and productive student .

98. Do a weekly review

At the end of each week, review how your week went.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • How many of your scheduled tasks did you complete?
  • Were there any obstacles that prevented you from focusing?
  • How will you ensure that next week will be a fruitful one?

Reviewing your progress each week allows you to fine-tune your study schedule.

99. Set boundaries for social activities

To perform well in school, you must balance your academics with your social life.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a social life at all. I’m a firm believer that it’s important to lead a balanced life.

But not all your friends will have the same level of commitment to their academics that you do.

So you need to be clear about your own guidelines, as you’ll encounter peer pressure to do what your friends are doing.

For instance, you might decide that you won’t go out with your friends more than once a week. You might also set boundaries related to who you choose to hang out with.

100. Develop a plan for every upcoming test and exam

Set a date for when you’ll start studying for the test or exam.

Make a list of the topics and sub-topics that you need to cover. Set aside time each week to study, and write down what you’ll do to prepare for the test or exam.

101. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to reflect

Thinking and reflecting

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • Did you make the right decisions related to your friendships, academics, family, etc.?
  • What adjustments do you need to make going forward?
  • What new habits do you need to form?
  • What bad habits do you need to eliminate?

At over 5,000 words, this is a very long article filled with study tips for students.

Great job making it to the end of the article!

Rest assured that there’s no need to implement every single study tip right away. That would be too overwhelming.

(To develop a structured plan to put the tips into practice, download the free planning worksheet below.)

I hope this article has given you a sense of clarity, focus and purpose as you strive to be the best student you can be.

Wishing you all the best on this challenging and rewarding journey!

Like this article? Please share it with your friends.

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April 10, 2019 at 7:13 am

I’m very glad 😊with it

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April 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

I’m happy to hear that!

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April 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Very insightful tips. Good job

April 10, 2019 at 2:03 pm

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April 10, 2019 at 6:46 pm

Thank you for tips Daniel! Very simple and practical.

April 10, 2019 at 6:49 pm

You’re most welcome, Siti.

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April 11, 2019 at 12:38 am

Lovely tips, am on the same track. Thank you for sharing

April 11, 2019 at 7:50 am

You’re very welcome.

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April 11, 2019 at 11:44 pm

Thank you for tips Daniel! Very simple and practical.GOOD WORK

April 12, 2019 at 11:59 am

I’m glad you like the article, Albert.

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April 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm

I Love This, It’s Nice

April 13, 2019 at 8:27 am

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April 13, 2019 at 2:22 am

Thanks allot, wonderful tips

You are welcome.

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April 13, 2019 at 7:03 pm

The link to the planning worksheet does not work

April 13, 2019 at 9:24 pm

Hi Foo Cheong (I hope I’m addressing you correctly?), I’m sorry to hear that. I just tested the link on my end and it’s working — can you please explain exactly what you mean that the link doesn’t work? What happens when you click on the download link in the email?

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May 4, 2020 at 11:37 am

Yes, it doesn’t seem to be a link, but text. You can recheck by seeing your website as a visitor in incognito.

Btw, thank you so much for the help. Keep up the great work.

May 4, 2020 at 11:48 am

That’s really strange, it works for me in incognito as well. Which browser are you using? You’re welcome, Rue.

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April 15, 2019 at 7:59 pm

Thank you so much for these tips, Mr. Wong! I’m excited to get started on implementing these principles in my own life. 🙂

April 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

All the best as you do that, Josie 🙂

April 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm

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May 7, 2019 at 9:21 pm

Hey Daniel,

Thanks for the teaching resource! I’ve bookmarked this page & I’m going to share it with my class first week next semester. I think I’ll ask them to choose three points from the list that they think they can put into action for the semester.

Thought you might like to hear your posts are being put to use 🙂

Cheers, Chris

May 7, 2019 at 9:26 pm

You’re welcome, Chris. I’m indeed encouraged – thank you! 🙂

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May 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm

Excellent piece of advice.

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June 9, 2019 at 11:20 pm

Thank you so much Daniel… You are truly amazing.. I really loved it.. Keep posting and motivating .. Lots of love and blessings..

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June 10, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Thanks very much Daniel! I find the tips very useful.

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August 16, 2019 at 8:06 pm

It’s very helpful to me. Thank you,Daniel.

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September 24, 2019 at 12:04 am

Sir your “writing the learned material” helped me to topped my classes and college..THANK YOU SIR!!

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October 19, 2019 at 2:08 am

I like your idea to write down your distraction every time you get distracted. My sister wants to become a CPP. I’ll be sure to pass this tip onto her so she can do well on her test.

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November 4, 2019 at 1:21 am

Hii please give me a way to be more determined for studies I literally cant study now

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November 18, 2019 at 3:20 am

hai Daniel wong !!! u have helped me long back when I was in my 10th grade for the ouija board fears and stuff while I was back in Dubai !! now I have started my engineering and happy to see you again

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December 3, 2019 at 7:57 am

Dear Daniel,

… You are real example for others to makes things get better. Everytime I read your ideas I feel that someone far away from me pays attention on me. Now, thanks to you, I perfectly understand myself.

Thank you once again. Congratulation. God bless you.

David, University od Split – Croatia

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January 17, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Thank you so much sir. Its worthy.

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March 4, 2020 at 1:53 am

Wow encouraging tips and easy to follow….I really love this one its powerful

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July 16, 2020 at 7:03 pm

thank you so much this has been a great help. wonderful tips.

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July 31, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Hi Daniel. I love this page,more power to your elbow.

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August 30, 2020 at 12:00 am

You’re the best! Thank you so much!

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September 18, 2020 at 5:22 pm

I am so glad i found this website! Thanks a bunch Mr. Wong! I can’t wait to start implementing the tips🙃 I feel so at home;its like whenever I need motivation or some tips academically i just browse here I appreciate your work and efforts 👍

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October 8, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Thank you,your tips are very helpful for me a college student

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November 13, 2020 at 8:46 am

This has helped me way more than any other website I have looked at. Thank you! I’m still sitting up straight from the article I read like 20 minutes ago! This is going to help me so much!

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November 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

I am so grateful for this Mr. Wong! It is a relief to know that I can access this content without difficulties. Thank you for everything you have done.

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January 12, 2021 at 11:15 pm

Thank you soooooo much, this helped me a lot on my school project.

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January 29, 2021 at 8:13 pm

every second of reading this article will save you a few hours of enjoying studying and also will improve you as a student and a person.

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March 15, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Thank you sir… Thank you very much… These are very useful tips …… I mailed you… Hope you will reply… This makes me motivated…Thanks Again

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April 3, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Thank you so much for this you’re articles are life changing.

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April 11, 2021 at 12:18 am

Thank you so much, Sir. I’m from India and was looking some ways to study sincerely after 10 months of lockdown. I have 12 th standard board exam from 3 rd May, 2021. I will follow your tips to complete my school life with flying colours…

Again, thank you Sir for a good set of guidance at right time. ❤️

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July 14, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Thank you for these tips, they are really gonna help me!👍🏻

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July 16, 2021 at 4:06 am

Hey Daniel, I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was scoring around 120/300 in my Practice tests for JEE mains twice, after reading your articles and following it for a few weeks, I actually managed to get 258/300 just today. Thank You so much ! 🙂

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December 7, 2022 at 11:40 pm

These are some excellent tips. I have not seen many such well organised and exhaustive blogs. Definitely useful and congratulations for compiling this so well. 😊

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16 Study Tips for College: Building good study habits to succeed

College is an exciting and life-changing experience. It may be the first time you’ll be living on your own, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends, meet new people, and learn about your interests both personally and professionally. However, adjusting to college life can be overwhelming – and figuring out a solid study routine is no exception! Take a look at these study tips for college to help you succeed.

How To Find the Most Effective Study Habits

16 study tips for college:, 1. organization is key, 2. plan ahead, 3. take good notes, 4. find a routine, 5. study with friends, 6. ask for help, 7. teach someone, 8. switch up your study spots, 9. eliminate distractions, 10. don’t cram, 11. memorize vs. understand, 12. review and reorganize your notes, 13. study smarter, not harder, 14. use the reward system, 15. take breaks, 16. be confident about your studies, now that you have a better understanding of these study tips for college, make sure your college writing stays in tip-top shape.

There’s no magic formula or set prescription for how to study effectively…every student is different! You might study well in a library, while your roommate studies better in his or her dorm room. The key is to try out different studying methods – including different study environments – to figure out what works best for YOU.

Student on computer

First, Focus on Preparation.

First and foremost, make sure you get a college planner. This can be a planner with a creative design, a plain notebook, a wall calendar, or even a small dry erase calendar for your desk that changes each month. A wall calendar or desk calendar is best for double-checking appointments, events, and due dates while a notebook planner of some sort will be best for planning on-the-go, wherever you are. This planner will keep you in check when you’re in class or in a meeting with your advisor. 

If digital works better for you (since you can sync it with just about anything – your computer, phone, tablet), think about setting up an agenda on your mobile device. You can set up reminders for test dates, department events, study times, and assignment due dates. Additionally, you can create a study outline on your device in something like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or another digital format that works for you.

Create a study plan at the beginning of the semester based on your course syllabus. Ideally, you should study a little bit every day throughout the week —even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference—so you don’t wind up cramming and stressing out right before the big exam.

Studying starts in the classroom. Pay attention and take good notes , so when you’re studying later, you’re just reviewing information (instead of learning it for the first time). Speak with your professor about recording lectures on your phone. A recording can complement your notes so you can go back and re-listen to the information in case there are other details you pick up on later to note. Effective note-taking strategies can have a direct impact on your study habits and is one of the most important study tips for college.

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Getting yourself into a study routine is one of the best ways to make sure that studying becomes a part of your everyday habit. Figure out what time of day works best for you and make a real effort to dedicate that time to reviewing notes, videos, and other related resources.

Pick times during the week to try out your studying. You can try studying in the morning on one day, the afternoon another day, and in the evening if that works best for you when there are no distractions at the end of the night. Once you’ve decided which time works best for you, try to stick with that time of day every day (or at least 3 days a week) to get in the habit of studying consistently. You might wind up rearranging your routine due to extracurricular activities, time with friends, and other commitments, but be sure to prioritize your studies and get them done in one way or another.

Teamwork is Essential

Encouraging friends to study with you can make everything more fun and productive! Ask your classmates to study with you at a certain time and location. For example, you can ask your biology colleagues to study with you after class for an hour at the school cafe. You can set up your computers at a table together and grab some snacks and coffee to enjoy the time. 

The same goes for studying with your friends. If you’re not in a class with them, studying together in-person can help you hold each other accountable. When you make plans with friends, you don’t want to be that person who cancels or doesn’t show, right?

If you really don’t understand a concept, ask questions! Stop by your professors’ offices during their office hours, or contact classmates and professors via email. Some classes might even have a Facebook Group to keep students engaged and to create an environment to ask questions outside of class. Either way, your professors will be on your side – nonjudgmental, wanting to help you understand the class in its entirety.

Teaching a friend, family member, or even your pet the material is a great way to see how well you know it! When you explain it to someone else, you’ll have a better grasp of which information you already have mastered and which information you should revisit for yourself. 

You can create a fun PowerPoint or  Google Slides presentation, get creative and present the information in a way that’s easy for you and your audience to understand. Who knows – you might even use that presentation in the future for your classmates!

Student researching study tips for college

Create an Ambiance

Studying in the same spot can get tedious, so why not mix it up and get a new perspective on things? College campuses have tons of study spots for students—from the library to the campus lawn to local cafes (think back to studying with friends and finding an area to set up for an hour or for the day). Take advantage of these study areas, both indoors and outdoors, and give yourself a new view every day!

Studying without distractions is crucial. If you’re studying alone, try to find a quiet space or put headphones in to block out noise from your surroundings. If you’re in an area trying to study and it’s just not working out, relocate. It might be frustrating to have to pick up and move, but it will be worth it once you’re in a good environment. 

Consider putting your phone on silent or vibrate too – you can always respond to your messages after your study session!

How to Approach Studying

While it may seem like a good idea to learn an entire semester’s worth of information in one night, it’s not an effective study habit, and it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, study a little bit of information every day for at least 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll likely remember more later and you’ll feel calm and prepared when it comes to exam time.

One of the study tips for college that can make a massive difference in how you approach new information is knowing the difference between memorizing the material and understanding it. Memorizing information isn’t actually learning the information—it’s just helping you learn how to repeat it during a finite time. 

For example, if you’re studying for a Spanish exam and you’re memorizing a conjugated verb chart, remembering what the verbs look like in written form will help you remember the information for that exam. However, you might forget the meanings of the verbs and how to use them in a sentence afterward since it’s a very specific way of studying. This may catch up with you when you take the next level up of Spanish.

Whether you’re using a notebook, a laptop, or good old-fashioned flashcards, reviewing each line of your notes helps ensure that you hit all the right information you reviewed in class and might even remind you of a few things you would have missed otherwise. It’s good to review notes shortly after class, and then again a few days later. This allows you to take a break between edits and come back to the information with a fresh perspective.

Occasionally, college professors will tell you the information that will (or won’t) be on an exam—listen to them! They’re sharing this information with you to save you time so you’re not studying the wrong information for hours, and you can focus on the important points. If you’re unsure about what to focus on while studying, send your professor a quick email to confirm or speak with him or her after class.

Study tips for college

Keep Your Cool

Studying can be draining, so treat yourself for a little motivation. Buy a coffee from your favorite coffee shop or get some study snacks from the campus convenience store. You can also reward yourself by taking breaks for activities you enjoy, like walking, reading, or watching TV. Adding in a reward will give you something fun to work towards.

Continuing from the previous point, taking breaks is important. Breaks give you a boost of productivity, reset, and prevent burnout. It might seem like you need to use all the time you possibly can to study, back-to-back, but your brain will start to slow down if you don’t give it a chance to relax. Taking breaks can help you get the most out of your study time with the least amount of stress.

It might be easy to fall into a trap of stressing yourself out while you’re studying, but that will be counterintuitive in the big picture. You can control when you study and how you study to help prepare you for your exams. After that, you have to be confident and try your best to retain the information. Believing in yourself and trusting that you’ve got this can help you forget about the stress and focus on moving forward.

Check out these additional resources and study tips for college to help you succeed in your college planning and writing:

  • How to write an essay about yourself
  • Structuring an essay about your career goals
  • Learn more about how Going Merry works
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  • Student Support Services
  • Subject Guides

Essential Study Skills

  • Introduction to Time Management
  • Getting Things Done
  • Creating a Weekly Schedule
  • Creating a Semester Plan
  • Planning an Assignment
  • Creating a Task List
  • Putting it all together
  • Additional Resources
  • Coping With Stress
  • Changing Your Perception of Stress
  • Problem Solving To Manage Stress
  • Reading with Purpose
  • Taking Notes in Class
  • Deciding What To Study
  • Knowing How to Study
  • Memorizing and Understanding Concepts
  • Taking Tests & Exams
  • Creating and Preparing For a Presentation
  • Presentation Anxiety
  • Delivering Presentations
  • Exploring Career Options
  • Identifying Areas of Interest
  • Knowing Yourself
  • Exploring the Labour Market
  • Researching College Programs
  • Setting Goals
  • Tackling Problems
  • Bouncing Back
  • Sleep Matters
  • Sleep Habits
  • Sleep Strategies
  • Meeting with Your Group
  • Agreeing on Expectations
  • Dealing With Problems
  • Study in Groups

How do you plan an assignment ?

If a task seems too difficult or you don’t know where to start, breaking it into smaller tasks can help make it easier to do. An assignment tracker is a document that you can use to break big assignments into smaller, more manageable steps. This module will show you how to plan out the time you need to complete your assignments.

Strategies for Using the Assignment Tracker

assignment study tips

Breaking Down Assignments

  • How to Use the Assignment Tracker

Step 1: Gather Information

  • If possible, print off a hard copy of the assignment.
  • Read the entire assignment out loud.
  • Brainstorm ideas.

Step 2: Calculate the Assignment Time

Use the chart below to calculate how long you should spend on an assignment. For every 5% the assignment is worth, you should plan to work 2 hours.

Step 3: Use the Assignment tracker

Fill out your assignment tracker:

  • Assignment Tracker Template (PDF)
  • Assignment Tracker Template (Word)

Watch the video and use the steps below to learn how to fill out the template. Make sure to start work at least two weeks before your assignment is due. You can also download the How to Use Assignment Tracker video transcript

Instructions for filling out the assignment tracker template

  • Fill out the beginning of the form with the name of the course, the assignment title and value, the hours of work required, today’s date and the due date.
  • In the ‘Stages’ column, create a list of all of the things that you need to do to complete this assignment, e.g. brainstorming ideas, creating an outline, writing a rough draft. Use one line for each stage.
  • Give yourself a completion deadline for each task.
  • Check off each task as you finish them.
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College Info Geek

40+ Study Tips to Help You Work Smarter This Semester

assignment study tips

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assignment study tips

Though you’ve likely been studying since at least kindergarten, how often do you stop to think about why you study the way you do?

With a bit of examination, you’ll realize that you could probably improve the way you study.

However, you’re busy enough as it is without adding a class called “study skills.” To save you time, we’ve put together a list of our most useful study tips.

While you’ve likely heard some of them before, there are probably at least a few you haven’t considered. And even if you have heard a study tip before, you could likely do a better job of applying it (we all could).

So without further ado, here are the very best study tips out there. We hope they make your studies more efficient, effective, and even enjoyable.

Put your classes on your calendar

Have you ever missed an important lecture, presentation, or class discussion because you forgot class was happening? It’s easier to do than most of us would like to admit, especially with all the other demands college can place on your time.

To make sure you never forget a class again, put each class on your calendar as a recurring event. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our guide to efficient calendar use . Also, be watch for any changes to the class schedule and update your calendar accordingly.

Put your homework on a to-do list

Your calendar is a great tool for keeping track of your busy schedule, but what about specific, day-to-day assignments? For this, I recommend using a task management app such as Todoist .

When you put your homework assignments on a to-do list, you’re much less likely to forget them. Plus, you get the satisfaction of crossing off each assignment after it’s done.

For more advice on setting up a task management system, check out our guide to staying organized in college .

Have a study space

Where do you study? Your dorm room? The library? Lying in your bed? The place you study matters more than you think. Having a dedicated study space will help you avoid distractions and signal to your brain that it’s time to learn.

We have an entire guide on creating a study space (including examples from real students). But, in general, find a space that will let you focus for long periods of time, has all the supplies you need, and is free of interruptions.

The details will vary based on your preferences. I need quiet and isolation to do my best work, so in college I usually opted for a secluded place in the library basement.

But some people prefer working with background noise or activity, meaning a coffee shop or the student center common area might be a better choice.

More than anything, think about the conditions that help you study best and find a space that fits them.

Schedule time for homework

Let’s face it: there are dozens of things you’d rather be doing than homework. But homework is key to truly learning and retaining the material, especially for subjects with too much content for the professor to cover in class.

With most assignments, the biggest challenge is often getting started. Instead of leaving this up to your willpower, schedule time to do your homework.

You’ll have to experiment with how much time to plan for each class. But the act of putting homework time on your calendar and “showing up” the same way you would to an appointment will make it easier to get started.

Plus, it can remove some of the dread that comes from not knowing how long an assignment will take to complete.

Use the Pomodoro technique to avoid procrastination

While scheduling time to do homework will help with general procrastination, sometimes you’ll come across an assignment that feels like a slog. For some people, it will be research papers; for others, reading assignments or problem sets.

Whatever it is for you, the Pomodoro technique can help you overcome your resistance and power through the hard work.

We discuss the Pomodoro technique at length here , but the gist of it is this:

  • Pick one assignment to complete
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes
  • Work on only that assignment until the timer is up
  • Take short breaks in between sessions (usually 5 or 10 minutes)
  • Repeat the process until you’ve finished the assignment

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Remember Parkinson’s law

Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time allotted. This is somewhat unintuitive, as we tend to assume that an assignment will take “as long as it takes.”

But with Parkinson’s law, we realize that we can (somewhat) influence how long a task takes by adjusting the amount of time we schedule to complete it.

You’ve likely experienced Parkinson’s law in practice when you’re finishing an assignment at the last minute. You write that 10-page essay a few hours before it’s due because you have no choice, even if it would normally take you twice that amount of time.

While I don’t recommend waiting until the last minute to finish assignments, you can still use Parkinson’s law to spend less time on work.

If you think it will take you 2 hours to complete a set of problems, see if you can do it in an hour. Even if it ends up taking you longer than that, the very act of attempting to finish it faster will likely reduce the amount of time it takes.

Keep a distraction log

Do you struggle with distracting random thoughts or ideas while you’re working?

Maybe, in the midst of your calculus homework, you remember that you need to schedule a meeting for a club you’re part of. Or, while doing your philosophy reading, you recall that one of your library books will soon be overdue.

How do you prevent these random (but often important) thoughts from derailing your study session?

The best technique we’ve found is to keep a distraction log. This is a piece of paper next to you where you can write down any thoughts that occur to you while studying.

Writing down these random thoughts gets them out of your head, freeing up space in your working memory. Plus, it lets you act on them later when you have a chance to add them to your to-do list, calendar, etc.

Take breaks while studying

I already alluded to this in the section on the Pomodoro technique, but be sure to take breaks while you’re studying. This practice has several benefits.

First, taking breaks keeps your study sessions effective. No matter how long your attention span, there’s a limit to how long you can truly focus on difficult concepts or complex mental tasks. Taking short breaks lets your mind rest and then return refreshed once you resume.

Additionally, taking a break gives you a chance to stretch and move your body. Even if you’re working at a standing desk , staying fixed in one position for too long is still unhealthy. Getting your blood flowing will help you keep from getting tired or losing focus, as well as keeping you generally healthy.

Finally, taking a break can give your unconscious mind a chance to work on difficult problems . While there is a lot of power in actively concentrating on how to solve a problem, sometimes it’s better to let the question percolate in the back of your mind. When you return to studying, you may be surprised at how obvious the solution now seems.

Take notes as you read

You’re probably used to taking notes during lectures, but how often do you take notes while doing assigned reading?

While it can seem like a lot of extra work, taking notes as you read can save you time in the long run.

If you take notes as you read, it will be much faster to study for exams or come up with material for essays. This is because you won’t waste time re-reading the textbook (which, aside from taking lots of time, isn’t a very effective way to study).

Plus, taking notes as you read forces you to engage with and think about the material, helping you to internalize it more deeply than if you were just looking at the words on the page.

Take notes on paper

While we’re discussing note-taking, I encourage you to take notes on paper if you can. A 2014 study published in Psychological Science found that students who took notes on laptops didn’t do as well on tests of conceptual understanding compared to students who took notes by hand.

The study’s authors speculate this disparity in performance occurred because taking notes on a laptop makes it easier to transcribe what a professor says verbatim. When you write by hand, in contrast, the slower speed forces you to summarize and put concepts in your own words, which leads to better understanding.

To be clear, I do think your computer is an excellent place for storing and organizing your notes. But you’re better off using your phone to scan your notes later (or typing them up by hand) than taking digital notes from the start.

Focus on understanding concepts, not memorizing facts

One of the key differences between college and high school is that there’s less focus on memorization and more on conceptual understanding.

For instance, a high school history class might require you to memorize lots of dates and names of people and then reproduce them on a test.

A college history class, in contrast, will be less concerned about memorizing when/what happened and more about analyzing historical trends or cause and effect.

If you’re only accustomed to memorizing information and regurgitating it on a test, this new mindset can take some getting used to.

Your professor will likely give you an idea of what they expect you to understand for exams, which can help you adjust your studies accordingly. But, in general, be sure to spend time learning the concepts behind the subject in addition to rote memorization.

Test your understanding with the Feynman technique

One of the best techniques for testing your conceptual understanding is the Feynman technique . Popularized by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, this technique will help you determine if you truly understand a topic (as opposed to just knowing the name or idea of it).

First, get a sheet of paper and write the name of the topic at the top. Next, write as simple (yet comprehensive) of an explanation as you can. Imagine you’re explaining it to someone who knows nothing about the topic.

Once you’ve written your explanation, compare it to your notes or the textbook. Look for gaps in your understanding, as well as places where you’ve used unnecessary technical language. Now, re-write the explanation to include any information you missed and to simplify any jargon.

If you use this process as part of your studies, you’ll be much better prepared for exams, class discussions, and other forms of assessment.

Use “rubber ducking” when you’re stuck on a problem

The Feynman technique is great for reviewing material for an exam, but what about when you’re struggling to solve a homework problem? Another helpful tool you can use is “rubber ducking.”

Popular among programmers for debugging code , rubber ducking means explaining code, line-by-line, to an inanimate object such as a rubber duck. In the process of explaining what the code is supposed to do, the programmer will often arrive at the solution.

While you can certainly apply this if you’re studying programming, I’ve found it to be helpful for any time I’m stuck on a problem.

If I can’t figure out how to express a certain idea in writing, for example, I’ll explain it out loud as if talking to a friend. You can also use rubber ducking for math or science problems, talking through your current solution line-by-line and seeing if it helps you reach a breakthrough.

Don’t expect to immediately understand new material

College-level classes often introduce you to material you’ve never studied before. This could be a subject that wasn’t offered in high school (such as geology or philosophy) or more advanced topics that high school classes don’t cover.

Regardless, you may find yourself thinking, “This makes no sense to me, I must be stupid.”

However, this mindset is flawed. Just because you don’t immediately understand new material, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean you’re incapable of understanding it. Rather, it just means you need to put in more time and effort to grasp it.

College classes often involve studying concepts that are unintuitive or completely unfamiliar. But just as you didn’t learn to read or subtract in one day (or even month), you may need more than a few days (or weeks) to grasp new college-level material. View this as part of the learning journey, rather than a reflection of your intelligence.

Reward yourself with “high-density fun”

When we discuss how to study, we often focus on what happens during the study session.

But it’s just as important to take time outside of your studies to have fun and relax. Of course, this reduces stress. But it can also motivate you, giving you something to look forward to when you’re done studying.

To make sure you’re truly rewarding yourself, however, we recommend scheduling “high-density fun.” These are activities that truly excite you, rather than just killing a few minutes here or there.

It’s the difference between taking breaks while you work to scroll Instagram (low-density fun) and scheduling a DnD session after you finish your homework (high-density fun).

The definition of high-density fun will vary depending on your interests. But whatever it means to you, make sure to get some of it in your life each day (and especially after intense study sessions).

Don’t cram for exams

Cramming is a popular study method, but I don’t recommend it. While it’s possible to jam enough information into your head in one night that you can pass an exam, doing so is both ineffective and unnecessarily stressful.

Based on our understanding of how memory works , you should ideally spread your studies out over multiple sessions across multiple days (or even weeks). This will give your brain time to absorb information and commit it to long-term memory.

Plus, spreading out your studies will give you time to focus on the concepts you understand least and spend time quizzing yourself (instead of scanning the same set of notes over and over). Cramming the night before an exam leaves time for none of these activities.

Furthermore, cramming is stressful. Instead of focusing on learning material, there’s a nagging feeling of fear in the back of your mind that you won’t be able to remember enough. Plus, you’re likely to be anxious when you show up for the test, which can further hurt your performance.

Don’t pull all-nighters

I like to think of all-nighters as Parkinson’s law taken to unrealistic extremes.

Even if you can finish a project or paper in one night, it’s unlikely to be your best work.

And, as with cramming, all-nighters introduce excessive stress into your life.

Finally, operating on no sleep means you’ll be less effective at whatever you attempt the day after your all-nighter. This is especially bad news if you happen to pull an all-nighter before an exam.

Luckily, all-nighters are easy to avoid. If you keep a calendar of all your due dates and plan to start working on a project a few days (or weeks) before it’s due, you’ll have enough time to complete assignments without resorting to sleep deprivation.

Use the library

As the ads for my local library used to say, “Books are only half the story.” The same is true of your college’s library system. While the library is a great place to study or check out a book for class, it’s also a useful resource for all kinds of academic work.

Particularly if you’re writing a research paper , the library staff can be immensely helpful. My college’s library let you book “research consultations,” in which a librarian would work with you one-on-one to help find useful sources for all kinds of projects.

Your library likely has something similar, and I strongly encourage you to use it. Don’t be intimidated by the librarians; it’s their job to help you.

Use the right music to help you focus

Music can be an extremely powerful tool for focusing on assignments . However, it’s key to choose the right music.

Part of this is a matter of preference and experimentation.

One person might find classical music to be an amazing focus tool, while another might find it puts them to sleep. And some people will love the energy that heavy metal brings to the studying process, while others might find it distracting. Try different genres and see what works for you.

On the other hand, you can also turn to specialized resources for more help. , for instance, uses music created by AI to help induce (and maintain) deep focus. And our study playlist , while less high-tech, is carefully curated to include tracks that will help you hone in on your assignment.

Finally, if music is too distracting, then don’t use it while you study. There’s no rule saying you have to.

Rehearse presentations

Does giving a presentation to the class fill you with dread? Likely, you just need some rehearsal.

First, you need to create your presentation far enough in advance that you have time to rehearse it (another benefit of not cramming).

Then, you should practice it out loud , ideally in a setting similar to the place you’ll be giving the real presentation. Your library likely has study rooms you can reserve for such purposes, though a dorm room can also work in a pinch.

For even more realistic practice, give the presentation to a friend or group of friends. Offer to let them rehearse their presentations for you in exchange (obviously, this works best if your friends are in the same class).

If you take some time to rehearse, then you’ll be much less anxious (and give a much better presentation) when the real thing arrives.

Simulate exam conditions to reduce test anxiety

Just as rehearsing a presentation can help you be less nervous, simulating the conditions of your next exam can help calm test anxiety. By “conditions,” I mean the setting, time limit, and even format of the exam.

If you can mimic all of these when you’re taking practice exams or quizzing yourself, then you’ll be much less anxious when the real exam comes.

Try to get as close to the real exam as you can. Here are some ideas:

  • See if you can work on practice questions in the same room (or a similar room) as where you’ll take the exam.
  • Work with a timer set to the actual length of the exam (this will also help you with pacing).
  • Gather as much information as you can about the exam’s format so that you can work on the right kinds of practice questions.

If you do all of the above, then you’ll be able to focus on performing your best, not on the anxiety that comes from the unknown. For more help with test anxiety, read this guide .

Go to office hours

Your professor has office hours for one reason: to help you succeed in class. It’s in your best interest, therefore, to attend them.

Even if you aren’t struggling in a class, attending office hours is a chance to get to know your professor and show that you care about their subject.

And if you are struggling, then office hours are invaluable. However, you need to approach them the right way.

Don’t go to office hours with vague requests such as, “Help me understand this subject.” Instead, you should prepare specific questions in advance, such as:

  • “How do I solve this particular equation?”
  • “Is this a good list of sources for the upcoming research paper?”
  • “Can we practice the French subjunctive tense?”

This way, you’ll make the most of your (and your professor’s) limited time.

Use the learning center and tutoring services

Office hours are a great place to get help, but sometimes they aren’t enough. Your professor probably doesn’t have enough time to regularly work with you one-on-one. Or, you may feel more comfortable getting help from another student.

If either is the case, then you should visit your college’s learning or tutoring center. There, you can arrange to regularly meet with a tutor who can help you with all manner of academic matters.

In addition, your college may have a “writing center” or “math center” where you can make an appointment or even drop in to get homework help.

Using these resources doesn’t make you less intelligent; on the contrary, it would be foolish not to use them.

Use third-party study resources

Are you struggling to understand a particular concept, even after going to office hours or working with a tutor?

While some things just take time to grasp, you can also get extra practice with third-party study resources. Your professor may already recommend some of these in their syllabus, but don’t be afraid to seek them out yourself.

However, be sure that you’re using high-quality resources. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Crash Course – Free, professionally produced lectures on pretty much any “gen ed” class you might be taking (plus more specialized topics such as organic chemistry).
  • Khan Academy – Crash Course is great for understanding general concepts, but Khan Academy is the place to go if you need help with calculations or more specific questions.
  • Symbolab – An online tool that can solve any math problem and show you free, step-by-step solutions. Be sure to use it only after you’ve done your best to solve the problem on your own, not as a substitute for studying.
  • Better Explained – A website that teaches math concepts (from trigonometry to vector calculus) using intuition, not memorization. Pair with Khan Academy for best results.
  • Chegg Study – Need step-by-step solutions to problems in your textbook? Want to chat with a subject matter expert about your homework? Chegg Study will let you do both.

Approach group study with care

For some people (and some subjects) studying in groups is very helpful. Particularly if you’re all struggling to understand a new concept, then drawing on collective knowledge and problem solving skills can make finishing homework (or preparing for an exam) much easier.

However, be sure to balance group study sessions with solo practice and review. Unless you’re working on a group project, you alone will be responsible for understanding the material when it’s time to take the exam or write the final paper. When you only study in a group setting, it’s easy to develop illusions of competence .

Like studying in groups but are stuck at home? Use our “study with me” video for some companionship.

Use flashcards to memorize large volumes of information

While I mentioned earlier that college classes tend to focus less on rote memorization, there will still be cases where you have to memorize equations, processes, reactions, or even historical events. If you find yourself in such a situation, flashcards are your best friend.

Assuming you give yourself enough time and use the right memorization techniques , you can use flashcards to learn massive amounts of information. And if you use a spaced repetition app such as Anki , you can make the process even more efficient.

Learn more about the best ways to make (and study) flashcards .

Avoid comparing yourself to other students

Assuming your college uses traditional letter grades, it’s easy to compare your performance to that of other students. And even beyond grades, you may hear fellow students discussing how “easy” an exam was or how “simple” the concepts in the day’s lecture were.

If you thought the exam was impossible and the lecture incomprehensible, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has different strengths, and people learn at different paces. Your learning journey is ultimately a personal one, and comparing yourself to other students won’t help you learn.

Get your study materials ready the night before class

Despite our admonitions to get enough sleep , there will still be nights when you stay up late to finish homework (or even get in one more Smash Bros session).

Given this reality, the last thing you want to do in the morning is run around your room frantically looking for the textbook you need for your 8 AM class.

To avoid this stress, prepare your study materials the night before. Find the textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils, and whatever else you need, and put them in your backpack. Then, drift off to sleep with the blissful knowledge you’re prepared for the day to come.

Wondering what you should keep in your backpack? We’ve got your covered .

Put your phone away while studying

Do you check your texts or scroll your social feeds every few minutes while studying? If so, I recommend changing the way you study.

Your phone is a huge source of distraction , and checking it compulsively means it will take you longer to finish whatever you’re supposed to be working on.

Instead, put your phone away. Ideally, put it physically out of reach, either in a different room or at least in your bag. If that’s not practical, then install an app such as Forest , which will reward you for not touching your phone.

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Use mind maps to aid brainstorming

If you’re in a class (or major) that requires you to write a lot of essays, one of your biggest challenges is likely coming up with topic ideas. One of the most helpful techniques I’ve found for overcoming this “topic block” is making mind maps.

With a mind map, you draw a circle (or whatever shape you like) in the center of a piece of paper with a general topic.

Then, you draw branching lines out from the central circle connected to smaller circles. In each of these smaller circles, you write a more specific topic or idea.

expanded mindmap

After you repeat this process a few times, you’re likely to come up with at least one or two good topics that you can refine into an essay.

If you’re skeptical, give it a try. There’s a certain magic to the process, something about getting your hand moving that leads to unexpected ideas.

Use flat outlines to speed up essay writing

I’m a big believer in creating outlines for any lengthy piece of writing. However, the outlining technique I used in college (and still use today) is a bit different than the strict, hierarchical outlines you probably learned to write in middle or high school.

Instead of such a rigid outline, I use what Cal Newport calls a “ flat outline .”

Here’s how flat outlining works:

  • Make a list of topics you want to cover in a paper
  • Research each topic, finding quotes related to them
  • Drop your supporting quotes into a list under each topic
  • From there, it’s just a matter of shaping that collection of quotes and topics into a full draft

This technique works because it recognizes that writing is a process of discovery. You don’t really know what you’ll say in a paper until you start writing it.

The flat outline aids you in the process of discovery by giving you quotes and general ideas as a starting point for your final draft. As a result, you spend less time outlining and more time writing.

For more tips on speeding up essay writing (without sacrificing quality), see this guide .

Beware of plagiarism

As I’m sure your teachers have been telling you since you started doing any kind of research, plagiarism is a serious matter. I won’t beat you over the head with all the reasons plagiarism is wrong; you already know that.

However, I will give you some tips for avoiding it. First, always cite a source if you have any doubts. It’s better to have too many citations than to risk plagiarism.

Second, use a third-party tool such as Quetext to check your paper for potential plagiarism. Your professor will likely use such a tool themselves, so do yourself a favor and beat them to it.

Keep papers to a reasonable length

This one is for all the overachievers out there. While there’s nothing wrong with going “above and beyond” on assignments if you have the time, there’s such a thing as too much.

If a professor says a paper should be 10 pages, try not to exceed that. 11 or even 12 pages is fine, but 20 pages is ridiculous. Not only does this create lots of extra work for your professor, but it could also be a sign that your paper is rambling or unfocused.

Longer ≠ better.

Never underestimate the time it takes to cite sources

This is a lesson I learned the hard way. The night before I planned to turn in my senior thesis, all I had left to do was cite all my sources (in proper MLA format), generate my bibliography, and print the final copy.

Given all the challenging mental work that had gone into writing my thesis, all this citation business would be easy in comparison…or so I thought.

Four hours later, I was still tracking down citations and making sure they were properly formatted. As midnight passed and I finally printed my thesis, I resolved to never underestimate the time citations can take.

Even if you’re working on a shorter paper without scores of sources, be sure to budget some time for the citation process. You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t create bibliographies by hand

While citing sources still requires a certain amount of grunt work, creating bibliographies is thankfully much easier than it used to be. There are now many tools that can take a list of sources and turn it into a properly formatted bibliography or works cited in the citation style of your choice.

Which tool you use doesn’t matter, so long as it’s reputable (your professor can likely provide recommendations).

But, in general, I prefer EasyBib for short papers (under 10 pages) and Zotero for long research papers or theses.

EasyBib is a bit easier to use, making it great for when you’re done writing and just need a bibliography. Zotero, while having more of a learning curve, is a great tool to use during the writing and research processes. Not only can it automatically generate citations, but it can also help you track and reference sources as you’re writing.

Know when you should drop a class

Dropping a class should be a last resort, something you do only after you’ve used all the study resources we’ve mentioned thus far. But sometimes, it’s a smart, strategic decision .

If your grades are consistently low, or you realize that a class is way over your head, then dropping it can be a good way to avoid unnecessary damage to your GPA.

Of course, you shouldn’t take this decision lightly. Talk to your professor and advisor before making a decision. And explore alternatives, such as auditing the class or taking it pass/fail. Also, check if dropping a class will affect your eligibility for any scholarships you have.

Don’t over-study

When you start college, you’re bound to encounter advice that goes something like this:

“For every hour you spend in class, you should spend 2 hours studying outside of class.”

While I think this advice is well-intentioned, aiming to help students avoid taking on too heavy a workload, I also think it’s b.s.

There’s no hard and fast rule for how much studying a class will require. Studying for a class should take as long as you need to understand the material and complete assignments, no more or less.

While this doesn’t excuse you from doing your homework, don’t feel like you aren’t studying “enough” if the week’s assignments take less than the prescribed 2 hours per hour of class. It’s not a competition to see who can spend the most time studying.

Always back up your work

Studying is already enough work without losing an important assignment due to a computer error. Always, always, always back up your work.

At a minimum, this means writing in a program like Google Docs, which automatically saves your work to the cloud. However, I also recommend keeping copies of important assignments on your computer in case you’re without internet access (a common problem in lecture halls).

Finally, for extra safety, consider creating a remote backup of your hard drive with a service such as Backblaze .

Backblaze runs in the background and automatically backs up everything on your computer to a remote server. This ensures you can quickly recover your data if your computer crashes, gets stolen, or dies a death by spilled coffee.

Don’t obsess over grades

Grades are a big focus in high school, so it’s normal to enter college very concerned about them.

While you should certainly care about your grades (particularly if you’re looking to attend grad school or keep your scholarships ), don’t obsess over them. Once you graduate and get a job, no one will care about your GPA.

Plus, if getting a job is your goal, then GPA is a minor factor in the scheme of things. Prospective employers will care more about the internships you did , the projects you worked on outside of class, and how well you present yourself in interviews . Don’t focus on grades so much that you forget to be a well-rounded person.

Use project management tools to coordinate group projects

In theory, group projects are a chance to practice the collaboration you’ll do in the workplace. But in practice, they’re often a nightmare in which one or two people do all the work while everyone else slacks off.

To make group projects less painful (and help divide the work evenly), try using a project management app.

I’m using “project management app” in a very broad sense, meaning any app that helps coordinate your group efforts. In many cases, this could be as simple as a shared Google Doc to collaboratively write a paper. Or a shared Google Slides project for a group presentation.

For larger projects (such as those that last all semester), considering using a more serious project management app such as Trello or Asana .

While these apps take a little time to set up and learn, they let you assign tasks to specific group members and keep track of your project’s overall progress. This can help make sure that a large project doesn’t get derailed due to poor organization or coordination.

Take care of your health

Never spend so much time studying that you forget to exercise, eat healthy food, get enough sleep, go outside, or spend time relaxing. While it can seem like a worthwhile tradeoff in the short-term, the damage to your overall quality of life isn’t worth it.

Plus, remember that your brain is part of your body. If you want to perform at your best, then taking care of your health isn’t optional. (Learn more about the connections between health and mental performance in our interview with Dr. John Ratey , author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain . )

Study Tips Can’t Replace the Hard Work of Studying

As you can now see, there are lots of things you can do to study more effectively, no matter what you’re majoring in or what classes you’re taking.

However, never forget that you still have to do the work. The tips in this article will help you study better, and likely spend less time studying.

But there isn’t some magic pill that will help you learn things instantly, à la Limitless . Ultimately, you still need to put in the time and hard work that studying requires.

Wishing you a productive study session!

Image Credits: man studying at table

Communicate With Expertise

14 Proven Tips For Completing Assignments

Tips for completing assignments

Completing assignments can be a daunting task, but there are a few things that you can do to make the process a whole lot easier. 

Are you finding it difficult to complete your assignments on time? If you’re looking for some tips to help you get organized and stay on track, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll share some helpful strategies that will make completing your assignments a breeze.

But first, let’s analyze why it’s essential that you complete your assignments on time.

Why are assignments important?

Though often met with groans and complaints, academic assignments are actually beneficial in a number of ways. For one, they force students to engage with the material on a deeper level, encouraging them to really think about what they’re learning and stay on track with their studies.

In addition, academic assignments help students to develop important research, writing and study skills that will be useful in college and beyond.

Academic assignments also give students the opportunity to receive feedback from their instructors on their work.

Assignments are a great way to increase parent engagement in learning and for students to develop a sense of responsibility.

Notably, despite its benefits, too many assignments can do more harm than good.

Too much assignments can interfere with free time and involvement in extra-curricular activities. Assignment completion may be increasingly frustrating and stressful when there are challenges with the home environment. O’Rourke-Ferrara, 1998

Why is completing assignments on time important?

Completing assignments on time allows you to fully engage with the material and understand the concepts.

Subsequently, you’ll likely earn better grades and improve your chances of success in school. Additionally, completing assignments in a timely manner will also give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Completing assignments on time demonstrates to your instructor that you are capable of meeting deadlines. This is important in both academic and professional settings.

Plus we all know that once you start falling behind on assignments, it can be difficult to catch up.

Finally, completing assignments on time will likely improve your sleep and reduce stress levels.

According to research, completing assignments improves independence, self-discipline, and time management skills. In addition, it has been linked with better grades and academic success. planchard et al., 2015

14 Proven Tips For Completing Assignments

Tips for completing assignments

So how can you make sure that you complete your assignments on time? Here are a few tips that may help:

1. Read the assignment instructions carefully

Make sure you understand what is expected of you before you start working on the assignment. Read the instructions carefully, and if anything is unclear, be sure to ask for clarification.

2. Identify why the assignment is necessary

Identifying why the assignment is necessary is an important first step for success. Acknowledging the importance of a task or goal can help you stay motivated to do the best possible work and see meaningful results.

It gives purpose to your efforts, and this in turn can help provide focus and direction, leading to better results through hard work and dedication.

Research shows that the main motivating factors for homework completion were: (1) Reinforcement: desire to learn or master the material (2) Credit (3) Extra-credit planchard et al., 2015

3. Start early to complete assignments on time

Assignments can take longer than you think, so start working on them as soon as they’re assigned. This will help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you have enough time to complete the assignment to the best of your ability.

4. Set goals for assignment completion

One way to stay on track with an assignment is to break it down into smaller goals. For example, if you have a research paper to write, your goal for the first day might be to choose a topic and find five sources.

Once you’ve met that goal, you can set a new goal for the next day. Breaking the assignment down into smaller tasks can help to make it feel less overwhelming, and it can also help you to track your progress. 

5 . Create a schedule to finish assignments

Once you know when the assignment is due, create a schedule that breaks the work down into manageable tasks. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the assignment.

Research shows that the most common demotivating factors for homework completion were: (1) Other commitments (2) Difficulty understanding (3) Too difficult or too long planchard et al., 2015

6. Identify the resources required for the assignment

Another important step in completing an assignment is to identify the resources that you’ll need. This might include books, articles, websites, or people you can interview. Having a list of resources will help you to focus your research and make the process easier.

7. Track your reference s when researching

As you’re doing research for your assignment, be sure to track the references that you’re using. This will save you time when you’re writing your paper and will ensure that you give credit to the sources that you’ve used.

8. Set aside uninterrupted time for assignments

Once you have a schedule, set aside time each day or each week to work on the assignment. During this time, turn off distractions like your phone and social media. This will help you stay focused and make the most of your time.

"Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment you can find, and then take control." - Angela Braly

9. Ask for help if you get stuck

If you’re struggling with the assignment, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your professor, a tutor, or a friend who is doing well in the class. They can offer guidance and support that can help you get back on track.

10. Take breaks when completing assignments

Working on an assignment for long periods of time can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. To avoid this, take breaks throughout the day or week. during your break, do something that you enjoy or that will help you relax.

11. Celebrate your progress

As you complete tasks on your schedule, take a moment to celebrate your progress. This will help you stay motivated and focused. It can be something as simple as taking a break after completing a section or giving yourself a small treat.

12. Proofread your assignments

Once you’ve completed the assignment, take the time to proofread it. This will help you catch any mistakes and make sure that your work is of the best quality.

13. Submit your assignments on time

Make sure to submit your assignment on time. If you’re having trouble with this, talk to your professor or a tutor. They may be able to offer extension or help you get back on track.

14. Relax after completing each assignment

After you’ve submitted the assignment, it’s important to relax. Take some time for yourself and do something that you enjoy. This will help you relax and prepare for the next assignment.

Final words on proven tips for completing assignments

If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to acing any assignment. Do you have any other studying or coursework tips that have worked well for you?

Drop a comment below and let me know. Best of luck in all your future assignments.

Read also: 22 Key Tips To Easily Improve Writing Skills

O’Rourke-Ferrara, Catherine. “Did You Complete All Your Homework Tonight, Dear?” Information Analyses (070) Opinion Papers (120) — Reports Research (143) 1998

Planchard, Matthew S. et al. “Homework, Motivation, and Academic Achievement in a College Genetics Course.”  Bioscene: The Journal Of College Biology Teaching  41 (2015): 11-18.

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How To Write Case Study Assignment – 7 Easy Steps

Students want to know, “how to write case study assignment easily. One of the most important qualities you’ll need in college is the ability to write a case study analysis. When you are given the task of writing a case study report, you may feel overwhelmed because it necessitates critical thinking skills.

You must analyze a business dilemma, explore possible solutions, and suggest the most appropriate approach using supporting data in a case study report. Writing a case study assignment is similar to writing a thesis paper .

When you have to write a case report, there are a few things you can keep in mind. You’re supposed to solve a dilemma that may not be easy.

A case study is a situation in a specific professional sense that students must analyze and react to.

Influenced by basic questions raised about the situation In certain situations, the situation or case study includes a variety of concerns or problems that must be addressed in the workplace.

You can also get Case study assignment help online from our professional experts. They will provide you A+ quality assignment solution at an affordable price.

What is a case study?

Table of Contents

A case study is a detailed examination of a particular individual, group, organization, or event. It is a research method that involves analyzing a specific example in depth and detail to understand its unique characteristics and to draw conclusions about broader phenomena.

Case studies can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods in nature, and they can involve a variety of data collection techniques, such as interviews, surveys, observations, and document analysis.

Case studies are commonly used in academic research, business, and other fields to gain insights into complex phenomena that cannot be fully understood through statistical analyses or experiments. They are often used to illustrate a particular theory or concept, to provide a detailed description of a particular situation or event, or to identify best practices in a particular field or industry.

What are the different types of case studies?

The aim of a case study is to provide comprehensive reports on an incident, an organization, a location, an individual, or much more.

Certain kinds of case studies are typical, but the type of case depends on the subject. The most popular fields for case studies are as follows.

  • Analysis of the illustrative case
  • Case studies from the past
  • Case studies that address a specific issue
  • Case Study for Investigative Purposes
  • Case Study in Context
  • Case Study of a Critical Situation

What is the difference between a research paper And A case study?

Although research papers address a certain issue to the reader, case studies go even deeper. Guidelines on case studies recommend that students pay attention to specifics and examine topics in detail, using various analysis techniques. Case studies often investigate specific events for an individual or a group of individuals and include many narrations.

There are a variety of case study subjects to choose from

The first challenge when writing a case study is deciding on the right case study subjects.

In most cases, students are given the option of choosing their subject.

Instructors allow students to express their understanding of the subject as well as the whole course in this way. If you’re having trouble coming up with case study solutions, start with this list of classic topics:

  • An individual
  • A group of people
  • It’s an occasion
  • Organization

Some Other Case Study Subject

  • What are some of the ways that people are abusing drugs at work?
  • In difficult times, how can workers stay engaged?
  • Images vs. real humans
  • What is the best way to manage your promotional budget?
  • How can social media advertising assist in attracting customers?
  • Is it necessary for a small company to have a website?
  • How should small consumers be considered for higher profits?
  • The lost experience of retirement workers.
  • Social media’s effect on today’s market.

Best Ways To Writing An Answer Of A Case Study Assignment

Before giving steps to answer a case study assignment, check below, quick guidance may seem too simplistic, but most students seem to disregard it, which is a huge mistake.

  • Be realistic about the case study’s objectives
  • Choose an engaging angle for your case study
  • Make Your Case Study Relevant to ALL Potential Clients
  • In your case study, stick to the traditional narrative arc
  • In your case study, use data to illustrate key points
  • portray your company as a supporting character
  • Allow your customers to tell their own stories

How To Write Case Study Assignment – Easy Ways

Let’s know How To Write Case Study Assignment with a step-by-step guide.

How To Write Case Study Assignment – Easy Ways

Step 1:- Take the time to read through the Case Study and the Questions

  • Read the situation and the issues that go with it carefully.
  • Highlight the case’s key points and any problems you can recognize.
  • Describe the case study’s intent.
  • Define your study area.
  • Without going through specifics, summarise the case study’s problems and results.
  • Read the questions carefully and consider what they require of you.
  • Reread the case, this time connecting the details that are important to some of the questions you’ve been asking.

Step 2:- Determine the Case Study’s Problems

Case studies identify a condition in a specific particular area. They also entail a large group of people in a difficult situation.

They will also characterize a scenario that is difficult to contend with, either because of how it is handled or because of its difficulty.

Analyzing the situation and identifying the challenges described in the case that may be troublesome is a vital part of the response.

Step 3:- Connect the dots between theory and application

To sum up the key difficulties. Identify alternatives to the big challenges. Briefly identify and assess the benefits and drawbacks of any possible option.

Determine what was done correctly and what was not using the knowledge of current codes of conduct, hypotheses, and other technical documentation and behaviors.

Step 4:- Make a strategy for responding.

At the end of the day, the score is all that counts. Determine the case study format that is necessary and follow it diligently. It’s a good idea to use the questions you’ve been given as headings and answer each part in turn, so you don’t miss any of the set questions.

Step 5:- Begin composing your answer to the case study

1. write an introduction for a case study assignment.

Your intro must always make it clear to your viewer what subject and method you would use to address it in your assignment.

You must provide the context when writing a case study introduction. Begin by posing a question or using a quote from someone you spoke with.

Not only should you describe the research issue and its importance in your presentation, but you should also explain why it is important.

However, you can also talk about why this case is being written and how it applies to the issue.

2. Paragraphs of the Body

This is where you start talking about the case study. Provide one viable approach to the problem, clarify the rationale for the suggested solution, back it up with evidence, and provide important theoretical principles in addition to the research findings.

You must determine the number of paragraphs needed for each question based on how many you have been given and how much debate is involved in addressing each one.

3. Final Remarks

To summarise, a case study is one of the better ways to understand what happened to an individual, a community, or a circumstance in reality.

It gives you an in-depth look at real-world issues that corporations, healthcare, and criminal justice can face.

This perspective allows one to see those circumstances in a new way.

This is due to the fact that we see scenarios that we would not normally see if we were not there.

Step 6:- Proofread and edit

When you’ve completed writing your case report, you’ll need to proofread and edit it.

Check that you’ve answered all of the questions and that your answers are supported by applicable literature.

Correct some grammatical or spelling errors, as well as punctuation errors.

Keep a close watch on how the thoughts flow and transition.

Step 7:- Submit your work

Can you’re paper show why you would do so if you were an expert in this situation?

Be sure that all of the sources are properly referenced.

Examine the proof and see if it is valid, useful, and trustworthy. Recheck the formatting. If that’s the case, it’s good to go.

case study example

This is a great example of a case study.

case study example

How to cite a case study?

Citing a case study can depend on the citation style you are using. In general, the following information should be included:

  • Author(s) of the case study
  • Title of the case study
  • Title of the book or journal the case study is published in
  • Date of publication
  • Page numbers (if applicable)
  • URL (if the case study is available online)

Here are some examples of how to cite a case study in different citation styles:

Author(s) Last name, First initial. (Year). Title of case study. In Editor(s) First initial. Last name (Ed.), Title of book (pp. page numbers). Publisher.

Smith, J. D. (2015). A case study of marketing strategies for a new product. In K. Jones (Ed.), Marketing in the 21st Century (pp. 50-60). ABC Publishing.

Author(s) Last name, First name. “Title of Case Study.” Title of Book or Journal, edited by Editor(s) First name Last name, Publisher, Year, pp. page numbers.

Jones, Mary. “The Impact of Social Media on Small Business: A Case Study.” Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 30, no. 2, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017, pp. 34-45.

Case study assignment writing service

Many students feel stuck while writing their case study assignments. A case study seems to be very complicated as it includes the study of a particular scenario that holds various perceptions.

Hence, it is tough for them to figure out “how to write a case study assignment.” Well, the answer to that question lies in this article. Still, many students struggle to do the work. In that case, they seek case study assignment help. But many organizations provide case study assignment writing services to needy students.

You need to analyze and examine all the service providers. Students can get help from the best case study assignment writers and get good grades.

Click to Ask Expert 

Writing a case study necessitates a thorough investigation and enough time for analysis. If you’re having trouble writing a good case report, you can next contact an online writing service.’s Cheap Assignment Help expert writers will assist you in finishing your case study project on time and according to your specifications.

What are the 3 methods of the case study?

There are three main types of case studies. These methods are such as; intrinsic, instrumental and collective.

How many pages should a case study be?

The length of a case study typically depends on the purpose of the study and the guidelines provided by the organization or instructor requesting the study. However, a typical case study can range from 2-5 pages for shorter assignments to 10-20 pages for more comprehensive case studies.

Are case studies hard to write?

The difficulty of writing a case study can vary depending on the complexity of the subject matter, the amount of research required, and the skill level of the writer.

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Peer to Peer: Finish Strong with study tips and academic resources

Study Playlist Image

Tips from UW Badger and sophomore Mia McCauley, Student Affairs Intern

It’s the end of the semester, and finals are around the corner. This time of year can be stressful – a reminder there are many resources available to provide you with support to help you successfully finish out 2023 strong. Peer to peer, here are some academic tips and tricks to get you to the finish line:

  • Find a spot and don’t cram. Find a spot to study where you feel comfortable—consider noise level, lighting, and potential distractions. Spread out studying. Don’t try to cram for exams. Repetition is important to retain information. 
  • Create a study schedule. It’s important to stay on track with studying. Make a schedule, chart out what you have to get through, and check things off as you go. It’s important to develop a rhythm around studying and find time to consistently incorporate it into your routine. 
  • Find the right method of study for you. Whether its using Quizlet, forming a study group, or rewriting your notes, there are options to choose from. Try different methods to find what is right, but ultimately, make sure you are doing what is best for you. 
  • Rest and take breaks. Everybody needs to take breaks, and it is okay to recognize when you need to pause while studying. If you can’t focus or you feel you’re struggling to remember something, take a meaningful break. Go for a walk, go somewhere new, or do something new. Spend time with people you care about. Give yourself time to recharge and don’t overwork yourself.
  • Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water . You can’t keep going if you don’t refuel your body. Make sure you drink plenty of water, don’t overdo the caffeine, and give your body healthy food. 
  • Keep moving. Join Self-care Week with Recreation and Wellbeing Dec. 14-21 or get outside, take a walk, and breathe in some fresh air.

Now that you have your study tips, a reminder that you have several academic and study resources available to you during finals, and throughout the year.

  • Dean Olstad is hosting a Study Day break event at College Library on Dec. 14, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Rev up with coffee or hot chocolate to help finish strong.
  • Center for Healthy Minds app — The UW Center for Healthy Minds has a meditation app to help you maintain your mental health. Download it here .
  • Greater University Tutoring Services (GUTS) — GUTS offers finals week support through drop-in tutoring services.  See the full daily drop-in schedule .
  • Library — College Library offers a  variety of quiet and group study spaces and is open every day during regular semester sessions. Many services are available on a walk-in basis, and you can make group study room reservations for a quiet place to study.
  • The Writing Center — Schedule an individual appointment with The Writing Center or visit drop-in hours for help at any stage of those final papers.  In-person or online appointments are available.

We know this time can be stressful. A reminder that you’re not alone and support is available to you. 

  • University Health Services (UHS) has a 24/7 mental health crisis line. If you notice changes in yourself or someone you care about and are concerned, call 608-265-5600 (option 9) for immediate support.
  • The Dean of Students Office connects students who are navigating personal, academic, or health issues to supportive campus and community resources. Call the Dean of Students Office at (608) 263-5700, email [email protected] , or attend a drop-in (virtual or in-person) appointment  week days 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fill out this form to get started. 

The following resources from UHS are available without an appointment and include opportunities to connect with a counselor virtually or in-person.

  • Meet virtually with a counselor through Uwill. — UHS Mental Health Services has partnered with Uwill to offer every UW-Madison student access to free, flexible, virtual counseling. Sign up with your email and get three sessions automatically. Sessions are typically available within 24 hours, including nights and weekends. You can sign up anytime – including over the winter break. 
  • Drop in with a UHS counselor at Let’s Talk. — Let’s Talk is an informal, confidential, one-on-one consultation with a UHS counselor. No topic is off-limits. Let’s Talk sessions are offered virtually and in-person through Dec. 15. No appointment required.

Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself, whatever that means for you. You’re almost to the end. Good luck, Badgers! Feel proud of how far you’ve come. #FinishStrong

How to Write a Case Study Assignment: All-In-One Guide

assignment study tips

But First: What Is a Case Study?

How long should your case study paper be, 5 types of case study assignments, what’s the common case study structure, how is a case study different from a research paper, how to prepare for writing your case study assignment, 7 powerful tips on how to write a case study, how to add a title page & citations to a case study, 3 marketing case study templates to help you out, 3+1 case study examples to inspire you, in conclusion.

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You won’t get through your academic program without at least one case study assignment. That’s because case studies are a powerful tool for gaining a real-world, in-depth understanding of problems – and their solutions.

But as an assignment, they can be confusing and challenging, especially if it’s your first time writing a case study. So, let us share with you everything we know about how to write a case study that’s compelling and fresh – and that’ll get you the top grade.

Before you get to writing a case study, you need to understand what it is to zero in on your goal as the author.

A case study is a piece that examines a particular problem and one or several of its real-world solutions. It can also analyze a certain event, personality, place, or situation in the context of a bigger issue.

And here lies your first piece of advice on how to write a case study assignment. Your goal is to meticulously analyze your case: what problem it tackles, how successful the approach was, etc.

It depends. A case study assignment can be anywhere between 500 and 1,500 words. The precise length depends on how long it needs to be for you to cover every crucial detail of the case and tell your readers the story.

That said, when you get to case study writing, keep in mind these four guidelines:

  • Hook your reader within the first 100 words;
  • Dedicate the bulk of your text to results and benefits or failing;
  • Keep it as concise as you can;
  • Use visuals whenever appropriate.

If you buy assignment , verify that the work you get follows these guidelines, too.

When you’re asked to write a case study, remember to pinpoint which case study type matches your topic the best:

  • Historical case studies examine past events and draw parallels between them and contemporary trends or issues.
  • Cumulative case study writing involves aggregating information about a particular subject.
  • Problem-oriented case studies aim to find the best solution by analyzing existing ones and their results.
  • Illustrative case studies recount a certain event, break down its outcomes, and reach teachable conclusions.
  • Critical case studies involve writing a case study report on the causes and effects of their subject.

To write a case study, follow this standard eight-part structure:

  • Executive summary combines an overview of the field and your thesis statement.
  • The background is the description of your case: its context, course, and key issues.
  • Case evaluation is where you isolate the issues or details you’ll focus on and explain why the solution works – or doesn’t.
  • Proposed solutions describe how to improve what works or fix what doesn’t. It’s often the toughest part, so don’t hesitate to turn to cheap assignment help if it’s your case.
  • The conclusion is a summary of the previous two sections.
  • Recommendations are your substantiated opinion on the best way to tackle the issue.
  • Implementation describes the practicalities of putting your strategies to work.
  • Citations are where you provide all the references.

These two types of assignments, albeit similar, aren’t the same. So, before we dive into how to write a case study essay, let’s list its four differences from a research paper:

  • It’s a more detail-oriented, in-depth look at a particular case;
  • When you write a case study, you should flex your storytelling muscles to craft a compelling essay;
  • A case study is typically shorter than a research paper;
  • It focuses on the practical aspects of approaching a certain problem.

Preparation is a crucial part of how to write a case study. It should include rigorous research, multiple source analysis, and, sometimes, interviewing experts or customers.

Here are five steps you should take during this phase:

  • Pinpoint the goal of your case study assignment;
  • Zero in on the topic, issue, and subject you’ll describe in it;
  • Read up on its background information;
  • Round up all the credible sources you’ll rely on in writing;
  • Identify the multitude of solutions to the central problem.

Now that you know what a case study is and how to prepare for writing one, let’s break down these seven actionable tips that’ll help you in your writing process.

1. Make Your Interviews as Easy as Possible

If you’re writing a case study that examines a real business, campaign, or individual, it may involve one or several interviews. And when you ask a person to sit down with you, you essentially ask them to spend their time on you. So, make it as easy for them as possible:

  • Straighten out all the interview details in advance (when, where, how long);
  • Explain how the case study will be used and where it’ll end up;
  • Offer to hold an interview the way they prefer (over the phone, online, via email).

2. Hook Your Readers with a Snapshot

Like any good story, its beginning should hook the reader, i.e., make them want to read further. But don’t rely on the intrigue too much.

Instead, in the introduction, describe not just the case setup but its results, too. Don’t worry about the intrigue: the journey from point A to point B should still pique the reader’s interest.

3. Find an Unconventional Perspective

Writing a case study is easy. But writing a compelling one is not. To keep your readers hooked on your case study until the last word, you’ll have to flex your creative muscles.

Here are three tips for that:

  • Tell your story as a protagonist-driven narrative;
  • Add a teaser at the beginning to hook your readers;
  • Find your unique angle; don’t settle for a conventional perspective.

“I don’t feel up to the challenge. Can I have someone do my assignment cheap instead?” Of course! Our writers are gurus of finding fresh perspectives, no matter how stale the topic may seem.

4. Make Your Story Relatable

A unique angle shouldn’t render your story too ambiguous or cryptic to your readers. Instead, aim to craft your case study to be relatable to your target audience.

For example, when businesses create their case studies to attract potential customers, they should make sure the reader can identify with the protagonist’s problems. Then, as the business describes how its product solved those problems, it essentially tells the reader, “This product can help you with your problem, too.”

5. Pay Attention to Visual Appeal & Readability

Your case study shouldn’t be just a wall of text (if you can help it). Visuals are more efficient at communicating information.

So, add infographics, charts, tables, and other illustrative visuals whenever possible. They’re easier to comprehend and consume.

Readability is another thing to keep in mind. To make your case study easy to read, make it skimmable by:

  • Adding subheadings and lists;
  • Highlighting important sentences;
  • Keeping the paragraphs and sections as short as possible.

6. Don’t Make the Narrative All About Yourself

Unless you have the experience or background to be at the forefront of a case study, avoid I-statements. Focus on your protagonist and tell the story from their perspective instead. This is key to making it relatable for a particular target audience, too.

Think about it this way. If you’re writing a case study for a company, you’ll want them to come across as a helping hand, not a self-proclaimed hero. So, stay humble and avoid boasting.

7. Let Your Subject Tell the Story

Whenever possible, use that interview material and incorporate interviewees’ quotes directly into your story. This will help your case study come across as more credible – and more relatable, too.

How should you use quotes when you’re writing a case study, exactly? Set up the scene or write the transition – and add the quote. And avoid repetition!

Case Study Title Page

The formatting for your title page and citations will depend on the style you’re required to use. Most likely, it’ll be the APA style. You may sometimes need to follow other style guidelines, like MLA or Chicago.

If you need to follow the APA guidelines, adding a case study title page is obligatory. Here’s what it’ll include (each element should be on a new line):

  • Author’s name;
  • Author’s affiliation;
  • Course number and name;
  • Your instructor’s name;
  • The paper’s due date.

Need an example? Here’s one for a case study assignment:

Greenwashing: Coca-Cola Sustainability Campaign Case Stud Jane B. Doe Harvard Business School, Harvard University MRK101: Introduction to Marketing Prof. John AdamsMay 12, 2022

Case Study Citations

You’ll also need to know how to cite a case study when you write one. The exact rules differ depending on the style, so here are your formulas for APA and MLA styles with examples.

For an APA citation , use this template:

Author’s last name, initials (Publishing year). Title. Source

Doe, J. B. (2020). Apple and Google: an oligopoly case study. Tech Journal, 10, 13.

For an MLA reference , follow this template:

Author’s last name, first name. “Title of source.” Container, publication date, source location

Doe, J. B. “Apple and Google: an oligopoly case study.” Tech Journal 10, 13, 2020, Accessed 4 May. 2022.

Don’t know where to start with your case study? Following a template can be a great way to overcome writer’s block – and save some time in the process.

Here are three resources with case study templates you’ll love:

  • Canva has a whole case study category in its templates. Use them to make your case study presentation visually appealing – and outstanding!
  • Venngage offers dozens of sleek PDF templates for case studies. You just need to create a free account to use them.
  • HubSpot gives away a free pack of three text-only and three designed templates, along with a creation kit.

Need business and marketing how to write a case study examples to give you a push in the right direction? Here are three of them you can learn a great deal from:

  • “The Met” by Fantasy. Focused on a website redesign for The Met, this case study posted on Fantasy’s website shows instead of just telling. The text is concise while the website showcase is put front and center.
  • "In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study" by Switch. Presented in PDF format, this case study reads as an in-depth research paper on marketing. The client’s name is never revealed, but that doesn’t get in the way of storytelling. Switch also included a glossary of terms to make it more readable for non-marketers.
  • “GoFundMe Increases Repeat and Referral Business 180%” by HubSpot. Just like other HubSpot case studies, this one is well-structured and emphasizes figures as evidence. It covers both the client’s problems and how the product solved them in a quote-driven, engaging way.

If you’re looking for more academic case study writing examples or college assignment help, let us share a sample of Greenwashing: Coca-Cola Sustainability Campaign Case Study with you:

The Coca-Cola Company, a global beverage corporation, has been criticized for its plastic production and waste since the 2000s. To improve its public image, the corporation decided to spotlight its sustainability efforts. However, these campaigns only hurt the company’s brand as it was accused of greenwashing (rightfully so).

Coca-Cola pledged to reduce single-use bottles multiple times. In 2017, Greenpeace already criticized the company for failing to achieve its 2015 goal of sourcing 25% of bottle materials from recycled plastic.

The company’s current goal – “using at least 50% recycled material in our packaging by 2030” – can be tracked via Ellen MacArthur Foundation, although the data is self-reported. According to that data, the recycled content accounts for just 11.5% of its packaging material sourcing as of 2020. But it excludes most of the company’s operations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Break Free from Plastic’s annual Brand Audit has named Coca-Cola the number one plastic polluter worldwide five years in a row. The Changing Markets Foundation listed it as a top greenwashing company in 2022, too.

All of this undermines Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign messaging and negatively impacts its branding. So, going forward, a genuine overhaul of its operations toward more sustainable ones – and transparent and full reporting on it – are a must for the company.

A case study is a great way to gain fresh, practical insights into a certain problem or event. When done right, it’s also a more compelling and engaging piece than other research papers.

However, that’s exactly what makes case studies so research-demanding and time-consuming. But if you’re not up to the challenge or lack the time required to do an A-worthy job, don’t worry. You can always turn to assignment help online like ours for help!

Any tips on how to start a case study?

Can you give some advice on how to write introduction for case study, where can i find some examples of well-written case studies, what if i don’t know where to start with my case study assignment, do you have any tips on how to present a case study, what is case study research.

assignment study tips

What is random assignment in psychology?

Take a deep dive into the essence of random assignment in psychology. Learn how it levels the playing field for effective and reliable research.

Reflective Essay Examples

Reflective Essay Examples: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing With Examples and Tips

Examining examples of reflective essays can provide valuable guidance on completing a reflective essay writing task. Take a look at various samples of reflective essays to enhance your understanding.

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Library Connect

Supporting your study: Group work

  • by The Library
  • posted December 12, 2023

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Unsplash: Brooke Cagle

Are you doing a group assignment or presentation this trimester? Not only is group work a great way to get to know your fellow students and gain different perspectives on a topic, but it also helps you to develop the skills needed for team environments in the workplace.   

Group work can present some challenges; however The Study Skills Handbook has some tips to help you work together effectively, including:  

  • Set ground rules such as requiring attendance at meetings, fair contributions and respectful behaviour.  
  • Create a schedule as a group and complete tasks allocated within the set timeframe.  
  • Communicate via the chosen method for your group – for example, face to face, email, online meetings or group discussion forums. If you need a space to meet as a group you can book a study space in the Library.  
  • Make decisions as a group and keep a record of decisions.  
  • Practice good listening skills and ensure each member participates in group discussions.  
  • Give and receive feedback and constructive criticism.  
  • Learn how to manage conflict so that the group can move on from problems.  

Check out Work in groups for more information or contact the library for help.   

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  • Published: 13 December 2023

Dynamic behaviour restructuring mediates dopamine-dependent credit assignment

  • Jonathan C. Y. Tang 1 , 2 , 3 ,
  • Vitor Paixao 4 , 5 ,
  • Filipe Carvalho 4 , 6 ,
  • Artur Silva 4 ,
  • Andreas Klaus 4 ,
  • Joaquim Alves da Silva 4 , 7 , 8 &
  • Rui M. Costa   ORCID: 1 , 9 , 10  

Nature ( 2023 ) Cite this article

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We are providing an unedited version of this manuscript to give early access to its findings. Before final publication, the manuscript will undergo further editing. Please note there may be errors present which affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

  • Operant learning

Animals exhibit a diverse behavioral repertoire when exploring new environments and can learn which actions or action sequences produce positive outcomes. Dopamine release upon encountering reward is critical for reinforcing reward-producing actions 1–3 . However, it has been challenging to understand how credit is assigned to the exact action that produced dopamine release during continuous behavior. We investigated this problem with a novel self-stimulation paradigm in which specific spontaneous movements triggered optogenetic stimulation of dopaminergic neurons. Dopamine self-stimulation rapidly and dynamically changes the structure of the entire behavioral repertoire. Initial stimulations reinforced not only the stimulation-producing target action, but also actions similar to target and actions that occurred a few seconds before stimulation. Repeated pairings led to gradual refinement of the behavioral repertoire to home in on the target. Reinforcement of action sequences revealed further temporal dependencies of refinement. Action pairs spontaneously separated by long time intervals promoted a stepwise credit assignment, with early refinement of actions most proximal to stimulation and subsequent refinement of more distal actions. Thus, a retrospective reinforcement mechanism promotes not only reinforcement, but gradual refinement of the entire behavioral repertoire to assign credit to specific actions and action sequences that lead to dopamine release.

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Authors and affiliations.

Department of Neuroscience, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Jonathan C. Y. Tang & Rui M. Costa

Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle, WA, USA

Jonathan C. Y. Tang

University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Seattle, WA, USA

Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Research, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Vitor Paixao, Filipe Carvalho, Artur Silva, Andreas Klaus & Joaquim Alves da Silva

Kinetikos, Coimbra, Portugal

Vitor Paixao

Open Ephys Production Site, Lisbon, Portugal

Filipe Carvalho

Champalimaud Experimental Clinical Research Programme, Champalimaud Research, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Joaquim Alves da Silva

NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA de Lisba, Lisbon, Portugal

Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Collaborative Research Network, Chevy Chase, MD, USA

Rui M. Costa

Allen Institute, Seattle, WA, USA

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rui M. Costa .

Supplementary information

Supplementary methods.

This file contains methods pertaining to the article.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary notes.

This file contains notes of relevance to the article.

Supplementary Table

Statistical summary of results in the article.

Supplementary Video 1

Example of an action cluster performed on 10 instances in a grey open field box, before closed loop reinforcement. Slowed down 3x.

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Cite this article.

Tang, J.C.Y., Paixao, V., Carvalho, F. et al. Dynamic behaviour restructuring mediates dopamine-dependent credit assignment. Nature (2023).

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Received : 16 September 2022

Accepted : 06 December 2023

Published : 13 December 2023


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