An efficient study is one of the most difficult concepts to master. There are so many areas in which you need to improve, and it is hard to realize where you can actually cut down on your efforts without giving up on performing well.

The following guide will help you learn how to become an efficient student who doesn’t just get by with lower grades than he/she could achieve!

Why do people struggle with efficiency?

If you’ve ever wondered why some students seem to breeze through their studies while others feel like they’re swimming upstream, this might be because of different mindsets. Some people think that studying has simply not yet clicked them; they hope that if they force themselves to read more books, attend additional lectures or stay up late, they will get it “eventually”. However, the latter approach is counterproductive.

Studying should not be a form of punishment or something you force yourself to do because you think that’s what everyone else does – instead, it should be something you want to do! If you have any negative associations with studying, try to change your mindset around this activity. One way could be imagining yourself in ten years when you’ve finished school and are applying for jobs; would you rather fail at getting job promotions because of low grades? Or would you rather enjoy the success that comes with having good qualifications?

This idea can even work if all your colleagues are studying while you’re not – just imagine yourself in ten years when your friends are working and you have a degree! This should boost your confidence and give you the motivation boost to finally start studying.

How can I improve my study efficiency?

Once you’ve clarified why you want to become efficient at studying, let’s get started with how to do it! It is important that we approach this topic from a different angle than “study more” – there’s no use in having twice as much time if wasting it would only result in the same grades anyway. The following 8 steps will help any student achieve higher grades without working double or triple their normal amount of time:

1. Prioritize

One of the most important aspects of studying efficiently is having clear priorities. If you don’t prioritize your work, it will be much harder to balance your studies and what you actually want to do in life – either because you might spend all your free time studying or because working hard on a specific task means you can’t go out with friends anymore.

You need to make a list of what needs to get done first and which tasks can wait until later. Personally, I find Excel spreadsheets quite useful for organizing my time as they allow me to plan ahead without losing track of upcoming deadlines.

2. Create a study schedule

There’s nothing worse than not knowing how long an assignment should take you. This uncertainty can lead to spending too much time on a task and consequently feeling overwhelmed when only half of it is completed – or even worse, handing in something that isn’t good enough because you ran out of time! Create a study schedule that includes set times for different tasks and review regularly whether you’re actually sticking with this schedule.

3. Effectively plan your free time

It’s important to have some downtime between periods spent studying, where you get the chance to recover from working hard and enjoy life! You probably won’t get straight As if you don’t manage your free time properly – which means not only getting enough sleep but also doing things you enjoy. Try to incorporate at least one hobby into every day, as this will help you relax and be happier.

4. Plan your study environment

The best book in the world cannot turn a bad or wrong study environment into a good one! If you have any control over it, make sure to not study in places where there are likely to be distractions such as the dining room table (where all kinds of stuff are thrown around) or under bright lights – these tend to make our brains less efficient at processing information.

5. Make your own notes

Even if this takes more time than simply reading through PowerPoint presentations and taking detailed notes, it will save time later on by allowing you to review everything that happened during lectures and quickly refresh your memory before tests etc. Always try to summarize what you learn in your own words so that it will be easier for you to remember the concept.

6. Learn how to take notes during lectures

You might feel unproductive if you don’t write down every single thing the lecturer says, but usually, they only expect students to recall information from memory. This means that it doesn’t matter too much whether or not your notes are detailed – as long as you can synthesize all facts into a comprehensive picture later on. For extracurricular activities look for courses where there is less focus on getting detailed notes and more emphasis on learning through discussion instead!

7. Identify concepts you find hard to understand

Don’t waste time trying to memorize something that you don’t grasp in the first place! There are many different reasons why students fail to understand concepts in the beginning – it might be hard for you to relate what’s happening (or has happened) in class with real-world scenarios, or perhaps not all your classmates fully understood either. Talk to your friends and teachers after lectures if you think this might apply to you, as they will likely help resolve the issue much faster than studying alone.

8. Find someone who can explain well

If possible, try finding a friend who is good at explaining topics to others – this way when studying together, he/she will be able to give you more detailed explanations than what you would get from just watching YouTube videos. This will help you understand more easily, so that when it comes to test time there are fewer surprises about what will be asked of you!

Good luck with your studies!