When should you study? If you do a quick search online, you’ll find all kinds of advice about the best times to study. Late night sessions are best. Getting up at 4 a.m. to study works well. With all the contradictory advice, it can be hard to know when you should hit the books. These simple dos and don’ts can help you choose a time for study sessions without overcomplicating things.
- Do study at the same time each day: Setting aside a certain portion of each day for your studying will help you establish a consistent routine and good study habits.
- Do begin studying at your scheduled time: If your study session begins at 7 p.m., make sure that you are seated at your desk with your books open at that time. Avoid procrastinating for “a few minutes” because you are busy with something else like watching television or chatting with friends. This is a bad habit that can quickly lead to you missing entire study sessions for days on end.
- Do give yourself a break between classes and study sessions: In general, it’s best to give yourself a little time between classes and study sessions. After sitting through hours of lectures, you probably won’t be in the mood to start studying again right away so it is usually a good idea to take a couple of hours to unwind.
- Do study at the time you learn best: Don’t worry about what the experts say. You know when you can concentrate and learn best so schedule your study sessions accordingly.
- Don’t study right before bed: Studying immediately before bed is usually not advised. When you’re in sleep mode, it’s harder to concentrate on the material in front of you.
- Don’t study when you are tired or hungry: Ideally, you should be well-rested and alert during study sessions, which means that you should choose a time of day when you feel aware and awake. Hunger can be a distraction so make sure that you study after you’ve eaten, and always have some healthy snacks on hand to keep hunger at bay.