Technology and easy access to resources have made studying from anywhere a breeze but choosing a space to bunker down at can be subjective. So, think carefully about the variables involved when considering the library, café a friend’s house or your room. The right space can make all the difference.
How does your environment affect your studying?
Learning environments play a crucial role and different factors can affect learner’s learning ability. Things like seating, light, sounds and even colour have an impact on the way we study, how much we remember and how efficient we are. Positive environments help learners stay engaged, motivated and give learners an overall higher learning ability. So, when it comes to different environments think of the variables and whether or not they work for you.
The best and worst places to study?
What works for some may not work for others and while some learners thrive in a busy café other require the quiet of a library or the comforts of home. Make sure that the spots you settle on are conducive to your method of learning, allow you to concentrate, and are free of distractions.
Collaborative learning: you’ll settle for spots like libraries, study groups or revision groups. While effective, be strict when it comes to organising your time and get don’t beat around the bush – it can become easy to lo lose focus if you’re not intentional, especially when you’re a group of friends.
Independent: If you prefer making the most of your own study time, spaces that are comfortable and designed for you are more your speed.
Places to avoid:
- Spots that are known and associated with socializing always tend to make students work harder than they need to because they’re so focussed on trying to stay focussed.
- Your bed (or the couch) are spots that your brain associates with relaxation and can make it incredibly difficult for you to get into the groove of studying.
Benefits of studying at home
Benefit 1: Your space
Being in your space, surrounded by familiar things and being able to set up your routine can be both freeing and comforting at the same time. A more relaxed environment decreases stress levels which means you absorb information more effectively.
Benefit 2: Everything you need
Along with comforts, home can come with everything you need; food, pens, papers (thanks mom) and when you have everything at your disposal you spend less time scrambling to find ods and ends and more time behind books.
Benefit 3: You can be you
The solitude of your room allows you to read aloud, repeat the material constantly, and listen to the music you want to listen to. Plus, you avoid hearing someone’s music escape through their headphones altogether. Your space gives you the freedom to absorb information your way.
Benefit 4: On your own time
Regardless of the various tell tales that highlight which times are the best for studying, you can implement what your best study time is when you’re in your own space. Unlike a library with closing hours, your home is open any time of day. So being an early bird or night owl can work whenever you want.
Benefit 5: Productive
Your study breaks can be productive, two birds with one stone as they say. You can complete a few house chores and task an exercise circuit or tick something off of your own to-do list. Sure, going for a run mid-library session is doable, but that might mean getting back to the books in sweaty gym attire – when you’re home you can at least freshen up!
Being in your own space and having your own time may require some structure or help and learning and revision platforms can be a great way to help learners stay the course.
Paper Video is an online revision platform that focusses on helping grade 8 to 12 learners improve their Maths, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Accounting. Learners can access past exam papers and work through the different subject with step-by-step video guides.
Stay focussed while studying at home
Now we’ve managed to build a strong case for studying at home, or at least we’d like to think we did, and while it seems convenient, the home comes with its own set of challenges. Procrastination, distraction, lack of organisation and sharing the space with family members – things can get pretty loud and in your face. So here are a few things to bear in mind when choosing your home as your study safe haven.
Tip 1: Remove distractions
Homey comforts bring distractions like television, iPads and cell phones. Avoid devices at all cost and find a designated study spot that puts you out of harm’s way. If you know family members are going to be up and about, avoid common areas like the lounge or open dining room areas.
Tip 2: Dedicate a space to study in
Our brains need structure and a designates study space works as a notice board for your brain that says “hey, we’re sitting down in this spot, which means it must be time to study.” It’s not a good idea to work in your bed or sofa, spots where your body is known to tune out. Check out how you can set up your study space here: Tips for your at home study space.
Tip 3: A change of pace
Create breaks in your routine and make things interesting for yourself. Go for a run, take a break and play a memory game or get a few chores out of the way. If you give your brain a break it will reward you by working more efficiently.
Tip 4: Manage your time
Set a timetable for yourself, block out your time and set timers if you have to. Studying at home takes self-discipline and you need to keep yourself accountable. Set reasonable limits for how much time you spend studying each day and break your session up so you can manage them accordingly.
Tip 5: Stay organised
While your personality may thrive with organised chaos, the fact of the matter is your brain can’t. Always organise your learning material and subject. This will not only limit frustration when you get started but cut your time of trying to get all your ducks in a row in half.
Wherever your base, make sure you have the right material and help to get you through your work. More often than not, a little revision can help you come a long way.
Sign up for a Paper Video and access thousands of past exam papers, video lessons and expert teachers wherever you study from, whenever. Visit www.papervidoe.co.za or contact us on 061 357 2304 for more information on how to get started.