A lot of people believe that studying harder is the key to get good grades. They may spend time reading books for hours, studying until morning, or even sleeping in the library just to get good results.

However, in reality, studying hard doesn't necessarily bring you maximum results — studying smart does. When you study hard, it's very common to lose track of time, but studying smart makes you more productive; it encourages you to be efficient by setting certain targets.

As a student, the motto "study smarter, not harder" is really something you should stick to.. Still and all, you can't start empty-handed; smart learning requires well-executed planning as well.

So what should you do? Here are 4 tips to study smarter not harder!

1. Understand your study cycle

A learning desk consists of a book, tablet, books, and a laptop.
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Understanding your study cycle is important to help you become a more efficient learner. After all, you won't want to spend a lot of time doing something that is not helping you learn.

According to The Study Cycle by Frank Christ, there are five different parts of studying: previewing, attending class, reviewing, studying, and checking your understanding.

First off, you need to take a look at what you’ll be covered before you go to class. Don’t forget to identify headings, subheadings, bolded words, chapter objectives, summaries, and questions you wish to be answered in class.

After that, you obviously should attend the class. In this case, attend means paying attention, participating, asking questions, and taking good notes. Then, within 24 hours, review your class notes and fill in any gaps.

Once you've reviewed it, time for you to start studying! Our tip is to spare three to five short study sessions per day to make them effective. After you've done all the parts, only then you should ask yourself whether you understand the material well enough.

If you think that you haven't understood it, you know the answer — yes, you might want to try studying again to have better comprehension.

2. Stay positive

Two hands on a desk while highlighting a material.
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Believe it or not, there's a correlation between emotions and our ability to learn. Based on research about brain-mapping, when we are bored, stressed, or fearful, our ability to take in information is compromised.

So basically, the clue is to maintain your positive mindset and emotion. For this one, you can start small by being enthusiastic about your subjects; remember to keep telling positive affirmations to keep yourself motivated.

Alternatively, you can also give yourself simple treats that satisfy you; listening to good music, eating your favorite food, or buy new stationery can be some of the many other things you can try.

3. Find your comfort zone

A learning desk consists of a laptop and books.
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People say you need to go out of your comfort zones but in this particular case, we don't think so. To have effective, satisfactory studying, finding a comfortable location is crucial.

However, before deciding on your 'comfort zone', try to know your learning styles, methods, and study preferences first.

Remember — you have control over where you choose to study. Wherever you live and wherever you tend to study, try to create the best study space out of your environment. Still, don't be too comfortable! You can dress up before opening a book to give your mind another signal that it's time to study.

Also, remind yourself to do frequent evaluations to determine whether your study sessions are productive or not.

4. Quality over quantity

A woman choosing a book in a library.
Photo by Eliabe Costa (Unsplash)

According to one research, our brains are designed to work on tasks serially — not in parallel. This means that multitasking is actually not our thing; we are only good at focusing on one thing at a time. Therefore, whatever your situation is, choosing quality over quantity is the best way.

Quality studies are gathering less information, but getting enough time to analyze; meanwhile, quantity study is what we gather information to memorize in bulk.

By focusing on quality, you will naturally learn the content and grasp the whole idea better. It's actually much better than forcing yourself to learn many things at once. To practice, try having shorter and intensive study times!

In a nutshell, studying also needs a well-planned strategy to help you acquire a successful outcome. When you're at it, make sure to stay sane and avoid burnout; it's the last thing you ever want to experience, right?

From what we see, smart studying also becomes more manageable if you have the right tools in your hand. Assemblr EDU can be a solution to make your learning activities more fun & interactive — powered with AR experiences!

In Assemblr EDU, we believe that everyone can transform education to be more fun and interactive, using augmented reality technology. Interested to unveil more possibilities for your learning activities? Download Assemblr EDU now, available in App Store and Play Store!