Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Study Session

As university students, we all have had some type of studying routine we got going from high school. But now we have more course content to master on top of our responsibilities, while trying to enjoy our new-found freedom.

Depending on your professors, many will not have the capacity to check-in on you, whether or not you’ve done your assignments. If you’re in first year, or if you’re still trying to figure out how to have an effective study session, we got you covered.

Here are 5 tips to set yourself up for success when studying:

1. Plan and Set Goals

At the beginning of the semester, you’ll get a syllabus for each of your courses with specific dates and deadlines. Put all of those dates on a monthly calendar so you can have a quick overview of what you need to get done, and you won’t be a deer in headlights when the deadline rolls along.

Each week, make a study plan, set what you want to specifically accomplish for each day of the week, and schedule your study times on a weekly calendar. That way, you can mentally prepare yourself, and help make studying a routine.

2. Find Where You Thrive

Each of us learn best in environments that suit our personality and focus level. Some might do better in a very quiet environment, with no interruptions, while others like to have some background noises. If you’re unsure where you thrive best, try out different locations until you find some favourite study spots.

3. Eliminate Distractions and Take Breaks


In the age of social media, this could be especially challenging. But it’s important to stay focused and not multi-task when studying. One way to do this is by studying and staying focused for a certain amount of time and then taking a short movement break before you study again. For example, you can work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break, before repeating another cycle. This is called the Pomodoro Technique. Make sure to put your phone on silent and tuck in your bag or put in a different room.

4. Take Care of Yourself

This is easier said than done but it’s crucial for our brains to be fueled with nutritious foods, be well-rested, and be hydrated in order to function optimally. Eating healthy snacks throughout the day can help keep your energy level up and fuel your study session. When you get enough sleep, your brain is able to process and retain more information. Finally, drinking water throughout the day can help improve your brain function.

Staying physically active has also been shown to increase one’s academic performance because it improves the oxygen flow to the brain and improves cognitive performance. To add a cherry on top, it also helps relieve our stress and increase our self-esteem.

5. Try Different Study Techniques

There are many different studying techniques to help you make the most out of your study session. Techniques such as re-reading and excessive highlighting of notes/textbooks have been shown to be less effective, not to mention, time-consuming. Effective studying could look different for everyone, but it will be beneficial if you could figure out the best way for you to retain information early on.


Throughout the process of learning how to study, make sure to be patient and be kind to yourself and make use of the free resources on campus such as the Student Toolkits and academic and learning resources.  Once you figure out how you study best, your university experience will be so much more rewarding and fun!