Watch the video and use the subtitles and the transcript to help you understand.
Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another video for the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel.
Now, in today’s video I wanted us to discuss revision and studying generally. How do you study effectively?
So, for those of you who don’t know, I am currently at university, and exams are just around the corner. So, this is something that is very, very important to me right now and it’s something I hope will be useful for all of you, no matter what level of education you’re in, formal or informal. So, I wanted to share some of my tips that have really helped me to get through this rough period.
So, the first thing that has helped me immensely this year is writing down my daily goals. Now, the way I do this is by writing my five study-related goals for the day on my whiteboard. I think it’s important to limit it to a maximum of five because there are only so many hours in the day and if you write too much, you might get overwhelmed.
I personally like using a whiteboard because I like the satisfaction of just rubbing out my goal once I’ve achieved it, but you can easily do this with a jotter, with a diary, a planner or even on a scrap piece of paper. I think it’s important, though, to be able to visualise your goals, so you know what you’re doing and to make sure that you’re on track.
My second tip would be to work out whether you’re more productive in the morning or in the evening, or even night-time. So, for me, I am a morning person and I tend to work really well between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Any time after 5 p.m., my brain kind of shuts off. So, once you’ve figured out what period of day or night you work more productively, you want to figure out a cycle that works for you. So, what I mean by cycle is how often you study and how many breaks you take within that big chunk of time. So, for me, I work in one-hour cycles, and what that usually entails is forty-five to fifty minutes studying and then a ten- to fifteen-minute break, and I think it’s important to not work continuously throughout that big chunk of time because if you work without breaks, your brain is less likely to absorb the information that you’re learning and it won’t be as effective and you’ll get tired a lot quicker.
I actually recently went to a workshop that talked about how to deal with stress and anxiety, especially related to exams. And one of the things that we talked about in that workshop was what to do when you have a study break. Now, I’m guilty of this … that when I have my ten-minute study break I tend to go on Facebook. But actually it’s better if you stay away from social media because your brain has just processed all this information you’re studying, and then it will be trying to process even more information, more images, if you go on social media platforms. And studies actually show that it takes twenty minutes more to get back into studying if you are on social media during those breaks. So, why don’t you go for a walk instead and get some fresh air?
So, that brings me onto my next tip: staying active and getting lots of fresh air. I know that when we’re stressed about exams, it’s pretty easy to side-track being active and doing sports, but it’s really important. Another study that I actually recently read said that if you are active for at least an hour a day, your concentration levels increase a lot, so actually you’ll be more productive because you’re mentally and physically exercising yourself.
Good morning, guys! It’s early in Scotland and I’ve decided to wake up before starting my day of studying and to go for a run, hence I’m a bit out of breath. But I just wanted to show the view, because I’ve run to the beach and it is so beautiful. As well as being energised for the day, it’s a really nice way to start the day when there’s just a beautiful sunrise.
So, my final tip is food, because obviously food is important. But it’s especially important when we’re studying. I don’t think we realise how much energy we burn when we’re studying, because mental tasks actually take up a lot of glucose. But, you don’t need to worry about the science behind it. What’s important to know is that you need to have foods or small snacks that help to keep your energy levels up. So, I find that nuts are a great snacking snack, if you’re not allergic to them of course, but alternatives can be dried fruit, fresh fruit, even vegetables. I love snacking on carrots and celery, you know, some hummus … Smoothies and juices are another good snack, and on that note, of course, make sure you’re drinking lots of water and you’re staying hydrated, because that’s just good for your overall health anyway.
So, guys, I hope this video has been useful. Please comment below. Leave your tips that help you to be effective and efficient when studying and hopefully you can help someone else out. I hope you’re having a lovely day and good luck if you have any exams coming up … and I’ll see you guys in the next one. Bye!
Worksheets and downloads
Which of Sophia's study tips did you find the most useful?