How to study

Listen to the school assembly about how to study and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.


Do this exercise before you listen.

Remote audio URL


Good morning. Today I’m going to talk about how to study. Now you probably think you know all about that, right? You’ve been studying for years. And I expect some of you are fantastic at studying, really organised and good at concentrating. But there’s always room for improvement, and your exams aren’t far away, so these tips are for all of you.

Right, so, what’s the best way to study? Well, first of all, it’s a good idea to have some kind of plan or timetable. This could be for the week or a longer revision timetable for an exam, from one month to six months. Yes, if you’re studying for an important exam it’s important to think long term. Draw up a timetable, but revise it often. If it’s not going to plan, you may have to rethink it.

Next, think about your environment. Make sure the place where you are going to study is comfortable with enough light, air, etc. Not too hot, not too cold. Make sure there are no distracting noises around, such as television. If you think you concentrate better listening to music, experiment and see if it’s really true. Some people really do seem to work better with music in the background, especially classical music, but for many people it spoils their concentration. However, if you have to work near a TV, you might have to use headphones to play music to drown out the sound of the TV. In this case, find out what kind of music works best for you, maybe something without words. By the way, you might think you work fine with the TV on, but, again, experiment. You might be surprised at how much better you work away from a TV. Oh, and the other thing is the internet, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Forget about all of that while you’re studying. No, really, you can ignore it for an hour or so; it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t reply to a message immediately.

Right, planning breaks. Plan your study periods in chunks with regular breaks. Many people recommend half an hour of concentrated study, then a ten-minute break. But you can adjust this to suit you. If you study for too long at a stretch your mind will work less effectively, so be careful. In your short break, you can give yourself a treat, such as a cup of green tea. I wouldn’t advise a chocolate bar as a treat – a sugar rush is not great for concentration.

OK, so next let’s think about what you do when you’re studying. Some people just read through their notes or textbooks and underline in pencil or highlight important bits. If this works for you, fine, but I’d suggest that it’s better to write notes of some kind, so your mind is processing the information more. This way you are also producing material which will be useful for last-minute revision. I don’t recommend very last-minute revision, by the way, but we’ll come back to that later.

Have a look at these examples of student notes. Which do you think are best? The first person has written important phrases at random, the next has a table with clear headings and boxes with notes, the next has summaries, and the last one has mind maps: you’ve got the main topic in the circle, then lines coming off the circle attached to subcategories, then more lines to further details. Mind maps are great for showing the connections between different bits of information. They seem to work in the same way the brain works. So what do you think? To me, the first one wouldn’t be very useful to come back to and use in the future. But the others are all fine – it depends on your personal preference. Mine is for mind maps. I would suggest using colours, though, and even little drawings. They can make things much more memorable.

Obviously, when you are studying, the first thing to think about is whether you understand the information, and the second thing is how you are going to remember it. Let’s look at some more ways of making information more memorable …


Are you good at studying? What do you do to help you concentrate?

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Submitted by pomelo on Fri, 03/31/2023 - 15:12

I'm not good at studying but if you study, you need a quiet and relaxing space

Submitted by GBGBGBGB on Thu, 08/25/2022 - 15:04

In my opinion yes, I’m good at studying… I write this not to makes me envy but for explain my method to other users: one thing that help me to concentrate is to study in a totally silent place watching a screen with different images in front of me (I don’t like to study in front of a white wall). Another thing that help me to study is my cat, because I repeat and explain her everything I study, and this makes me more involved in the topic. In the end, doing many break when I study makes me more active in study.

Submitted by 0english on Wed, 06/01/2022 - 08:24

We should definitely keep the phone away while working.

Submitted by NurHaliza2006 on Tue, 11/23/2021 - 02:12

In the way i see, I quite bad at studying. Because I somtimes sufing the internet while studying, last a break for 30 minutes. It not a good habit , it will affected my knowleged
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Submitted by Manfred on Tue, 09/14/2021 - 18:07

It is a good way to read without any disturb if we use headphones. Writing notes takes much time so we must take the key things.

Submitted by lPoehl on Fri, 09/10/2021 - 06:09

Sometimes, to be honest just when its really necessary.. If not, i usually put my attention to other non important things I used to like listening to music while studying, mainly Classical Music, but now i rather do it with the less sounds there can be. I also put my phone away from the desk so i dont lose my attention to what im doing. Very Helpful C:

Submitted by DaniCaprio on Wed, 09/08/2021 - 14:11

That sound like a really good way to study. I like a lot the british accent.

Submitted by oO0A0Oo on Wed, 09/08/2021 - 04:16

The audio really helped me, I usually study with music and checking social media pretty often, I think that is distracting me. The next time, I'm going to apply the advices that the teacher gave to the students

Submitted by Charlycharly on Wed, 09/08/2021 - 01:39

I liked the exercise, the facts the teacher in the audio said make so much sense and i usually apply them when i study, i liked the british accent too, it gives the language an ancient sound

Submitted by RuSSEL_GG on Tue, 09/07/2021 - 19:34

I think this audio is very interesting because it explains and gives some ideas for concentrated and studying for an examen or when we need to understand something. Also it explains how could we take breaks while studying.

Submitted by CristianLopez on Tue, 09/07/2021 - 18:48

i love the accent they have, it will help me recognize different kinds of accents around the globe, and i also liked the topic, now i know how to study, i love it!

Submitted by strawberry123_ on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 09:38

I think I am good at studying. I can`t concentrate when it`s noisy, so I usually study without TV and music. I am trying to make breaks, but I always have so much homework, that it`s really difficult to do breaks, especially, every 30 minutes((

Submitted by Vuquan on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 03:09

Ok I learn how to study at this lesson.
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Submitted by Elpro202 on Thu, 08/05/2021 - 00:10

Yes, I think so. The most important thing to me is to organise the day. If you have no idea of what are you gonna do, you'll do nothing. I use planners to do that and they are wonderful. To concentrate you must put your effort to avoid distractions. Please, don't fall into temptations. That's all I can write, see you!

Submitted by huongvu on Fri, 06/25/2021 - 14:54

Honestly, studying never makes it dificult for me if I do it in my favorite studying space. I'm quite good at almost any subject at school. I prefer studying alone by myself in a quite space. That place needs to have enough light especially natural light, and fresh air if it's day time. I would get drowsy in a short time if I have to learn in a closed space with only electric light and no nature-connections. Besides, I prefer speaking out loud bits of information to just reading them in my head. I also set small breaks between 45-60-minute study periods so that my brain can get some rest and re-energized. During breaks, I often stretch my arms and my legs, go out for a short walk and listen to some good music, etc.

Submitted by huongvu on Fri, 06/25/2021 - 11:01

Well, not really. Sometimes, I forget what I have just read immediately. But there are also many things that have great impressions on me and make me remember them for a long time. When I'm studying, I often read the piece of information aloud to learn them by heart. I try to understand the concepts to really get the gist of it. Besides, I also write down key words and sum up the information on a piece of paper. Sometimes, if I like, I draw mind maps with key topics and then key concepts and main details. That also helps.

Submitted by ellie17 on Tue, 03/16/2021 - 19:35

I wasn't good at studying before this year and i'm still not as good as i hope to be,but i'm better than i was so i kinda proud of myself hehe:)I'm that kind of person,who find difficult to concentrate so to stay concentrate i use my earphones and listen to music.
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Submitted by Kostantinus on Thu, 02/25/2021 - 08:59

I can't say exaclty, but I hope, I am good at studying. I have study timetable for everyday. I wake up around 7 o'clock in the morning, do some gymnastics, wash my face, brush my teeth, have light breakfast and start studying. I've devided my studying for periods of time each one is 40 minutes with 10 minutes break. I take breaks regularly, no matter whether I am tired of no. It helps me to recover my concentration and it gives my brain relaxation for to be able to study for next hard working 40 minutes . Sometimes during my break I do some exercises or drink a cup of water. By the way, you can use your break time to tidy up your room. You should follow your schedule everyday and I am sure, you will notice the progress. Good luck to you!)

Submitted by Moony on Sat, 12/19/2020 - 18:10

Lucky I'm very good at the time of studying. Everyday I make some exercises, I usually listen rain sound while I study, every twenty minutes I take a break of ten minutes, I watch videos about the topic, I take some practice tests, study a little every day even if you don’t have exams and relax.

Submitted by jxyc on Tue, 04/21/2020 - 08:19

I usually make summaries and highlight the keywords. I get really distracted by loud noises and the internet, text messages, Facebook, etc. That's why I need to study in a quiet room, this helps me to be focused on my studies. And also I take regular breaks when I study. I think it's very important.

Submitted by user1 on Mon, 04/20/2020 - 08:38

I regularly make summary's and I often highlight the key words in my summary. Using different colors helps me studying.

Submitted by dashadereko on Sat, 02/29/2020 - 09:06

As for me using mind maps for studying is really effective because you can easy understand and remember information.

Submitted by Lozovatka on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 08:57

The planning is important but the way of memorization is a key elemant in studying.

Submitted by glonkdwart on Sat, 05/11/2019 - 17:59

i think the most important topic discussed here is about the significance of making a proper timetable. I actually understood its actual importance when i didn't make any. But at the end of the day, its 'studying' we are talking about and none can help us except us. I hope studying becomes more fun to us in the upcoming years.

Submitted by Octopider on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 13:33

It is a good way to read without any disturb if we use headphones. Writing notes takes much time so we must take the key things. But the important thing is to make the 'TIMETABLE'.

Submitted by Megazon on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 13:14

The following methods are really helpful for me.It can improve my skills of overall learning.My remembering skill is not quite good.The above methods can help me to overcome it.

Submitted by Arivil on Sun, 05/05/2019 - 13:13

I really found that musical tip quite fascinating . I think I will try it next time I head into study. But I doubt my taste in classical . Again, as she said EXPERIMENT!!!

Submitted by Iamgoodthanks on Sun, 03/31/2019 - 17:21

Hello everyone! I wonder if some of you have some good tips to learn English? I’m am so bad on it and must learn it before I have my examen. Please can someone help me.

Submitted by Askar100 on Sat, 02/16/2019 - 15:16

Great tips for studying! But this topic somehow similar to the topic in Intermediate section! Speakers are different and Upper section has more information about how to study! When I listened this, I also remembered Pomodoro Technics from Intermediate section! In general, excellent audio material!

Submitted by daniel91815 on Tue, 03/20/2018 - 13:00

i'm good at studying, but few years ago i wasn't very good at studying because i always wanted to play videogames or go out with friends. But when i was 15 years a video changed my mind and it helps me about the importance of studying and how to study, take a good notes at college or school. sometimes it really hurts me when i've got to study i don't why. But i try to fix it
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