If you cannot dedicate yourself exclusively to your studies or were caught off guard by a notice and the preparation time will be short, know that it is possible to reconcile a tight schedule with quality study. And that just depends on how we dedicate ourselves to learning moments.
There is no point in putting together a robust schedule, with many hours of readings, exercises, summaries and reviews if they are not really effective.
Otherwise, you will just be wasting energy for nothing.
So, get ready to boost your studies with 10 valuable tips on how to study with little time !
1 – Make good planning
Good planning is the basis for any preparation. For those who have little time left, it is vital!
Without a schedule that suits your routine, it will be very difficult to keep up with the volume of content to be studied.
Therefore, you need to have a general overview of your situation: quantity of materials and available time.
With this information, sit down and create a study plan .
Prioritize your planning, especially if you don’t know how to study with little time.
You can have a physical schedule or use apps that will make it easier to create, maintain and monitor one.
2 – Learn to learn
If you’ve been studying for a while and aren’t getting good results, it’s high time to stop and evaluate: are you studying the right way?
The first step is to understand that reading is not the same as studying.
And the difference between them is, basically, what you learn when you do one thing or another.
When just reading a handout, for example, there is no guarantee that you really understood that content, that it is clear or makes sense.
This is called passive learning , without much effort, but also without much effectiveness. And it’s likely that soon after you’ll end up forgetting about it completely.
When you truly study, your mind absorbs knowledge and, as a result, is able to retain information more easily and make use of it when requested.
It is active learning , in which you get involved, highlighting, summarising, answering questions, etc.
With this, you exercise your brain, enhance your memory and, consequently, have better results.
One of the best ways to discover how to study with little time is to learn how to learn.
3 – Study in cycles
Research has already shown that most people work better in cycles , with periods of concentration and productivity of up to 90 minutes.
After this time, performance starts to drop and the results are no longer as good.
So, the ideal is to take short breaks, in which you will dedicate yourself to something completely unrelated to the competitions, and resume your studies immediately afterwards.
Over time, your brain will learn to read these periods as a “take of breath” and begin to respond more effectively.
4 – Use study techniques
Study techniques are very useful tools for obtaining better results .
With them, it is possible to optimise time and make learning more effective.
There are many methods that are known to be efficient, you just need to test them until you find the one (or ones) that suits you and meets your needs.
Among the best-known techniques are study by questions and pomodoro .
You can also study with mind maps , flashcards and invest in good summaries . All of them are of great help when studying for public exams .
5 – Don’t forget to review
Just writing down the content in summary form will not lead you to better results.
It is therefore necessary to include reviews in your schedule, because for them to be effective, they also need to be periodic.
There’s no point revising once, a few days before the test, for example.
Therefore, create a schedule that makes sense within your routine for revisions.
Ideally, you should do so-called spaced repetition, which could be like this:
- A first review around 24 hours after studying a content.
- The second review may take about a week later.
- The third can be done after a month.
- From there, the range can be fixed.
6 – Pay attention to the study environment
As we have already said, the time of those with a tight schedule needs to be used very well.
To do so, it requires a lot of concentration.
In this context, where you study makes all the difference.
After all, to stay focused on an activity you need to feel comfortable.
The space must be well lit, airy, without movement of people or too much noise.
Likewise, it is essential to avoid all types of distractions: take a break from your cell phone and social media, keep your material at hand so you don’t get up all the time.
If you live with family or friends, talk to them so they don’t interrupt you if it’s not urgent.
7 – Take notes during classes
When we say take notes, it’s not to transcribe the teacher’s speech!
There is no need to write down absolutely everything that is said in class in a notebook.
However, it is interesting to note some main points.
You need to become a master in the art of summary annotation, listing everything that is most important in the content seen.
These are strokes that will guide your first steps in learning a new subject: schemes, concepts, terms, etc.
When we write something down, we make it easier to remember . Therefore, short highlighted phrases or formulas can be triggers for your brain when it comes to remembering information and reviewing the content.
8 – Invest in motivation techniques
With so much to do — work, family, studies — it’s hard to stay determined.
And many people end up giving up along the way.
To avoid discouragement at all costs, you can rely on some techniques and habits to ensure motivation for public exams .
Set realistic goals, give yourself small prizes for meeting objectives, monitor your progress…
All of this can help you keep your energy high.
9 – Stay calm
Mind you, you already have a limited amount of time to study, so don’t waste it by getting stressed.
Between study periods and in your free time, try to practice relaxation techniques, which are great allies for mental health.
Stay calm and believe in your potential. By following the contest tips we’ve listed here, your chances are great.
10 – Invest in a preparatory course
If you can invest time and money in a preparatory course , you need to think carefully before choosing one that suits your needs. After all, it is always a differentiation to invest in a specific module for the desired area or position.