Find Good Study Spots

When Barry the Study Dog finds a great new study spot, he keeps it to himself.

College Success Series: The third Monday of every month, we offer college success tips that will not only get you better grades in less time, but will also help you get your money’s worth in school.

Science says that you should do your schoolwork in a variety of locations – rather than in one consistent spot like parents are always telling you to – so that you get comfortable recalling information in a variety of settings.

After all, you don’t get to take the test in your favorite chair, or with incense burning.

So, you need to find several good study spots, not just one. In fact, if your room is full of distractions and your apartment is full of housemates, those might be the worst places to work.

College students should deliberately seek out new study spots. Libraries have lots of nooks and crannies in them, student centers sometimes have more secluded areas, and classrooms are almost always empty after business hours.

When you find a great new spot to work, don’t tell anybody about it! (They’ll just come ruin it.)

I prefer to work in monastic silence, with my phone turned off and out of sight, and I’m convinced that this is the best way to do schoolwork for almost everyone, meaning that almost everyone is studying wrong.

Unless you have a doctor’s note saying you concentrate better when you pump sound into your ears while trying to read, write, or solve challenging problems, ditch the headphones and look for a quieter place to work. If you insist on listening to music, science says the music should be familiar to you and free of words.

The bottom line is that everybody is delusional about how productive they are because they confuse their habits and preferences for their “learning style”, which they very-super-wrongly believe is set in stone.

Leave your phone at home, find the quietest corner of the library, and enjoy earning better grades in less time.

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