How to Study Smart not Hard


Why is it that some students study really hard, but aren’t the best in their age group or get “only” average grades? And why is it that there are other students who do not even invest half the amount of time and effort into their studies, but get good or even outstanding results? Here’s how you can study smart instead of wasting countless hours of your valuable time. Also, be sure to have a look at How to Get Motivated to Study as motivation plays a crucial role in studying smart. Intelligence certainly plays a role. But: The way you study can make or break your success at school/college/university. My recommendation is to study smart, which can help you to save a lot of time that would have been lost with unfocused attempts of “studying hard”. This article is, however, not intended as an excuse for students not to study at all. You will have to invest the proper amount of time for studying, there’s no way around. But, this article guides you on how to make the most out of the time you invest for studying. This article’s goal is to enable you to reduce the unnecessary parts of your studies and to focus on the important.

This article’s goal is to enable you to reduce the unnecessary parts of your studies and to focus on the important.

Study smart

Whenever you study, strive to study in a smart way.

When I started studying, I was shocked to see many of my fellow students rushing into the library only to leave with seven or more books in their hands. That’s what I call ambitious. Many of them had lent every single book our professor’s had recommended– sometimes up to 4 different books per subject. Inclusively the script for each subject, it became a massive mountain of learning materials (for them). For a very short time, I was a little frightened by their eagerness, but I held on to the decision of keeping my focus on the important. I kept it simple, lent two books I really needed, and in the end – I got the same and often better results in the examinations than the “overachiever”-crowd. How did I do it? I studied smart and only periodically hard.

How to study smart not hard?

And how to avoid studying for so long?

This article is partitioned into three parts. Part A) Preparation and part B) Mindset focus on the organization of information that makes it easier for you to recall. Part C) is the main part of the concept of “studying smart”.

A) Preparation

1. Get a study game plan

You want to study smart, right? Hence, it makes sense not to approach your work in an unfocused, undirected way. Don’t dive head first into the topic. That’s the way that would actually cost you a lot of time. Instead, create a study game plan where you

  • specify the day you begin to prepare for your exams
  • create a daily schedule of tasks you want to accomplish during exam preparation
  • create a detailed to-do-list, (keep a close eye on what is really important)
  • enumerate the books you need to read (better: just the important sections you really need to know for the test)
  • itemize the various tasks and exercises you want to do for preparation

Depending on the difficulty of your exams and how many weeks and months you have for studying, you could also categorize the weeks/months for preparation into different phases, from I. basic refreshment of knowledge, II. studying, revision and exercise to III. intensive cracking down – social life on hold.

How to do it the smart way?

A clear goal that you pursue gradually with your plan helps you to avoid many extra-hours, but it also allows you to direct your focus on the important.

2. Summarize

I’ve had many exams about the content of an entire book, most of these books in the range of 500-1200 pages. And even if you have only some chapters from a book/journal to read for the test, I highly recommend you to create summaries, while working through the book. That way, you establish the fundament on which you can build upon, during the upcoming study phase, without having to read the book all over again. But you also train yourself to quickly identify the key statements in large texts that are very likely to be tested in the exam. As a consequence, it’ll be easier for you to skip large amounts of irrelevant data while sifting through the book.

3. Separate the wheat from the chaff

While you listen to a lecture or read through a textbook, give the following a try: Separate continuously information that is important (“Could this knowledge be tested in an exam?”) from the unimportant (“Is my teacher digressing or listing irrelevant data?”). Take notes of the important points your professor/teacher talks about and add annotations to your script or lecture notes. Making these important additions to your script will help you at a later time to grasp important coherences. You can also highlight important sentences or passages from the text so that you can easily avoid reading through large amounts of unimportant data in your script.

B) Mindset

1. When you study, give 110%

When I went to school, I almost always had to study for long periods of time in order to memorize and understand given contents. The big mistake I made was to study hard and for long periods of time, but I was not always focused on what I did. I got distracted by my mobile phone, the internet, TV, radio, telephone, friends or any other amusement one can think of. Nowadays, when I study I always give a 110%. I reduce distractions to a minimum and give my very best to avoid procrastination. I may have a time limit of 1-2 hours, but I want to make use of that time as much as possible. Thereafter, I have even more leisure time.

How to study smart:

When you study, do it in a focused and proper way, avoid any kinds of distractions and use the time you have to the maximum!

2. Continuity

Doing all-nighters some days before your examinations will not only exhaust you to a large degree but will also force you to rush through the data, in place of studying properly. Instead of opting for all-nighters, consider spending half an hour after each day at university with post-treatment, i.e. reading a chapter in the book, making a summary or doing some exercises. All this preliminary work will help you to spend more time with studying (during your exam preparation period), instead of having to engage with all kinds of inefficient tasks, such as extracting data from your books, trying to grasps (arithmetic) operations and building an understanding etc.

Why is that smart?

If you already did the groundwork during the term, you’ll be able to focus a lot more on smart ways of studying.

C) The main part of “studying smart

1. Don’t try to memorize, understand!

One of the major mistakes I made – when studying hard not smart – was to learn by heart, which is really time-intensive. Rote memorization is fine and dandy if an upcoming exam requires you to reproduce what you have learned word for word. But the higher you rise in the educational system, the less important will it be to memorize and reproduce, as your understanding and the ability to draw consequences will be tested instead.

In most cases, memorization corresponds to studying hard, not smart. Focus your attention on the understanding and comprehension of the knowledge that is taught.

But: How to understand complex topics?

Establish links and associations

Information becomes knowledge through connections. If you cannot relate to a complex topic, it’ll be very difficult to understand it. But, when you discover similarities and link new knowledge with concepts that you already comprehend, understanding the matter becomes easier. Try to spot ties between different topics and establish links between concepts that overlap.


Studying smart can help you to save a lot of time

Imagine the subject matter as vivid as possible. Instead of recognizing the fact that the material you study consists of numbers, words, and sentences, think in pictures (headword: visually thinking). By doing so, you direct a movie in your mind that will help you to memorize facts faster and for a longer period. What you basically do is the association of emotions (in the form of pictures) with rather unemotional data. It is difficult to memorize the numbers “483215”, but if you link each number with a picture and create a funny story out of it, it will be very easy to memorize the number combination for a longer period of time. [By the way, this is THE memory trick artists use to memorize seemingly indefinite number combinations.]


Connecting emotions with your subject will greatly help you to internalize the topic. Have fun while studying! It’s a fact that remembering things we associate intensive feelings with is by far easier. Also, if you’re really interested in a subject matter, learning becomes a lot more joyous. Once you manage to become curious about your subject and develop an interest in it, you’ve made an important step towards a smarter way of studying.

Simplification through analogies

In school and university, you’ll be confronted with various complex facts and circumstances. Make use of analogies [= comparisons] and try to compare a very complicated issue with a more simplified one, which makes it easier to understand the bigger picture of that which is taught.

Simplification through patterning

While you study, make sure to pay attention to continual patterns within the subject matter that occur again and again. By noticing and understanding these reoccurring patterns, you begin to understand the framework on which the topic is constructed. Once you have a good overview of such a framework, the acquisition of new information that is based on the same pattern will be a lot less difficult.

Make use of acronyms

If you’re confronted with difficult, specialist words, names or formula, an acronym can be an excellent aide-memoir for the memorization of the word or formula. Take for instance the rather simple name “Enhanced Health and Usage Diagnostic System”. It’s acronym is “EHUDS”, which sounds like “e-hud’s” or “e-hat’s”. All you have to do now is to think about electronic hat’s and you’ll most likely be able to come up with the acronym “EHUDS”, from which you can rebuild the original name.

2. Keep the bigger picture in mind

The constructing of a car can serve as an example of the learning process. Your professor supplies the “know how” during his lectures, for instance, the detailed knowledge how an engine works. The textbooks and other learning materials supply you with the chassis, frame, tires, and bolts. But, it is up to the student to make use of the know-how, in order to use it for the combination of the delivered material. It’s the student’s job to put the car together and to keep the bigger picture of what is taught in mind.

If the student stubbornly tries to memorize the position of each part in the car, he/she will not be able to (re-)construct a car from a thousand of individual parts. Memorizing the different names of each part will not help either.

Only by keeping in mind that the know-how and material are at one’s disposal for the creation of a car, the student can effectively prepare for an upcoming test.

3. Perfect your type of studying

There are basically four basic types of studying: Visual, Auditory, Emotional, and Kinesthetic.

  1. Visual Learners: A visual learner studies most effective when the learning material is depicted in a visual way, e.g. in the form of charts, maps or brainstorming.
  2. Auditory Learners: An auditory learner studies most effectively by hearing the information, for instance in a lecture or by recording their own words.
  3. Emotional Learners: An emotional learner studies most effectively by associating feelings, emotions and vivid images with the information.
  4. Kinesthetic Learners: A kinesthetic learner studies most effective when the information can be experienced and felt, i.e. via “learning by doing”.

Read more on the different types of studying on Effective Study Methods

In order to study in the smartest possible way, you need to discover which type of studying you prefer. Once you know what works best for you, align your process of learning to make the most out of it. Students that are mathematically talented should put their notes into spreadsheets, graphs, and charts; kinesthetic learners imagine the learning material as vivid as possible; linguistic learners discuss the material with others or record their voice while reading the subject out-loud, etc.

What’s your favorite trick to study hard and avoid unnecessary work? Feel free to share your tricks in the comment section below.

These popular articles on studying might also be of interest to you:

This article was brought to you by our Personal Development Blog.


About Author

Steve is the founder of Planet of Success, the #1 choice when it comes to motivation, self-growth and empowerment. This world does not need followers. What it needs is people who stand in their own sovereignty. Join us in the quest to live life to the fullest!


  1. This article is amazing… I just want to ask you one thing….how do you know so much? I mean is it all experience or did you take some classes or something like that? And thank you for sharing this article…helped me alot… Take care. 🙂

      • Hello steve ,want to ask you many things , is there any place to write to you without displaying to anyone?i want you to guide me a little.

        • Hi Sid,

          You can contact me via my email, which can be found at the contact page. But I prefer to help people in the comment section so that other people can benefit from it as well.

    • G Gautam Krishna on

      Dear sir,
      I am G.Gautam Krishna,from Hyderabad,My age is 23years now posting you my problem on concentration on studies.Actually i am a dropout in 10th class from a good reputed school and passed out my high school with 74%, and intermediate with just 64% ,thus by continuing my low grades streak…after intermediate, i joined in chartered accountant course hoping to do well in field of accounts..but i took three attempts to pass my Chartered Accountancy foundation….ie 1.5years to pass…atlast i joined in CA Inter…but till now i could not complete my CA INTER ie i am trying from last 3.5years…now i left CA INTER….now i am pursuing final year….

      My Problems are:

      1) Now when i open facebook..i find my friends are in superior positions studying in IIT’S IIM’s,.Etc…I Feel myself ashamed,Humilated and considers myself as a failure…and going into some sort of depression…
      I also analyzed my strength and weakness but i could not overcome my weakness

      2) I am very poor at studying theory subjects
      3) I always lack concentration while studying theory subjects such as Law,ethics,Auditing Etc
      4)my mind is diverted to other subject while studying another subject EX;- If i am studying Accountancy,My mind is diverted on law ..Vice Versa
      5) i cannot remember any theory subjects during wrirting exams
      6)i am very weak at Basics of subjects
      7)I can rember General Knowledge but cannot remember accounting principles,auditing standards etc
      8)i read lot of motivation stories,but i cannot be motivated and cannot lit a burning desire in my heart

      Respected sir,i hope you may give good suggestions about my problems,If u have time

      I am preparing for Bank exams and Government jobs..after getting job
      I am thinking to continue my CA INTER in nov 2016 and to study with my own salary

      Dear is this a right way??…Give your opinion on this

      Please considers it sir…i am much need of your suggestions

      Thanking you,


      • Try to find the underlying reason why you have had your problems at your school.

        1) don’t look at your friends and don’t compare yourself to others. The only one you should compare yourself with is yourself. There will always be people who are far smarter, better, wiser and richer than you. So the only way to measure your progress is to compare yourself with yourself. As long as you progress and as long as you grow as a person, you can be very proud of yourself. But when you neglect yourself, when you let yourself go, when there is no progress, then you should consider to quickly change something about your attitude and how you approach life.
        2-7) regarding the concentration issue. Try to pick up meditation. It will train your mind and increase your ability to concentrate. It will not be easy, but if you persist you will be greatly rewarded with many benefits.
        8) the burning fire of motivation can only be lit by yourself. No one else can do this for you. Only you can motivate yourself to the highest degree and for long period of time.

        Regarding motivation, feel free to have a look at my article specifically designed to help you motivate yourself.

  2. Hello Steve,
    I got to know your website through one of your pictures on Flickr and wanted to thank you for posting some awesome pictures there. I used one of them today and of course, linked it to your website.
    This is a very helpful post for students and even though I am not in college anymore, I can relate to what you have posted here. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Kumar,

      thanks for visiting my site! I’m very glad that you like my pictures on Flickr, and thanks for using one of them!


  3. Just came across your site and love it. What recommendations would you make to a student who, for 2 separate classes, has to learn a combination of 600 terms, definitions, and sightings to pass each class (1,200 total), who failed the classes due to the magnitude of memorization, gave up on their degree, and now wants to go back to finish the degree after a 5 year hiatus?

    • I think it’s super important to start very early with memorization of the 1,200 terms. Divide them into weeks so that you only have to study a certain number of terms in a week (say 50). Once you’re through refresh the memory as often as possible. But I have no further information, so I cannot be too specific…

  4. I reaally enjoyed your post and found it very helpful. I would like to know your tips on how to divide “important concepts” vs irrelevant information. Are we suppose to watch for signal words or transition words?

    • Hi Natasha,

      Whenever I read something in a book or in a script or elsewhere, I always try to ask myself if it’s really important for the upcoming exam. Because let’s face it, if you have five exams that are all based on a book with 200 to 600 pages it’s nearly impossible to study it all by heart. My goal is always to find the really important information and to extract it on to my notepad or word document. And I always leave out anything that I think is not important or not relevant for the exam.

      Therefore, I wanted to emphasize in the article how important it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. When I read a book, I often have a feeling when the author writes very important things and the other times where the author simply explains things that are not really important for the exam.

      You can of course look for signal words but for me it is more an intuitive thing.

      • Dear Mr Mueller,

        thanks for this article – it has helped me identify a problem of mine; over-studying different topics and not narrowing information it down to the required, focused exam knowledge.

        I admire that you have shared this to help others.
        Kind regards,


  5. Namrata Bhattacharya on

    I will be appearing for my class 12 board exams science. I have only revision left and have 2 months in hand. How can I plan my revision so as to achieve a 90%. Plesse advise. Thankyou 🙂

    • Now you seem to have a really ambitious goal, and such ambitious goal require extraordinary, sometimes even radical efforts in order to be accomplished. But rest assured, if you are willing to make such an extraordinary effort you will definitely be rewarded. All it takes is willpower, time, stamina and a willingness to step across your boundaries.

      It’s great that you have scheduled enough time to prepare for exams. This will give you enough space to develop a plan and to follow along this plan without any rush. So it is all about making a proper plan so as to achieve your goal.

      Okay, basically I follow a pretty simple study plan before an upcoming exam period. I separate the timeframe into three sections. The first section which could be in your case 2 to 3 weeks is just to get familiar with the study material that you want to memorize. This is a phase in which you get an overview of the material. Also, you familiarize yourself with the concepts and lay the first foundation on which you can build up in the second stage. The second stage is the most time-consuming stage. In your case this could last one month or even a little bit longer. This is the time where you constantly repeat this study material and do your best to learn it by heart. The constant repetition will aid you in memorizing the study material pretty effectively. If you follow along this procedure you will get the material very good into your mind so as to avoid unnecessary blackouts etc. The third stage is basically just a revision stage, during which you fresh up the memory shortly before the exam starts.

      It seems that you have a lot of different subjects. For this purpose it is advisable to plan a constant variation of the materials that you focus your attention on. This means that you could schedule one day for subject A and B, the next day for subject C and D, the next day for subject E and F only to be repeated on the day following that with subject A and B. What this does is that it helps you to avoid focusing too much on one subject, ignoring another subject. Also, it helps you to revise the materials that you learned one or two days ago.

      The next important step in planning is to see whether you have one subject that demands a lot more time then another subject. Of course, you will have to schedule more time for the subject then to the other subject.

      But something that is also important in planning is your environment. By positively influencing the environment in which you study, you can study a lot more efficiently and achieve better results of course. If possible, plan to study in a place where there are no distractions. At best, it should be somewhere where you are not disturbed in any way. The next thing is to eliminate any kind of distractions that could prevent you from studying efficiently. Plan a lot in advance, so that you get rid of your computer, smartphone, tablet, mobile phone and TV during the time you have planned for studying. If possible lock all these things somewhere in the closet that you only have access to when you have finished studying.

      And most important of all keep always going. And never give up.

      I wish you good luck You will make it and you will achieve your 90% goal.

      • Hey Steve,
        I just read your article and it was quit nice
        I am preparing for my exams in march
        And my study schedule is really isn’t working out
        I want you advise me something really good
        So that again i can concentrate on my study.
        Thank you?

        • Sir,
          I am an engineering 1st year student ,I have my exams with in 15 days i.e., they start on 3rd may. I am not able to plan for my exams plz help me.

        • Could you please describe your problem in more detail? Secondly, I always advise to schedule enough time for studying. The amount of time you need to properly prepare yourself for the exams varies from student to student. I, however, always needed around 30 days. You might want to keep this in mind for the next period of exams.

    • I don’t know, that depends on how many subjects you have to study. In general, two months preparation time is excellent.How much time have your fellow students scheduled for this exam period? That should serve you as a good indicator whether or not you have scheduled enough time.

      Time is important, but effectiveness and efficiency is also very important when you study. Four hours of intense studying with great accomplishments could be better than studying for a whole day, without good results and with a lot of distraction.

      • if it is seven subject how to plane for this subject,becouse i am preparing for matrics, my question is 1-how to plane seven subject, maths ,chemistry,biology,english,geography, economics ok only this subjects,how many hours………..2- when i start to study i start think ,i say like is ,can i study withoutmoving mylips, lipmoving andaloud….etc which one can i decided plz i need ur help…….3-i am study at my house the wholeday plz i need ur help

        • If you have seven subjects, then try to schedule two subjects per day. This way you repeat each subject at least twice each week.

          There is no need for your lips to move while studying. Do whatever feels fine and do whatever helps you to reach the highest state of concentration.

          Great that you can study at home. Just make sure to eliminate all kinds of distractions.

        • thankyou ,your advise but tell me how maany hourse for a can i learn without moving lips,plz tell only this style ,thankyou somuch for sharing ur idea,GBU

        • How many hours per subject? Well, I guess this really depends upon your information processing skills. In general, it takes as many hours as necessary until all the information has been memorized. Typically around 30 to 60 hours. Often times a lot more.

        • thank you sir,i will follow by this one ,if yoou donot mine can you halp me how tomake plan subject?is that to study chapter for aday or to davise me if you haveany other plan ,becouse you t
          told me seven subject for day two subject how can manage the hours with a subject.for example if monday ….geo,phys…..tuesday maths and bio… chemand english …etc so how many hrs for subject ,,,is it enough one chapter its possible to make to chapetr plz it s my frist time to plan help then i will stick by you plan,,,,,,becouse i hv exame june materic plz ineed you solve this problem

        • Schedule your time flexible. If you want to study to subjects per day, then take as much time needed for one subject. For instance, it takes you five hours for studying geography, then use the other 4 to 6 hours you have left for studying physics.

        • thank you sir.i amglad for ur advice plz one thing i want to ask you ,u told me two subject for day but to i make time managment ,for subject how many hours becouse i have exam june for matric plz telll me how do i use it ,can you give me sample how to make plane with time plz.plz if you know good textbook physics ,chemitry.maths can u telll me the topic of the book ,becouse i want buy to praper for matric plz

        • thankyou sir……..i will start work like the way you told me .is that it mean for day one subject or two subeject clearify this one plz ,sorry for distrubing thank you somuch GBU

        • There’s no general rule for everything. Just use common sense. Take whatever time necessary to fully comprehend and memorize each subject. Some subjects take one day to complete, others can be completed within half a day.

        • Hi mrs muluer.
          I want to askyoui hope i will get a nice imprortant answer from you. Let us say two students they hv owne techniques of style of study the one study aloud and the other uses without moving his lips so what is the difference and which one is good us skills of reading individual….why??if u donot mind can clearify nicely and give me some tips of reading skills indivdual study time thank

        • Well, it depends. Having to read materials out aloud might be a sign that the other person struggles in comprehending the subject. But in general, it does not matter if someone reads aloud or not, all that matters is whether or not you are able to keep what you are reading in your mind.

  6. Namrata Bhattacharya on

    I have 6 subjects physics chemistry maths English literature biology and English grammar. My friends are secretive about their study plans so I don’t know about it 🙁

    • Six subjects? That’s great. During my bachelors I also had many semesters with six or seven exams and I scheduled a similar period of time for preparation. So you should go very well with your two months preparation time.

  7. Hi i am preparing for USMLE Step 1 exam. Now a days i can not focus that much. I am very frequently lost in the internet, can’t stick to plan. i also need to take care of my baby. How can i study efficiently? and score high in my exam? i want to study smart, but i dont have a lot of time.

    Looking forward for your reply.

    • Hi, you wrote a second comment on another article saying that motivation was the big issue. I hope the article could help you, but you can feel free to ask right away if you have any further questions.

  8. I am preparing for an entrance exam..
    I am unable to focus..
    I Am distracted a lot..
    I need ur help…
    how much should I study

    • In general, you should study as much as is necessary to understand the subject and to pass the exam or receive the mark that you are hoping for.

      Now your main problem sounds like you have great difficulties with being distracted.The obvious solution is of course to get rid of these distractions as much as possible. The better you are at doing this, the better you will be able to concentrate. But this first the fall means that you will have to identify everything that keeps you from studying. Everything that distracts you. And you will have to be painfully honest with yourself about the things that distract you. Once you have identified these things is important to get rid of them during the time you study. You could form a regular habit of looking away your computer, tablet, smart phone, television, etc. when you study. Or you could just leave all these things at home and go to a library where none of these things are not allowed. The point is that he would have to get rid of these distractions so that they cannot distract you any further. At the beginning this will feel very awkward, because your mind might already be used to a constant input of information. During this stage you will have to be very focused, do not allow any distractions to interfere with studying. But after some time your mind will grow used to this new situation and concentration will come much easier.

      I hope this helps you so far but feel free to get back in touch with me again if you have any further questions.

  9. Hey, I’m more to study hard that type of students. Whatever subjects that I studied,I will just use memorizing and memorize word by word.It is because if I just use umderstanding,it is like once I understood and move to another page,whatever I understood will automatically fade.So,in order not to forget anything I studied,I will use memorising which is also more secure for me.Now my problem is,should I continue my study method?or using understanding style?as what I mentioned above,after understood,I will still forget>< Thanks if you could provide me with some advices.

    • Hey, I believe that you should never change a winning team, meaning that you should not force yourself into applying a different study style that does not work for you. If you have no problems with your memorization technique and if your grades are reasonably well, then I would definitely recommend to stay with your technique.

      When a reflect back on my own exam preparation then I realize that I also have used the memorization technique many times, but I also added everywhere I could some parts of the understanding technique. So maybe this might be helpful to you to simply memorize everything that is necessary to memorize, and at the same time try to understand and build cross references.

      I hope this helps, but few free to ask further if you have any other questions.

  10. Thanks for your advices. However, problems come when there are many subjects to be tested at the same time.It is because I am not able to finish memorizing all the subjects merely a day before exam.So,I am still wondering whether my study skill is correct or not.For my friend who use the method of understanding,they only have to skim and scan and then pass with merit.As I am not able to use theirs method,I feel very stress when I cannot finish memorising.Another problem is I can’t identify which topic is important and which is not.Thus,I may memorize something which is not coming out in the test.It is also the reason why I use longer time to study than others.As I am now in a higher education,most of the question asked require us to provide answer based on our understanding and thus I am not able to do it well as what I did was memorizing.i feel very stress to memorize so many thing and sometimes thinking of giving up.Any advices?

    • Okay, now I see where the problem is. You write that you tried to memorize all the subjects a day before the exam. Now with the memorization technique you will have to schedule a lot more time to properly memorize all the contents you need to remember. By planning a lot more time you will reduce your stress level. What I do is that I try to schedule 30 days before an exam during which I try to memorize what I need to study at a day-to-day basis. This does of course not mean that I study 30 days for 10 hours, but what this means is that I take myself half an hour or hour daily during which I try to memorize the content of the subject. I also have the feeling that by scheduling a lot more time my understanding of the subject grows.

      So based on what you have said I think the main issue is that you do not plan enough time for studying.

  11. Hi steve,
    Thanks for the study smart strategy article.But all I really need is your help.I am a medical aspirant student and by the end of the month May I will be giving one of the most important entrance exam of my life.I dont usually dig into internt to stay motivated,but today i felt the need to work my everything off for this exam because today i am feeling very demotivated and confused.I need your help,I roughly have 3 months for this exam.I think i am studying the wrong way,that is why I have reached nowhere.
    Physics + chemistry + biology= 98 chapters.How can I completet,understand concepts then revise and solve past papers in all the months.How should I revise repeatedly? HOW TO STUDY? Please make a plan for me,I trust you sir about giving me a effective study plan.
    I am in a “my-fault-hectic meaningless study schedule” mode due to which i always give up before i even try cause I get confuse easily and in the and of the day I cant even complete my goals.I apologise to you for asking you for so much.But I believe an ABC study strategy from you will help me in future too to study effectively.

    • First of all, great that you have scheduled enough time for the preparation of your upcoming exams. This gives you a great fundament on which we can build upon. But for the development of a study plan I need your help, because you will have to co-develop and implement that plan with scrutiny and great care. But if you’re willing to put some time into proper planning your efforts will be rewarded.

      At the beginning, what you could do is count the exact time that you have left until your exams. Then you could schedule maybe one to three weeks during which you try to get familiar with your study materials. This helps you to lay the foundation for the next stage. The next stage will be the most time-consuming phase of the exam preparation. Plan one month and a couple of weeks for just this stage. This will be the time when you repeat the study materials, learn it by heart if necessary. The constant confrontation with the study materials will aid your memorization. During this time you will develop a good understanding of the concepts that you study.

      The last stage consists of doing all the exercises (Past papers) that you have mentioned and revision. When you do the past papers you will clearly get an indicator what concepts need to be revised.

      You can also schedule another one or two weeks before the exam just for revision, so that you fresh up your memory.

      You write that you have three subjects, so it would be advisable to do one day subject A, the other day subject B and the next day subject C followed by subject A the next day. This should help you tremendously in becoming board of one subject. And the short time span between the subjects should Help you in memorizing things properly.

      That is it, that is the study plan that you could develop and build upon. Make also sure that you plan to write study environment, which assists you in studying and keeps distractions far away. With the right environment you can study a lot more efficient. So do everything you can to eliminate distractions.

      Never give up, and always keep going, because you will make it.

      And if you need a good boost in motivation, fell free to have a look at this article: how to get motivated for studying?

  12. Sir,thanks a lot 🙂
    You have just calmed me down and showed me the exact way i want to plan for this exam.I have realise that there was my mistake too,about getting tensed and confuse.I do not have any issue about a distracting environment because i have maintained my room with only two desk and necessary books so that I have a calm mind inside the room.My only issue was 1.own incomplete deadlines 2.A not so good study plan.
    I have decided to make my plan like this
    1.As my First priorities are Biology>Chemistry>Physics.I will start with getting familiar with my biology and chemistry only for the month of february.
    2.The entire march I will start revising Bio & Chem and start off with 2 weeks of getting familiar with physics
    3.Planning of taking the entire april and mid of may to revise all 3 and do the past papers.
    4.As getting familiar with the topics and repeating all over is the main agenda.I hope my study plan is well enough now.
    Thank you once again sir 🙂

    • That sounds excellent, and what is even better is that you have developed it all by yourself. That works much better then a generic plan that I develop for you.

  13. Sir,I would like to inform you that these 3 months all the medical aspiring student get the option to stay at home and study and I am doing the same too.As you have told me about co-developing my schedule,It would be kind of you to give me the idea about it,as i do not attend any extra events.I get enough time in this 24-hour-schedule.So I will love to vibe up and develop my schedule if you just give me the idea.Thanks 🙂

    • Do you mean a time schedule for your day? First of all, plan enough time for sleep and set yourself fixed times when you get to bed and when you get up in the morning. Developing a routine is very important, because from this you can draw a lot of strength. Let’s say you want to go to bed at 11 PM and want to get up at 6 or 7 AM, then it’s important to stick to these times. Because if you prolong studying let’s say until 3 AM in the morning then you will have not the necessary energy that you need for the next day.

      So once you get up you can have great breakfast and then you start studying. Make sure to plan enough time for short breaks during which you can grab something to eat. Having a lot of water and maybe even some nuts and raisin mix is very beneficial. So let’s say that you study for two hours, then have a 15 or 30 minutes breaks during which you catch some fresh and and eat something, then you go on studying for another two hours. This is where lunchtime starts off where you could schedule one hour break during which you eat something and take a short walk if you want. Then you can plan a power session for the afternoon of two hours followed with a short break and another power session. And once have reached this point you have already studied for eight hours so you can decide if you need some more studying and add another two hours or leave it at that.

      But Your study schedule also depends on what kind of a study type you are, if you prefer to study during the day or are more of an night bird who prefers studying during the night.

  14. Hi! 🙂
    I am an early morning person!And I am so glad to see that yours and my plan is almost same.Thank you so much.I am so much clear about my goals now and motivated too! And music helps me too rather than complete silence.Sorry,but i didnt get the term “power session” does it mean continuing studying.Anyways,Thank you so much.I will definitely write to you if I have further problems.Thanks a lot Steve 😀

    • You’re welcome, I think you just needed that initial spark of motivation and encouragement.

      With a power session I just meant an intense study session without interruptions and with a very high focus.

  15. Absolutely right sir.An initial spark and I am good to go.Sometimes I get demotivated by the exam pressure, and become a victim of procastinating much,and with a routine I need motivation as this is my most important exam of my life.But the DISCIPLINE factor is what necessary in life and ofcourse your advises for me did me a huge favour.I have went through many articles elsewhere,but this page have just gave me the chance to resolve my problem and I cant thank you enough because maybe I needed a teacher like you to guide the initial step for me to have confidence about excelling this exam and fulfill my dream of becoming a DOCTOR.I will remember you.Thanks a lot STEVE MUELLER 🙂

    And i love the Spam protection part.Mathematics on the go 😀

    • Hi, sure how can I help you? The article points out some good ways to study smart instead of studying hard, so you just need to tell me where exactly you need help.

  16. Hii steve, i m perparing for medical exam & only 2 months are left & i m working so hard but yes i m not getting the reaults i want and i dont want that it happens in my exam and i dont want to be called a failure. Please tell me how should i start?

    • Hey, with what exactly do you need help? Please try to be a little bit more precise about your problem and I will have a look at it.

  17. Thanks a lot for these tips. They have been truly helpful … But my question right now is that I love to read wide. like reading textbooks to get more info on what I’ve been taught. Does it mean that I’m wasting time in reading irrelevant stuffs or can I just keep at it. Do you think I’m not paying attention to the important details? Also, I have a problem with summarising and highlighting important facts. What do you think I should do cos whenever I’m summarising, it slows down my pace in studying and it can really be annoying cos I spend extra hours than I should on studying. Please reply soon.

    • Steve Mueller on

      Most likely, your teacher or professor will encourage you to read wide. And this certainly helps you. Doing so will help you to develop a broader understanding about the subject.

      But if you would like to have my honest opinion, I would not advise you to read wide. I see studying as a preliminary exercise to be able to enter the workforce one day. And with this you will also have to work efficiently and be able to prioritize your work. In real life, you might not be able to delve into any kind of subject that you come across at work. Instead, you will have to be able to draw the essence out of the most important subjects.

      Please keep in mind, this is just my personal opinion. I always try to study efficiently, which meant that I would only do the tasks that would lead to a profit. That way I saved a lot of time and was able to invest these resources into revision and doing exercises of the study materials.

      On the other hand, if reading wide helps you to get a better understanding of the subject so that you perform better in the exam, then by all means do it.

      As an alternative, you could also consider reading wide as your spare time activity, which means that you would have to study the important things first. And only after you have accomplished all your tasks you would return to your spare time activity and build a broad understanding of the subject.

      To your second question, do I think you’re wasting time? Yes I think so. But that is only from my perspective, which I can only evaluate from my experiences at my university. At my university it would be a waste of time. That doesn’t mean that it is a waste of time at your university. If your professors include a lot of questions in the exams that require background knowledge, you could certainly profit from reading wide.

      Am I thinking you’re not paying attention to the important details? This could happen yes. Again, it really really depends on your university. If you need a lot of important details for the exam then your behavior will be counterproductive. However, if you’re happy how you have performed so far, you might not have to change what you are doing.

      I consider summarizing as the most important part in my study routine. Why? When I summarize I separate the wheat from the chaff. Everything that is important will be summarized. After that, I do not touch the book that I have summarized ever again during the exam preparation. I only study what I have summarized and my script. By doing so, I intensify my studies on the really important subjects. That way, I have a lot of time to spend for memorizing and studying the most important topics.

      Therefore, I wouldn’t consider summarizing as something that slows me down. Instead, it’s an important preliminary work.

  18. Hello Steve…i am at present doing CA and have loads to study…but the sad part is i have only one month left….i went through the article and found one thing which has been my biggest mistake and that is to keep books in hand and sitting for long hrs and not being able to focus…
    But i really think i can for sure work smarter and get great marks…i understood u said that to atleast devote min time to a certain subject but with great focus…but lemme explain the no of subjects and sub-subjects i have for revision…
    I am biggest procrastinator even one month before my exam is left

    Here’s the list….
    taxation consists of two subjects
    Cost and Financial Management
    Information Technology
    Stragic Management
    Advanced Accounts

    Accountancy is completely practical and consists of a mixture of twelve to thirteen small and long chap

    Taxation is composed of two subjects direct ie income tax and indirect which consists of vat cst service tax etc .Direct is both theoritical and practical whre as indirect is completwly theoritical

    Law Info tech and Strgc Mgmt are purely theoritical in nature
    Law is divided into business laws companies law ethucs and communication
    Strgc Mgmt has 3 small and 3 big chap and is quite easy to manage

    Cost and FM are purely practical subjects
    Cost consists of twelve wharecas fm consits of 5 big chap

    Advance accounts is again purely theoritical and is quite vast but easy cinsists of 15 chap or so out of which 3 are big and the rest small
    This is my portion…at least not exactly the distribution or allocation of time to these subjects but the roadmap how exactly i should deal with all this in this one full monrh….its just that i do t wanna get motivated and acheive what i decide or plan my schedule..
    Plzzzzz…Steve help me out:-(

    • Hi,

      Okay, it seems like you have a big problem: you have scheduled not enough time for studying. Make sure to avoid this mistake in the future. That way you will reduce anxiety and you will not be in a situation where you become all of a sudden very hectic.

      What you need first and foremost is to establish the proper motivation for studying. See my motivational article for students for this purpose.

      If you really think you can get properly prepared for the exams within a months time, you have set yourself a really ambitious goal. But the situation is as it is, you know what a mistake is, and I hope you will do everything you can to avoid this kind of mistake in the future. So let’s accept the situation that you face and let’s try to make the best of it, shall we?

      Ambitious goals such as yours require radical measures in order to be achieved. The choice is now up to you: you can continue as it did in the past or you can finally break through the negative habits and develop an iron will. The choice is up to you. It’s the choice between failing and winning.

      If you’re willing to take radical measures here you go: for the next 30 days you will only do the following things. Sleeping, eating and studying. You want to do something else? Forget it! The next 30 days might not be very pleasurable, but the effort will pay off.

      First of all, focus on your environment. Create a study environment where there are no distractions for you. Eliminate all kinds of distractions. You shall not be interrupted in any way during studying. Look away the remote control for your television, your smart phone, your tablet, your computer your MP3 player and whatever distracts you.

      Then, develop a time schedule on how you plan to approach your tasks. I think you have seven subjects, so you could split the day up into two subjects per day. That means on Monday you to subject a, and on Thursdays to repeat the cycle again with subject a.

      I hope this answers the question so far, but feel free to ask any further questions.

      • Actually it is not that im doing these subjects for the first time i have been revising these subjects as and when i got time…and during the gap of 10 days that i got from my coaching institute i somehow managed to complete at least 50% in every subject….but the rest of the 50% which i thought (though unrealistically) that i would be able to achieve couldn’t be made possible….i had become quite ambitious that if i devote 20 out of 24 hrs to study ill surely be able to complte my targets..but then it seemed that i began to procrastinate…i enjoyed while studying coz i was happy that i was working hard…but somewhere did not know that overburdening would lead me into the situation i am today…
        My first revision of all the subjects(except taxation)will be over by 7th of April…i have made this target and ill try my best to achieve..
        My biggest question from you is how should do my second revision ie after 8th april… i read your article in which you highlighted the points regarding smart studies…but am not able to decide how to do it…
        I have the matter in my brain but i dont want that matter to get wiped out at the time of my main exams and wnna be that confident…
        Can u suggest how will i be able to achieve that?

        • Okay, now I understand your situation better. You write that you have scheduled 20 hours for studying. This could be a little bit too much. Many students think that studying extremely long is extremely helpful. I beg to differ. I would say that studying extremely efficient is extremely helpful. This means that if you schedule 10 or 12 hours but use them to the fullest, without procrastinating, then this study time to be more efficient than 20 hours wasted.

          On your most important question for me: how should you do your second revision after the eighth of April?

          Well, I will try to use this time to intensify your knowledge about the subjects. You write that you managed to complete 50% in every subject. Now what you could do is analyze for every subject where the other 50% lie. This area seems to be your big problem. What you could do is that you intensify your studies in this area. That you try to eliminate your weaknesses in these areas. So what would I do? I would try to keep the basic knowledge In mind and try as best as you can to eliminate the week spots.

          I hope this helps so far, but just feel free to ask any further questions, I’m glad to help you.

  19. Steve can u please reapond to me a little faster so that i can analyse tbe ways u r gonna suggst to me to study…
    I am sorry i am being very much desperate but i suppose u can very well understand the situation coz its just not striking me as to how to manage well with these subject withought have even a minute wasted…

    • You can find the answer to question in the comment above. I’ll just ignore the “respond to me a little faster” part of your comment.

  20. Yesterday i post a comment in which i asked for suggestions regarding my preparation to which i was waiting for reply from Mr Steve…but now i find my comment missing!

      • I am sorry Mr Steve….i didn’t mean to hurt you..but its just that i have very bad habit of being impatient sometimes…i’ll make sure that i don’t mention ‘plz can u respond to me a little faster’ next time…
        Thankyou for your great guidance….

  21. Thankyou Mr Steve for your guidance that you have been providing till now…..
    As you said that since only one month is left for my exam i have to overcome the mistake which i have committed in the past and choose either between failing and winning….i dont know whether i would win but I want to make the best possible use of these 30 days and so i have been trying to say no to evrything evrytime which distracts me…

    Mr steve there’s one more question that i wanted to ask….since my preparation is quite incomplte my coacging institute is conducting mocktests from 1st to 7th April…dont you think that givung these tests would be a waste of time becoz i am very unprepared write now to judge myself on the basis of what i have studied….
    ? Please do help me out coz my tests are gonna start from tomorrow..

    Secondly as i said that i will try to complte my first revision by 8th of april…and then whatevr confusio i come across i will definitely ask from you…

    And yes thnku fron saving from such procrastination… i ll try more to keep myself away from distractions ….
    Thnku so much☺

    • That’s the right approach! You are very welcome, I am happy that my answer has helped you.

      Regarding the mock tests, do you have pay any means the chance to get the tests? If you are able to get these tests or if you are able to ask a fellow student to give you these tests that would buy you some time. That way you could study now and do the tests once you have finished studying. As a sort of last control before the exam starts.

      If you do not have to chance to get these tests you will have to decide how you spend your time in a more productive way. Is it more productive to do these tests? Or is it better for you to study? Anyway, if there is a possibility just to get the tests and their results and to do them on your own once you have finished studying, that will be much better.

  22. Hello there,

    I’ve read a lot of blogs and articles of a wide variety and I still haven’t found a way to motivate myself. I have two months and a bit until my graduation exams from high school and I only trust my ability at one subject, literature. The rest, mathematics and biology I’m just slacking off… It’s questions as my results are kinda bad. And the revision I should make at school was let’s say postponed due to my teachers… Commodity.
    I need to take big marks… But I just can’t make myself study… Like I have no goal…
    Can you please give me an advice?

    • You need to understand that the people around you can only motivate you so far. This kind of external motivation might be helpful for a short period of time. But in the long run you would have to find ways to motivate yourself. If you are able to effectively motivate yourself to benefit from this tremendously.

      The article outlines some important points that you need to consider when you want to motivate yourself. You say you have no goal. Then find a really motivating goal. Whether you want to be the future? Do you want to study? You want the good job? What is it that you want? Use that what you are desiring and combine it with your tests.

      The other alternative is to set yourself a really really exciting reward that you only get once you have accomplished the test. You’re only allowed to get this reward if you get big points, so you will be very very motivated to study, as you are working hard to get this kind of reward.

  23. Hello Sir steve….
    How to say this steve…but despite of all my efforts that i was putting in i couldn’t handle the burden of studies and since only there are 4 days to go i think there’s no point in achieving something that i never ever was serious about…so finally i have decided to give up…
    This actually hurts…but to be very honest i want to achieve but not like this…i am just not able to bulid my determination my courage to face the exam… i not at all sure whether i will be able to even attempt the exam or not…
    I lack managerial skills Sir….i was a good student uptill 12th standard and could manage everything well…i never felt discouraged as i felt while doing this course….i dont know where i lacked….
    But thats for sure that its just next to impossible to pass this exam…i somewhere ashamed of myself too that i didnt keep up my promises i made to myself…i feel like i am lost…i dont know but i am very very depressd. Did i do anything wrong Sir by quiting? This course has its own value and it requires a great deal of hardwork…i have not at all worked that hard to acieve what i wanted now i have next six months left for me to prepare for the exam…please do tell me what can i do to make myself work hard for the exam… i never gave up all my life but this time it was necessary…coz out of depression i was trying to commit suicide! Please help me Mr steve and lemme know whether i have done right or wrong?

    • Hello,

      I think it was the right decision to give up. Sometimes you just have to accept a failure. Nonetheless, it cannot be changed anymore, the only thing you can do is learn from this failure for the future.

      It is good that this failure is bugging you, because you can draw a lot of motivation from it. I’m sure you never ever want to experience what you are going through at the moment ever again. Use this to fuel your motivation. Always keep in mind that you need to change something, if not you will get most likely to same results, which you definitely want to avoid.

      Sometimes it’s just not take motivation at all. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to something. Even if you don’t like it, force yourself. Push yourself. Always remind yourself of the fact how terrible it felt to fail and that you never want to allow this to happen again.

      • But i just dont understand that why does this happen!
        Are all these things somewhat linked to destiny Sir?
        One month back i was really happy that i had started putting in my efforts and i was ready to face the exam due to which i had collapsed multiple times this year…i was happy that i was now working equivalent to all my friends and was very much serious about it…i was happy and satisfied…but just dunno what happened suddenly in the middle that i stopped studying..may be due to somany mistakes that i did in the past my mind said that i am not fit for the exam..and that lead me to great stress and force me to try to do something that no body in my family could ever imagine….that was a very bad feeling…in order to get rid of the stress i had been pushed to doing something i was never expected to…
        Sir i want to become the same student i was at school..i had possessed a great competitive spirit…i was a fighter….i had never been a failure…and the most important thing i was consistent…but why have i become like this now? I dont understand…

        • It is important that you draw your lessons from that which has happened to you. Analyze the situation and see what caused your behavior. If you do this you can learn from this for the future. However, at one point you would have to let go of what happened in the past.

          You are constantly creating the future in this very moment. This means that when you are ambitious you create an ambitious future. But once you let go your future changes accordingly.

          Is important to understand that your focus needs to be razor-sharp at all times. You should not allow the slightest distraction from your goals. I’m convinced that small changes in your behavior have caused other events to kick in leading to a snowball effect.

  24. Thankyou Sir…for guiding me in such difficult times
    .extending such great support when I earnestly require it…

    I’ll try my best to bring necessary changes in myself…and try and make myself focused towards my goals…

    I’ll keep seeking your advice as and when i feel so..and follow all that u have advised me so far…

    Ill try to follow your other articles too…

  25. mohamuud abdulkadir ali on

    sir iam student fore universty and i freez my first semister so now iam seccond senister and i study electrical department iand i am feeling problem inmy stydu so help my iam also forner becouse i am somali person and iam studying univesty that locate in pakistan siry my english sir thank you fore you are helping me

    • Steve Mueller on

      Okay sure, I will see how I can help you. Where exactly is your problem? Could you please describe your problem in more detail?

  26. hello sir!! i am a 11 std student. I’ve taken medical. i want to become a doctor in my life. i am preparing very hard but my efforts are less in chemistry. it seems very boring and i am not able to clear my concepts. plz guide me how can i gain interest in chemistry….. thank you.

    • Steve Mueller on

      Hi Jazz,

      I think I have something for you that could help you to develop an interest in your subject and to gain more motivation to study.Just follow this link and see if this helps you: Getting motivated to study.

      You can feel free to report back if the problem cannot be solved with this article and I will have a closer look in your situation.

  27. Sir,I have a biggest problem of procrastinating. I have to clear an exam named iit jam but m not attaining any seriousness towards that….I want to clarify it desperately but…due to this desperation I am unable to concentrate on one thing.At the same time I am trying to complete 2 3 things and at the end of two hours am finding myself to be at the same place where I was before 2 hours. …I have a friend who gets good results without much studies and am trying to copy her….and thereby neglecting my studies….am also lacking self discipline…when people start talking wd me…..I encourage them even if I have got my work…I am lacking self discipline….what should I do….I am in a great dilemma

    • Procrastination is a big issue for many students. Basically, you can approach it from two perspectives. First of all: By establishing proper focus and concentration. Why do we procrastinate? Because we are not focused enough. Try whenever you start studying to establish the proper concentration. You can achieve this for instance by not doing anything for a short while, or even meditating. The second aspect of proper focus is that as soon as you note that you are procrastinating you need to immediately stop yourself. So as soon as you realize that you are not focused, you need to really make yourself aware of it. For example if you procrastinate, stand up and jump around what do anything else that helps you to get your blood circulation going.

      Second aspect to approach procrastination is by having a really ambitious goal. I noticed that when I’m not motivated I automatically procrastinate. If I have to do tasks that I don’t like a procrastinate. But whenever I have a proper goal or even a vision I don’t procrastinate, because I really want to see this goal realize. So by all means that yourself goals and subgoals for every study session, to benefit from the motivational aspect of them.

  28. Thanks a lot Sir…..I will surely work towards it…….but what should I do to let out the desperation and also something about self discipline….

    • Steve Mueller on

      The desperation will fade away when you really prepare yourself properly. The more you study and the better you focus during your studies the easier it will be for you to let go of desperation. But I want to say is that the better you prepare for your exams the less likely are you to experience desperation or anxiety.

      With the self discipline problem, well. It is a habit that you have to grow. You would have to take action and develop this self-discipline. This is a continuous fight day after day. You really have to force yourself, but after some time you will notice that your discipline has already increased tremendously. So think in small steps one day after another..

  29. thank you…..sir …..I am very greatful to you for this help…..for bringing me back on track and into action

  30. Sir i am prakash and i like ur article abt how to study smart
    When i was reading i knew abt my kind of reader as EMOTIONAL one i like to study mathematics with emotions and imaginations
    but my route problem is all about distraction owing to which i lose interest and motivation what i had created this happens mostly to me due to lack of concentration and running unnecessary thought coming in my mind i want to know the following from from u
    1- how to study for long time without losing focus and interest?
    2- suppose i want to complete a book i make a plan to get motivated to study i will study the first few chapters with my fullest but if i will listen that the further content has been beautifully explaned in other author’s book i will lose focus here and arrange that material and again study few chapters and again earlier case will repeat and in such a way i have arranged more than five books in one subject and did not complete even single,
    so sir i want to know that it happens to me due to my self study dependency or i can understand the matter well by developing some study habbits???

    • Steve Mueller on

      Hi, be sure to check out my article about study motivation, as it addresses many of your questions.

      Regarding your questions, your first question basically all revolves around having a proper study goal. Do you have a proper goal that keeps you motivated and going? Just this week a student told me his goal was to have really great marks. So I inquired if he had any other goals, which he did not. Yet he was wondering why he was not motivated to study. The problem was so clear his goal was simply not motivating at all. Having great marks is a terrible goal.

      So the first thing you need to do is to find a goal or even better are true vision that keeps you motivated. Succeeding at University is not a goal that keeps you motivated. What you need is a true vision that keeps you going and going and going. Something like making the world a better place with your math calculations. The way to identify a good goal is by looking if it keeps you motivated and if it keeps you going even if times get tough. If your goal does not keep you motivated for a long time, it is not a good goal. But once you have found your true vision your true purpose in life it will keep you going for ever, no matter what the circumstances.

      About your second question, I think this is not such a big problem. I believe you can learn the most by reading different chapters from various books. This is just efficient not to read the whole book from beginning to end, but only selectively the most important parts of it.

  31. Hello sir ! i am a medical student and i’m a smart student in my class ,i got 1st positions in tests.
    but sometimes when i appeared in mega tests, i failed to give my best especially in physics so sir how i study physics

    • Steve Mueller on

      I believe that exam anxiety can be reduced through repetition meaning that the more exams you write your life the less anxious you become about it. And blackouts can be prevented by a tremendously good preparation, meaning that you prepare the best way you can for exam.

  32. Sir Steve I being an emotional learner find it too difficult studying technical topics! I have a great interest in reading rather than technicaksolving technical subjects? How to convince myself to study for technical subjects and do well in them?

    • Steve Mueller on

      I believe it is always difficult to study something that you’re not interested in.

  33. thnkyou for these tips sir. they r more of a life saver to me.
    i am having a national level chartered accountancy exam -cpt on 14th june. today its 6th an i m not prepared for it.i m panicking like anything. i accept its my fault of not preparing but now i dont think theirs use in repenting over the time i had already lost. instead i jus want to make the best use of whatever time is left to study. sir i need your help. i have to study 4 subjects in these 8 days. please advice me. i have to cover almost 83 chapters n their is no time left. subjs are- economics,law,accountancy and maths. please reply soon sir i need help.

  34. Sir….i m a commerce student…nd i got 92% in mah 10th std examination…nd 83% in 11th..nd now i m in 12th…its mah dream to be the state topper…nd make mah parents feel proud on me…bt i m not finding ny way to keep mah concentration toward studies…as mah financial conditions are not good…i hv joined poor tution classes..nd i feel like the tutions where mah frndz go are much better nd i m unable to do as good as they how can i stop this feeling…nd plz tell me what should be mah timetable to do self study as i hav mah college from 7.30am to to12 p.m. And then tutions from 1-2p.m..2-4pm..4-5pm..5-6pm..

    • Quite honestly, your motivation to succeed should be so high that you don’t even need tuitions. Tuitions are great for the lazy students. If you really want to succeed you need to go deeper than that and you need to study on your own. When you become your own teacher and only then you will succeed or even master the subject.

  35. Dear Sir, I’m Robin. I’m a beginner of bachelor degree because I have just completed 2nd semester of my BBA course this month.

    I’ve read your full article and every comments as well as your replies. These are very much helpful for me.

    My grade is not very well enough comparing with my mates coz I hardly can memorize anything.
    I just read the things and write down that I understand but sometimes important points are ignored.
    This is not a good way to get good grades.
    What should I do to improve my grades, Sir?

    In every of my 6month semester, I have 5 courses. How can I plan my study schedule to do well for the next semester. Now I am in semester break.
    How can I prepare myself for this new semester?

    Please Sir, give me a detailed advice if you have time.
    Thank-you Sir.

    • Okay, let’s try to tackle your problem. First of all, I think it is a good recommendation to try to find out what kind of a study type you are. I, for instance, am a person that hardly can memorize anything quickly. For this reason, I have adapted might study technique so that I begin far advanced with studying, which gives me enough time to properly memorize things. You say that you can hardly memorize anything, but I would disagree with that. I guess it would be more correct to say that you haven’t found the right techniques to properly memorize things. Maybe you are a similar study type as I am, which means that you would have to memorize through continuous repetition for over a month. If you sit down day after day and try to memorize your study subjects you will notice that your learning corve will increase from day to day.

      Regarding your question about a study schedule, I think it is pretty helpful to do during the cause of the semester or the preparation work that you require during the preparation for the exam. So this means that you write your summaries and of read the important books or do all the exercises that unnecessary. This gives you a good foundation once the time has reached where you start studying and preparing for exams. For me personally, I always start one month before the exams begin.

  36. Ruben Teckmun on

    Hi Steve. I wish I had read your article How to Study Smart not Hard one month ago. Last week I had an exam for which I felt unprepared despite continuous revision and this also entailed anxiety. I did pretty badly in the exam, losing my focus when faced with topics I had least prepared for, wasted time on replying questions which I was familiar with and could not allocate time commensurate with the marks given per question. There is a resit option in September 2015 for which I shall start preparing even though the last exam’s result are yet to be published (in early August 2015). This time I will be better prepared thanks to your advice and techniques described in your articles Study: Time Management for Students, How to Study Smart not Hard and How to get motivated to study.

    Thanks a ton!
    Best regards

    • Hi Ruben,

      You’re welcome. Great that the articles have helped you, and even more important: that you put their contents to practice.

  37. Sir, I’m the sudent of 12 from pcb…want to study but i lost my attention during study and day dreaming…
    Also i make time tables but can’t follow it…
    Please help me !

    • The key is to train your mind. Once you start training your mind will be come easier for you to focus and concentrate. You can use for example meditation for this purpose.

  38. Gracias sir!! Bt d thing is i want to study but i m unable to do so…. U can say like i m being distracted by friends family gadgets ….nd i m not feeling motivated even after reading so much of motivating articles…they arent working foa me….plZz..give me d most motivating thing…dat ll accelerate my efforts to the ever highest level…

    • You want the most motivating thing? In my opinion: meditation. If you learn to concentrate you can accomplish the most outstanding things.

  39. Awesome !!!! This type of article can help a lot to an eager students. The proper way of study should be thought. I really liked the article you wrote. It is really worthy and help me a lot to be motivated and focused. Besides it is really informative. Thanks a lot.

  40. I had my 12th board exams in march….then after all the entrance examz were over by the end of April….I m a science student with subjects phy chem mathematics computer and english… has been a long time now since I opened my books and can u help me out in this matter…the problem is that my college sessions will start in next 1 month and I cant recall everythng of what I studied till april 2015….

    • Sure, I’ll see how I can help you. Could you please detail where exactly your problem lies?

  41. Actually the thing is that I want to revise evrythng frm my 11th and 12th standard syllabus of phy chem nd mathematics before my graduation session starts….and I have only 1 month in hand for that…can you suggest me any work plan for this so that I can easily go through my books once without getting exhausted by reading day and night…. I would be very thankful if u could help me

    • Steve Mueller on

      Plan a loft of study time throughout the day but combine it with regular breaks so that you can freshen up your mind. In general, it is best to do one day mathematics, the other day physics and the next day chemistry. That way you can ensure that you continuously repeat the subjects in a regular time span. Plan the first week for revision, when you try to familiarize yourself with this study contents. The next 2 1/2 weeks could be used for intense studying way you would try to really memorize every detail. And the last half week could be used to freshen up the memory.

  42. Hello sir… I am facing an issue for a very long time.. I used to study so well.. As u have mentioned in the article, I used to study by visualising things making connections… It was interesting ,effortless and free flowing for me. Then one particular day something happened, a negative thought, a guilt captured my mind…made me very sad and lost every ability to study. Whenever I try to study, my mind start to analyse those thoughts, makes me sad… I lost my gift..

    Do you have any suggestion to get it back or is it lost forever???

    • Steve Mueller on

      I don’t think it is lost forever. There’s just something negative that is blocking your ability. But I also think that this negative thing is therefore particular reason. So the best way would be to try to work it out somehow so that you get your ability back. By designing that you try to overcome this issue so you can refocus all your attention back on studying.

    • eliminate distractions and train your mind for example by meditation. These are the best two tips I can give you.

  43. Hey Steve! Nice article.
    My problem is that I find it really hard to get back to studies after brakes. I usually watch movies or surf the internet (I can’t go out for a walk coz it’s really hot there to be honest) during my brakes but if I find something interesting (which usually happen) during breaks, I find it very hard to stop after the break time’s up. I’m not able to stick to a timetable because of that and usually end up regretting at the end of the day. Although, I feel really good after I’ve done the task(rarely that happens too) but that doesn’t help much in motivating, I don’t know why. Recently I’ve been trying to do things without motivation because I’ve read somewhere and I believe that it’s for kids only. When we grow up we have to do things that are necessary no matter how motivated we are or how we feel like. Some things got to be done for good.
    I also think I’m not really good at making timetable/planning for studies.
    Since past 3 days, I did almost everything I could have done EXCEPT studying.
    Can you please help me with that? I getting very tensed coz this bad habit of mine is stopping me to move forward in life.
    I have an exam coming up on 25th where I’ve to compete with ~ 600,000 students to get 1/1500 seats available and I’m still not studying as much as I should.

    P.S:. I believe I’m a visual learner.


    • Oh! And I’m also bad at summarizing things, that you can guess by the length of my previous comment :p

      Thanks for reading though, if you did. 😀

      • Steve Mueller on

        No problem at all, it’s always better to have a detailed description of the problem. Some people just write a one liner but I never can help them because I do not understand the situation.

    • Steve Mueller on

      Hey P,

      Let’s tackle the main issue here: becoming distracted during a break and the difficulty of picking up your work again after such an distraction. Unfortunately, there is only one way to solve this issue and I’m sure you might not like it: don’t allow yourself to become distracted during a break. I have experience the very same issue time after time. And there’s no possible solution than to avoid distractions during your break. Even though it is amusing to watch television during your break, it also breaks the concentration. As a result of this you would have to try even harder to regain the previously gained focus and concentration. If possible, try to switch to activities you can do during your break that are not as intense. For instance reading a book or an article in a magazine or newspaper. The best thing of course is to do nothing and just to use the time to chill and relax. But it is understandable that most people do not like this option.

      The second problem, not being able to start studying is also a rather difficult problem. In my own experience, there’s only one way to address this issue: by simply forcing yourself to start studying. Even though you might not feel like it you would just have to sit down and do it. And you also would have to remain persistent and not allow thoughts distract you to do other activities.

      I hope this helps so far, but feel free to ask any further questions.

      • Thanks!
        Actually, I’ve been doing the same thing as you suggested here, to do nothing during breaks and I find it the most effective solution to this problem. But, I also think that this way of studying by keeping everything else in my life aside is somewhat killing my life. I mean, I’ll be in a collage soon (I hope) and there too I’m gonna have to study but I if continue this trend of studying there also, then I won’t be able to live the other part of my life which is equally important.
        Isolation is I think a temporary solution to this issue, till my exams. But, it’s certainly not the best way to study. I’ve read many interviews of top scorers where they say that they did everything they do besides studying and still they scored good marks and I also have some friends who do more stuffs than me but still score higher than me most of the time. This made me believe that I may be not so smart like those guys. I talked to my father about this and he told me and I also believe that I don’t really have problem understanding the subject, I understand my subject material, sometimes faster and sometimes it takes longer for me to understand in comparison to my ‘smart’ classmates. The thing is that I’m not regular. I find it hard to start things, even things like getting up to brush in the morning!
        The most depressing thing is that none around me can help me and this made me feel somewhat alone. But, thanks for your reply, that actually made me feel positive. Never before I’ve ever talked about this issue of mine on the internet because the internet for me has never been a significant help and mostly full of trolls.
        I used to be a good student till 8th. I still remember how I used to study and enjoy my life. I used to play everyday, I used to watch movies, I used to go out and what not. But, back then the best thing about me was that I was ‘regular’, I used to make a timetable to do my studies just a month before my exams and I always did well. I used to be regular at self-study/homework and I had a daily routine to follow. I had no issues of getting back to studies may be because back then I had this reputation of smart and charming guy and I didn’t want to lose that image by loosing my position in class. I was regular, I used to feel satisfied at the end of the day because I did everything I needed/wanted back then.

        Thanks again for your time.

        • I don’t even have a girlfriend because of all this. Last year, I broke 2 hearts of girls who tried to be ‘close friends’ with me but I thought if a phone can cause this much trouble in my studies then having a girlfriend would be a complete disaster for my studies and I ended up ignoring those girls so that I could study well, which was not really a good experience. I still fell bad for them as well as for myself.
          I’ve heard from some people that having a girlfriend actually made them perform well in studies and the science behind that as they explain is, if you have a girlfriend/wife you feel more responsible and you do your best, your girlfriend can help you in your studies by being with you, she can fulfill your emotional needs, you feel motivated around her, etc.
          But I not really sure if having a girlfriend would make the situation better or worse because I always had this thought that girlfriends are high maintenance, they need significant amount of your time, energy and resources to keep the relationship fit.

          Sorry for going off the topic, I just wanted to share.

        • Steve Mueller on

          Yeah they are high maintenance, but I believe in the end you will benefit tremendously from a healthy relationship. That is to say a healthy one. And I think in a healthy relationship most people will have no problem if their partner takes some certain amount of time before an exam to prepare for it. If the person has a problem with that however, might not be the right partner. Even better: if your girlfriend is a student as well she will definitely share your concerns.

        • Steve Mueller on

          What you write is very correct: the people around you can only help you so far. But in the end, only you can achieve a true and long-lasting change. No one around to can do that for you.

          Luckily, it is not necessary that you give up your whole life just to get good grades. But what is necessary is that you become more efficient at the things that you are doing. From what you write I have the feeling that you occasionally waste time. Just think about your daily routine and the small amounts of time that you waste here and there. These little amounts accumulate to quite a lot of time at the end of the day.

          You write that many of your fellow students are studying less and have more spare time. You draw the consequence that they are smarter than you. But it might also be possible that they are simply more efficient than you. Meaning that they spend less time with studying but have a better outcome than you. Often times as a student one has the feeling that studying quite a lot of hours a day is helpful. I disagree with that. I would say it is more efficient to study five hours (before an exam) a day, when it is done in a highly focused and concentrated manner than doing all nighters without much focus.

          So the issue you can address is that you become more efficient when studying. This of course can only be achieved with a higher focus and a better concentration. The next issue is that you write that you feel that you have no time any longer for your hobbies. For me personally, I have always taken myself one month before the exams for studying. And it is quite true during this time I really had no hobbies and did not often see my friends. I did some sports of course but that was it. So I believe it is quite normal to have that much spent time during the exam preparation phase. For the rest of the semester, might be quite helpful for you to prioritize the hobbies and activities. Meaning that you try to figure out for yourself what kind of activities are most important for you. So this means that you say for instance that hanging around with your friends and going out with them is more important to you than for instance playing video games, surfing the Internet or watching television. If this is the case you can prioritize your most important hobbies and have more time for these hobbies, by dropping a little bit of time you spend with the other more random hobbies.

  44. Yes, you’re right and to the point. Thanks Steve, now I know what to do to make my life better. All your suggestions are helpful and practical.
    And you’re very right about concentration. I lack concentration because of the 2 reasons I can think of:
    1-I can’t sleep because I dream all the night and they’re mostly very vivid and tiring.

    2- And this one is the worst. I have this issue since 2010. I always have some random music/song playing in my head all the time. It’s not like it is coming from somewhere outside, it’s same as when you deliberately play a music in your head but in my case against my will. It starts in the morning, plays throughout the day (I does stop when I’m talking or watching TV) and stops just before I fall asleep when dreams take over. It keeps playing even when I meditate (I don’t meditate anymore because of that).
    My brain never rests.

    Any suggestions to get rid off this concentration issue would be very helpful and life changing.

    P.S:. I must say that you’re really a good listener and kind. The way you solve people’s problem here and your effort is really appreciable.
    I’m happy that my stumbled ship landed on your “planet of success”. 😀

    • Steve Mueller on

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s always great to hear that some of my suggestions are helpful. And I guess the only reason I can help is because I have had to face similar issues and was forced to develop my own solutions.

      Now let’s tackle the first issue, your sleep problem. Unluckily enough, I also suffered tremendously from sleeplessness i.e. I couldn’t fall asleep for many years during my teenage years and early adult hood. However, you write that you dream all the time, but isn’t that sleeping? Or are you daydreaming? Anyways, I think to overcome sleeping issues the best way is to find a regular sleeping pattern. This means that you try to go to bed at around the same time each day except of course when you are partying. The second aspect to this regular sleeping pattern is that you try not to oversleep. This means that you try to figure out how much sleep you require at the minimum to function properly do next day. For me, this is round about seven hours. So I always try to get back up after the seven hours. If I oversleep and sleep 10 or 11 hours I have really great difficulties to fall asleep at the next evening. Proper nutrition of course also plays a role.&

      Regarding the second issue: is good to read that you have already practiced meditation. That is my very first suggestion people who are facing concentration problems. The problem is most people do not like to suggestion and will never implement it. No matter how powerful it is. So the obvious suggestion to you is of course to continue your meditation practice. Because I have the feeling that you did not reach a level of expertise in this field so is that you could say you have begun to master your mind. I don’t know how far your efforts in meditation wins, but with a load of practice you should be able one day to complete the still your mind just for a couple of seconds at the beginning, but in the end for quite some minutes. Some people say they meditate but what they do is that they just sit around and that their thoughts wander. This happened to me as well, of course. So don’t make this mistake.

      But if you want a more practice oriented solution to your problem, and if your problem is bothering you enough this might be a possibility for you: why not try to listen to less music? I mean of course music is great and I love it, but I also noticed that I’m far too often confronted with music for instance from the radio. And exactly those songs from the radio are always those that I cannot get out of my mind.

      The third approach to this would be that you try immediately as your mind is starting to play the music you try to stop it. Don’t allow it to play and don’t allow it to continue. Really make it a habit of yours to stop it as soon as it starts playing. You really have to form a habit out of this if you want to get rid of it. I believe this can take really some training but you might be able to achieve results quickly.

  45. Hi Steve,
    You’re welcome!

    Allow me to first clear the doubt:
    No, I don’t dream all the time, I wrote “I dream all the night” (while sleeping).
    However, I do daydream but I’ve complete control over it and I daydream only when I’m doing absolutely nothing. So, it’s not a problem.

    Yes, I stopped listening to the music since last year. But, the bits of music I hear while walking around is enough to loop play all the day. This made me hate music/songs.
    Meditation did help a bit in this issue but didn’t solve the problem completely. Moreover, it’s more tiring for me to meditate while trying to stop the damn music unlike most of the other people who just have to stop their inner thoughts, which for me is kinda easy.

    As for the sleeping pattern, I do have one. I don’t have much trouble falling asleep. The problem is, I can’t sleep properly because of the dreams, no matter how long I sleep for, I always wake up a bit tired. I dream during siestas, I dream when I take a nap and I remember I was dreaming even under GA (General Anesthesia).

    I’m gonna continue meditating though, as you wrote.


    • Steve Mueller on

      Hi P.,

      When you mentioned that you wake up always a little bit tired, I remembered a conversation I had just one week ago. It was a conversation with a person who suffered from sleep apnoe. This person mentioned that he would also feel tired even after sleeping for long time. So this might be a possible cause, even though I doubt it because it mostly affects older men.

      Regarding the constant music issue, you’re not the only one. I found an interesting scientific article by an author who is also suffering from this condition. Here’s the link: he fails to mention a possible solution though.

  46. shubham shekhar on

    i’m a student this is my last year of my and i want to prepare for IAS(civil services exam) so tell me how will i manage of timing to study of and cse in which my college time is so long its 9-5pm. and also is that last year of is so busy in projects etc.

    • Well, sounds like a difficult situation. I would advice you to take reading enough time for preparing. Especially when you have only very little time during the day. So this means that you will have to start studying at least one month before the exams begin. You say that you are in university from 9 to 5, which makes it even more difficult. I would say that it is advisable to go home, have some quick lunch and then to continue studying for your exams after you leave the University. You could study from 5:30 to 11 PM and from 6 to 8:30 AM. This will be very stressful, but if you keep at this schedule you have enough time for preparation. And always remember that this is your last year so you would never ever have to put in this effort again.

  47. Is 3 hour sleep enough for a 20 year old student?
    Some people are able to sleep for about 3 hours a day how do they do it?

    • Steve Mueller on

      Sleep is very important. You should sleep enough so that you refreshed the morning. But it is also important not to sleep too long as this might give you problems with falling asleep the next day. In general, everyone is different and so you will have to find your very own sleeping pattern that is healthy for you. If students say they are only sleeping three hours my alarm bells are ringing. Furthermore, I really have to question if they use their 21 hours of the day in a productive manner. Sometimes it’s better to just have 15 or 16 hours but to use them in a very productive manner.

      • Hmmm…so can we say that even performance in classes is also affected if we dont get proper sleep..and can that lead to problems such as stress, overthinking and lack of concentration?

        And Is it good to study in the morning at 3:00 am?

        • Yes, we can definitely say that. Studying at 3 o’clock in the morning isn’t the best thing to do.

    • I don’t know. The best medication could be some kind of meditation that calms the mind.

  48. One more question u have always said that studying for a few hours a day is more efficient than studying for longer hours a day…but to be very doesn’t help me in any ways…coz all the day i have bothing apart from studying…and being a slow learner it is just not possible for me to spend a liitle time in doing things..coz my studies involve a lot of practical work that contains numerous questions to be solved…and how to say this but nothing can make me happy not even music, hobbies or anything except studying… really ! Provided i do it with utmost satisfaction and able to finish it the way i thought…so please suggest me how to study for longer hours coz i cant change tbis habit of mine….coz the only distraction that comes across is my past where i have made alot of mistakes regarding my studies …as my mind keeps thinking about them sometimes…!!:-)

    • It’s no problem to study for longer hours. I do that as well. My basic principle is just this : I always want to make the most out of the study time I have. So if I study for six hours I wanted to be really efficient. This means that six hours in a highly concentrated mindset are more valuable to me than studying 10 hours without the proper focus.

      So if you want to study for a longer time, make sure that you develop a good focus. Work on your concentration skills. Don’t allow distractions to disrupt you from studying. But also scheduled enough breaks during which you can refresh your mind.

  49. sir, I don’t know how to sleep. I try to sleep sufficiently but always wake up tired what to do ?

    • There can be many reasons for this. What are your precise sleeping patterns? At which time do you go to bed? When do you get up? Four how many hours do you sleep? What is your nutrition? Do you have breathing problems for instance sleep apnoe?

  50. sir,
    thankyou for your kind suggestions.
    but my problem is that i can not concentrate on my studies well i come home at 2 pm after school and my coaching is at 6in the morning which makes me really tired and after i come home i doesn’t feel like studying like i dont want to study but i am in 12 class and science+ip student which makes it really hard for me and after much councelling from my parents i cannot get myself into that study i know i have to study hard but i just can’t!
    please help sir your kind suggestions are requested

    • Well, if you do not like your subject’s it is always recommendable that you somehow find a proper reward that you get once you have accomplished your goals. So if there is something that you desperately desire you could use it as a reward once you have reached your goal. Such a reward can always help you to keep you going, even if you do not really like your subjects.

      Also, you write that you are in the 12th class, so I guess you do not have that much classes coming. Now’s the time to give everything and to put in everything you can to finally achieve your goals. False your self during the next weeks to give your best, even if you do not particularly like the subjects.

      Another important thing to consider is that your subjects might be boring, but they are stand in between you and your successful future. Even if you don’t like your subjects, if you fail your future will also be effected through this. So do not allow the subjects to create an obstacle on your road to success.

  51. sir,
    jee is joint entrance examination and all india common engineering examination which is conducted for admission in various colleges and subjects over the country. it is in two parts jee-mains and advanced

    jee mains is for admission in indian institute of information technology and national institutes of technology
    and jee advanced is for admissions in IIT (indian institute of technology)

    sir i may tell you that this are two competitive exams which are dream of every science student in our country and students work really hard and do various coachings for cracking these exams but in that usally they don’t get good marks in 12. due to this i haven’t joint any coaching for these competitive exams but i cannot coordinate between my school studies and preparation for competitive due to lack of guidance and time
    please refer your guidance

    • Okay now I understand. I think the best thing is to prioritize. The moment I have the feeling that jee is more important than the 12th class. If this is the case you could schedule more time for your preparation than you schedule time for your preparation of the 12th class.

  52. sir,
    jee is the common entrance exam conducted in India for admission in various colleges and subjects.
    it is in two parts jee mains (for admission in Indian institutes of information technology and national institutes of technology ) and jee advanced for admission in Indian institutes of technology.
    sir i may also tell you that cracking these exams is the dream of every science student in our country and students join many coachings for the same but due to this they are not able to perform well in 12 boards. due to this i have’nt joined any coaching for the preparation of these exams but i want to clear this exam so that i can get a good college and my favorite branch which is available only in few colleges in our country because of this it is a neccesity for me to clear this exam

    but i am not able to get myself into study at all as i told you sir, so how will i prepare for boards and jee together?
    please provide your guidance

    • The other approach is to prepare yourself for both exams. You would have to study all day long and you might have not much spare time. You would have to follow a close schedule, but if it helps you to be successful in the future it might be worth it.

  53. steve sir ,i am a 12th std student.i am always nice in my academics,but the problem is that i am not able to contribute my 100% in my studies.when i push myself to do such way i get stressed and end up in aim is to score full marks in my annual exam,now i got 521/540 and there is a chance for improvement exams.but my teachers always distract me by saying “you can’t do it”,it hurts me a lot,please give me a solution.

    • Use that negative energy that your teacher radiates by telling you nasty things and transform this energy into pure willpower to succeed.

      The second tip is not to place too much of a burden on your shoulders. You say that you get stressed which ends up in disaster, try to be more relaxed. You can always be the best decisions when you are unaffected and calm mental state. But if you allow emotions and stress to take control your ability to meet the right decisions and your performance in general will decline. So do not try to push yourself, try to make a concentrated effort to go further and to become better without forcing yourself.

  54. thank you sir,sorry for being late.i was busy here.sir ,i am asking you a help,please help me.i have daily portions to study and the problem is that the improvement exams are coming .i am not able organize a timetable for physics i have 15 chapters,maths 16 ,english 5 units (each units have 4 lessons ) .the exam starts on sep1,please suggest a method of study for my good performance .

    • Steve Mueller on

      You are welcome.

      First of all, prepare a time schedule. Calculate how much days you have left until your exams start. Then divide this timeframe by four. You should use 1/4 of your time to familiarize yourself with the subject. Then you could use 2/4 of the time to intensively study the subjects and do exercises. The last part of the time could be spent to intensivize your knowledge and to perfect your ability to solve the exercises.

      Make sure that you schedule your study plan so that you study subject A on the first day, subject B on the second, subject C on the third to be followed by subject A on the fourth day. And so on and so on. That way you can better concentrate on one subject per day, without forgetting the subjects of another topic.

  55. Steve sir I always get distracted when I am studying I couldn’t study more than 1 hr with full concentrate ??

    • You could approach this issue from two perspectives. First of all, it is necessary that you eliminate all kinds of distractions that prevent you from focusing. This means no television, no music, no smart phone, etc. Lock away all those things. Preferably, you study in a room that is only a table and a stool. No distractions.

      Second approach is that you train your mind. What you want to achieve is the ability to properly focus and concentrate, so that you identify distractions without being distracted. Let distractions come and go without being affected by then. The best way to improve your ability to focus and concentrate is through practicing meditation. Through meditation you will learn how to properly focus and concentrate.

    • Steve Mueller on

      You are very welcome. I wish you good luck for your future and never give up fighting.

  56. Hey, I read your article and it was pretty inspirational and I really appreciate it when you try and help new generations to improve. However, I myself have an issue. You see, most of the time, when my teacher introduces us to a lesson, I can’t seem to understand it. I study for the an entire week before the exam and not the entire day.Instead, 2 hours each day. But when it’s the day of the test, I can’t seem to remember anything. Well, little information. Also, I sleep at 9:00 which healthy. Also, Including the formula’s. I memorize them, but I can’t seem to break it down and solve the problem using it or the equation. I’d appreciate your help.

    • Hey, I am not sure about what subject you are talking about. I think it might be math as you have said that you are memorizing formulas. For me personally, when it comes to math I don’t study much for this subject. Instead, I try to do as many exercises as I possibly can. Only by solving exercises I will learn how to approach similar mathematical issues in the future.

      So when you say you cannot solve the test of your professor, it might be a hint that you haven’t had enough exercise. It is just an assumption. But this might be a point that needs to be addressed.

      Another aspect is that it is not so important to immediately understand the lesson of your teacher. I didn’t and I’m sure many other students but also not understand the exercise and how it was solved by the professor. But the important thing is that once you have to solution it take all the lessons of your teacher and try to practice them again and again and again. This seems to be really important in math as it helps you to develop a routine of how you can solve certain issues. And this routine helps you in the exam to solve similar issues.

  57. My prblm is that whatever I study I just forget after some days…so plz me best suggestion to good marks in 12CBSE board …and what sud be plan..

    • First aspect is to repeat what you study. There are only a few students who studied something and remember it for quite a long time. The other students have to constantly repeat what they are studying. I cannot memorize something after I have read it once. But after continuous memorization and continuous remembering I will get it into my head.

      The next aspect is to form connections about the subjects that you study. This means that you try to memorize things by connecting them to previously established knowledge. Often times we have to study subjects that we are not interested in order that we has no experience in. So especially the subjects we need to be really careful that we try to connect the uncommon knowledge with bits and pieces that we have already studied and there we already understand. I hope this helps so far but the free to ask any further questions.

  58. I have. Problems regarding studies . My memory is weak and why solving a problem i am slow how can i improve.

    • Train your mind for example by means of meditation and reduce any kind of distractions as good as you can. Feel free to ask further questions if you have any.

  59. Sir..the thing is that the thought of others passing while i’m not is killing can i overcome this?

    • I think the only way to really overcome this problem is that you start doing what you really love and what you really want to do. If you do something you don’t want to do and if you do something that you do not like them there will be always feeling that you’re missing out on something else.

  60. Sir , plz say me how to do well in cbse , i hav taken integrated medical so i am facing a great trouble to handle these two .When i was in ICSE (10th) my studies were at its peak but due to my bad result in english i hav got 89 % in board. From there on wards i hav lost all my talent of studying.i am nt getting the motivation to study so i m engaging myself mostly in social media . Plz help me sir..

    • Cut the time you spend on social media to a slight minimum. Try to work on your ability to concentrate and focus. Make sure that you do your tasks first, before you engage in leisure-activity. Try to train your mind for example by means of meditation.

      You say that your results have worsened because of your English. So if that subject is a problem to you, do the best you can to fill up that gaps that you have. Do everything you can to improve in the subject. If it is only the subject, then by all means spend as much time as necessary to improve your skills.

  61. Hi steve,
    I have problem in my studies…
    I have my Chartered accountancy final exam in nov 15.
    My prb is dat syllabus is too much n subjects are diversified like we have 8 subjects financial reporting, strategic financial management , taxs , law , audit , isca , costing. And they consists of lot of sections n sub sections around 1000 n mor and we need to quote them in while answering. And m not able to remember them moreover doing revision is again causing a prb. Coz portion is too much that doing revision means not completing the portion…
    Plz help how to revise n remember sections.

    • Hi Nancy,

      Excellent that you have enough time left for studying. Eight subjects it’s quite a lot, but you can still manage to do that. I would schedule one day for each subject, so that you don’t mix the subjects but still repeat each subject often enough. Maybe there are even subjects that you can combine and study on one day. What is important is that you differentiate between subjects where need to study by heart and those subjects where you need to do a lot of exercises.

      The first stage could be that you start summarizing the most important aspects of each subject. The second stage would then be spent on studying your summaries. The third stage is a combination of studying your summaries and deepening your knowledge of each subject. The last stage shortly before an exam could be spent for revision.

      • First of all thanks allot for replying and providing a guidance for my studies…
        I have already made my own notes and summaries for each subject.
        I had an attempt in last may but was not able to clear… The problem last time was the same of revising and more over exam fear i had during last minute and therefore lacked confidence.
        I am actually bright and studios student always had distinction n cleared in 1st attempt all my exams bt due to failure recently i had am recently disturbed n nt able to study the way i should ( i mean i nw study only 1 chapter were earlier i use to cover 4-5 chapters)
        Any suggestions if u can provide will be helpful.
        Thank you Steve once again for ur advices.

        • I have made the experience that the less prepared I am, the less confident I am in the exam. On the other hand, if I have Myself really well and did everything I could, my confidence about the exam increases.

          I think it’s important that you take yourself enough time for studying, and that you repeat the subjects often enough that the subjects get into your mind. Right before an exam you might have to reduce your leisure activities and give everything you can while studying.

          Try to forget what happened in the past, you cannot change it. But also keep in mind that by holding on to the past, you might be negatively influencing your today’s performance. Try to get your mind free of all these thoughts.

  62. I am a science student,facing my final exam in a few months.The problem is i have a bad memory i forgrt what i study in a short tme period.This causes me trouble as i have to refer a particular section many times.And when i am excited my mind goes blank.this lowers my concentration during lectures.becauce of these disturbances i couldnot work properly to acheive my goals.Can u please help me to solve this problem

    • Hi Sarah, having a bad memory is no problem. In fact, I don’t have a good memory as well. But I still manage to get the study materials in my mind. But how do I do this? Repetition is the keyword here. People with a bad memory need to repeat their study materials again and again and again. By means of repeating your study material you will be able to remember most of the things you study, but you also will be able to avoid blackouts.

      Usually, I start one month before an exam. This time is necessary because I will repeat my study material day after day during this time. This does not necessarily mean that I study 10 hours a day, but repetition is necessary so I plan one hour two hours or three hours, depending on how much time is necessary. What I then do is that I try to familiarize myself with the study subject and then try to either highlight most important things or I write an extensive summary. After that I try to learn everything by heart. After 15 days of doing this, the materials are already in my mind so that I am able to remember all the materials under a given subject line.

  63. Sir i am an 12 studying student
    my prblm for studying is that when i came from home i first think about to sleep and then to study on night upto 1 or 2..then i woke up and start thinking which subject from PCM should i choose…which will help me incr my confidence to study continously..could you suggest me any tips..
    and also just before giving any exam or test i got somehow depressed and nervous and the question which i can do alone at home cant be dobe durung the exam..this is really a major prblm fr me ..plz suggest me…

    • Hello, could you please detail your first problem? I do not understand where you need help with this issue.

      Regarding the second issue, try to make the exercises more often so that through repetition your mind can better memorize it. The better you memorize it and the more often you do an exercise that less likely it is that you forget that during the exam.

  64. Hi,
    I am a humanities student. And I have my only attempt at a nation wide civil services exam in 4 months. I am coming across a few problems:

    1. I have more or less 12 subjects to study in four months. And the syllabus is not books bound, it’s across the board topics.
    2. I tried to break down studying subjects in terms of two subjects in 15 days, at least 15 topics each, just to be able to go through the material. But i am finding it very hard to divide subject topics per day in a systematic fashion.
    – But when I am studying not only do I feel that just going through topics is a waste of time but i also keep oscillating between trying to memorise it or just a cursory read to grasp the subject matter. Also not being able to stick to my imagined ‘ what I should cover today’ kills me.
    3. I am finding it hard to create visual cues for such extensive material. Subjects like national affairs etc. How does one efficiently color code with in a subject. Any sites etc.
    4. Can you give a site name for some less time consuming meditation techniques.
    5. Writing summaries seems to be a daunting task after the first read, cause I don’t remember enough.
    6. I am also oscillating between being over confident and under confident about my goal.

    For now this should be enough, you possibly get the crux of my problem. I might ask a few more questions.

    • Your approach is excellent. Breaking Your study materials into terms is pretty helpful. But it is not always necessary to appoint every subject to a given timeframe. In theory, this will be helpful of course. In praxis however, you might want to spend more time with one subject and less time with a less important subject.

      I believe that your test requires a broad understanding and knowledge about different kinds of topics. In this case, writing summaries is of course not really productive. So it might be better to work through the topics and to highlight the details and most important parts of each page that you have read. This way, you will be able to read the book fostered the second time you read it, as you can leave out everything that’s unimportant.

      Secondly, if you do write a summary, always do it while you read something. Never do it after you have finished a book.

      Unfortunately, there’s no quick magic pill to meditation. But avoiding television each such can help pretty much at improving your concentration and focus.

  65. Thank you ver much sir.can i knw i long should i study as my subjects has an extended syllabus.usually my teachers say working hard for th whole day is better im confused.and how to plan a study timetable.

    • Giving a time estimate is difficult. Usually, you should take yourself enough time so that you can probably remember everything. This takes of course a lot of time.

  66. Sir….my xamz r on 3rd and 4th sep… now its 30th..what will I do??? I don’t noe nthng… I’m forgetting evryding…I’m crying now…I have always low marks in. Science and max …I’m too weak…I CNT understand anyding… what will I do? Plz tell me

    • Usually, I start one month before the exam with studying. Maybe you need to start early and maybe you need to train your mind, for instance by means of meditation.

  67. Hi,
    Thankyou for your informative blog, hits the right notes and the prompt reply. I am giving importance to subjects in an equal manner. You are right about the more important. I plugged out my TV. Focus is key, will keep checking your blog for further efficient tricks. Also I am trying to get a good revision in which you pointed out too. What are some meditative methods, deep breathing exercises etc? : )

    • There are so many meditation methods, it’s difficult to list them all. But for students especially those techniques that help you to calm your mind are especially beneficial. Basically, the just try to reach a state where you are not distracted by thoughts. This sounds simple at first, but it takes a lot of practice to reach the state. But you will benefit tremendously from it as you learn to properly concentrate and focus.

  68. sir! i had full a1 upto 8th std..but now i cnt memorize anyding dat i had studied 1 hr be4..i don noe wht had happnd 2 me..nw im in 10th std.ihve lost ol ma intrsts on studies..wht will i do? i have 2 gt full a1 in ol d dat ma parents will b proud f me..but nw i lost ol d intrst.i don noe y is d reson…plz tell me wht will i do?

    • Try to win back your interest in your study materials. If you’re interested in something studying becomes much easier. In order to increase your memorization skills, try to avoid all kinds of distractions and try to improve your focus for instance through meditation.

  69. anothr imp thing is dat i hate max..i don noe famly mmbrs r also wek in max..i don noe hw 2 study max..each ni8 i make a promiz dat i will study max..but im nt abl 2 do me sir!!

  70. its good but there is something which is not work for me…when i start studying at the same time i feel sleepy…..i used even take drugs but they are even not working…so whats is your advice?

    • If it’s mathematics, then you will have to practice a lot. Often times, learning by heart is not necessary in mathematics. Instead, what you need is practice. Take all the exercises that you have and every other exercise you can get your fingers on and try to practice them all.

  71. Thanks for the timely article. You hit the nail on the head when you say, “…the higher you rise in the educational system, the less important will it be to memorize and reproduce, as your understanding and the ability to draw consequences will be tested”
    As a professional in the financial industry for 20 years, I have taken a number of courses and certifications for my role. I have witnessed first-hand the changes you mention in your article regarding the delivery of tests and examinations. Through high school and university, I was able to maintain grades in the 80% to 90% range using rote memorization. However, just last May I barely passed an industry financial planning examination because I memorized everything rather than learning at the different cognitive levels that the educational institution tests their students on. That was a real wake up call, especially since I am starting the next level of this advanced financial planning designation. I am trying the Cornell method this time around which implements some of your methods above. Your tips will come in handy! Thanks again.

    • You are very welcome. Thanks for your feedback. You mentioned a so-called Cornell method, I have never heard of it but I will definitely have a look at it.

  72. Sir, I am a science medical student in class 12th currently, I have my board exams in march 2016.. As per that I have very less time left to revise, I tend to forget things during the examination even after knowing the answers very well, maybe I’m not able to express my answers well on the answer sheet. So I started revision by writing, but even it’s not helping me.I really want to score more than 90% in my boards so should I start doing my syllabus from the beginning? I think I’ve forgotten many things. Btw the article was really motivational 🙂

    • I was also confronted with the problem of forgetfulness. I studied intensively, but I could not remember the majority of it. When an exam started, I started to blackout and everything in my memory was lost. Through these experiences I have come to realize that I needed to change something. What I do now is that I intensively study by heart. This means that I try to memorize everything that is important. And after I have memorized it I will test myself again and again. This means for me that I go through my study material continuously and up to 40 times, only showing myself the headlines. When I see the headline I need to be able to talk about the subject out of memory and I try to bring up each and every point that I have stored in my memory.

      • Yeah! that would be an appropriate method to deal with it but how do I manage my time? practising involves a great amount of time, I have just 2 months to cover my whole syllabus.

  73. Sir, can you give me some advice? Im a Singaporen student, and is currently sitting for O level Examinations. I have only 37 days left, including today….. Im feeling very very very stressed now. My eyes gets teary sometimes when I think of the exams. I am very worried if im able to finish revising all the contents, which seems to be impossible because I hav 9 subjects in total. Although I hav somewhat start preparing, im not confident n veryy scared. Please helpp meee, I dont feel like telling y mum because she is already having alot of work stress. Ur hwlp is greatly appreciated. Thank You. I scareddd I cannott memrorisee finish.

    • Hi, first of all, try to develop a study schedule where you plan ahead how you want to study the next month. You can decrease your stress and anxiety by studying properly and preparing yourself with great scrutiny. You need to be willing to put in a really big effort in order to succeed with your study. But if you are willing to make this effort, you will become more confident and you will see that your study materials are more easily accessible in your mind.

      • Thank you very much Steve, for the advice. U see steve, I am left with 24days now before my exams. And I will be graduating from my school in a few days time. This means that I wont attend anymore lessons n I will be on y own for the remaining days. I want to make full use of the time and create an effective timetable for my exams. I have 9 subjects in total. Can u please suggest to me how to plan y time effectively? I was readin through the comments of others n u mentioned tat one day per subject is recommended? (ps: I know 20plus days is not sufficient to memorise the contents of every subject, but I just want to know how to use y time wisely on the remaining days before exams) I really want to score well in this exam afterall, tis is the main reason why I attended school. In the upcomin days, I will be expecting my stress level n anxiety to go up, how do I cope with tat? I am fearful tat it will affect y studies. Thank u again steve for readin y comments. N alsoo lastly I want to ask u sth I alwayd hav been wondering about. U see steve, I always give y best during y studies, and even though I dun realli like to study, I force yslef to study n also sacrificed some of televesion time to memorise social studies. However, I sometimes still end up gettin a very lousy grade as compared to others n I will feel very demoralised. I scared tat the same thing would happen this time….how do I cope with this pressure from friends? Ur advice will be greatly appreciated :))

        • Okay, let‘s try to approach your problem. If you have nine subjects, I would recommend to try to cover two subjects a day. This means that it will take you about four days of studying for one cycle. After this the next cycle can start. It’s great that you have 24 days left, but you will have to be motivated to the toe in order to succeed. But if you are willing to make this effort you will be rewarded. Try to study as much as you can, using the most strategic approach possible. By preparing yourself thoroughly you will be able to reduce your anxiety and fear. These two will only show up when you subconsciously know that you did not enough for the exam. If you’re feeling stressed and tensioned, try to take a break from studying and do some exercise or taking a walk. I would recommend not to spend your time watching TV or playing video games. It will only distract you and reduce your attention span.
          However, if you really want to score well you might need to put in an extra at fault.
          You say that you get lousy grades compared to others, but the question you need to ask yourself is if you have done the same effort that your fellow students put into the subjects? If your grades are not good then there is a lot of potential for optimization. Try to study more intense, more focused and with a smart approach. Try to find the gaps and come of them.

  74. Thanks…. This post is the one I m always in search of. It not only opened my eyes and made me realised that where I m lacking but also motivated me to work smart along with hard. I would like to say… BRILLIANT JOB..
    Again, a big thanks.

  75. Hi, I would like to get some advice from you. Last year I took an exam to get into a med school but I didn’t make it. So now I take a year off preparing for the test. My problem is I don’t really see my improvement. I already read all the books I should have read. I put my effort on it. Now the test date is in the corner. I’m so stressed.

    • Well, you write that you have already failed the exam once. This might have been a painful failure, but now it allows you to draw important information from it. Thanks to this experience you now know exactly the topics that are going to be covered in the exam. This gives you an important information on how to prepare for the exam.

      You write that you have already read all the books available. But in order to properly prepare for an exam, it is not necessary to read everything you can. Instead, it is necessary to intensify your study of the subjects that are really important and most likely part of the exam. Make sure to highlight the important bits and pieces of information and try to learn them by heart.

  76. Hello sir!what do i want to do to make me intrest in a biostudent.thz days im stressd nd i feel im losing all the intrest i had before..plsss help me!

    • Try to remember the true reason why you started studying. There must’ve been some kind of an ambition that made you enroll for this kind of subject. Try to get this ambition back. Make yourself clear that you are in a privileged position to be able to study. Try to win back the thankfulness that you are allowed to study. There are so many people would like to study, but are never able to enroll.

      But also, try to make yourself clear what the true purpose of your studies this. Realize that your studies are just a necessary teaching that you need before you are able to start working in the profession you always wanted to work.

    • No problem. It’s a little bit difficult to get started with meditation, but after a while you will notice that you are making a good progress. I wish you good luck with your meditation endeavors.

  77. Hello SIR’

    Firstly THANK YOU so much for publishing such a wonderful article which is a one ONE STOP COMPLETE SOLUTION for all the students whether pursuing school,college or profesional level of studies.WONDERFUL WRITEUP.

    SIR from all the commnts above i got to know that its not only me who face set backs while my studies.EACH AND EVERY STUDENTwhthr pursuing school or profesinal or othr exams goes through some or other kind of study dilemma and is in continuous search for a way to tackle it.

    Sir now my queries which i would like to get answered by you is-
    1) What makes a differnce between”A student who secures Rank AT STATE LEVEL OR NATIONAL LEVEL” and”one who just manage to secure just the pass marks?” AND
    2) WHAT it takes on part of students to get back to their goal when they have failed many a times in the attempt of achieving the goal?


    • Thanks a lot for the kind words.

      1) I think the major difference between an A-level student and the rest is that these kind of students know exactly where they want to be. I think this is important, because if you know where you want to be in thefuture you will be ready to make sacrifices to accomplish your mission. A fantastic man once said that you will not succeed until you desperately want to succeed as much as you want to breathe after you have been for more than a minute underwater. Also, these a-level students are either extremely intelligent and work hard, or averagely intelligent but work even harder than the rest.

      Those students who just pass the exam have their minds filled with other kind of activities that are more important to them, for instance leisure activities, which is also fine.

      2) All it takes is that the student gets back up on the feet and starts trying again and again until the students finally succeeds. In general, successful people have always stood up just one time more than they failed.

  78. that really helped alot and thank you so much for taking your time to help us..
    I only have one month to exams and i was wondering, is it too late to catch up since i have wasted almost two semesters and this is a final exam and how do i go about catching up?
    thankyou for reading and your reply.

    • It depends. How many subjects? How much material to study?

      But the main question is, how much I you willing to sacrifice in order to get prepared for the exam? If you are willing to do everything you can, willing to study for more than 10 or 12 hours a day, with the highest possible concentration, then it is possible.

  79. Hello. I’m going to sit for my o level exams in less than two weeks.I’ve been studying quite hard but I still feel like I’m not ready. This really scares me and nowadays most of the time I’m lazing around and all. I don’t know what went wrong but I don’t like to study anymore. I get bored a lot and sometimes I just give up on studying. What do I do.

  80. Hello, thanks for the tips!
    I’ll be in year 11 next year and I’m freaking out because I want to study smart, but I have a job and I play basketball, so how do I balance out my time? It’d be great if you could answer this! Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Lizzy,

      Especially when you have a job and many leisure activities you’ll really have to study smart. Can you cut on other things, for instance watching television, surfing the Internet etc.? If possible you could gain a lot more time by cutting these activities.

  81. hello sir
    i’ve heard from somebody that
    “the strong people lift weak ones”
    but as an below avg. student for me why this statement dosen’t have any meaning?
    all student who are good at studies and teachers who only support intelligent student do not make such environment for students like me to also have help for needed..

    • Personally, in the context of studying I think the quote is just an excuse for lazy people. Lazy people want others to do all the work for them. In many other different areas in life this quote is applicable.

      However, when it comes to studying the sole responsibility lies upon your shoulders. Often times, not the intelligence students are the best, but those who are willing to give their very best at studying.

  82. hi
    my problem is that i read try to understand after about 3weeks i forget what i have learnt
    i try to understand things some times even it being just a single word i can forget within an hour

    • If you notice that your forgetting quickly, then try to increase your repetition. You have to learn by heart more intensively, and to repeat your study materials more often. Doing so will help you to increase the ability of remembering your study materials.

  83. hello sir ! i am working hard on maths but i am not getting satisfactory results why? i work hard on other subjects and i score well i am not able to score well in maths. Can u plz help me out?

    • Hi, what is your approach? How do you study for math? When it comes to math you will have to do a lot of exercises. And by a lot to mean really hundreds. Get as many exercises you can and calculate them through. Learning by heart or simply looking at the calculations will not help you. It needs to be practiced.

      • Thanks a lot sir for your advice .My real problem is that I am really scared to attempt maths exams . I am really working on my fears but I simply just can’t over come it . And I have another question sir that is some people even though they are average in studies they will achieve more in life but some brilliant students fail to achieve more in life. why sir?
        Thank you very much again sir .

        • You will see that the fear issue will decrease the more exams you write. But this can take a lot of time of course. For me personally, I have always found it very helpful to be as prepared as much as I could be. This has always given me the necessary confidence to reduce my anxiety.

          The reason why so many brilliant students fail is that they always could rely on that talent, without having to work hard for achieving something. But at University things start changing, because you cannot rely on your talent anymore, but would have to put in a lot of effort. Only those students who are willing to do so will be rewarded.

  84. hello sir! thanx for such a wonderful article. Focus is such an important part of studies. I have a problem of focus on studies for a long period. I tried to remove distraction by avoiding tv mobiles etc, but when i try to concentrate still i find remember things, even after understanding & studying..mostly i feel sleepy even after having proper interests in subject matter, after completing the whole study process,i dont have the confidence that i can write my paper accordingly, and that leads to my downfall, how to bring back my focus & interests on studies, Why do i feel sleepy even after having interest for the subject matter? Y i feel lazy sometimes? Are my concepts for the subjects weak? What should i do? Plz help sir..

    • Hello, thanks a lot for your feedback. I have recently published a new article that fully addresses the focus issue. You can find it here.

      Focus, however, is only one part studying. You write that you have difficulties at remembering things. There is no way around it than to repeat your study materials as often as necessary until the materials are properly and truly memorized.

      Secondly, you absolutely have to address the sleepiness issue. It’s what seems to be preventing you from accomplishing study success. Ask yourself where the sleepiness is coming from. Do you have irregular sleeping patterns? Bad nutrition? A lot of coffein? The next time you feel sleepy, get up and run around your room in order to run sleepiness away. If necessary take a cold shower or sprinkle your face with cold water. Do not give in to the sleepiness.

  85. hi sir,
    good evening. thank you so much for this article, it actually really helped me and it was very useful.
    my national examination is tmrw and reading your article made me feel better so thank you. you’re brilliant in what you do.
    have a great week ahead! 🙂

  86. I think from my point of view that Smart study means understanding the concept completly,and studying hard is like mugging up,without knowing what really we are studing which is of no use.Defects are not in students but with the educational system.Our society have many example of people who did’nt did good in school,but are motivational for others being sucessful,Bill gates is an live example of this.
    By the way,I have read your writing and comments of people and am really happy that it helped people alot.
    Thanks man,Thanks Alot.

  87. Hello sir the article was very very good I am really inspired by it but sir I want to increase my grasping and understanding capability …..could you please suggest me some methods?????

  88. very well ,you have explained all this in a very joyful and understanding way ,when i opened this site I was kind of nervous depress overwhelmed but after finishing this article just guess the opposite of those above three words ,thanks for making me feel confident .my 12th exams are after three months and I still don’t think I’m even prepared to get few marks will u like to add some points in my case:-) it will be really helpful ,once again thanks.

    • You’re very welcome. I’m glad I could help. How exactly can I help you? I think it would be best if you describe your situation a little bit so that I can find a possible solution for you.

  89. Sir.!! That’s really helpful..
    But i’ve a question..
    I wasted all my time uselessly and now..i didn’t realize it…
    And now it’s only 15 days remaining in exams…what should i do about preparing it?
    I’m studying in BCA from distance learning programme and there’re 8 subjects in this semester.
    I’ve always been a great student in my school. Everyone appreciated me.
    But after engaging in BCA i got to feel imperfect becaz i’m from a village. I started comparing myself to other student living in cities, and found myself very poor to grow. My head filled with lots of questions.
    I thought i could learn every thing using internet that city boys know. And i did. But after focusing on these less useful things, i got distracted from study.
    I started feeling sorry.
    I tried to concentrate on my studies but found that i’m not able to do it. It made me bored.
    Let me tell you. I’m an ambivert.
    Is this also affecting my studies?
    When i found lots of courses and tutorial to learn almost everything i need to look like a city-boy, i started engaging in those tutorials and cause of that i lost all my skills like programming.
    There’s no higher educated people in villages. If you found anyone, they will hesitate to talk with you becaz they’re filled with pride to be higher educated.
    Lots of thing to say…but my ability to put my thoughts into words is not good. Becaz of my terrifying english.
    So please give me some tips to get myself back..
    And plz let me it possible to do it in 15 days? Plz give me to valuable tips…
    Thanks you very much for sir…

    • Hey, yes it’s possible to study all your subjects in 15 days. But let this be a reminder for you for the next time that you will start studying much earlier on. All you need is the willingness to do everything you can. If you’re willing to study 12 hours a day you can make it. It’s important in your situation up to overthink things. I believe there are too many distracting thoughts in your mind, for what ever reason. Try to focus on the essentials. It’s not important if you can look like a city person. Be proud on who you are and where you come from.

      This article will help you to better focus on your study subject.

  90. Hi, I’m Tricia and I’m trying to get some help when it comes to studying. I’m an ACCA student and currently I’m trying to study for F7 a Financial Reporting paper. I will be continously reading and reading and nothing will be sticking. It’s like my brain goes blank. I really don’t know what to do. I never had a problem studying before. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Tricia,

      You write that nothing sticks when you read a paper. I think that’s the problem. Only by reading something it does not necessarily stick in your mind. There are some people who can do that, but for most of us will have to repeat things before they stay in our mind for a longer period of time. Maybe it could be helpful for you to write the most important aspects of each paper down. After you have a summary you can easily memorize the most important aspects of each paper. Through this continuous repetition you will find it easier to memorize things. I hope this helps so far, but feel free to ask any further questions.

  91. Hello Steve,
    I have read your blog post and find it really awesome.As it is necessary and need to study smart and not hard. I do agree with all of your points specially the one in which you have said to focus on extremely important points rather then going to memorize each and everything from each textbook for that particular topic or subject. As in my opinion it creates distraction in the way of focusing on more important things. Also I love other points like never stop learning and when you give time to study give your 110% which is really something awesome every student should keep in mind while studying.

  92. Sir I think I have eventually found the person whose advice I really needed.. My name is Arjun and Im 12th grade student from India. Im not that bad at studying.. I had 10 CGPA in my 10th grade(CLASS 10)
    But 11th standard was awful.. I never bothered to attend classes. I bunked most of my classes. BTW Im a science student. But eventhough i missed a lot of classes i was able to score around 75% in class 11. The sudden fall in marks pulled my confidence down. I joined class 12. Sir btw my teachers have immense faith in me because i was the number one classbunker even in the year i got 10/10 grade point . The thing is like sir i learn these things myself. From Your post i could understand that im an auditory-visual learner. Sir 12th was a new beginning for me because i began studying and attending classes. i discoverd that I loved physics a lot and hated mathematics and biology. Chemistry and physics always get me around 90-95% when the class topper would only have 96.
    But children are shocked to the fact that i only earn 70% in biology and maths. these marks are from my preboard exams which is irrelevant. But 2 months away lies my board exam sir. I want to score a 97% in It. And I need your help. Sir this is how i study things.. I always study physics and chemistry before hand and my syllabus there is already completed. Maths I do problems once but get distracted a lot during my study periods. I hate biology because i dont like to memorize things. Now Sir help me. I thin I need to learn A-Z in BIOLOGY ALL OVER AGAIN. I Sometimes strain a lot by studying hours. what is the best time to study? what must be my approach.. How to deal with biology??
    and how to study maths??? Dad says solving question papers is enough.. but how to remember solved problems.. I often forget the hard problems that I easily solve during study hours.. Sir I feel I don’t have enough concentration during the hours I study.. how to get 110% dedication? Sir indly answer my queries I need your reply sirrr… pleaseeeeeeeeeee

    • Hi Arjun,

      From what I understand about your situation is that you struggle with studying for two subjects you’re not particularly interested in. Now the thing with studying this this. We often have much trouble studying for those subjects that we are truly interested in. However, we also have the obligation to study at a subjects that we are not so much interested in. Your success at these subjects will either make or break your success. This means that the way you deal with this challenge can have a great impact upon your academic life.

      You have to note that we will be confronted countless times with subjects that we are not pretty much interested in. However, we have to do everything we can to overcome these challenges. We have to be concentrated and work diligently in order to succeed.

      So everything you do for the subjects you do nothing particular for the subjects, but for your future. Be always aware of this fact.

      The good thing is that you have two months left to prepare yourself for the exams. Use this time.

      When it comes to biology, be willing to study it from a to z all over again. If you find that this is necessary, then do it. It does not matter if you like it or not. It’s necessary. Try to separate your study materials in biology into different parts and studied them one after another. At best, try to study these things daily. If you are getting distracted, force yourself to maintain attention. Eliminate distractions if necessary. Learn everything by heart so as not to forget anything. Use continuous repetition in order to establish the knowledge within your mind.

      When it comes to math, you will have to exercise a lot. Repeat the exercises as often as you can. Personally, I never studied math by heart. I never try to memorize these things. I always tried to get as many exercises as I could. As you can see, mathematics is all about repetition. It means that you confront yourself with the same problems over and over again until you understand the underlying principle. This helps you to solve similar issues with ease. All it takes is quite a lot of exercise.

      The best time to study is during the day. Start studying after you finish breakfast. End studying shortly before going to bed. Calculate enough breaks.

      If you are willing to put in this effort, you can definitely make it. I have faith in you.

      • Thank you so much sir steve that u replied.. Definetly from now on im going to strive for it and sir i promise you that u will find another comment from me exactly two months later on the same page with my secured marks .. and sir thans for ur polite instructions. bless me sir

  93. hello sir!!!!!…….
    i’m a 11 class student……i have to juggle hard among physics , chemistry and mathematics all day long still leaving a lotttt to be done………can u suggest me a time table to make my things a bit easier …
    and thankyou soooo much…. this article helped a lot…

    • Well, try to plan your schedule so that you continuously can repeat your study material. For example on one day you could be studying subject A, the next day subject B followed by subject C after which you begin with subject A again.

  94. Hi steve, I really need your help. I failed cambridge A’level exam last year and am about to retake the exam by may and I just don’t know how to plan my study time table. I have chemistry,biology and physics textbooks which are about 600 pages each and past questions to work on before may 4th. I have been thinking wether to study one subject like chemistry for one month then start with physics or biology for another month but am afraid that I might forget some of what I read if I dump one subject after studing it to another subject for a long time. I am just confused on how to plan my time table. Please help me sir. I really need your advice and i look forward to hearing from you. Thanks

    • Hi Donald,

      First of all, try to see your failure in a more positive manner. You may have failed, but it cannot be changed. Use this experience to grow and to become better.

      It is excellent that you mentioned that you have past questions of the exams. This gives you very important insights about the kind of questions your professors ask you in the exam. But it also shows you the different topics that you should emphasize while studying. For this reason, do not be afraid when you are confronted with textbooks that have more than 600 pages. Instead, try to separate the wheat from the chaff. You only want to study those subjects that are really important for the exam. For this, take a book, read it and write down important aspects. Doing so will help you to get a good summary of the book. After that, you no longer have to read the book. Instead, you can just read and memorize the summary.

      You’ve also ask the question whether or not you should study for one subject one month and then continue with another subject. I would not recommend this approach. Instead, I would recommend an approach that is based on repetition. For instance, you could study subject A on Monday, followed by subject B on Tuesday and continued with subject C on Wednesday. After you have completed all subjects, continue again with subject a. The continued repetition of each subject will help you to better memorize the contents. Remember, good memorization is all about repetition. The longer and the more you repeat a given subject, the better you will be able to memorize.

      I hope this helps so far, but feel free to ask any further questions.

  95. Hi steve
    I’m appearing for my board exams in a month. There are six subjects of which i have covered physics,biology eng and half of chem. Bt i havnt done much math and rivision of all these is also left. I stay home n i have around 10 hours of study. can u help me prepare for the best results. p.s. i’m really a fast learner if i concentrate! please help

    • Hi Priscilla,

      The next logical step would be to concentrate on studying math and doing the necessary revision. When studying math keep in mind that you will most likely learn the most by practicing the exercises you have. Confront yourself with many problems and try to find solutions. By repeating these mathematical exercises you train your ability to solve the mathematical issues that you will be confronted with in the exam.

      While doing this, however, don’t forget to take the necessary time to revise the other subjects. By means of constant repetition you will be more likely to remember your study subjects during the exam.

      I hope that helps so far.

  96. hi sir,this is debansu .i want to know that how i can i remember for longer durations…..and i want to know more about rote memorization..Waiting for your reply.Thanks

    • Memorization is all about repetition. The more time you schedule for the memorization part, the better you’ll be able to remember things. I recommend to take at least 30 days of continuous repetition to thoroughly prepare for an exam.

  97. G Gautam Krishna on

    Dear sir,
    My name is G.GAUTAM KRISHNA from India,Hyderabad aged 23 years posting you about my problems and i want your valuable suggestions from you from Kindergarten to primary school i was a good student an used to score good grades in all subjects..when i stepped into High school i tasted failure and still continuing the failure streak
    I was dropped from I.C.S.E syllabus school in tenth class,inspite of writing re-examination conducted by the school Management….i was shifted to another school and got 74%….i joined intermediate and got 64% …after intermediate i joined chatered Accountancy hoping to do well in field of accounting and auditing but it took 3 attempts to pass my foundation course thus by wasting 1.5years,joined in CA-IPCC ie CA intermediate…and gave continuously 6 attempts, but still cannot succeed in it and i got out of Chartered Accountancy…i joined in very lately and now i am pursuing final year

    whenever i enquire about my friends or meet them they are at highest point in education they are alumnus fom IIT’s and IIM’s and Some are well settled seeing them i feel myself very Ashamed,humilated and looks myself as a failure..

    I analyzed myself about my strenth and weakness..even though i cannot ovecome my weakness

    1) I cannot sit and study for long hours
    2)I am especially weak in studying theory subjects
    3)I lack concentration.
    4)My mind is diverted very easily and quickly thus i will lose my attention and cannot listen to classes
    5)I can remember General Knowledge easily but cannot remember what i studied during exams
    6) when i read any subject my mind goes on another subject (EXAMPLE:-I f i am reading law mymind goes on revolving around auditing and Vice versa)
    7)i am very weak in rememebering basics of any subjects
    8)i never read question properly
    9).I also read lot of motivational,inspirational books and article ..but still i cannot hold determination and desire in my heart and mind firmly

    i am very ambitious to make very big in my life…and to gain some respect among my friends and relatives
    After Graduation i am going to prepare for bank exams,Civil services exams and government jobs…
    i am thinking to continue CA In november 2016 and to study with my own money

    my parents had only worry about my settling in Carrer,like other people i have no financial problems,i also had a good studying infrastructure and environment,My parents are so supportive to me.

    Dear Sir, I want some suggestions from you regarding my problems…please consider it
    Thnaking You,

    • Please have a look at my reply to your first comment.

      Regarding the problem about the able to remember general knowledge, but not the subjects you have studied for.

      You might be able to memorize these general things much easier because it’s easier for you to establish emotional anchors with these subjects. Whenever you can connect raw data with emotions or other feelings, it will be by far easier for you to remember them. On the other hand, most study materials are so difficult to remember because we have no associations that help us to remember these.

      The second thing about memorization is that it is important to repeat things. Only by constant repetition you will be able to properly prepare for an exam. Scheduled at least 30 days for preparation and repetition so that you will not forget your study materials during an exam.

  98. Dear sir,
    I am a student of class 10.
    I am left with one month to study for my final exams.
    There are 5 subjects.
    Please advice me on how to start studying.

    • Excellent that you have scheduled enough time for studying. The extra time gives you the opportunity to repeat each subject often enough to better memorize things.

      If I were you I would schedule to study one subject per day. Doing so will help you to repeat each subject often enough which will aid you in memorizing things properly. After five days you have completed one cycle and you can start with the first subject all over again.

      I hope this helps you so far but feel free to ask any further questions.

  99. Hello Steve!
    First of all thank you so much for this impressive article it helped me A LOT! I thought that I would never figure out the right way to study, but thank God that I read this before being emotionally damaged. I just wanted to ask you two questions:
    1. Can I begin studying from scratch even though there are only 3 months left for my exam and I am having four subjects to be studied? ( my plan is to study hard the first two months, and revise along with solving past papers in the third month)
    2. I really need to get good grades this year, I still didn’t choose the major yet so I am a bit confused about taking the four subjects; I chose the most important four as to choose the major then -after the results- but I am afraid not to get the expected grades needed or not to be able to study from scratch. If you could just tell me am I going to be able to do this in this period? Or is it too late? Given that they sum up to about 60 chapters.
    I am so confused now because I just contacted a teacher to tell him about that but he refused and said that I can’t do it; though he don’t personally know me nor my earlier grades in other subjects. I feel that I can do it because I want to and of course because I read the article followed by many comments and i got motivated.
    I hope you can help me because I am really desperate. I have to send my final decision in the next 10 hours.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Meriam,

      You’re welcome. I’m glad the article helped you.

      Regarding your first question. It’s great that you have scheduled enough time for studying. Three months for four subjects is excellent. Just make sure to keep your focus and motivation on a constant high level. Also, I recommend to repeat each subject often enough to better memorize things.

      Regarding your second question. I don’t know if this is a question about the policies on your university or a general question. If it is about the policies of your university, I cannot give you any advice. So in this case you will have to ask your university whether or not it is possible.

      But if it’s a general question about choosing a major, I would suggest that you make the choice based on your preferences, not on your grades. Choose the major that best suits your abilities. It’s no use to take a major that requires excellent grades but you are not interested in.

      • Well, I finally chose to study two subjects for this session and I will be self studying the other two as to seek knowledge only.
        As for the major I don’t know what I am interested in, which is weird, if there is anything that can help I will be thankful!

        No words can express my gratitude, really. Thanks again for helping.

        • You’re very welcome. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to ask.

          Regarding your difficulties of choosing a major. I would recommend to try as best as you can to discover the pros and cons of each major. Try to dive in a little into each subject and see whether you like them or not. Reflect what major better suits your abilities, capabilities and weaknesses.

          Perhaps, it’s possible to attend a lecture of one of these majors. After you have been in one or two lectures of each major that you can choose from you might be able to meet a better decision. Also, try to think about where you see yourself in the future. If you have a profession that you’re absolutely interested in, choosing the major that helps you to pursue this profession might be a great choice.

        • Great! I will start looking out for each major I have in mind and I will follow your instructions.
          I am so thankful for your support and I am definitely blessed to meet such a successful person ! 🙂

  100. Sir,
    I am leima.I sincerely need your guidance for my board exam comes from february 6 and i have to appear 6 subjects. i have completed one round of light studying in physics, half of cemistry,half of biology and half of maths. i ,now,cannot study with tension and thinking that i might not get enough time to study well. i want to get a high percentage but i doubt it.Please help me.

    • Take the remaining days that you have and study as much as you can. When it comes to studying, repetition is important. For this very reason it is suggested to schedule enough time to properly prepare yourself for an exam.

      You write that you have already finished a round of light studying. Use this as a foundation. Now it’s time to intensify your studies. Write down summaries or take down notes about what is really important. This will help you to better learn by heart.

  101. Andrew Lesego Selondo on

    i have a bit of a problem, i never did business studies at school so now am in a tertiary level where i chose to do business and am a little bit scared how it’s going to turn out like so am just looking for guidelines on how i can make my year a successful years without falling.

    • Don’t be too scared about the fact that you never did business studies. If possible, try to find out what kind of subjects you are going to have in the next semester. If you know what subjects and what topics will be addressed, you can have a first look at these things. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the concepts of your studies. An alternative would be to find a good book that discusses the basics of your topic. This will help you to lay the proper foundation that is necessary for your further studies.

      I hope this helps so far, but feel free to ask any further questions.

  102. Sir,
    I passed my 12th n currently m preparing for my forthcoming medical entrance which is on may. N m hardly prepared. All the previous topics are out of my head already n i dont know wat to do at dis peak point. Plz help

    • Keep repeating all your subjects. Try to re-memorize all of the subjects. Just because you have already studied these subjects doesn’t mean that you are automatically prepared. Just consider the medical entrance exams as just another exam that you have to prepare for carefully. So do everything you would normally do to prepare yourself for these exams.

  103. sir,

    ur advices are really simple and 100% affective. im a final year medical student. i got repeated my 4thyear exam. that because of my affair ws broken and she left. i was confused. i used to study with her but now i had to change it. i tried. i made plans. i made schedules.but i cudnt complet my tasks. i need to delet all my memories about her and need to study in a smart way. when i fail to complet my taks i try to punish myself.
    pls give me some more advice.
    thank you.

    • I think you’ve grown used to the habit of studying with your affair. You did it so often that it became a habit for you, a natural behavior. So what you want to do now is to try to break this habit. In fact, you’re already in this stage. It is very normal that this is not easy for you. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to break a habit.

      You could for instance try to clear your mind before you start studying. This can be accomplished by means of meditation or any other technique. What you want is that you accomplish this state of 100% focus which allows you to study highly concentrated.

  104. Respected Sir my name is nishchint and i am in 11class i have a very nive brain the day i do my work honestly i will surely het reward next day but the problem is that my mind knows that study is important but my heart doemt allow me to foccus i spend a lot of time on books but cant study i have no distraction bit than also i cant study and my studies are very important for me so i really want a technique with the help of which i can enroll my mind only and only to study please help me sir i want to be get sucessful so please give me a technique so that i can study amd study and concentrate fully only on study while studying .

    • If you really want to know the best technique in the world to train your mind, consider practicing meditation. It will tremendously help you to focus and concentrate. By training your mind by means of meditation you will automatically improve your ability to focus and concentrate on your studies.

      I highly recommend you to give it a shot. You might not notice something at the beginning, but after a certain period of time with diligent practice you’ll reap great benefits from it.

  105. Alexandra Strike on

    Being at school was a very hard time for me, not because I was an outcast or loser, opposite, I was one of those cool kids:) It was just so difficult for me to study! I really wanted to, but I couldn’t concentrate on something that made me bored. Now I’m at college and things got so much eathier with articles like that one. I’ve realized that there’re so many fun ways to study.

    It’s amazing what you’re doing,Steve! Sharing knowledge is priceless! Keep going!

  106. I study way better at night when everyone is asleep and I can pull off an all nighter. I am way too lazy to get up in the morning and my progress is quiet low. Would you recommend me to study at night or in the morning?
    Thanks in advance.

    • I can only tell from my personal perspective, but I never study at night. The reason for this is simple. I found that I am far more productive throughout the day when compared to doing an all nighter. As you’ve already realized, it’s terrible to get up in the morning after an all nighter. And you’ve already recognized that your progress is quite low. Based on this evaluation, I would try to make use of the day as much as possible, but I would also try to find the necessary rest during the night. Doing so helps me to be far more concentrated and focused throughout the day.

  107. Thank you for this great article.
    This was just what I needed; as I have been a terrible theory leaner. I really had had hard times reading lots of complex notes, now I have learn some new trick, (i.e . rhythm with song, attach emotions, visualizing etc.)
    Much thanks again,
    Be blessed enough!!

  108. hi sir,I’m Vijay class 12
    when I was study then next day I forget all questions…. how to replace the questions??? pls give a tips

  109. Thanks Steve for the very good tips on studying smart, not hard! Really helpful for students.

    I just wanted to add, lets say a technique to doing good in post grad Uni, at least to my experience, I really focused on the tutorials and class exercises – to really know the questions inside out! So when exams and tests come, most would just repeat the questions or maybe just change just the figures, numbers, names etc..esp with maths courses, but the questions are similar. I guess with all other courses besides maths, like theory or any other course.

    So I guess thats also one way to study smart and not hard. FOCUS ON THE TUTORIALS AND IN-CLASS/LECTURE QUESTIONS.

    • That’s a fantastic addition. I totally agree with you, that’s another great way to study the smart way. Thanks for taking the time to write your ideas down, I’m sure many others can benefit from it!

  110. hello Sir
    I have a request….I read your articles…and these are Owsam… Sir i have only one month and I have huge lesson for study.. I can’t understand how can i complete it properly…

    • Well, separate your study materials into smaller parts and spend at least eight hours a day studying one section after another. After 2 to 3 weeks you should have quickly progressed through your study materials, and which point you can use the left time to repeat the study materials and to properly memorize the important aspects of each subject.

  111. tirtha raj bhattarai on

    Your Comment hy steve i am science student and i cannot concentrate on physics that making worried plz help me

    • Hi, I think I have the perfect article for you: How to Focus on Studying. It addresses the issue what you can do to better focus and concentrate on your studies. Have a look at the article. After that you can feel free to get back at me if you have any further questions.

  112. I find students learn the most when they are enjoying what they are doing or when they get to apply what they have learnt.

  113. G Gautam Krishna on

    respected sir,
    I am G Gautam Krishna …. i want to make a study plan,it’s a good idea.previously i had made many study plans but the problem is : I always try to follow it every ay but , i could follow the study plan effectively for 1 or 2 days but at later days following the study plan is getting diminished…
    could u say why so? and u r valuable suggestions regarding study plan preparations

    • So I think you don’t need a new study plan, what you need to work on is your motivation and your perseverance. You can have the best study plan in the world, but if it isn’t executed properly, then it isn’t worth anything. So try to identify the reason why you are struggling with the implementation of the plan. Are you procrastinating? Are you getting distracted? Identify the problem and tackle it.

  114. nethmi kasunjala on

    sir, i am a science student and i have only 3 months for my advanced level exams i try to study well but i haven’t come any closer to get a good result plz tell me how should i study i am addicted to go facebook and watch teledramas plz tell me how can i get rid of them and advise me a study plan or new way of studying

  115. nethmi kasunjala on

    and also i failed physics and chemistry i hate chemistry most plz tell me a effective way to grow fond of chemistry i havent done a single pastpaper of chemistry when i study my mind is distracted with various thoughts i am afraid that 3 months are not enough to learn everything but i want to get a best result

    • Hi, please make sure that while studying there is no access to Facebook or any other distractions such as television etc. Look away the remote control or the Internet cable. Whenever you are studying, eliminate all kinds of distractions. Secondly, you write that your mind wanders away. Practice meditation (one hour a day) to learn to control your mind.

      Regarding a study plan, I’d recommend to simply get up early in the morning and start studying until the end of today. But I always did is that I locked myself into a room without any distractions. I would regularly schedule breaks to eat but that’s it. In the beginning it felt terribly boring, because there been no usual distractions. But after some time has passed it became so boring that is studying for hours without an end became a promising alternative. I wish you good luck with your exams and I’m sure that you can make it. If you have any further questions just get back at me.

  116. nethmi kasunjala on

    Thanks for your advice i hope you will help me again should i study a one subject in the whole day my subjects are physics,chemistry and biology also i easily forget what i have learned after a very short time now i dont remember most of the things that i have studied is it a problem of my way of studying if so plz tell me the most relevant way of studying i have a huge lot of lessons to learn within three months advise me a timetable of studying

    • Yes, I always advise to study one subject per day. Regarding the issue about forgetting things easily. Repetition is what matters. Meaning that you will have to schedule enough time to study for a long period of time. I’ve always started one month before the exams, often times two months before. This gave me enough time to repeat each subject and to properly memorize the contents. If you forget things easily, it just shows you that you haven’t studied properly. Therefore, I always recommend that you study for example physics on Monday, chemistry and Tuesday and so on, until you’ve finished your cycle and repeated once again. The continuous repetition throughout the course of months will help you to properly memorize the subjects. So you will have to study each subject by heart, day after day after day until you know longer forget the contents. If you continue to forget the contents, you have and study enough and need to study further.

  117. Hi, Thank you for your lovely really helped during my semester exams..Thank you once again 🙂 🙂

      • I have flunked in mbbs for the first time in my life …. and kept on flunking… I have to write this exam.. but I want distinction I don’t no whats wrong with me… I am a very good student but have lost all hopes and interest in studies… I am hurting my parents a lot by not studying .. but I am not able to force myself… I have great dreams to be achieve… but I don’t no whatever I do isn’t working .. can u please hepl me. I have to write an exam in another 20 fays and haven’t oprned my books.. final year mbbs exam… hope.i get what I want … do u think I am simply thinking impossible thinga and going into depression unknowingly ..? Can u please help me

        • The question you have to ask yourself is what is stopping you from studying. It’s very difficult to give any advice if I don’t know what it is exactly that is stopping you. I think lost interest is really no good reason for not studying. After all, students all around the world are confronted with the most boring subjects one could possibly imagine. So first of all, try to find out what it is that is preventing you from studying.

          Perhaps you’re simply procrastinating. It seems to have turned into a habit from which you are struggling now to free yourself. What I would advice you is to simply erase all kinds of distractions from your life, such as TV, Internet and smart phones. Then, sit down in your room and start studying. Just start. This is the simplest way to get back on track. You just have to start and once you’ve started you need to keep going.

  118. Hello sir
    I read your article, although it helped me a lot. I still need a bit of your help. I am able to do subjects like physics and chemistry which are based more on understanding and less on cramming but when it comes to biology, I completely lose the track. I try hard learning things but I don’t seem to retain any of them. If you could please advise me on this. It would be a great help
    Thank you

    • Perhaps it will be helpful to you to establish associations with the biological subject of your studying. What I mean is to create mnemonics. For some reason it seems that you can memorize physics and chemistry much better, as you have many as a station that you can link the knowledge with. When it comes to biology, you might not have that many associations, which in turn means that you cannot probably memorize it. Another alternative would be that you try to study the subject really intensively by heart. In this case, you should take yourself a lot of time and study only on. Memorization works only if you continuously repeat one subject for a long time.

  119. Yes sir.. Exactly.. I find it difficult to link it.. I’ve tried making mnemonics but they don’t work.. But I’ll try studying more deeply.
    Thank very much sir.

  120. Dear sir
    I’ve been studying medicine for 4 terms and during this time I have tried many different ways of studying. There is one problem in my grades..I can not achieve my best grade in the way I study.
    I am sorry if my English writing is not good. I attempt to concentrate on what I study and it works well.But most of the time may grades are lower than what I guess . My friends that study less than me or just like me get better grades..Of course it is not important for me but some times I feel that I never will be successful in my major! And that is really bothering me. I try to concentrate more, reading more, summarizing, highlighting important points.. but no one of them works 🙁 I will appreciate you if you can help me to get grades that are based on how much I have studied.

    • It’s hard to tell from what you describe to see where the problem lies. Personally, I’ve often accomplished to be better than those students who learned excessively and everything there is to learn simply because I managed to concentrate on the important aspects of the subject. Some students read two or three books per subject but I feel that this is quite much. So these students develop a very broad knowledge but are unable to intensify this kind of knowledge. I the other hand focus on the essentials and deepened my knowledge in these areas. This means that I study excessively by heart which allows me to be best prepared for the exam. But I only study those areas that are really important for the exam. I leave out everything else.

  121. Hello Steve
    You have done very nice work by sharing your experiences.After reading this article ,I get to know what actually smart work is .Thank you so much .This article gonna help me whole of my life.