Adults - Study smarter

You may be juggling a full-time job along with school, family, and a social life. Make the most out of study time you have!

Discover your learning style

Identify how you learn best - by seeing, hearing or hands-on. Use methods that work for your unique style.

Schedule study time

Make a weekly schedule identifying when you will study, and post that where you and your family can see it. This way you've made an "appointment" with yourself to study, and everyone knows about it.

Find a study area

Make sure this area is quiet, comfortable, and well lit. It should also provide some privacy and contain the materials you need.

Keep a "to-do" list

Update this to-do list daily or once a week, and circle or put a star by things that need to be done first. You can also use a "to-do" list to write down any worries or reminders to yourself that may distract you while you're studying. By writing these things down, you can clear your mind for studying.

Studying difficult subjects

Study difficult subjects and those you don't find very interesting first, when your energy level is higher. Don't put those off until it's midnight and you can only think about sleep.

Take regular breaks

Don't try to study for hours on end - you'll just become tired and less productive. Study for 45 minutes or so, then take a break.

Take time for review

Spend up to 15 minutes before class reviewing your notes and assignments, and spend up to 15 minutes after class looking over your notes from that day. This will make it easier to study and stay on track with assignments.

Get enough rest

You will be ready to concentrate when you want to study if you get enough sleep. You can’t learn as well or remember as much when you are tired.

Studying with children underfoot

Studying can be difficult when you have children at home. Try to balance your responsibilities as a student and as a parent. Here are some tips to consider, depending on the age and number of your children.

Put your child first

When you get home, put aside at least 10 to 15 minutes to spend entirely with your child. Ask about his day, give him a hug, or read a short book together. Then tell your child that you need 30 minutes to study before dinner. Your child will be more likely to leave you alone to study if he feels like he has come first.

Include your children

Include your children in your studying, if possible. Have them drill you using notecards you have created, or have them ask you questions you give them to help you study for tests. Children can learn to be good students in this process as well.

Plan tasks ahead of time

Get out toys or games that allow your children to be creative, and set up a "work station" for them to use while you study. You can even offer rewards for getting an "assignment" done. Ask your child to play quietly while you get some work done. Using a kitchen timer can be a good way for him to keep track of the time. Afterwards, reward your child for playing quietly with some time together, reading a book or playing outside.

Childproof a room

Childproof a room in the house and allow your children to play freely with their favorite toys in this room while you study. Again, set a time limit, and reward your children for playing together quietly with a treat or a special activity.

Adjust your studying

Try to study in ways that allow for interruptions when you're with your children, like looking over your notes or skimming through a chapter, instead of doing work that requires more uninterrupted attention, like writing a paper. Save those kinds of tasks for when you're at school or after your children have gone to sleep.

Develop a routine

Develop a routine in which you study for certain periods of the evening. If children get used to the fact that you're studying from 7 to 8 p.m., for example, they'll be more likely to develop ways to play or to do their own homework during that time.

Ask for help

Ask other adults for help, as your classmates are likely to feel the same demands. Maybe you could take another student's children one evening, in exchange for that student taking your children on another day. This way you both get homework done while knowing your children are well-supervised.