How To Study Smart Not Hard - 25 Best Study Tips For Students

Why Students Should Study Smart And Not Hard


Why Students Should Study Smart And Not Hard – Do you spend a lot of time studying and yet your grades are suffering?

I know you must have been taught that it is good to study smart as it will help you in school and also in life after school. Well we are not disputing that it is true but studying hard can be exhausting.

In high school, you must have been taught to be study hard but this type of study habit might not really work for you as a college student. As a college student, studying hard can be time consuming coupled with the numerous activities you have in your schedule.

This study habit might not be effective for you to do better in class and in exams. In college, everything is quite different from your high school so here we always advise students to study smart and not study hard.

You should know that studying hard is equally good and has its own benefits but the best way to study effectively as a college student is to study smart. Here you will have to do more than just reading as you need to have a study schedule and plan your activities very well so as to manage your time effectively.

To become a successful student, you have to study smart. Even in life, people are advised to now work smart instead of working hard. Not that working hard is bad but working smart is effectively and productive as well.

Doing things in a smart way makes you develop creative and modified ways to carry out that activity to ease stress and make the task enjoyable.

So if you always study and in the end, you don’t get the result you actually want or expected, you will have to review your study skill.

This article is going to show you what it means to study smart and how you can study smart too.

We have carefully structured this article into four categories.

  • What is studying hard?
  • What is studying smart?
  • Why you should study smart as a college student?
  • How to study smart


Studying hard involves spending time and effort studying. In studying hard, you try to cover a lot of things and you spend a lot of time reading. Studying hard helps you develop a good work ethic. With studying hard, you become dedicated to reading and spending more time reading.

When you study hard, you get to a point where you begin to stress yourself and other side effects sets in. Studying hard has a lot of benefits and also some negative effects.

We are not saying that studying hard is not good but it involves time and effort and in college, there are too many activities with little time these activities. You can study hard and also study smart too. Studying smart is not solely independent; you have to still work hard when studying. You can spend time studying but try to limit or reduce the stress of studying or taking too many information at a time.

One exhausting thing about studying hard is that you try to take in too much information at a time. You can still study less and still make a good grade or result.


Studying smart involves spending less time reading but arranging your study session in a way that will make studying effective and productive. Like we said earlier that studying hard can be time consuming and requires a lot from you but when you study smart, you can do all you have to do in less time and be productive provided you studied at the right time, right place and in the right manner.

Studying smart is about using the right study technique and skill and studying in a way that the information is assimilated, retained and remembered. With studying smart, you are not after just reading but learning as you make connections of what you are studying to real life situation.

With studying smart, you develop better and easier ways to study that will make you spend less time studying and still come out with good grades. Studying is not about how much time you spend studying but how effective your studying is and how well what you have studied has been assimilated.


The thing here is that studying hard is still good but sometimes, we go extra miles to make sure we study and in some cases, some students get over exhausted, stressed and also over caffeinated. There is a big difference between studying hard and studying smart and I am sure that every student especially college students will want to see how you can spend less time studying and still come out with a good result.

With studying smart, you become good at managing time and you assimilate information faster. You are not after how much information is taken in but if actually you have comprehended the information.

Who wouldn’t love a study habit or skill where you spend less time studying and don’t get too tired after studying?  Smart studying is what every college students should start working with in order to come out with good grades and also become a master in your field.

In life today, people are being advised to work smarter instead of harder. This will help you spend little time studying and still produce optimal result.

There are situations where you might pull an all night reading or even study fir a whole day and after writing the exam or test, you score less than your friend who didn’t really study much as you did. Well, the problem is not really with you but with how you studied.

You might have spent time on the irrelevant details where as your friend spent more time on the important details.

You might have also tried to get all the information all at once where as your friend tried breaking down the study material into smaller chunks to be able to assimilate better.

You must have heard the saying that intelligent people don’t study hard. When it comes to studying smart, you study, research and gather information in a way that you can easily learn and also remember what you have studied.

In a nut shell, studying hard and studying smart can go together like we have mentioned earlier but with studying smart, you do not spend a lot of time studying but work hard as you try to cover the essential topics and concepts properly and adequately and do this in a way that you understand easily and remember faster.


We have said that it is very important for students to start studying smart especially college students. We said that smart studying is a way of organizing your study in a way that you can easily assimilate and remember what you have learnt.

Let’s look at why we should study smart:

  • You become an excellent student

Studying smart has a bit of hard work and spending time studying the essential topics and concepts will help your prepare well for examinations and also do well in the examination.

A student that always revise what he or she has learnt in class for the day will not need much studying during exam period as he or she has been studying smart.

At this point, all you have to do is revise and also look for other information to help broaden your horizon. This way, you become an above average student. With studying smart, you will always be motivated to learn.

  • You become creative

Studying smart involves developing better ways of studying that makes you to easily assimilate and remember information. Smart studying helps you to become creative as you organize and plan your studying so as to learn easily.

With studying smart, you easily find solutions to challenges you encounter while studying and this also teaches you basic life skills too. You try to find relationship and connections of what you already know. Studying smart involves creativity.

  • It helps the brain to become sharper

Smart studying will definitely increase your brain capacity to assimilate information, remember and also recall information. When you study smart, you break down information into smaller part; this will help train the brain to hold information as they come and store them.

  • It helps you remember information easily

This is the main reason we always advise students to study smart. When you study in a conducive environment with less distractions, you break down your study material into smaller parts, use mnemonics and other smart studying technique, you have a better chance of recalling what you have studied as the information will always stick with you and in your memory.

Smart studying trains the memory to recall information even if it’s after a long time.

  • It teaches you time management

 When you study smart, you always manage time wisely. Remember that studying smart is not about spending too much time studying; it is about studying effectively. So when you are a student that studies smart, you will definitely have a good time management skill.

In studying smart, you will have a study schedule where you allocate time to each study session and you do well to work with the time allocated and also avoid procrastination.

  • It boosts your confidence and self-esteem

How would you feel when you are certain that you have covered the important topics in a subject? You will enter the examination hall with boldness and confidence. Studying smart has a way of boosting your confidence in your ability and also your self-esteem.

With this, you enjoy studying and give it your best because you always see the result of your effort.

  • It reduces anxiety about tests, exams and deadlines

A student that studies smart doesn’t get nervous and anxious when exams are getting close because they prepare themselves ahead of examination.

As a student, you should always study at least 30mins to 1hour everyday and also revise or go through what you have learnt for each day; it will help you to understand the topic better and prepare you ahead of exam.

When you study smart, you don’t have to cram. Cramming is a bad reading habit and a crammer is not a good learner. Always study to learn and not just to pass your exam.

How To Study Smart – 25 Best Tips

With the information we have given so far in this article, you must have seen that it is important to study smart and it helps reduce stress, anxiety and produces optimal results.

Many students might be confused as to how they can study smart. It might be that your study habit has not been proving effective or it is too exhausting. We have carefully outlined some tips that will help you to study smart and study effectively.

So let’s cut to the chase…

  • Set out a study goal

Setting goals for yourself before studying will help you to stay motivated and study well regardless of how you feel. The goal might be about coming out with straight A’s or understanding a particular subject perfectly. Just be sure that your goals are specific, realistic, clear and challenging. This goal will help you stay focused and give you a reason to study.

You can write down your goal and paste it where you can see it everyday; it can be on your reading table or door post. Seeing this will always remind you of what you want to achieve.

  • Prepare a study schedule

Your study schedule can be the time you set to study. It can be the number of days you intend to study and the hours you allocate for studying along with the subjects or topics you want to study. This will help discipline you and stop you from procrastinating.

Your study schedule will help make studying a normal part of your daily routine and gradually turn studying into a habit. Your study schedule should be flexible and be able to balance your activities.

In your study schedule, you can allocate not more than 2 hours to a subject.

As a student, you should first know and understand your activities so as to know how to organize and set your study schedule. You could decide to study for one hour everyday maybe at night or early in the morning.

  • Know the best time and best way to study

For you to get motivated to study regardless of how you feel; you should know the best time to study. This involves understanding what time you assimilate better and set your study schedule according to that.

When you study at a time you assimilate easier and better, you tend to focus and study for a long time. Therefore, you should know the best time to study. It could be at midnight, after school or in the morning when you wake.

But note that the brain assimilates and absorb information faster and better when it has rested or recharged.

Everybody has different ways to study. Some people prefer studying with music while some others love studying in a very quiet environment. You should know the best way to study as it will help you stay focused and motivated.

If you love reading with the music on, then let the music play but if you love reading and read better in a quiet place, then use the library or look for a quiet and peaceful place with little or no distractions.

This will help you study smart and study well.

  • Have a positive attitude towards studying

Having a positive attitude towards studying will help you study for longer hours. You should always remind yourself why you need to study and come out with good grades.

Never see studying as a duty or difficult task. Enjoy the process and never doubt your ability to study, assimilate and also remember. When you want to study, have a positive mindset as it will help boost your confidence, determination, motivation and focus.

  • Break down what you want to study into smaller parts to assimilate better

Breaking down what you want to study into smaller parts will help prevent procrastination. When you have a bulky or lengthy material to cover up, you might feel discouraged to read especially when you feel that the topic or subject is a boring one.

In order to study with less stress and stay motivated, divide what you want to study into different parts and study them at intervals. It will help you study well and stay motivated through out the study session.

Sitting down at a place for a long period of time can make you tired and so to avoid this, divide your study material into smaller parts so as to ensure you finish studying it.

The brain is capable of absorbing information but taking in too much information at a time can make you forget what you have studied.

  • Find the best place to study

One way to stay motivated and focused when you study is studying with little or no distractions. When you study without distractions, you concentrate better and study effectively. It is very important that you look for a place will less distractions where you can concentrate on what you are studying easily. Find a quiet place that is peaceful and convenient for your studying.

 Everyone has an ideal place to study; you have to find yours as it will help you prepare for studying.

  • Skim through what you want to study

Before you start reading, whether a textbook, notebook or other materials, read through the pages and get the chapters and headings. Skimming through the note will help prepare your mind for the information you are about to get.

Doing this will help you see how the note is and what it is all about before reading or studying. It will help you get a better idea of what you need to remember.

It will help you to understand the basis of what you want to read.

  • If you procrastinate, find out why you procrastinate

Procrastination comes as a result of less self-discipline, poor time management and laziness. Even when students set a study schedule; they still find it difficult to study. They end up postponing the study session to another day and end up loosing interest

You have to first be honest to yourself and acknowledge that you procrastinate. Then ask yourself why you procrastinate. There are many reasons you procrastinate your study session.

  • You feel that the topic or subject is boring
  • You feel studying is tedious
  • Your find it difficult to sit at a place for long
  • You are waiting for the best time to start studying

For you to get motivated to study, you have to understand why you procrastinate and see how you could come out of procrastination. Reflect on your study goals and reassure yourself on why you want to achieve the set goal.

  • Avoid distractions and give what you are studying your full attention

You can be tempted to check your phone for messages on your Facebook or WhatsApp while you are studying. In order to avoid these distractions, turn off your phone and other electronic devices. You cannot concentrate while the television set is on so turn it off

Like we said earlier that you should find a better place to study, this will help you get rid of distractions and help you concentrate better. If you are not the type that reads with music, put off any musical gadgets.

Put your phone on airplane mode and keep it away from you. You can also use ear plugs to study so as to avoid noise from outside depending on where you are studying.

  • Know that you can’t feel motivated all the time

For you to remain motivated, you have to understand and acknowledge that you cannot be motivated all the time. You have to rest anytime you do not feel motivated but mind you, if you have a study schedule, fall back to it and if possible, switch subjects and see the subject or topic you can study at that moment.

Understanding that you cannot be motivated all the time will help you know when you will be motivated and how to set your study schedule to suit you well.

  • Organize your time properly

We have said earlier that you should make a study schedule to help you stay motivated. This study schedule will also help you prepare for studying. You should set out your study schedule for each subject and make it in a way that you get to study same time everyday. It will make studying become a habit and make it easy for you to remember when you have to study.

One thing you should know is that for you study schedule to work for you effectively, you have to stick to it and so it means having self-discipline and proper time management. Know what you have to do and do it at the right time.


  • Always organize your notes so it becomes easy to study

An organized note will make studying easier and also faster. One way to prepare yourself to study is having an organized note. When writing in class, make sure you note the headings, sub-headings, key points, new vocabulary words etc.

This will help to prepare you to study and make your studying easier. You can underline or highlight your sub-headings while writing.

  • Ask questions in class when you don’t understand

You might be wondering how asking questions will help you prepare for studying. Well, when you ask questions, you get cleared on what you don’t understand and this will help you remember what was taught or discussed in class while you are studying.

Always ask open-ended questions as it will make the teacher or lecturer explain better and make you understand better too.

  • Review and study what you have learnt at the end of classes each day

For you to remember what you have been taught for the day and allow it to stick with you, you have to always study your note when you get home each day. Study what you have learnt for the day. While doing this, you will remember all that was discussed in class and this will help you remember the key points that were made in class.

  • Study to learn and not to pass

Many students study to remember and pass their exams which make them resort to cramming and forget what they have studied after their exams. Well, the best way to study and learn is to study to understand. When you study to understand, you tend to remember what you have read easily and can still put them down in your own words.

Studying to understand will help you retain the information for a long time. When you study to understand, you try to find connections between different concepts and this will help you understand the topic better.

Cramming is a bad reading habit and no students should employ this technique. Remember we advised that you prepare a study schedule; make sure your stick to this schedule to avoid cramming your note a night before exam.

When you study on a regular basis, you get to familiarize yourself with the subject and read ahead before exam time. What you just have to do is revise when exam comes and every thing comes rushing back. When you cram, it becomes hard to understand and assimilate information.

  • Relate what you are learning with real life situation and what you already know

Do you feel that what you are learning has no connection with what you already know or real life situations? Well, there is always a connection if you look closely. Try to get a connection to previous knowledge as this will help you understand the topic or subject better.

When you brainstorm on the relationship and connections, you tend to remember what you have learnt and what you have learnt becomes part of you.

For instance, if you are learning about white blood cells, you look at them as soldiers as they help to fight and protect against germs and diseases which you see as enemies. It might take time but getting the connections will help improve your study skill.

  • Focus on key details and more important information

When studying, you should try to concentrate more on the essential aspect of what you are studying and give it more attention. You will also give the less important aspect attention but don’t dwell so much on it. Studying smart is about knowing what to study and not studying everything.

You might claim to study everything and become blank in the exam hall

  • Don’t multitask

Multitasking only makes you finish activities fast but it reduces your efficiency ad productivity. Multitasking also distracts you from what you have at hand. Always finish one task and move on to another.

Do not do two things at the same time. If you want to eat, eat before reading; do not eat and read. This can be distracting. Do not try texting or watching TV while reading. An effective and smart student will focus on one thing at a time.

  • Write down what you have studied in your own words

One way to understand what you have read is to write it down in your own words. After studying, try to write down all you have learnt in your own words; this will help you remember what you have read.

When you write down what you have read in your own words, you gain solid understanding of what you have studied and you create a connection and relationship and this will help you recall what you have read.

  • Create or join a study group so as to share ideas

Reading with friends will help you understand what you are reading better. When reading with friends or study group, you share ideas, opinions and discuss what you understand from a topic or subject and this will help you understand the subject even more and even remember what you are reading.

Challenge yourselves to study a topic and discuss among yourselves. This has a positive effect on your ability to understand the topic or subject, remember what you have studied and make studying the subject interesting and fun. This is a good way to study easily and learn faster.

  • Teach others what you have learnt

Teaching others what you have learnt will help you understand what you have studied better and make what you have learnt stick with you and become part of you. When you teach others what you have learnt, you get to learn new things you didn’t learn while studying and also get to see old things from a different and better perspective. When teaching others, you are also learning and gaining more knowledge.

  • Read out key information and use mnemonics

When reading, try to read out key information loud as it will help you remember what you are studying or have studied.

Do you know how and why reading aloud in some cases will help you remember? When you read key points or information out loud, you get to see and hear what you are reading compared to when you read silently where you only see what you are reading. Focus on the key information and read them out.

You can also use mnemonics to help commit what you have read to memory. It could be using the first letters of the key points you read. For example, you can remember the characteristics of living things with the acronym MR NIGER D (Movement, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion, Reproduction, Death).

  • Evaluate yourself after studying

After studying, solve some exercises or problems from what you have read. You can also set quiz for yourself on questions that are likely to come out in your exam. It is a way of evaluating yourself on your ability to understand and also ability to remember.

Train yourself to work with past questions and set time to answer the questions; it will help you keep to time and prepare for exam or test.

Another important thing is learning from mistakes. It could be questions you failed during the previous exam or the ones you failed from the questions you set for yourself. Do well to learn from your mistakes and see why you failed. It will help you understand better and remember that particular question or any related question.

  • Get enough rest and a good sleep

Having a good night rest has a way of boosting your brain power and motivating you to read especially studying when you wake from sleep. At this point, the brain is rested, fresh and recharged to assimilate any information.

If you deprive yourself sleep when you feel sleepy, you see studying as a duty and burdensome task. Sleeping doesn’t mean you won’t study; it is a way to prepare your mind and brain to study.

You can even take breaks when you study especially when you break down your study session into parts. This will help you recharge and learn better. Don’t force information when you feel tired.

  • Eat healthy food that energizes your mind

Some people do not love to eat while studying but some research has proven that eating some snacks during your study session can help you stay motivated and also focused.

You can eat popcorn, chocolate, carrots, fruits or even drink juice or yogurt. You can do this at your study breaks if you feel it will distract you if you take it while studying. This will help make your study session interesting and keep you motivated.


Studying hard and studying smart are good study skills but studying smart is more effective as it keeps you healthy and produces optimal results. Students should start studying smart as it helps to improve time management skill.

Always read to understand, find meaning and sense in what you read and do not read for the sake of reading except you are reading a novel. Studying is fun and should become part of you as a student that wants to excel in his or her academics.

For you to be a smart and sound student, you have to study effectively and see studying as a part of you. When studying or reading becomes part of you, you open yourself to learning and it will help you not only in school but also in life generally.

Studying opens you to new information or helps you understand what you already know better. So if you want to study effectively and see the impact of your studying on your academic performance, use the tips we have highlighted in this article. Every information in this article has been certified and proven to be effective.

We hope to see you excel in your academics and in life generally.



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