Choose a Place of Work
Have a specific location where you only go to study. This way, every time you go there, your brain is conditioned to want to focus. You can pick a library, a café, a desk at home, etc.
Don’t Study with Your Besties.
I know it’s pretty common to want to study with your best friends, but don’t kid yourself. You know you all are just going to start talking about a dozen different things after about five minutes of silence. You can appoint a more distant friend to be your study buddy. It’s easier to study with people who are not that close. After all, studying is a very attention intensive, silent process and being around good friends naturally makes us want to laugh and be energetic. The two don’t go.
Writing is exceptionally effective at really hammering information into your head. You are more likely to recall those you write. Buy some pretty pens and a notebook you like and write. Colour code it, highlight it, organize your notes – do anything that makes writing down information enjoyable. You’ll be much more comfortable writing down the answers in the exam if you’ve written them before.
Read as You Mean It
Don’t just read mindlessly along the lines. Read it like it’s something you genuinely want to understand like it’s a story. You need to care about the content you’re reading. If you’ve been trying to read the exact text for months and it’s still not working, you can try a different book on the topic. Some books are just hard to read, and it’s not your fault; it’s the writers’. If you’re a visual learner and don’t like the silence of a book, then look up videos and lectures. You can listen to them while walking around or in your garden out in the sun.
Always revise what you learnt yesterday. Recalling information within a day after you knew it would decrease the chances of you forgetting it.
Use a Timer
The Pomodoro technique is a method of studying for a short period (say, 25 minutes) and taking a break for five minutes before checking again for another brief period. This method of dividing up study time into intervals is highly effective, and it ensures your body and mind get frequent rest. You can also use the classic timer if you like. Download Pomodoro/focus timer apps on your phone and use them to focus.
Practice the questions at the end of the chapters and on the websites. Watch videos of others practice similar questions. Make it a point to practice the questions on one subject for at least one hour a day. You can do different topics every day. But practice.
That said, it’s okay if you miss days. Some days are just stressful and uncomfortable. Other days, you’re hurt. It’s okay to miss days as long as you make sure to get back to it every once in a while when you feel better. Be optimistic and relax. Fear and stress won’t get you anything. Practice and a calm head will. So, prioritize your mental health and try not to berate yourself for not being better.