One secret to how straight A students get their good results is their studying environment. Believe it or not, your studying environment can severely affect your state of mind and focus level, thus affecting your ability to register and absorb information. So what is a good studying environment and how can you create one?
1. Who to study with?
The truth is…there is no right answer! It is often a misconception that studying with friends will cause more distractions and stop you from focusing on your work. But there is no such thing as a correct person to study with because everyone has different preferences! The best way to figure out whether you work best alone or with other people is by testing both methods and seeing which suits you the best! As a student who graduated from JC recently, let me share with you my own experience. When I tried studying alone, I would often get distracted by my phone or other things. Either that, or I would start feeling stressed more easily because I had no one to turn to immediately when I was feeling frustrated. On the other hand, when I was studying with friends I was better able to focus because seeing my friends studying also motivated me to do the same. When we had doubts we could clarify them with each other on the spot, and we even compiled our notes and practices together. That being said, you also have to find the right friend group…when I studied with some other friends we would often just end up eating and talking! So what is more important is to find friends who are equally as serious about studying as you are. On the other hand, if you prefer studying alone, don’t be peer pressured into joining clique studying sessions just to fit in! Only you know what is best for you!
2. Where should I study?
Once again, there is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing a studying spot! Take your time to experiment with what makes you feel comfortable and helps you to focus on your work. Some people prefer quiet places free of noisy distractions and with less human traffic, and so they opt to study in libraries. Coming from a home environment that was always full of noise and energy, that became my normal and it was what I was used to. So, during my A level preparation days I studied in noisy places like the school canteen or in public places like the tables at Our Tampines Hub. Of course, there are other factors to consider when choosing the right place to study, for example, access to wifi, travel time, air conditioning, cost etc. No matter what, it is more important to find the right place that suits YOU instead of listening to what others tell you. I had friends who would go to places like Starbucks to study just because everyone else was doing the same, and they ended up spending all their time chatting with friends over a cup of coffee rather than doing work. They continued going to such places even though it was harder for them to focus. From this, we can learn that when something doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to change your strategy! Check out this article for a list of free study spots around Singapore if you are interested in finding a new place to study!
If you are interested in other tips we have for you about effective studying methods, check out our other articles Study Guide for Effective Learning and 5 Bad Habits of Reading to learn more! Also, don’t hesitate to check out our I Am Gifted!TM school holiday programmes where we can teach you how to create the best study environment at home as well as many other research-proven and neuroscience-backed studying strategies that you can master!