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Environment

A good study location is essential to improving focus, understanding, and retenting information. Noise, poor lighting or ventilation, and distractions—e.g. roommates, phones, TV—are detrimental to effective use of study time. While choice of study location ultimately is a matter of personal preference, many students recommend the library, empty classrooms, Learning Services or wherever they feel comfortable.

Studying in bed is NOT recommended—many people, even with the best intentions, fall asleep. Sitting in an overly comfortable chair might also lead to sleepiness.

Make a conscious effort to tune out distractions. Practice not looking up when a door opens or when you hear voices. After doing this for a while, ignoring interruptions will come naturally. Earplugs may also help to transform a less-than-ideal setting into a quiet study area.

Factors to consider in picking a place to study:

  1. Lighting. There should be ample light, so eye strain is reduced.
  2. Noise. The location you choose should have a low level of noise. Classical music has been shown to aid learning in some cases, but music other than that tends to be distracting. Talking is also generally distracting, so you want to minimize the amount of chatter that is audible from your study location. (Also, consider using earplugs.)
  3. Interruptions. You want to minimize the likelihood that you will be interrupted. If you choose to study at home/dorm room, you may want to turn off your phone or put it on silent, put a "do not disturb" sign on the door, and alert your roommate(s) you have work to do.

 

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