Studying Hacks: Five Tips to Optimize Studying

A popular Twitter account called Student Problems (@ProblemsAtUni) tweeted, “Study Tip: Stand up. Stretch. Take a walk. Go to the airport. Get on a plane. Never return.” Although this may seem tempting during the midst of midterm week, leaving responsibilities behind is never a good idea. Below are a few studying hacks sure to help ease the stress of studying and maximize remembrance.

Tip One: A Tasty Incentive

When reading notes from your notebook, textbook, tablet, etc., place a small treat of your choice after each paragraph or after every few bullets. This will encourage your mind to continue reading. Eventually, you will find yourself wanting to study and also absorbing more information. Choose a small, non-messy snack such as gummy bears, goldfish crackers or M&Ms.

Tip Two: Blocking out the Distractors

There are programs and apps available which block distracting sites for a set period of time. They are easy to install on your smartphone, laptop or any other device. The majority of these apps have little to no cost and are available on both Android and Apple products:

Forest: Stay Focused—FREE

App Block—FREE


My Effectiveness—FREE


Zen Cat: Focus And Work—$0.99

Tip Three: Environmentally Friendly Studying

Instead of killing trees and spending money on overpriced paper flashcards in the bookstore, try an online flashcard site! These websites are interactive and allow users to create their own unlimited flashcards. They are great for visual learners and anyone who feels the need to be entertained while studying. You can access them on any smartphone, laptop or other device. Best of all, they are free to join. Here are a few popular ones:

Tip Four: Color-Me-Smart

According to, using colors while note taking or reading can improve memory and retention. Writing lecture notes in different colored gel pens, or even simply highlighting in bright colors will make studying more interesting. Accordingly, separating different topics with different colors well help your mind find distinctions, thus, making memorizing your notes a lot less painful.

Tip Five: Music Matters

While many students listen to their favorite music during prime studying time, it is smart not to. According to, listening to unfamiliar music actually boosts productivity. Think about it: Listening to a song where you are tempted to belt out lyrics like you’re in the cast of High School Musical is not a good idea when you should be focusing on schoolwork. Websites like,, and have free radio stations. Simply search for the type of music you would like to listen to, choose a station and voilà! As a college student who has tried everything possible to enhance studying, classical music, instrumentals, and even Pentatonix seem to do the trick.

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