How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (2023)

Are you wondering what the most effective study methods are? Do you want to know how to study fast in less time? Do you require more time for extracurricular activities but have to reserve to get prepared for exams? With our scientifically proven study tips and tricks for college students, you will have these issues solved.

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For successful and fast learning, you have to:

  • Understand your studying mistakes.

  • Create a schedule and a proper environment.

  • Use brainstorming techniques and online tools.

  • Study various subjects each day without multitasking.

  • Truly comprehend the topic you’re exploring.

In this article, we are going to discuss why learning takes so much time. Our experts listed typical students’ mistakes and shared some secret study tricks to ease your struggles. So, let’s start!


  1. ⌚ Why Do Your Studies Take so Much Time?

  2. 🏃‍♀️ How to Study Fast in Less Time

  3. 📚 How to Study More in Less Time

  4. 💡 Study Smart, not Hard

⌚ Why Do Your Studies Take so Much Time?

A great starting point is to analyze your studying pattern to see what mistakes you usually make while learning.

We’ve listed some common ones below:

  • No planning, no schedule, and no priorities. Some students prefer to focus on random assignments, depending on what they WANT to do rather than what they NEED to do.

  • Leaving everything to the last minute and then cramming. This strategy has proved to be not effective at all. You may pass your exam, but you’ll quickly forget what you’ve learned after you’re done.

  • Having too many distractions while studying. Gadgets, TV, music, loud family members, etc.—all these factors will keep you from progressing too much.

  • Trying to remember everything without taking any notes. Rely on your brain wisely. It can process and store a lot of information, BUT you have to gradually fill it and leave some written notes to refresh it later.

  • Leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Being sleepy, not exercising, and eating junk food are harmful activities for your body and studies.

There are many more mistakes that high school and college students make, of course. So make a list of your own and start improving. Meanwhile, our 12 tips will help you get on your way.

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🏃‍♀️ How to Study Fast in Less Time

Anyone can boost their efficiency and improve their study skills. They just need to learn some tips and hacks to do so.

Let’s go deeper into the matter and see what students who are tired of studying can study more effectively.

1. Make a Schedule

The number-one secret to effective studying is to plan out all the things that have to be done and learned and then schedule them accordingly. Spend some time finding out more about time-management skills. It will completely change your approach to your studies.

We all know the saying, “Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute,” but not in our case… If you plan everything for the last minute, you risk losing time and ending up with a low-quality assignment. And no time left to set it right.

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Just think, plan, and act in advance.

2. Let Your Brain Choose the Best Time

If you want to make the most of your studying time, you first need to identify the time when your mind is ready to interact and perform at its best. Most people can think, memorize, and produce their freshest thoughts after a night of good, sound sleep. Your body feels rested and can offer you its highest working capacity.

The thing is:

The exact time of day that’s optimal can vary from one person to another. Some people feel too sleepy after a full night’s sleep, and all they can do is to yawn and make themselves a coffee cup.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (1)

Hopefully, your best performance time is not during the night. Otherwise, you’d have trouble combining your day and night studies. Remember that you also need 6-8 hours to sleep to stay healthy!

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3. Study in a Quiet and Comfortable Place

Trying to concentrate at home, where it’s always noisy and loud, can be a super-complicated task. You will hardly have high performance in a place with so many potential distractions.

In this case, we’d recommend that you look for a quieter place to study.

Why not go to a good old library? Or maybe your local internet café?

You’ll find some more excellent suggestions at ThoughtCo.

4. Take Notes in Class and at Home

Note-taking is something that you can’t do without if you want to learn how to study faster. You might try to object, thinking that taking notes takes too much time.

But does it?

You’ll indeed spend some time taking notes. Then again, you’ll save way more time when studying at home and preparing for the exam.

  • You’ll have all the necessary data and references collected in one place.

  • You’ll recall the critical information taught during your lessons (something that you might not find in books).

  • You’ll memorize faster when you write the information out—writing works much better for your memory than typing!

  • You’ll immediately refresh your memory on all the key points that you’ll need for your test.

The note-taking method ends up being one of the best studying methods for those who wonder how to study for a test fast and effectively.

5. Take Breaks

Incredible as it may seem, taking regular breaks during your studies will save you time. The secret is giving enough of a break to your brain to increase its performance.

Don’t sit still for hours.

Instead, get up every 30-60 minutes, remembering to stretch your legs and hands. This way, you’ll avoid stiffness and muscle cramps. You may even choose to do some more vigorous exercises to launch your metabolism and make you feel more energized. By moving your body, you’ll also improve your concentration, memory, and creativity.

📚 How to Study More in Less Time

With our tips, you’ll be able to:

  • spend a minimum amount of time learning;

  • have a busy and entertaining social life;

  • and end up with As on any assignment or exam.

We interviewed a dozen A-level college students who always manage to spend just a little time studying. They told us about some effective learning techniques and tricks that we listed below.

6. Use Mind-Mapping

Organize your ideas into maps, clouds, diagrams, charts, tables, etc. to make your facts visual and memorable. This study method is sure to boost your performance and save some time, especially if you’re a visual person.

You can take this method one step further and use mind map tools online, like Popplet or Spiderscribe, where you’ll collaborate with your classmates, brainstorm thoughts, exchange ideas, and share your maps.

Don’t you think this would save tons of your time while studying?

7. Use Online Tools for Learning

Online tools are not only fun, but they can also serve different purposes and increase your productivity.

Here’s how they can help you:

  • Develop your creative and critical thinking skills.

  • Collaborate and exchange ideas with classmates, friends, and peers.

  • Perform research using rich online content databases.

  • Organize and manage your information.

  • Find an optimal studying method through a learning style quiz.

  • Deepen your knowledge through the ability to take free online courses.

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8. Study Different Subjects Every Day

Have you ever noticed that focusing on just one particular subject each day is not as useful as studying a couple of them each day?

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (2)

Let’s look at an example:

Imagine you have to prepare for final exams in literature, chemistry, math, and law. It will work better if you study each subject a little bit every day. Focusing on only writing on Monday, chemistry on Tuesday, math on Wednesday, or law on Thursday might be too much. The sheer volume of information on each subject may make you feel overwhelmed.

You’ll learn much faster and retain that knowledge better if you spend, let’s say, one hour on each subject every day. This way, your brain will have more time to process and absorb the new material.

9. Don’t Multitask

Unless you want to become less productive and more distracted, don’t multitask in anything you do. Your studies will take less time if you focus only on what you’re currently learning.

Want some essential tips on how to improve concentration and how to prepare for exams effectively?

Here you go:

  • Organize your study area and clear any clutter on your desk.

  • Prepare everything you’ll need for your studies before starting.

  • Put your gadgets away or switch them to airplane mode.

  • Log out of all your messengers.

  • Use apps to boost your productivity.

10. Focus on Learning, not the Grades

When you study, you shouldn’t concentrate on the mark you’re going to get. Focus on the process instead. Learn to enjoy it, and high grades will automatically come to you.

All the students we interviewed have one more study habit: they set learning goals, not performance goals.

Performance goals (e.g., getting an A on the next academic essay assignment) are set by students who want to look smart and prove themselves to others.

Learning goals (e.g., learning ten new Spanish words a day) are set by those who want to develop their skills and master the subject.

11. Don’t Memorize, but Rather Understand

This approach is also crucial for those who want to know how to study better.

Learning by heart is one of the common mistakes that many students make. This method ends up being incredibly time-consuming and involves your short-term memory retention primarily. Your understanding and ability to draw conclusions are the skills you have to develop and demonstrate to your professors.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (3)

Focus your attention on understanding what you’re learning and analyzing it critically.

Do you have a complex topic? Then try these tips:

  • Create associations between concepts. Our brain learns by making connections between new information and what has already been acquired. As soon as you discover some similarities between your new topic and some concepts that you already comprehend, you’ll quickly come to understand the subject matter.

  • Imagine the data you’re learning vividly. Think visually; direct a movie in your mind to help you memorize the facts faster. For example, it’s difficult to remember numbers alone, so instead, you should associate each one with a picture and create a short narrative using them. Our minds like stories and retain them for a more extended period than plain figures, facts, etc.

  • Pay attention to regular patterns within the new topic. If you notice patterns and monitor their frequency, you’ll easily comprehend the subject matter’s whole framework.

12. Train Your Brain

If your brain works more quickly and efficiently, you are sure to save plenty of time while studying. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?

The good news is that you can exercise your mental muscles just like you do the rest of your body!

Just look at these actionable tricks to boost your brain capacity:

  • Use Sudoku to improve your problem-solving abilities. You might even find this puzzle game somewhat addictive after you try once. Buy this game on paper or find it free online.

  • Practice math daily. Create a Mad Math Minute worksheet or use printable worksheets. Give yourself 1-5 minutes to solve as many problems as you can. This exercise will keep your brain in good shape. And you won’t need your calculator as frequently as before.

  • Learn something new every day. Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading a newspaper or a book. Another way is to use Wikipedia. Just choose any random article, enrich your knowledge, and keep your brain healthy.

  • Pretend that you’re teaching. The trick is that when you teach, you always want your students to understand the concept and know how to do it the right way. So, if you imagine that you’re teaching, you’re more likely to avoid mistakes and do it in the best possible way.

  • Visit specialized brain-training websites or apps regularly. For example, a cool site like Lumosity lets you decide what exactly you want to train (attention, speed, memory, problem-solving, or flexibility). Then it gives you corresponding exercises that are both easy to understand and interesting to play. Afterward, you get your rating for that skill. You aim to improve your results as you practice.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (4)

💡 Study Smart, not Hard

You should remember that the way you have aligned your learning process can make or break your college or university success. A “smart studying” approach will save you a tremendous amount of time that you would otherwise lose if you study “hard” instead.

The whole studying process comes down to your “focus.” To improve your focus and learn anything faster, you need to choose the right study strategy. It will allow you to comprehend the essence of the subject matter and then immediately connect it with any newly encountered concepts.

First, you need to critically analyze your current learning approach and see what is consuming too much time. Then follow our proven tips to increase your performance and decrease the time you spend on your studies.

We believe in you: you can do it!

Thanks for reading our article! We hope our study tips and tricks were helpful for you. Share them with your peers who may need them too.

Learn more on this topic:

  • Best Note Taking Templates for Effective Learning

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy—How to Make Your Studying Perfect?

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy: Apps to Improve Your Studying

🔗 References


What is the fastest and most effective way to study? ›

25 Tricks to Study Faster and More Effectively
  • Never Cram. There is no such thing as an effective cramming. ...
  • Manage your time. Why do you cram? ...
  • Practice Interlinking Ideas. Impossible you say? ...
  • Make Diagrams. ...
  • Set up your own Mnemonics. ...
  • Learn to Visualize. ...
  • Retell the Story. ...
  • Take notes.

How can I study effectively in a short amount of time? ›

Here are 10 tips to tweak your study habits.
  1. Space out your studying. Nate Kornell “definitely did cram” before big tests when he was a student. ...
  2. Practice, practice, practice! ...
  3. Don't just reread books and notes. ...
  4. Test yourself. ...
  5. Mistakes are okay — as long as you learn from them. ...
  6. Mix it up. ...
  7. Use pictures. ...
  8. Find examples.
Sep 9, 2020

What is the most effective study method? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

What is the most easiest way to study? ›

10 tips on how to study effectively
  • Get organised.
  • Don't skip class!
  • Take notes.
  • Talk to your teacher & ask questions.
  • Space out your studying.
  • Create a study plan – & stick to it.
  • Don't just re-read but study.
  • Set up a quiet study space.

How can I learn 10X faster? ›

Just so you don't waste your time on memory tips that are NOT going to 10X your memory...
  1. Eat right.
  2. Drink water.
  3. Get a good night's sleep.
  4. Take Omega-3.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Exercise.
  7. Learn a new skill.
  8. Socialize.

How can I study fast without forgetting? ›

Now let's look at some of the ways research shows you can remember more and forget less:
  1. Drink coffee to improve memory consolidation. ...
  2. Meditate to improve working memory.
  3. Eat berries for better long-term memory.
  4. Exercise to improve memory recall.
  5. Chew gum to make stronger memories.
  6. Sleep more to consolidate memories.

How can I train my brain to learn faster? ›

Science proves there are six ways you can learn and retain something faster.
  1. Teach Someone Else (Or Just Pretend To) ...
  2. Learn In Short Bursts of Time. ...
  3. Take Notes By Hand. ...
  4. Use The Power of Mental Spacing. ...
  5. Take A Study Nap. ...
  6. Change It Up.
Aug 30, 2016

How can I concentrate on my studies in 5 hours? ›

Slowly training your mind and forming a habit of studying for long hours with a focus can go a long way for you.
  1. Prioritise what to study. First and foremost, you must set your priorities correctly. ...
  2. Sleep well. Having 7-8 hours of sleep is not a myth! ...
  3. Eat right. ...
  4. Exercise every day. ...
  5. Make your room study friendly. ...
  6. Take breaks.
Oct 14, 2022

How can I focus 100% on studying? ›

Here are some simple study tips to help you stay focused:
  1. Set study goals. First things first; start with the basics and set your study goals. ...
  2. 2. Make a study timetable. Once you know what you want, the next step is to prepare a weekly study timetable. ...
  3. Learn to say no. ...
  4. Stay focused on your priorities.

What are 5 study tips? ›

Good study habits to develop
  • Find a good place to study.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Take breaks.
  • Space out your studying.
  • Set study goals for each session.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Study with a group.
  • Take practice tests.
Feb 21, 2023

How many hours can your brain study? ›


The human brain is able to focus up to two hours, after which it needs a 20-30 minute break.

What is the smartest way to study? ›

Study smarter, not harder: Top 10 study tips
  1. Don't miss a class. 'A' students never miss a class. ...
  2. Review your notes quickly and often. ...
  3. Organise your notes visually. ...
  4. Plan ahead. ...
  5. Explain things to others. ...
  6. Get together with a study group. ...
  7. Stay positive. ...
  8. Trust your instincts.

How can I study fast without laziness? ›

Tips for Students to Overcome Laziness
  1. Attain Discipline and Stick to It. The first and most essential point is to attain discipline. ...
  2. Eliminate Distractions. ...
  3. Create a Timetable. ...
  4. Maintain a Stipulated Time for Studying Every Day. ...
  5. Take Breaks. ...
  6. Set Achievable Goals. ...
  7. Seek Assistance. ...
  8. Self-Rewards After Completing a Goal.

How can I study fast without boring? ›

Here are our top tips for finding ways to have fun while studying – whatever the subject may be.
  1. Listen to good music. ...
  2. Turn it into a game for yourself. ...
  3. Turn it into a game with others. ...
  4. Use nice stationery. ...
  5. Try roleplay. ...
  6. Study somewhere different. ...
  7. Challenge yourself. ...
  8. Write comics, short stories or songs.

Is it good to study at night? ›

Benefits of Studying at Night

1) People are more active, loud and intense during the day. At night it's only you so you can study in peace and quiet. 2) At night, there are fewer distractions as compared to the day time. Most of your friends are asleep and your social networks will be less active.

How can I memorize answers fast? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

How can I memorize 100x fast? ›

If you want to learn something 100x faster than someone else, take shortcuts. Increase your focus. Increase your intensity. There's no limit to what — or how quickly — you can learn.

How can I study 12 hours without getting distracted? ›

Effective Studying Techniques
  1. Every day, spend at least 20 minutes meditating.
  2. Make a study schedule.
  3. Use relaxing study music.
  4. Turn off any technology that may be distracting you.
  5. Create an ideal study environment.
  6. Get up and go for a walk or workout.
  7. Improve your ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.
Jan 13, 2023

How can I study with a bad memory? ›

8 Easy Memory Techniques for Studying
  1. Organize your space.
  2. Visualize the information.
  3. Use acronyms and mnemonics.
  4. Use image-name associations.
  5. Use the chaining technique.
  6. Learn by doing.
  7. Study in different locations.
  8. Revisit the material.
Nov 20, 2017

How do I stop being distracted while studying? ›

List out specific goals/a study plan – even hour-by-hour, and use timers to try to stay on track. Move around while studying. Get up and use a whiteboard or change positions often. Chewing gum is sometimes helpful for focus, and/or having a stress ball or other fidget device can help when you start to feel restless.

Why I am not able to learn anything? ›

Your brain is stressed, tired and unfocused. When your brain reaches the REM stage of sleep it will replay what you learned during the day and when you wake you'll remember more of what you learned during the day prior. 2. You are studying too long.

Why everytime I try to study I get sleepy? ›

One of the major causes of feeling sleepy while studying is the lack of sleep at night. It is essential for every human to sleep at least 7 or 8 hours a day.

How can I study 2 hours straight? ›

Here are some of the best science-backed techniques to focus while studying:
  1. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Create a study schedule.
  3. Use soothing study music.
  4. Turn off all the technology that distracts you.
  5. Prepare a perfect study spot.
  6. Get up for a walk or workout.
  7. Train your mind to focus for a longer time.

How many hours should 1 study? ›

For a normal course, 1 hour per subject will be a good strategy, whereas preparation for any competitive exam demands proper management of time and schedule for each day. One should be regular and stick to the schedule made for each day. For competitive exams at least 6-7 hours study is mandatory.

Why can't I focus while studying? ›

Here are some possibilities that could potentially be causing your lack of focus: Your study environment does not support learning. You may have too many distractions like talkative roommates, background noise, and an uncomfortable study space. You're feeling tired because you're not getting enough sleep.

What is the secret to studying? ›

Study at the same time

If you try to study at the same time every day, then soon you will build up a routine that will end up being a perfect and well-planned part of your life. Studying at the same time will make you mentally prepared for your study session and you will become more productive.

Does music help you study? ›

Music Improves Focus and Concentration

To get the most benefit from your music, listen to music you enjoy. Classical or instrumental music with guitars or other string instruments might be less distracting, but you can use anything that's not too fast or too wordy.

What is the best time to study? ›

Best time to study according to science

According to science, there are two windows of time the brain is most receptive to new material: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

What is the 20 minute rule in studying? ›

The 20-minute rule means focusing on one particular task and solely focusing on that chosen activity for 20 minutes without interruptions. Nass adds that if this is done for two weeks, people could become more productive.

What is 45 15 study rule? ›

Basically, in each hour, you do 45 minutes of work, and have 15 minutes of play. The 15 minutes of play every hour give your mind a chance to relax, let go, and unfocus on the task at hand for a short time.

Why is it so hard to study? ›

One of the most common reasons students find it challenging to study is a lack of concentration. It is essential to stay focused and not let your thoughts wander while studying.

How can I force myself to study? ›

Try the Pomodoro Technique: Set a timer for 25 minutes; once the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Study for another 25 minutes, and then take another 5-minute break. Every four 25-minute blocks, let yourself take a 15-20 minute break. Reward yourself at the end of each study block to keep yourself going.

How can I motivate myself to study? ›

Here are some ways to increase your motivation to study.
  1. Reward yourself for studying. ...
  2. Study with your friends. ...
  3. Remind yourself of your long-term goals. ...
  4. Eliminate distractions. ...
  5. Develop interest in what you have to study. ...
  6. Take breaks. ...
  7. Establish a comfortable environment. ...
  8. Establish reasonable goals for a study session.

How do lazy students study? ›

Ensure that you begin your studies in a quiet and comfortable place. Even if you feel lazy between studying then just walk up to your favourite coffee shop and try studying over there. Try changing the room if you are unable to go out. This is one of the most effective steps for overcoming student laziness.

How to study 20 hours a day? ›

Having said that here are seven steps you can take to study long hours without getting overly tired or drowsy:
  1. Prioritize your schedule: take up difficult topics early in the day. ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Steal a nap. ...
  4. Eat to maintain energy levels. ...
  5. Conserve your mental energy. ...
  6. Take regular breaks. ...
  7. If possible, study/work in daylight.
Jan 10, 2023

How can I study effectively in 30 minutes? ›

Here's Why You Should Only Study for 30 Minute Stretches (Plus 9 More Tips)
  1. Set Time Limits. Try working for 30-45 minutes straight, and then take a 10-15 minute break. ...
  2. Drink Water. ...
  3. Tackle the Little Stuff First. ...
  4. Stay Organized. ...
  5. Take Breaks. ...
  6. Remove Distractions. ...
  7. Use Rewards. ...
  8. Listen to Music.
Mar 27, 2019

How to learn big answers in 5 minutes? ›

  1. Read the whole answer only to understand.
  2. Don't think of memorizing in one go.
  3. Break the question in parts( as many u wish.. ...
  4. Now go through one part and learn it loudly.
  5. Now check whether u have learned by hiding the answer.
  6. If yes: repeat processes 4 and 5 till u complete the answer.


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