5 ways to stay motivated when studying

Sarah Lifestyle

Studying for exams can be so difficult, because more often than not, they’re the only thing standing between you and the holidays! If your life is starting to feel like one long revision session, and you’re crying out for some sun, read our top tips for staying motivated until school’s out for summer.

  1. Give yourself something to look forward to
    Thinking about going on holiday once your exams are over? Great… book it! It’s important to have something exciting ahead of you to keep you going when exam season is in full swing. It doesn’t have to be a holiday; if your budget is smaller, you could promise yourself a meal at your favourite restaurant, a night out with friends, or a film and a takeaway with your family.
  2. Implement a rewards system
    Lots of people really respond to the promise of a reward for a job well done. Some parents offer monetary rewards for good exam results, but you could invent your own personal rewards scheme. It doesn’t have to be results based either; you could reward yourself with a lovely relaxing bath as a treat at the end of a tough day revising.
  3. Try not to procrastinate
    Yes, Facebook and Instagram are easily accessible, but they take up hours of your time and add very little value to your life. Try to remember this when the familiar urge to check your news feed surfaces a couple of hours in to a long study session; go for a walk to clear your head instead, or pop downstairs for a chat with whoever else is at home. This minimises the time you spend idly flicking through your phone and means you can get back to your work, refreshed and ready to learn again.
  4. Take breaks
    Enjoying scheduled breaks as part of your study timetable is a really good idea. It allows your mind to rest and gives you an opportunity process and retain what you’ve learned. It also increases motivation by providing a short-term goal, which can be just as important as your long-term goals.

While long-term goals like those we mentioned before, such as a holiday or getting in to university, can seem very far away, a short-term goal is something you can have or do in an hour, or at the end of the day. A break for a bar of chocolate; five minutes to check your texts; or a few moments to browse the football results can make the world of difference to a day full of monotonous study time.

It should also be possible to treat your revision like a full time job, or school day, working from 9-3 or 9-5; that way, you get your weekends free to spend as you please and you won’t find yourself in a burn-out situation.

  1. Establish what it is you want to do
    It can be really hard to motivate yourself when you’re not sure what you’re working towards, so why not consider putting some time aside to really establish where you want to be in the future so that you have the drive to get there.

Students who have attended Cambridge summer school by Immerse Education say that the experience really helped define for them what it was they wanted to do at university. If you haven’t worked out what it is you’d like to do in the future, attending a summer school can give you a valuable insight into the way that university works, a window into the world of a particular degree subject and, importantly, the inspiration you need to keep you motivated through those long, arduous study sessions.