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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Taking Control of Your Own Study

How many times have you tried to study on your own and failed? Maybe procrastinating got in your way, or you weren't prepared to solve the problems yourself. In this post, I'll explain how I take initiative and take control of my own study, along with tips I picked up.

Plan Ahead

- When you're studying by yourself, it's easy to get lost in all the topics and information you have to get through. So before starting your study session, make sure you map out what . I've split this into 3 different categories to make it easier to explain.

* Know What You're Going to Achieve:

Always have a reminder of what your aim is for that particular study session. Whether you want to master the basics of trigonometric graphs or learn the timeline of the Vietnam War, you have to have a clear destination of where you're going to take the study session.

* Stay On Track

It's easy to fall into other topics of inquiry when you're studying alone. Which is fine for your knowledge, but it might be harder to actually get anything done. If a question for another topic comes into your mind, jot them down! Then, in another study session related to that topic or subject, you can come back to it.

* Prioritise

You're favourite subject may be Biology, but you have an assignment coming up on History. Studying by yourself doesn't mean that you can pick and choose which subjects you're going to study or not. Prioritise the things you have to get done.

* Set A Time Limit

5 hours of restless work may sound like you're getting a lot done, but in reality, you may not even be awake. Always set a time limit on your study, so that there is something to motivate you to keep on going. During that session, concentrate fully on the things you planned to get done.

Get Rid of Distractions

- Oh, the horror! There are so many distractions that get in the way of your learning. Turn off your phone and close your computer (unless you really need it for your study). Listening to music without lyrics may help you get in the mood for studying. If all else fails, ask your parents to check in with you every hour or so.

Seek Help If Needed

- Being independent doesn't mean that you can't ask for guidance. If you feel like you're not getting something, ask for help! Teachers and parents will most definitely be happy to help and will be so proud that you attempted to solve the problem on your own.

Two Is Better Than One

- If you really can't do the 'independent studying', call a friend over! Having a friend with you while studying reduces the pressure and stress. You could also help each other on different things! Just make sure that your 'study session' doesn't turn into a 'gossip session' ;)

Study Materials Are Your Best Friends

- Since you're not relying on your teachers, parents, or any other education related instructors to manage your study, you have to take responsibility in making sure that you have enough resources to guide you through. Textbooks, past exam papers, notes from class etc will be very important.

Use Different Methods Of Learning

- Always experiment with the ways you learn! Try flashcards, memory games, notes, videos -- to help you study. There are so many different mediums that can help you with your learning, so test them all out and see which one works best for you.


Perhaps you still feel like you do need guidance when studying. That's not a problem at all. But for me, studying by myself is the best thing in the world. That's because I can set my own pace, work on the things I'd like to learn more about, and see my progress and achievements. Also, there aren't any teachers or parents to that nag you on. Believe me, it's worth a try :)

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