The Benefits of Study Breaks and How to Use Them Effectively
When faced with looming exams, it can often be a student’s first instinct to cram, pull all-nighters, or study for long periods of time uninterrupted. While this may work for a few students, studies find that studying without regular breaks can actually decrease academic performance and results. In addition, it can lead to anxiety, depression and insomnia! Research suggests that short mental breaks, doing something completely different, will actually help you to focus. Study breaks can improve retention and understanding over longer periods, as well as relax your mind.
Making study breaks successful
• Make a note of where you are stopping
• Set a time limit to your break, and stick to it
• Change your scenery
• Know yourself, and don’t start any activity that you could easily get lost in
• Get back to work as soon as your break ends, without stressing about how much there is left to do or procrastinating
What not to do in a study break
• Update your Facebook
• Phone or message a friend
• Anything to do with the subject you’re studying
• Start a new series
• The same thing you did in your last break!
What to do instead
• Exercise: take a walk, kick a ball around, or dance to your favourite song
• Nap for 10-20 minutes (any longer and you’ll just feel drowsy!)
• Make a (healthy) snack
• Read a book or magazine
How can BrightSparkz help?
Ask your tutor to help you plan your study timetable, as well as advice on what study methods you should use based on your Learning Styles Assessment. If you need extra lessons to help cement in some of the concepts you need to know for your exams, either contact your tutor, or get in touch with your BrightSparkz office to book extra lessons today (email Cape Town or Joburg). If you’re totally at a loss for how to study, book a Study Skills Crash Course with our Educoach! Click here to find out more.
Written By: Tessa Cooper, BrightSparkz Blog Writer