There are many times when you’ll find you just don’t have the luxury of separating your study sessions to a few hours here and there, leaving you with the unfortunate block of study time that can stretch for hours on end, or even worse, requiring you to pull the dreaded “all-nighter”. While this method of studying is far from ideal, it can be efficient if done properly. Following these tips can help you learn how to study for long hours and turn a chunk of study time into something fruitful.
1) Think Of The “Big Picture”
If you have a lot of material to cover and you only have this block of time to do it, you’ll most likely have to study straight through. This can be stressful and draining, as most people will tap out after two or three hours. However, you can absorb plenty of material in a longer period of time, but you have to study right. Many people in your situation will make the mistake of just “getting through” the material, hoping that if they simply read over everything once, it’ll all magically come back to them on the exam. However, this mistake hardly ever produces the best result, and it’s due to a lack of focus on the “big picture”.
You’ll need to understand that learning the material is more important than just getting through all of it, as the exam will test your knowledge and how you can apply what you’ve learned. Using the exam as the end game, it’ll help to prioritize the material. The things you barely know and need to cover very closely should go first, at it will require a large portion of your mental capability. Your mind will be nice and fresh, so getting the hard stuff out of the way first is critical. The material you already know or feel you have a good grasp of should come last, and should only require a quick review so that you have time for everything else. This method of studying will help you cover all the material in the order that you need so you can understand everything properly, and not just the order of the textbook for the sake of covering all of the topics.
2) Take Small Breaks When Possible
So your trying to learn how to study for long hours, as you’re undoubtedly pressed for time, it’ll be hard to take a break knowing how much material you have ahead of you, but a mental breather is vital for the mind. Even if the break is a quick trip to the water fountain or listening to your favorite song, taking your mind off the material will allow you to absorb everything better and prepare you for more learning. The best way to section your breaks is to find checkpoints throughout your studying. Usually one checkpoint per hour is a good place to start, as studying straight through for more than 60 minutes can cause you to lose focus, making your studying time unhelpful.
Studying for several hours straight is never ideal, as it usually requires cramming and can create stress. However, if these tips are followed, any student can turn a large block of time into a successful study session. As this method prioritizes your work and allows for mental recess, it will help you grasp the material to the greatest extent that the circumstances will allow.