How to Make Studying Fun

Last updated: May 27, 2020

Can you actually enjoy your next study session? Yes. Although homework is never going to be your favorite activity (unless you’re Hermione Granger), you can transform your experience with a few simple tips. Here are nine fun ways to make studying fun

asian american student makes studying fun by listening to music on headphones

9. Don’t Cram: Study in Advance

If you’re anxiously cramming for a test, tonight is never going to be fun, no matter how many study tips we give you. Avoid the panic and study in advance. Plus, if you plan ahead, you can break your assignment into smaller pieces — and we all know that a fun study session is a short study session.

8. Find a Quiet, Clutter-Free Space

Create a study environment that relaxes and inspires you. Follow these tips: 

  • Embrace nature: Try studying near a window or on your back porch. This can help you stay more productive.
  • Open the curtains. Natural light can reduce eyestrain and drowsiness.
  • Clear the clutter. A clean workstation can help you stay focused. 
  • Assemble your tools. Colorful highlighters and cool notebooks can make your task more interesting. 
  • Eliminate distractions. Find a place that’s private, and let others know you shouldn’t be disturbed. 
  • Move around. “Rather than sitting at your desk or the kitchen table studying for hours, finding some new scenery will create new associations in your brain and make it easier to recall information later,” explains this New York Times article. 

7. Listen to Music

Music boosts your mood, and because you’re in a better mood, you’ll finish tasks faster. A happier and shorter study session? Win-win. 

Lyrics can be distracting, so aim for songs that are instrumental. Get started with our mini-playlist:

6. Assemble Snacks

Snacks make everything better. Choose healthy options to keep your brain clear:

female student uses a smart phone app to make studying fun

5. Use Study Apps

Online and app-based resources can lighten your load. We asked a USF student about the best study apps; here are three of her top picks:

  • Quizlet lets you create flashcard sets.
  • Khan Academy offers free instructional videos.
  • CrashCourse, created by authors Hank and John Green, provides short, engaging video lessons.

4. Create a (Virtual) Study Group 

If you’re social distancing during the coronavirus crisis, you probably miss hanging out with your classmates. But you can still study together using software like Google Hangouts. Keep the group small, invite friends who are as dedicated as you are, and set the rules in advance. (“Thirty minutes of studying is required before we chat and play online games.”)

3. Take Study Breaks 

Study breaks aren’t indulgent. In fact, they can help you manage your time better. Follow the Pomodoro method:

  • Study (without interruption) for 25 minutes.
  • Take a five-minute break.
  • Study (without interruption) for 25 minutes.
  • Take a five-minute break.
  • Study (without interruption) for 25 minutes.
  • Take a five-minute break.
  • Study (without interruption) for 25 minutes.

Congratulations, you’ve worked for an hour and 25 minutes already! Take a half-hour break before repeating the cycle. 

2. Reward Yourself 

Build in tiny rewards throughout your study session. For example, for every five-minute break you take with the Pomodoro method, you could:  

  • Play with your cat.
  • Do a meditation.
  • Listen to your favorite song.
  • Watch a funny YouTube video.

Give yourself a bigger reward at the end of your session, like watching an episode of your favorite TV show, taking a relaxing bath, or calling a friend. Planning rewards in advance can give you the motivation to keep going. 

a student makes studying fun by enjoying coffee while learning

1. Try to Connect with What You’re Learning

Study sessions are always more fun if you actually like what you’re learning. But what happens when you’re stuck with a tedious assignment? Can you trick your brain into actually caring? Yes, you can. 

  • Think positively. Identify one reason that knowing this content could benefit you in your life.
  • Get in the mood to learn. If you’re struggling to understand a Shakespeare play, watch a movie adaptation. If you’re reading about medieval Europe, listen to a Gregorian chant. If you’re doing a math problem, pretend you’re a NASA scientist. 
  • Ask someone why this topic matters. That person could be your teacher, a friend who excels in this subject, or an online expert. (For example, this TEDEd video explains why you should read Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”) Understanding someone else’s perspective can help you shift your point of view and connect more deeply to the assignment.

Studying is always a challenge, but with a little preparation, you can turn it into a rewarding experience. Remember, if you’re studying for a college entrance exam such as the ACT or SAT, we’re here to help. USF’s test prep courses can help you maximize your study time and get the best score.

If you have questions about what USF has to offer, reach out to the Office of Admissions online, or call us at 813-974-3350. We also encourage you to download our handy study tips. We also encourage you to download our handy study tips.

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