How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (2023)

Are you wondering what the most effective study methods are? Do you want to know how to study fast in less time? Do you require more time for extracurricular activities but have to reserve to get prepared for exams? With our scientifically proven study tips and tricks for college students, you will have these issues solved.

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For successful and fast learning, you have to:

  • Understand your studying mistakes.

  • Create a schedule and a proper environment.

  • Use brainstorming techniques and online tools.

  • Study various subjects each day without multitasking.

  • Truly comprehend the topic you’re exploring.

In this article, we are going to discuss why learning takes so much time. Our experts listed typical students’ mistakes and shared some secret study tricks to ease your struggles. So, let’s start!


  1. ⌚ Why Do Your Studies Take so Much Time?

  2. 🏃‍♀️ How to Study Fast in Less Time

  3. 📚 How to Study More in Less Time

  4. 💡 Study Smart, not Hard

⌚ Why Do Your Studies Take so Much Time?

A great starting point is to analyze your studying pattern to see what mistakes you usually make while learning.

We’ve listed some common ones below:

(Video) 12 Effective Study Methods on How to Study Fast in Less Time?

  • No planning, no schedule, and no priorities. Some students prefer to focus on random assignments, depending on what they WANT to do rather than what they NEED to do.

  • Leaving everything to the last minute and then cramming. This strategy has proved to be not effective at all. You may pass your exam, but you’ll quickly forget what you’ve learned after you’re done.

  • Having too many distractions while studying. Gadgets, TV, music, loud family members, etc.—all these factors will keep you from progressing too much.

  • Trying to remember everything without taking any notes. Rely on your brain wisely. It can process and store a lot of information, BUT you have to gradually fill it and leave some written notes to refresh it later.

  • Leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Being sleepy, not exercising, and eating junk food are harmful activities for your body and studies.

There are many more mistakes that high school and college students make, of course. So make a list of your own and start improving. Meanwhile, our 12 tips will help you get on your way.

🏃‍♀️ How to Study Fast in Less Time

Anyone can boost their efficiency and improve their study skills. They just need to learn some tips and hacks to do so.

Let’s go deeper into the matter and see what students who are tired of studying can study more effectively.

1. Make a Schedule

The number-one secret to effective studying is to plan out all the things that have to be done and learned and then schedule them accordingly. Spend some time finding out more about time-management skills. It will completely change your approach to your studies.

We all know the saying, “Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute,” but not in our case… If you plan everything for the last minute, you risk losing time and ending up with a low-quality assignment. And no time left to set it right.

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Just think, plan, and act in advance.

2. Let Your Brain Choose the Best Time

If you want to make the most of your studying time, you first need to identify the time when your mind is ready to interact and perform at its best. Most people can think, memorize, and produce their freshest thoughts after a night of good, sound sleep. Your body feels rested and can offer you its highest working capacity.

The thing is:

The exact time of day that’s optimal can vary from one person to another. Some people feel too sleepy after a full night’s sleep, and all they can do is to yawn and make themselves a coffee cup.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (1)

Hopefully, your best performance time is not during the night. Otherwise, you’d have trouble combining your day and night studies. Remember that you also need 6-8 hours to sleep to stay healthy!

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3. Study in a Quiet and Comfortable Place

Trying to concentrate at home, where it’s always noisy and loud, can be a super-complicated task. You will hardly have high performance in a place with so many potential distractions.

In this case, we’d recommend that you look for a quieter place to study.

Why not go to a good old library? Or maybe your local internet café?

You’ll find some more excellent suggestions at ThoughtCo.

4. Take Notes in Class and at Home

Note-taking is something that you can’t do without if you want to learn how to study faster. You might try to object, thinking that taking notes takes too much time.

But does it?

You’ll indeed spend some time taking notes. Then again, you’ll save way more time when studying at home and preparing for the exam.

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  • You’ll have all the necessary data and references collected in one place.

  • You’ll recall the critical information taught during your lessons (something that you might not find in books).

  • You’ll memorize faster when you write the information out—writing works much better for your memory than typing!

  • You’ll immediately refresh your memory on all the key points that you’ll need for your test.

The note-taking method ends up being one of the best studying methods for those who wonder how to study for a test fast and effectively.

5. Take Breaks

Incredible as it may seem, taking regular breaks during your studies will save you time. The secret is giving enough of a break to your brain to increase its performance.

Don’t sit still for hours.

Instead, get up every 30-60 minutes, remembering to stretch your legs and hands. This way, you’ll avoid stiffness and muscle cramps. You may even choose to do some more vigorous exercises to launch your metabolism and make you feel more energized. By moving your body, you’ll also improve your concentration, memory, and creativity.

📚 How to Study More in Less Time

With our tips, you’ll be able to:

  • spend a minimum amount of time learning;

  • have a busy and entertaining social life;

  • and end up with As on any assignment or exam.

We interviewed a dozen A-level college students who always manage to spend just a little time studying. They told us about some effective learning techniques and tricks that we listed below.

6. Use Mind-Mapping

Organize your ideas into maps, clouds, diagrams, charts, tables, etc. to make your facts visual and memorable. This study method is sure to boost your performance and save some time, especially if you’re a visual person.

You can take this method one step further and use mind map tools online, like Popplet or Spiderscribe, where you’ll collaborate with your classmates, brainstorm thoughts, exchange ideas, and share your maps.

Don’t you think this would save tons of your time while studying?

7. Use Online Tools for Learning

Online tools are not only fun, but they can also serve different purposes and increase your productivity.

Here’s how they can help you:

  • Develop your creative and critical thinking skills.

  • Collaborate and exchange ideas with classmates, friends, and peers.

  • Perform research using rich online content databases.

  • Organize and manage your information.

  • Find an optimal studying method through a learning style quiz.

  • Deepen your knowledge through the ability to take free online courses.

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(Video) The 9 BEST Scientific Study Tips

8. Study Different Subjects Every Day

Have you ever noticed that focusing on just one particular subject each day is not as useful as studying a couple of them each day?

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (2)

Let’s look at an example:

Imagine you have to prepare for final exams in literature, chemistry, math, and law. It will work better if you study each subject a little bit every day. Focusing on only writing on Monday, chemistry on Tuesday, math on Wednesday, or law on Thursday might be too much. The sheer volume of information on each subject may make you feel overwhelmed.

You’ll learn much faster and retain that knowledge better if you spend, let’s say, one hour on each subject every day. This way, your brain will have more time to process and absorb the new material.

9. Don’t Multitask

Unless you want to become less productive and more distracted, don’t multitask in anything you do. Your studies will take less time if you focus only on what you’re currently learning.

Want some essential tips on how to improve concentration and how to prepare for exams effectively?

Here you go:

  • Organize your study area and clear any clutter on your desk.

  • Prepare everything you’ll need for your studies before starting.

  • Put your gadgets away or switch them to airplane mode.

  • Log out of all your messengers.

  • Use apps to boost your productivity.

10. Focus on Learning, not the Grades

When you study, you shouldn’t concentrate on the mark you’re going to get. Focus on the process instead. Learn to enjoy it, and high grades will automatically come to you.

All the students we interviewed have one more study habit: they set learning goals, not performance goals.

Performance goals (e.g., getting an A on the next academic essay assignment) are set by students who want to look smart and prove themselves to others.

Learning goals (e.g., learning ten new Spanish words a day) are set by those who want to develop their skills and master the subject.

11. Don’t Memorize, but Rather Understand

This approach is also crucial for those who want to know how to study better.

Learning by heart is one of the common mistakes that many students make. This method ends up being incredibly time-consuming and involves your short-term memory retention primarily. Your understanding and ability to draw conclusions are the skills you have to develop and demonstrate to your professors.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (3)

Focus your attention on understanding what you’re learning and analyzing it critically.

Do you have a complex topic? Then try these tips:

  • Create associations between concepts. Our brain learns by making connections between new information and what has already been acquired. As soon as you discover some similarities between your new topic and some concepts that you already comprehend, you’ll quickly come to understand the subject matter.

  • Imagine the data you’re learning vividly. Think visually; direct a movie in your mind to help you memorize the facts faster. For example, it’s difficult to remember numbers alone, so instead, you should associate each one with a picture and create a short narrative using them. Our minds like stories and retain them for a more extended period than plain figures, facts, etc.

  • Pay attention to regular patterns within the new topic. If you notice patterns and monitor their frequency, you’ll easily comprehend the subject matter’s whole framework.

12. Train Your Brain

If your brain works more quickly and efficiently, you are sure to save plenty of time while studying. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?

The good news is that you can exercise your mental muscles just like you do the rest of your body!

Just look at these actionable tricks to boost your brain capacity:

(Video) How to study smart? 📚| Best 4 study tips in tamil | Exam preparation tips for students

  • Use Sudoku to improve your problem-solving abilities. You might even find this puzzle game somewhat addictive after you try once. Buy this game on paper or find it free online.

  • Practice math daily. Create a Mad Math Minute worksheet or use printable worksheets. Give yourself 1-5 minutes to solve as many problems as you can. This exercise will keep your brain in good shape. And you won’t need your calculator as frequently as before.

  • Learn something new every day. Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading a newspaper or a book. Another way is to use Wikipedia. Just choose any random article, enrich your knowledge, and keep your brain healthy.

  • Pretend that you’re teaching. The trick is that when you teach, you always want your students to understand the concept and know how to do it the right way. So, if you imagine that you’re teaching, you’re more likely to avoid mistakes and do it in the best possible way.

  • Visit specialized brain-training websites or apps regularly. For example, a cool site like Lumosity lets you decide what exactly you want to train (attention, speed, memory, problem-solving, or flexibility). Then it gives you corresponding exercises that are both easy to understand and interesting to play. Afterward, you get your rating for that skill. You aim to improve your results as you practice.

How to Study Fast in Less Time: 12 Effective Study Methods (4)

💡 Study Smart, not Hard

You should remember that the way you have aligned your learning process can make or break your college or university success. A “smart studying” approach will save you a tremendous amount of time that you would otherwise lose if you study “hard” instead.

The whole studying process comes down to your “focus.” To improve your focus and learn anything faster, you need to choose the right study strategy. It will allow you to comprehend the essence of the subject matter and then immediately connect it with any newly encountered concepts.

First, you need to critically analyze your current learning approach and see what is consuming too much time. Then follow our proven tips to increase your performance and decrease the time you spend on your studies.

We believe in you: you can do it!

Thanks for reading our article! We hope our study tips and tricks were helpful for you. Share them with your peers who may need them too.

Learn more on this topic:

  • Best Note Taking Templates for Effective Learning

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy—How to Make Your Studying Perfect?

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy: Apps to Improve Your Studying

🔗 References

  1. General Study Tips: Dartmouth College

    (Video) How to Learn Faster with the Feynman Technique (Example Included)


What is the best way to study in a short amount of time? ›

Study in short time blocks like 1-2 hours at a time (take about a five minute break every half hour or ten minutes every hour), as you'll likely be able to focus better and remember a greater proportion of what you learned, and will also be less likely to procrastinate.

What is the most effective study method? ›

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day.

How can I study less than 2 hours? ›

Here's how to make the most of your cram session and study for your test in an hour or less.
  1. Find a Quiet Study Space.
  2. Review Your Study Guide.
  3. Crack Open the Textbook.
  4. Review Notes, Quizzes and Assignments.
  5. Quiz Yourself.
  6. Write Down Your Mnemonic Devices.
  7. Ask the Teacher for Help.
Sep 11, 2018

How many hours of study a day is enough? ›

For a normal course, 1 hour per subject will be a good strategy, whereas preparation for any competitive exam demands proper management of time and schedule for each day. One should be regular and stick to the schedule made for each day. For competitive exams at least 6-7 hours study is mandatory.

What is the 80 20 rule studying? ›

Simply put, 20% or less of the studying you are doing is leading to the majority of your results. Furthermore, 20% or less of your course content comprises the majority of the content on your exams. Remember, professors (whether they know it or not) are applying the 80-20 rule to their exams.

How many hours can your brain study? ›


The human brain is able to focus up to two hours, after which it needs a 20-30 minute break.

How can I study fast without forgetting? ›

Now let's look at some of the ways research shows you can remember more and forget less:
  1. Drink coffee to improve memory consolidation. ...
  2. Meditate to improve working memory.
  3. Eat berries for better long-term memory.
  4. Exercise to improve memory recall.
  5. Chew gum to make stronger memories.
  6. Sleep more to consolidate memories.

How can I study 12 hours without a break? ›

  1. Prioritize your schedule: take up difficult topics early in the day.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Steal a nap.
  4. Eat to maintain energy levels.
  5. Conserve your mental energy.
  6. Take regular breaks.
  7. If possible, study/work in daylight.
Jan 10, 2023

How many hours is normal to study? ›

If you have kept a good daily and weekly schedule, 15-20 hours should be about right for a mid-term, 20-30 for a final exam. Major papers take substantially more time and effort.

How can I learn 10X faster? ›

Just so you don't waste your time on memory tips that are NOT going to 10X your memory...
  1. Eat right.
  2. Drink water.
  3. Get a good night's sleep.
  4. Take Omega-3.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Exercise.
  7. Learn a new skill.
  8. Socialize.

How can I study 10 times faster? ›

How to Learn Faster
  1. Take handwritten notes.
  2. Say it out loud.
  3. Try self-testing.
  4. Teach the information to someone else.
  5. Use mnemonic devices.
  6. Make an analogy to something you already know.
  7. Space out your review sessions.
  8. Change your practice technique each day.

How can I train my brain to learn faster? ›

Science proves there are six ways you can learn and retain something faster.
  1. Teach Someone Else (Or Just Pretend To) ...
  2. Learn In Short Bursts of Time. ...
  3. Take Notes By Hand. ...
  4. Use The Power of Mental Spacing. ...
  5. Take A Study Nap. ...
  6. Change It Up.
Aug 30, 2016

What are 7 things you could do to study more effectively? ›

10 tips on how to study effectively
  • Get organised.
  • Don't skip class!
  • Take notes.
  • Talk to your teacher & ask questions.
  • Space out your studying.
  • Create a study plan – & stick to it.
  • Don't just re-read but study.
  • Set up a quiet study space.

How many hours Harvard students study? ›

Typically, most students spend between 14 to 20 hours in class per week, but this can vary from person to person and semester to semester.

Is it good to study at night? ›

Benefits of Studying at Night

1) People are more active, loud and intense during the day. At night it's only you so you can study in peace and quiet. 2) At night, there are fewer distractions as compared to the day time. Most of your friends are asleep and your social networks will be less active.

Which time is best for study? ›

Best time to study according to science

According to science, there are two windows of time the brain is most receptive to new material: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

How to study smart? ›

How to Study Smart and Study Less
  1. #1. Set a study time. Make sure to include studying in your regular schedule. ...
  2. #2. Set a dedicated studying space. ...
  3. #3. Break study time into sessions. ...
  4. #4. Study actively. ...
  5. #5. Take notes while in class. ...
  6. #6. Summarize or teach what you learn. ...
  7. #7. Use the SQ3R method. ...
  8. #8. Use mnemonics.
Jan 22, 2023

What is the 10 50 rule for studying? ›

The 50/10 Rule mandates that you stay on task when studying during the 50 minutes, then go on a multitasking, multimedia bender during your 10-minute break. Mix and repeat.

What is the 50 10 rule when studying? ›

You can keep yourself on track, using the 50/10 Rule. What is the 50/10 Rule? For every 50 minutes spent focusing on studying or working, allow yourself a 10-minute break.

What is 45 15 study rule? ›

Basically, in each hour, you do 45 minutes of work, and have 15 minutes of play. The 15 minutes of play every hour give your mind a chance to relax, let go, and unfocus on the task at hand for a short time.

What to do if feeling sleepy while studying? ›

How to Avoid Sleepiness While Studying (13 Ways to Stay Awake and Focused)
  1. Get out of your comfort zone. ...
  2. Watch your posture. ...
  3. Create a study strategy. ...
  4. Stay hydrated. ...
  5. Eat the right foods. ...
  6. Use active learning methods. ...
  7. Switch tasks periodically. ...
  8. Move your body.
Aug 31, 2022

How much time can the mind stay 100% focus? ›

This is due to the fact that the brain is only able to maintain true focus for around 45 minutes before it begins to lose steam. Therefore it would be wise practice to study diligently for up to an hour and then take a break.

How can I study 10 hours without getting bored? ›

Here are some of the best science-backed techniques to focus while studying:
  1. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Create a study schedule.
  3. Use soothing study music.
  4. Turn off all the technology that distracts you.
  5. Prepare a perfect study spot.
  6. Get up for a walk or workout.
  7. Train your mind to focus for a longer time.

How can I study everything faster? ›

This includes how to learn faster and more efficiently, while retaining information for longer.
  1. Learn the same information in a variety of ways. ...
  2. Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects. ...
  3. Review the information periodically, instead of cramming. ...
  4. Sit at the front of the class.
Dec 20, 2022

How can I study fast without boring? ›

Here are our top tips for finding ways to have fun while studying – whatever the subject may be.
  1. Listen to good music. ...
  2. Turn it into a game for yourself. ...
  3. Turn it into a game with others. ...
  4. Use nice stationery. ...
  5. Try roleplay. ...
  6. Study somewhere different. ...
  7. Challenge yourself. ...
  8. Write comics, short stories or songs.

How can I study effectively in 30 minutes? ›

Here's Why You Should Only Study for 30 Minute Stretches (Plus 9 More Tips)
  1. Set Time Limits. Try working for 30-45 minutes straight, and then take a 10-15 minute break. ...
  2. Drink Water. ...
  3. Tackle the Little Stuff First. ...
  4. Stay Organized. ...
  5. Take Breaks. ...
  6. Remove Distractions. ...
  7. Use Rewards. ...
  8. Listen to Music.
Mar 27, 2019

How can I study a lot in a few hours? ›

How to study for long hours?
  1. Prioritise what to study. First and foremost, you must set your priorities correctly. ...
  2. Sleep well. Having 7-8 hours of sleep is not a myth! ...
  3. Eat right. ...
  4. Exercise every day. ...
  5. Make your room study friendly. ...
  6. Take breaks.
Oct 14, 2022

What is the 20 minute rule in studying? ›

The 20-minute rule means focusing on one particular task and solely focusing on that chosen activity for 20 minutes without interruptions. Nass adds that if this is done for two weeks, people could become more productive.

How many hours can a human brain study? ›


The human brain is able to focus up to two hours, after which it needs a 20-30 minute break.

How to study in 5 minutes? ›

Do a simple recall. Make a quick list of the biggest points from the material: characters and plot, formulae, or important dates and events. Try to do it from memory, but if you can't, glance at your notes for a couple of minutes first and then get writing. Use any time available as extra study time.

Is studying 2 hours a day enough? ›

If you have more than 8 months in your hand and you study effectively 2hr per day then of course it's enough! But you've to maintain the consistency! If you can't then 20hr will be not enough! But if you've less than 6 months in you're hand then start with 2hr then gradually try to speed up !

What is the maximum hours to study? ›

What needs to be kept in mind to avoid stress? The students should study a maximum of 10 hours a day and a minimum of 7 hours of study is enough for them to pass. We tell them to practice as much as they can through sample papers, and solving them in 3 hours by keeping a watch beside.

Why can't I focus on studying? ›

Distractions such as social media, phone calls, and a busy environment can affect your focus. If you want to concentrate, try switching off electronic devices and find a tidy space with minimal noise and crowding. Insufficient sleep can make it hard to concentrate.


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