I tried these five studying methods and rated them, so you didn’t have to

No more sitting procrastinating for hours with these tricks

Finding the best way to study for you can be such a struggle, so I’ve tested out a few well-known methods and rated them so the next time you are sitting at the library procrastinating, you’ll know where to start.

Pomodoro Method – 9/10

Originally developed by an Italian student, Francesco Cirillo, feeling inundated with his assignments and struggling to concentrate for long periods (we’ve all been there), this technique challenges you to completely focus on one task for 25 minutes. These twenty-five-minute intervals, called pomodoros (Francesco originally used a kitchen timer to regulate himself but there are now tons of online pomodoro timers to use), are split with five-minute breaks, and some longer fifteen-minute breaks. This method is a dream for a procrastinator.

The literal countdown to my five-minute Instagram doomscroll is perfect for someone who finds themselves picking up their phone every time a question gets difficult. This technique is great for when you’re feeling overwhelmed with assignments, you can tackle them one by one and gauge how long each will take- you’ll be surprised with what you can achieve in 25 minutes.

Blurting – 7/10

Blurting involves skimming your notes or a textbook (or even a Wikipedia page if you’re desperate) on one topic, before closing it and writing down all the information you remember. The idea is that everything gets put into your short-term memory and then transferred into your long-term memory.

This is a good starting point, as it shows what you already know and what you need to go over, however, it’s not the only thing you should be doing, try it in unison with something else.

Leitner Method – 3/10

This one is all about stamina. It’s a pretty basic flashcard method where you take 3 boxes, box 1 is for concepts you consistently mess up, box 2 is for concepts you feel more confident in, and box 3 is for concepts you know well. It’s a good way to gauge how much you know each thing and which areas you should focus on. This one is possibly more suited to students who need to memorise specific quotations or phrases for exams.

However, writing flashcards is a tedious process, and going over them enough to understand and memorise their content takes a long time. If you start writing flashcards now, then by the time you get to your May exams you’ll be laughing, but if you are trying to revise for that midterm next week, I’d say maybe look at another method.

Mind Palace – 4/10

With a name evoking images of Sherlock’s rather quirky brainstorming sessions, it’s hard to take this one seriously. However, it is a real and scientifically backed technique. It involves assigning specific topics and concepts to different places, the idea being that every time you enter a certain room or go to a certain place, your brain automatically starts to think about said topic.

It’s one of those methods that work better in the long run- if only we could all tell Watson to “go away I need to enter my mind palace”. I’m not sure how much it helped me, but I did have quite a bit of fun testing it out.

Feynman Technique – 8/10

This method relies on the idea that if you can’t explain something to a 10-year-old you don’t truly understand it (in the absence of any 10-year-olds I had to test this out on my friends…they’re so fed up with me). You take a topic, revise it, and then try to explain it to someone else in your own words.

This tests how well you know something, especially if your friends have questions- this forces you to go off script and see how deep your knowledge of the subject is. This method is difficult and time-consuming, but it can be effective if you commit to it.