Four Tips for Effective Studying at Home

April 3, 2020

Four Tips for Effective Studying at Home 


Contact: Christine Noddin, 703.620.9840 


RESTON—April 3, 2020—The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) offers four tips for effective studying at home adapted from Brad Deutser, founder and CEO of Deutser and the Deutser Clarity Institute. According to Deuster, the new study routines being created at home can be mired with pitfalls—extended periods of being at home and distractions competing for our attention more than ever before. However, overcoming these difficulties is possible. Stephen Hawking once said, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” 


Here are four tips to help you succeed. 

1. Create a workspace that is unique to you. Carve out a quiet space where you can focus on your task. Things to consider about your workspace include the following: 

• Make use of natural light. It’s a natural mood enhancer. 

• Do you have all the tools you will need—pens, charger, water, glasses, notebook? 

• Post positive messages around your workspace to motivate you. Get started with these: Think Positive; Be Positive; I Am in Charge of How I Feel; Today I Am Choosing Happiness. 

• Let your family and roommates know the study hours you are keeping. One colleague tied a tie to his doorknob to signal to his family that he should not be interrupted. 

• Relocate your workspace every other day to alleviate boredom. 


2. Take a break. Many experts agree that regular breaks help replenish energy reserves and focus. Breaks also help us make fewer mistakes while working faster and more efficiently. 

• Every 50–90 minutes, shift your focus away from studying for at least 15 minutes. 

• What should you do during your break? Don’t study! Do yoga, go for a quick walk, wash the dishes, call a friend, or take a quick nap. The options are limitless. 


3. Connect. Enhance your study experience by connecting with classmates and teachers. 

• Reach out to a teacher through email on a topic you are struggling with. 

• Set up an online study group to review key material. Here are some tips to make it successful: 

o Keep it short—meet for no longer than 60 minutes. 

o Stay focused—have one goal. A presession email plan and a moderator can help with this. 

o Stay small—keep the group size to no more than five people to be productive. 


4. Be curious. Embrace your intellectual curiosity and push your learning to new levels. 

• Find your passion in this moment. Begin a project that will enhance your classroom learning. 

• Look for additional lessons online. 

• Start a discussion on a given topic. 

• What can you research that can add to or change your understanding of the subject?