How to Study Smart Not Hard (10 Scientifically Proven Techniques)

So what if I told you that you could cover twice as much in half the amount of time and be much more effective? 

Today I’m going to tell you how to study smart and not hard and give you ten proven scientific techniques.  


Smart study technique number one is called a study in chunks. The Pomodoro Technique says you should study for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, repeat this three times, and then take a more extended break. But 25 minutes may not be your perfect chunk of time, so how do you find your attention span. I would take up a book and start reading, and the moment I find myself getting distracted or dozing off, I’ll press that timer and bingo that’s my perfect chunk of time. If you haven’t finished that topic in 25 minutes, that’s a good thing because now the Zeigarnik effect will come into play. Zeigarnik effect states that the human brain tends to remember incomplete and unfinished tasks much better than it does complete tasks. So while you take that five-minute break, your mind will process that unfinished task or concept, and when you get back to it in the second lot of 25 minutes, you’re going to have much more clarity.

Smart study technique number two is called 20% read 80% recite. Sometimes I find that we understand the entire day. We go from one subject to the next, but we are either reading from a book or a laptop, and the brain gets so bone tired that it stops paying attention. Now, how about this – you understand a concept close your book, ask yourself a question and try to answer it without opening that book in your own words and related to an idea perhaps that you’ve learned some time back. Also, try to come up with your examples to understand every concept, and don’t forget to go back and check with your teacher whether your models are relevant for that concept.

Smart study scientific tip number 3 is called spaced repetition now instead of spending the entire day going over one single topic how about you study one concept and then change the subject. You come back maybe later or the next day and go over that concept a little bit and then switch to the next idea, so what will happen is that you’ll repeat that concept over a few days and a few times, and that is what we call spaced repetition. Now the mind learns the idea better when you go over it over and over again rather than spending a significant amount of time on a single day trying to attack that concept also varying topics.

Smart study scientific tip number four is – notes now, one quick way to save your time is to go over your class notes within minutes of the class getting over, and all you need to do is put whatever is still stuck in your head. Put all that information quickly on the paper, so when you go back later on and open those notes, they’ll be complete, and this is one special smart study tip that’ll help you save a tremendous amount of time.

Smart study scientific technique number five is – study like a teacher. Now instead of studying like a student, how about you think like a teacher? Two things will happen when you do that – one is you’ll begin to anticipate which are the crucial questions from that topic and two, of course, it has been scientifically proven that teaching someone helps you learn better. The smart study tip here is teach-test-mix-teach, someone. Test yourself frequently, which means take a lot of practice tests or mock tests and mix means to mix up your subjects mix up your topics and if you don’t find anyone to teach, teach your favorite stuff toys.

Smart study scientific tip number six is called sq3r. This is a technique that is going to help you get the most out of your textbook. So when you pick up the textbook first survey, the chapter goes over browse all the pages in that chapter. Go right to the question section for questions, go over the questions just read them once before you start reading the chapter. And the 3 R’s are read recite and review. Read and recite go back to the 20% read 80% recite tip number 2, and review goes back to the spaced repetition, so when you pick up your textbook -Browse, go to the questions come back then read. Shut your book, ask yourself a question and recite, and then review it over a while.

Smart study technique number seven is called mnemonics.  The quick study tip here is that the weirder the image, the stronger the association. Let’s talk about coined sayings. Coined sayings, for example, are sohcahtoa remember using that in trigonometry to recognize your sin, cos, and tan.

Smart study tip number eight is – place. Some people will tell you that you should sit in a fixed location. With the table lamp on in the same place every single time to study. But I don’t believe that some people work better when they consider a fixed location at a fixed time with the table lamp on and some people don’t. Some people like to move around. They want to go to different places they like to have some action when they are learning so the important thing is when it comes to location, it is up to you to find out what works best for you and once you figure out what kind of places you like to study in stick to that. Let nobody tell you to stick to only a particular type of site. 

Smart study tip number nine is called time table. There is no smarter tip than planning plan your week plan your day even plan down to the last hour. And you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve because the brain is more productive. It knows precisely what it has to do and for how long. You must have some great timetables for you.


Smart study technique number ten is called sleep. Now some of you will ask me should I study late in the night or should I study early in the morning. There is no right answer, but the correct answer is that sleep is brain food, so you need at least about 7.5 hours of sleep every day. Typically 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. is a high slot. So no all-nighters before your exam. And remember that if you have a theory exam the next day, it has been scientifically proven that the earlier you sleep in the night, the better you tend to perform. So if some of you feel that you’re wasting time sleeping and instead of sleeping study for that extra one hour, you’ll find it to be completely counterproductive. So sleep and sleep well before an exam is my super smart study, tip number ten, and that’s all from my side.


These al learnings were from my inspiration – Chetna Vasishth. Get more study tips & tricks from her YouTube channel named – ChetChat.

And here is the link. You need to just click to go there – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjnJwlSN4_FuoE-6RWX_Eaw .