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10 ways to study that aren’t boring

Sitting down at your desk and studying has probably never ranked top of anyone’s “favourite things to do” list…ever. But sometimes there’s just no avoiding the fact that you have to knuckle down and do the hard yards. Fortunately, there are ways that you can study and learn while having a bit of fun at the same time (or at least make the whole process a bit less more enjoyable). Here are our top 10 ways to study that aren’t boring.

Join homework clubs or study groups

A bit like going to the gym, some days you just don’t have the motivation to study. But joining a class and getting the motivation you need from others can be really helpful. You might also find it more fun and engaging than being alone at your desk.

Watch documentaries

Some people (like me) love nothing better than a great doco. If that’s the case for you, you could search for some documentaries related to your subjects and settle in for a good watch. And if watching a documentary isn’t generally your idea of fun, why not give it a try? It could:

  • Grow your knowledge of real-world issues and topics.
  • Help you to improve your interdisciplinary thinking by introducing you to subjects you might not usually think about.
  • Improve your creativity, problem-solving, and social justice skills.
  • Increase your general knowledge.

Sometimes even watching a fictional movie can be helpful. For example, if you’re studying English Literature and there’s a movie based on the book you’re reading, or if you’re studying history and there’s a movie about the event or era you’re studying, a movie could improve your understanding and bring the events to life for you.

One small caveat: watching any random TV show, documentary, or movie and telling yourself or your parents that it’s “study” won’t cut it – you’ll have to be selective and look for relevant, reliable, and informative content.

Deep dive online

In September 2020, teens were reported to spend an average of 14.4 hours each week online. So why not make some of that time productive? If you can overcome the temptation to go off-track, there are heaps of helpful tools, tips, and topics to dive into on the internet. You might like to watch video explainers, find practice test or exam questions, or even browse forums where other students have discussed your subject.

(Spending time scrolling through social media and chatting to your mates don’t count as productive, unfortunately.)

Do projects or presentations

Researching and putting together a project or presentation will do more than just help you learn about your topic. You’ll also be developing these key skills:

  • Creativity
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration (if it’s a group project)
  • Communication
  • Tech knowledge
  • And plenty of other skills too!

If you find these kinds of activities motivating, why not incorporate them into your personal study time? You could write blogs, make videos, write a letter (e.g. to your local politician or council), create infographics, design a poster…the options are endless.

Competitions are also an easy way to put your knowledge to the test and challenge yourself (and you might even win some cool prizes too).

Go places

The classroom isn’t the only environment designed for learning. You could visit museums, libraries, galleries, theatres, or go along to educational and career talks. If you’re interested in politics, for example, you could take a tour of a Government or Parliament House. Or if law is more your scene, you could sit in the public gallery during a hearing. There’s no better way to learn than experiencing things first-hand.

Sign up for things that interest you

You could get a lot out of going along to workshops, joining a club, heading off on a camp, completing short courses and microcredentials, or participating in holiday programs. There are some that you might have to pay for, but others could be free.

Look on council websites, browse social media, search sites like Eventbrite or Humanitix, ask your teachers and parents, take a peek in the newspaper, or check the notice board at your local shopping centre to find events happening near you. (You might also like to check out our very own events calendar too.)

Make it a game

These days there are thousands of apps designed to “gamify” learning. And with plenty of free options out there, you have nothing to lose by giving some a try and seeing if they give your studies a bit of a boost.

If you want a bit of a break from technology, you could also get your hands on some good old-fashioned board games or a deck of cards. Depending on your choices, games could help to:

  • Improve your memory.
  • Boost your cognitive skills.
  • Increase your processing speed.
  • Develop your logic and reasoning.
  • Improve your critical thinking.
  • Increase your spatial reasoning.
  • Advance your verbal and communication skills.
  • Extend your attention and concentration span.
  • Teach you problem-solving skills.
  • Grow your confidence.
  • Enhance your decision-making.

Time spent on games can be a fun way of winding down, spending time with family and friends, as well as having the nice perk of developing some of the skills listed above.

Work smarter

Sitting down to study for hours after a long day at school is not appealing to many people. So why not work smarter and spread out your study sessions? You could use time spent travelling in the car or on the bus, free periods at school (if you can resist the urge to chat to your mates), or while you’re waiting for an appointment to hit the books and do a little revision.

Instead of spending big chunks of time studying, you’ll have more free time to chill out, play sport, catch up with friends and family, and just do more of what you enjoy.

Teach others

If you have solid knowledge in a subject or two, you could earn some pocket money and revise everything you’ve been learning by tutoring other students who need a little help.

Teaching other people is a great way to determine how much you know, and see where there might be gaps in your knowledge. Even if you don’t want to commit to formal tutoring, why not ask a parent, sibling, or even a friend to sit down and let you “teach” them something?

Gain skills

If you have a test coming up, your time is probably best spent revising for it – but if you have a little time to spare (even just 10 minutes per day), why not start learning a new skill?

You could learn to touch type – this will be helpful for school and life in general. Or you could study up on the basics of coding, start learning a new language, teach yourself to cook…your options are nearly endless!

Looking for more ideas?

We have heaps of other blogs on our website here, packed with ideas to help you get motivated and stay focused.

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