COVID-19 Notice - Learn more

6 Study Tips to Be a Successful Student

Remaining focused while studying can be challenging for many students. However, finding a study routine that works best for you and managing your time can assist with effective study and help you become a successful student.

Here are six study tips that can help make you succeed in your studies:


Create a Timetable

Studying can be time-consuming. While you can’t reduce the time needed for studying, you can manage your time more effectively.


Creating a timetable can assist in dedicating time to each subject you are studying. There are numerous ways to format your study timetable. For example, you can use a calendar, word document or download a template.


You can maximise your learning potential by planning study times between 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 10 pm.


Your timetable should include:

  • Dates of assessments (including drafts) and exams.
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Work commitments
  • Social engagements


Selecting the right time for each task is crucial when planning your timetable. According to Dr Michael Breus, 11 am to 12:30 pm is the ideal time to read. Your timetable should include as much detail as possible and be adjusted weekly. Using a study timetable is especially important if you are studying online.



Create a Checklist

Checklists make for a fantastic way to stay on top of your studies. A list should outline each task you must complete and provide some sort of order to your workload. Including as much detail as possible will aid in reducing potential errors or mistakes that may occur.


There are numerous options for checklists, from platforms such as and Trello to OneNote and free templates available in Word.


Your checklist should:

  • Clearly state each task by listing as much information as possible, including due dates.
  • Break down larger tasks into smaller tasks.
  • Items included should be listed by importance.
  • Be updated weekly, ensuring tasks are updated regularly by removing completed tasks and adding new ones.


The following checklist, created in OneNote, is an example of a checklist that could be used for writing an assessment. From determining the topic through to final submission.


An example of a checklist that could be used by students for an assessment


Using checklists in conjunction with your timetable can assist in effectively managing your workload and staying focused while studying.


Note Taking

As you move through your course, you will review an incredible amount of information covering numerous topics.


Taking notes can be a time-consuming task for any student. However, there are numerous formats for taking notes, each with its benefits.

  • Sentences – Taking notes by sentences allow for simplifying lots of information, making it easy to review.
  • Charts – This format allows for notes to be sorted by category/topic quickly.
  • Flow Charts and Mind Maps – this format allows your notes to be presented visually and show the relationships between topics.

Example of a mind map.


Effective notetaking should:

  • Include keywords, abbreviations, dates and names.
  • Use colours to distinguish topics and ideas
  • Make a note of areas where you require further information.
  • Be updated to include new concepts and further explanations.


Taking detailed notes will help when it’s time to work through assessments and complete exams. In addition, the formats listed help with revision and assist in organising thoughts and maintaining focus while studying.


Ask Questions

There is no such thing as a stupid question. It is especially true when it comes to studying. As you move through your coursework, you may find that you need further information or explanation on topics.


By asking questions, you take control of your learning and ensure you understand the topic better.


Taking Breaks

Studying can be a strenuous task. As a result, it can be easy to lose focus on your studies and become easily distracted by other tasks. Taking regular breaks can help to increase your productivity and focus when it comes to studying.


Taking breaks will help with maximising your learning ability.


The recommended time to study breaks varies between 5 minutes and 60 minutes, with the optimal break time considered 20 minutes, with study breaks, ideally, occurring every 50 to 90 minutes. How you study will determine how breaks will work best for you. For example, if you can focus for more extended periods, you may require fewer breaks.


Your study break should include activities that limit the use of technology, such as:

  • Exercising or stretching
  • Meditation
  • Taking a nap
  • Having a shower
  • Listening to music
  • Cooking a meal or preparing a snack
  • Drawing or colouring
  • Tiding a space
  • Chatting with friends


Regular study breaks can help to prevent potential burnouts.


Online as On-Campus Study

As a student completing an online subject, it can be challenging to find the motivation to complete your assigned work. Treating your online subjects as an on-campus subject will help increase motivation.


Each week, set the same amount of time you spend in lectures and tutorials on campus for your online subject. Then, as you complete your weekly coursework, make a list of questions or topics you need help with and ask your lecturer.


As an online student, it can be challenging to connect with other students. You can also post your question in your online forum as others may have the answer to your question.



Tips from SISTC Students

Sagar Upreti’s recommendation is

“Save time by reading the textbook and going through the chapter before the webinar class. Also, paying attention to the lecturers and asking them questions helps me.”

Sagar Upreti - Student at SISTC

Sagar Upreti SISTC Student

Samir Parajuli has shared his study tips in the following video.


It is important to remember, a study routine that works for someone else may not work for you. However, finding a study routine that works for you can help with becoming a successful student. The tips outlined can be added to any study routine and help you stay on top of your studies.


To find out more about the courses offered at SISTC, visit our course information page.