… And (just as importantly) how to actually remember what you learned in that time.
Sometimes you might (accidentally of course) leave a lot of exam revision for the last moment and be forced to cram. Or maybe you really just want to see some good results. Either way, there are are some things you can do to help yourself succeed during a mammoth study session.
Before we get too much into the specifics of how you can study for a long period of time — keep in mind it’s not all about the long 14+ hour grinds. You might be more effective studying for shorter periods.
Whether you’re studying in the last hours or even weeks before an exam what really matters is how good you are at learning (and retaining) information. Studying is not about how long you spend looking at a book or a computer screen.
What you get done is far more important than how long you study for. If you’re efficient with your studying techniques you can get more done in 2 hours than in 20. So before anything else take an hour or two to improve your studying ability and you’ll avoid wasting a lot of time. Better studying results in less work? Too good to pass up.
One of the easiest ways to do this is brushing up on your memory and improving your ability to learn faster. You know who’s a master at this kind of thing? Chess players. I’m not suggesting you go and learn chess at the level of a grandmaster (unless you have a spare decade) but, luckily, a grandmaster has an audiobook ‘Unlimited Memory’ — which you can download for free with Amazon’s Audible.
It’s about 2.5 hours long but, since it’s an audiobook, you can listen when you go to bed or something. I guarantee it’ll change the way you study and even if you cancel Amazon lets you keep the entire audiobook. You can download it here.
But let’s get on to looking at how you can keep your focus while studying.
What works for one person might not always work for another so a little playing about to see what works for you is generally a good idea. But toppers have some great advice on what they do and it’s worth listening to and trying for yourself.
Akshay Shastri had this great tip I love to share:
From November 2016 to November 2017, I continuously studied for 15 hours (give or take). Hame tab hi kaam karte hai jab pichwade pe aag lagti hai.
Meaning — We only work hard when we have fire up our ass.
I was pursuing Chartered Accountancy, one of the toughest exams in India, undoubtedly. Everyone in my friends circle studied for the same amount of hours I studied. Everyone concentrated 15 hours a day easily, the formula is hereunder.
Can I assume that you have the utmost will to clear whatever exams you are putting your hours for? This assumption is important. Because everyone I know who cleared had fulfilled this assumption.
Time Management and Planning are the key to success.
You have 24 hours in a day, sleep for 7 hours. I used to sleep for 6 hours. I was inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I saw a video on Goalcast, where he mentioned that to succeed, he used to put more hours. He used to sleep 6 hours which is enough, if not then sleep faster. I used this approach. In the beginning I wouldn’t lie, I was little tired. But I knew studies are necessary and this is my little sacrifice for that prestigious degree.
So now 24–7 = 17 hours left.
Wake up at 5:45 am precisely, get ready by 6 a.m.
Study from 6 am to 8:30 a.m. Have breakfast : 15 mins (max).
Study from 8:45 am to 1:45 pm : 5 Hours continuously. In a closed room, only have a bottle of water with you and strictly no cellphones, laptops, tablet or any other electronic devices. Don’t worry you can do it.
Take a break, have lunch from 1:45 to 2:30 pm.
Resume studies from 2:30 till 6:30 pm. Take a brisk walk and enjoy nature for half an hour. I regularly use to do it. I use to go for a walk in a nearby park listening to Eminem,various motivational podcasts.Sometimes funny stand ups. My mind was free of all the clutters of studies. I never used to think about studies for that half hour at all.
Resume again from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Have dinner from 8:30 to 9:00 pm.
Resume your studies from 9:00 pm till 11:00 pm. Go to sleep at 11:00 pm and continue again everything the next day.
So in total you had 17 hours (after deducting sleep from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am).
17 hours — 15 mins (breakfast)- 45 mins (much needed break & lunch) — 30 mins(Brisk walk : extremely necessary) — 30 mins ( dinner) = 15 hours.
Have WILLPOWER and that fire under your ass to succeed.
Nothing can stop you and you will have full concentration when you have that single goal in your mind.