How to increase study productivity

When you’ve got plenty on your academic agenda, it can feel stressful trying to squeeze in the study time you need in order to succeed on your course. Luckily, there are a few different strategies that can help you to achieve more, in less time.

You’ll no doubt have been given lots of general study advice for your school or college exams, but when you’re juggling your studies with full or part-time employment, you may need to consider different strategies to optimize your time.  

If you’re wondering how to increase study productivity, this quick guide offers some simple actions any accounting student can do. Read on to start enhancing your revision time in the pursuit of success and steer your career in the right direction.

Create a schedule

Believe it or not, having too much time to study can work against you – after all, it can be hard to knuckle down and get to work if you feel you have no real deadline to work towards. While we often crave extra time to complete our tasks, what we really need is a method to better manage the time that we already have.

By creating a clearly defined daily schedule, it becomes much easier to know when you have to study – and to stick to those allotted periods. Plus, by allocating certain topics or tasks to specific time slots, it becomes much easier to manage urgent tasks and determine which areas you might need to focus more of your time on. By having your days planned and all laid out in front of you in this way, you’re likely to feel a lot less overwhelmed by your tasks, therefore boosting your overall productivity. 

Stock up on materials

In order to stay focused on your work, you’re going to need a dedicated area for study that you keep fully stocked with all the materials you could possibly need. These will of course differ depending on the subject you’re studying. For an accounting exam, you’ll need a notebook, laptop, calculator, and any study books recommended for your course. By having everything that you need close at hand, you’re much less likely to get distracted looking for materials. This will ultimately ensure you spend more time at your desk, and allow you to focus more deeply on the task at hand.
For the modern learner, there’s no escaping the fact that technology is key to unlocking academic potential. For accounting students, there are lots of tools available that you might look to leverage to supplement your learning, from cloud computing to AI automation.

Grab a study buddy

Sometimes it can be helpful to invite a friend to study alongside you – although, you’ll want to make sure that they’re just as keen to focus as you are so that you don’t risk getting distracted. When you’re around others who are committed to studying, your immediate environment becomes much more conducive to learning. Plus, studying with somebody else means that you can make use of sociable revision strategies such as quizzes and flashcards – you can even practice presenting your learning to one another. 

Studying together is a wonderful way to share resources and pool ideas, and can increase your motivation to learn and retain information considerably. Whether you’ve got a friend at work taking the same exams, or you look to join an online study group, it’s certainly worth experimenting to see if social study suits your learning style.

Find your personal learning style

If you’ve already gone through higher education, you’ll likely have an idea about how you best absorb information. However, if you’ve pursued professional endeavors straight from school or college – as many people do in the industry – you may not have had the time to work out which learning method is most conducive to your personal development. If you’re unsure, take the time to experiment with different approaches, and you’ll likely start to naturally favor one or two over the others. The four different methods are: 

  • Visual learners prefer to absorb information in graphic formats: maps, graphs, diagrams, and charts.
  • Auditory learners like to listen to information in group discussions or lectures and tend to prefer talking things through out loud to themselves when revising.
  • A reading/writing preference is all about seeing things written down.
  • Kinesthetic learners tend to favor simulations and demonstrations.

Finding one or more methods that work for you will ensure you can maximize the value of your study time, and focus your energy on an approach that will yield the best results.

Mimic test conditions

Even if you’re familiar with test settings and the pressure that comes on the day, it’s always a good idea to force yourself to practice under similar conditions during your studies. Sit yourself in a room with no distractions, set yourself up with a mock paper, and put yourself under the same time constraints you’ll have in your exam. No matter which exam you’re taking, you’ll be able to find plenty of past papers and sample questions online. Writing out your answers in full will help you to feel more confident in articulating your thoughts and pulling out the necessary information from your revision. 

While you will want to take note of your results, ultimately this isn’t the most important thing with mock exams. Practicing in test conditions and familiarizing yourself with the format will be beneficial to your chances of success at the real thing. Rather than getting too caught up with the final number/grade from your test, dig into the different sections to determine where there might be more room for improvement. This can help to guide your studies and ensure you’re well prepared to answer a range of topics that could come up in the final exam.

Set yourself up for success

You don’t have to be a straight-A student to know how to increase study productivity; ultimately, it comes down to getting yourself into the right mindset and forming good habits that facilitate effective learning. By employing these strategies, you can better organize your study time, reduce potential distractions and increase your motivation, ultimately enabling you to be successful in your accounting course. As an added bonus, getting to grips with some of these good habits at an early stage can support professional growth throughout your entire career.