Students are constantly looking for new study strategies that are most intuitive for them. Everyone’s learning style is unique, and it’s obvious from doodling in the page margins to jotting down important quiz and test preparation. From the experts who bring you Five Star® school supplies, here are five tips that work for everyone, as they allow an approach to studying from many directions.


First, consider these concepts.


Studying is a skill. There are some things to consider about the skill of studying. Just like playing an instrument, running track, singing a song, hitting a baseball or any other skill, if you want to improve, you have to practice. Studying is not reading. It is not even rereading. Studying is a specific set of things you do to retain new information. Studying should be done on a schedule.


Everyone’s brain is unique. Pay attention to what works best for you. You may like low (or even loud) music playing, while another person can only concentrate if it’s silent. You may need a lot of time to process concepts and let them sink in, while another person may absorb information quickly. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.


Let your brain work for you. Avoid studying when you are sleepy. However, if you review concepts and details right before bed, studies reveal that your brain will work to absorb the new information.


#1: Be thoughtful about your surroundings and ambience.

You may love to study outside, while your friend gets too distracted. You might enjoy the sound of a fan or other white noise, while your friend has to play loud music in her earbuds. Most experts do advocate to study without music or instrumental music only.


You may even need to do something with your hands, like play with clay, in order for one part of your brain to be occupied while the other part studies (try this if you have trouble concentrating). Find what works best for you, although you should avoid studying in your bed — it can disrupt your sleeping and make studying less productive.


Experiment with changing your location occasionally. Even if you have a great study space set up, sometimes your brain appreciates a change of scenery. Try a library, a park, a coffee shop or even another spot in your home.


#2: Always set a timer when you study.

This is especially true if you have a lot to do, or you are feeling overwhelmed, and may help relax you. None of us can study, write, work or practice on and on for hours and still be productive. When you set a timer, you will be more likely to really buckle down and learn the concepts because your time is limited. You tend to focus on details more quickly when you know you don’t have an unlimited amount of time.


The optimal block of time is 18–30 minutes. Even if you need to do much more than that, at least get up, stretch, get water or a piece of fruit and come back to reset your timer. 


#3: Be organized in your approach.

You should use a student planner — like a sturdy Five Star planner — to keep due dates for papers, quizzes and test dates and more. It’s good to be able to see everything at once, even if you keep some of these dates in your phone. A planner lets you carve out study times and what subject should be studied on which days.


Studying should be a routine, like batting practice or anything else. Of course, you will study more leading up to big tests, but have a set study schedule in place. Also, set goals for each study session, and try to be realistic about what you can complete in each session.


#4: Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself.  

You may learn better if you read the concepts aloud. There is some research that suggests that explaining concepts to yourself out loud helps us learn up to three times more than those who don’t. Additionally, ask yourself, “Why does this matter?”, often when you study. It’s important to understand why concepts are important to put the details you are learning into perspective. 


#5: Quiz yourself.

Making flashcards has long been known as a great way to study, and Five Star has made it easier with the Five Star Study app. You can turn your phone into a study partner, and you can study wherever and whenever you want.


You simply take your own handwritten notes in compatible Five Star spiral notebooks, composition books or on filler paper. Then, by scanning the notes with your phone, the app automatically turns creates digital flashcards for studying.


The free Five Star Study app has just three simple steps:

  1. Flag important test concepts written in a compatible Five Star product by shading in the triangle symbols next to them.
  2. Scan notes to create digital flashcards instantly and organize these flashcards into subject folders in the Study app.
  3. Study for tests anywhere, anytime.


The Five Star Study app also allows students to crop and edit their flashcards. Using the Study app is better than other online quiz applications because it takes into account your teacher’s preferences since it comes from your own notes. Download the free Five Star Study App today using the Apple® App Store and Google® Play and for more information, visit


You are the best resource of your ideal study situation.

There are some best practices in studying, but the most important cog in the wheel is you. Only you know how your brain best absorbs information, what time of day works, whether or not you like white noise, the places that inspire concentration and the time it takes for your brain to process new information.