When it comes to medical school, or really any type of schooling, you can find yourself torn in a number of different directions. After all, you want to make sure that you’re studying the right amount, and that means quite a lot of hours.
But how do you know if you’re studying too long? How do you know if just how many hours should I study a day for exams? Or the maximum hours one can study in a day? It can be difficult to figure out because you don’t want to get overwhelmed, but you want to make sure that you’re getting enough studying to be prepared.
We’re going to take a look at some of the ways that you can make sure you’re getting the most of your study periods, as well as things like a study schedule maker and how to study 8 hours a day. And even whether studying 8 hours a day is the right way to go.
How Long is Too Long to Study?
The first thing you’re probably wondering is just how long is too long to study. After all, you’ve heard all about burnout and how much of a problem it can be for so many people. You definitely don’t want to find yourself studying for an exam and suddenly caught up in all that burnout as well.
The truth of the matter is that ‘too long’ could be different for different people. Some people may be able to study hours on end with minimal breaks and feel great. Others need frequent breaks and stops along the way, or they feel like their head might explode.
Still, others might only be able to study for a short period no matter how many breaks they take. So, it all depends on you as an individual. But we’re going to take a look at the general guidelines. How long is generally considered ‘too long’ if you’re going to study for an exam or even just your regular classes?
Now, generally, you’ll hear that you should study for at least a solid hour at a time. This is long enough to help you get immersed in the material and to fully understand what you’re reading. It’s a good amount of time for learning new skills and new information. But it’s not so long that you’re going to get bored or distracted. Also, it’s not so long that you’re going to get tired and just want to give up.
Of course, that means you should be studying at least this long, but that doesn’t mean you can only study for a single hour and then give up for the day. For some people, this might be a good time for a break, but then you can get right back to studying hard for a while longer.
For most people, studying four to five hours per day is enough. This means a stretch of four to five hours with short (or moderate) length breaks throughout. That doesn’t mean you have to sit down and not move from your chair for a solid four to five hours. Also, you may be one of the few people who is able to study even longer than this without needing to take a long break or quit for the day.
If you’re looking to study even longer than four to five hours, you’ll need to have a strong study system in place to make sure that you’re prepared. This will allow you to actually retain the information that you’re learning in that study session. After all, it doesn’t do you any good to sit down and review or study for long sessions if you can’t actually remember the information when you’re done, right?
What is the Best Time to Study?
This question is actually harder to answer than you might think. That’s because different people will learn better in different ways and at different times. Whether you can study best in the morning or at night will depend on when you feel the most active, energized, and ready.
For those people who are awake and have plenty of energy in the morning, this is the best time for you to study. You’ll be capitalizing on your best study times, and you’ll get the best out of the experience. Trying to study at night will only result in you getting frustrated, tired, or bored a whole lot faster.
For those people who are awake and have plenty of energy at night, this is the best time for you to study. This is the exact opposite of what we mentioned for those who are morning people. You’ll feel more energized and ready to go during the evening or night hours. And if you try to get up in the morning and study, you’re going to find yourself struggling with a lot of those negatives like tiredness, boredom, and distraction.
If you’re not quite sure whether you’re a morning or a night person, try to think about how you feel when you get up in the morning versus when you’re settling down for the night. Are you more energized when you first wake up? Or are you the type that could stay up all night and never feel tired?
Maybe it’s difficult for you to know, or you feel like you do well at both times. It’s possible that you’re one of the lucky few who has high points at the beginning and end of the day. But chances are better that you’re missing your best times. So, try a little experiment and study at both periods of time on different days.
One day, get up first thing in the morning and start studying. See how you feel and how focused you are on the task at hand. Do you feel like you can focus and like you’re really learning something? Or do you feel like you’re dragging and you can’t retain the information no matter how hard you try?
The next day, try it the opposite way. Study at night when you’re settled into your house for the night. See how you feel and whether you can focus on the information and what you’re trying to learn. Do you feel focused and attentive, or are you distracted and tired? Are you ready for bed within minutes of starting to study?
Figuring out your best time to study is going to make it a whole lot easier for you to retain the information. And it’s definitely going to make it easier for you to study for long stretches as well. Keep in mind that your study times are also going to be influenced by other things that are going on within your life and throughout your day.
Your optimum study times are definitely going to be impacted by the rest of your day as well, so be aware of what’s going on and try to schedule those long study days for days when you actually have the time to do it (and not after you just worked a double shift at work).
How to Study 8 Hours a Day Without Distraction?
When you’re looking to study for a long stretch, one of the most important things to think about is how to keep yourself from getting distracted. After all, long periods of study are definitely not going to be exciting, and they’re not going to be fun. You can easily find yourself being pulled away (or hoping to be pulled away).
So, what do you do to make sure that you’re not getting distracted while you study? It’s going to take a little bit of assistance, but it absolutely can be done.
- Turn off your phone. One of the first things to do in order to keep yourself from getting distracted is to turn off your phone. At the very least, turn off the notifications and put it away somewhere that it’s not going to ring or buzz or light up and cause you to look away from what you’re doing.
- Get organized. Getting organized means having a plan for what you want to accomplish before you get started. The more you’re prepared, the better off you’re going to be because you can tell if you’re making progress or not.
- Keep the noise down. Maybe you study better if you have a little bit of sound in the background. If that’s the case, then go ahead and turn on the radio, but make sure that you’re not turning up the volume too loud where you get distracted. Also, keep outside noise down as well. This might mean studying somewhere other than your dorm or apartment to make sure no one else’s noise interrupts your concentration.
While these tips may seem simple, you’ll actually be surprised at just how much they can help you get through the tasks you want and get even more studying done. But distraction is only one of the things that can hurt your productivity and your study goals.
How to Study 8 Hours a Day Without Getting Tired?
What about when you get tired after studying for extended periods? Whether you’re looking at a textbook or flashcards or a computer screen, eventually, your eyes start to glaze over, and you find yourself nodding off. That’s where these tips may be able to help you.
- Stay just a little uncomfortable. Yes, you want to be comfortable when you’re sitting in one place for eight hours (even with breaks), but you don’t want to get too comfortable. If you do, you could find yourself struggling to stay awake because when your body gets comfortable, it’s more likely to drift off.
- Eat right. Eating enough and eating good foods (healthy snacks) will help you stay awake. Don’t eat large or heavy meals like pasta or anything with creams as they can wear you out and actually make you feel even more tired.
- Move around. Getting up and taking a short walk can help you to remove some of that tired feeling. If you can step outside or open a window to get some fresh air, that’s even better and generally helps you wake up a little more.
Tiredness can hit no matter what you do, and finding ways to combat it is important. Don’t just try to push through when you’re tired. Instead, make sure that you find a method to wake yourself up.
How to Study for Long Hours Without Getting Bored?
Finally, you want to make sure that you can keep yourself studying for an extended period without getting bored. Chances are, the material that you have to study isn’t the most exciting thing. So, how do you keep yourself from getting too bored to continue?
- Break down the content. Often you might get bored because you feel like you’re staring at the same thing for an extended period of time. Instead, break up the content into smaller pieces so you know when you get to take breaks and you don’t get stuck on something you don’t like.
- Set up rewards. Rewards for getting through specific sections of content or different parts of the material can definitely help you as well. These will allow you to have something to look forward to, but you only get the reward if you fulfill what you’re supposed to.
- Make it a competition. You could have a competition with yourself or with someone else but set rules and guidelines and then see who can get there first. This will only work if you feel motivated by the competitive aspect, so put something on the line to help.
When it comes to focusing and not getting bored, this can be one of the hardest parts. After all, studying is usually not something interesting or fun. So, find ways that you can keep yourself interested in what’s going on.
7 Effective Study Habits and Ineffective Study Habits
Having good study habits can help you accomplish more when you’re trying to get in a long study period. But having ineffective study habits could turn you in the wrong direction and make the entire process a whole lot harder.
- Keep the room well-lit. One thing that could cause you to get tired is if the room starts to get too dim. So, make sure you pay attention to the natural lighting in the space, and if it starts to get a little dark around you, turn on some additional lights to keep you going.
- Stay off social media. Social media is definitely a time suck. When you think you’re going to get on for a minute to check something, you suddenly find yourself losing hours and hours of time. So stay off. Better yet, block social media from your browser for the period of time that you want to study.
- Keep your space clean. A cluttered work environment makes it difficult to focus, and you’ll find yourself distracted by the clutter or by all of the things that you find there on your table or desk.
- Drink enough fluids. Not getting enough fluids can be a major factor in making you tired. If you’re drinking enough, you’re going to feel better, and you’re definitely going to keep your mind going a whole lot longer. That’s important for staying awake.
- Cramming before a test. If you’re cramming or pulling an all-nighter the day before a test, you’re definitely not going to retain the information that you need. You’ll find yourself struggling to stay awake during the test, and you’ll find that the things you just crammed are suddenly gone.
- Drinking lots of energy drinks. You may think staying away and wired is the answer to everything. Unfortunately, all that caffeine and added energy is going to make you crash, usually at the worst possible time, like when it’s time to sit down for the test.
- Eating a lot of junk. Eating junk food is the same as drinking all those energy drinks. It’s going to wire you up for a time, which might make you feel like you’re better prepared to study. But then you’re going to crash and feel tired and definitely worse than before.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Study 8 Hours a Day
When it comes down to it, the most important thing you need to do in order to learn how to use time wisely for students is to look at each of these tips and tricks. By turning off your phone, you’ll be able to minimize the distractions that are all around you. By moving around even a little, you’ll be able to cut down on tiredness and keep yourself focused and energized. And, of course, by breaking up the content into smaller pieces, you’ll be able to stave off some of the boredom.
But it’s going to be just as important to take even more study steps. This includes keeping your space well lit and clean, and it means avoiding all the caffeine, energy drinks, and junk food.