Having a snack and drink? Possibly. Having a good focus? Perhaps. Liking the subjects? It can help. But no, the answer is location.
As someone who has currently endured thirteen years of education and is about to put themselves through at least four more at university, I’ve learnt a thing or two about studying, and the key thing I’ve learnt is that if you study in an unsuitable environment then you might as well not bother studying.
Of course, this is going to differ from person to person. What some people may call a perfect place to study may be the most distracting, uncomfortable place for other people, and I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear me say this but just because the teacher tells you it’s a good place to sit and study, doesn’t mean it will be for you personally. Chances are it is a good place for many people, but many people is not everybody.
The best way to find your ideal studying location is to try out a variety of places. Wow, bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? The earlier you try this out the better because you don’t want to waste valuable studying time when your exams draw closer. I recommend testing them out before the end of October so you have s rough idea of good locations before your GCSE or A Level mocks.
I know a lot of people prefer to study in their bedroom, but this is a widely controversial location to revise. A lot of psychology research into revision techniques and locations in correlation to the outcome of results is conflicting. Some suggest that revising in a comfortable, familiar environment where we feel most free to be our true selves is a great place as it takes away some of the tension and stress of revising. Others however suggest that this can go too far and be too relaxing, often ending up with us lacking 100% focus and getting distracted easily by devices in our room, as we are so often used to being able to do whatever we want whenever we want in the comfort of our own bedroom. So this one really depends on your self-discipline when it comes to being focused and resisting distractions. Personally, this is my favourite place to study, but I know many other people struggle here. Another very popular place is at school, in the library or open study areas. The facilities you have will vary from one school to another, but my school had a library for all years, plus two open learning resource areas for sixth form, so I was very fortunate.
These places all have computer access, which some people prefer as opposed to paper-based or written revision materials. However again, the distractions of CoolMathsGames and Buzzfeed quizzes can be much harder to avoid if you have WIFI access, especially as you are likely to be surrounded by others. If your friends are also there, you may be more tempted to mess around or chat, which is a huge distraction, and happens far too often. Plus, I find the background noise of the younger years far too distracting, however I know many people find it easier to concentrate if there is background noise, which there is unlikely to be in your bedroom. Personally, I dislike these areas, but if you find you do your best work in school as opposed to outside of school (classwork versus homework standard) then keeping your studying inside that academic environment may be highly beneficial to you!
My solution to the ideal location? Public libraries; this place has the perfect balance of at-home revision and at-school revision.
It’s away from the distractions of home and the noise of school, whilst having an academic feel to it, as well as a warm homely vibe with the comfy chairs and cute beanbags. I 100% recommend trying out a public library, they’re full of resources and have the perfect atmosphere!