These Are the Materials You Need to Have a Successful Study Session

test prep

Studying isn't something you can do alone in the woods. You need supplies to get your study sesh on. This blog post offers some ideas for what you should have with you while studying (other than the obvious notes and textbooks) to be as productive as possible.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

One of the most challenging parts of studying is getting into the zone and focusing. That's all the harder to achieve when you're constantly finding yourself distracted by your roommate, your family, or the ice cream truck driving by outside your window. To avoid these frustrating, attention-drawing noises, we recommend studying with noise-canceling headphones. Even if you don't listen to anything through them, you'll appreciate the quiet.

Don't want to shell out the big bucks for fancy headphones? Earplugs will do.

A student studies with noise cancelling headphones

Water and Healthy Snacks

In the middle of a study session, it can be easy to convince yourself that you have to pause and get up and go to the kitchen because you're just so hungry or thirsty. Get ahead of this issue by keeping a bottle of water and healthy snacks at your desk. These items will fuel you for the long (or short!) hours of studying you have ahead of you, keeping you both focused on the material and from dawdling around the kitchen as an excuse to procrastinate.

The Internet

You'll probably be using your class notes to study, but what happens if there's a concept or topic that you still don't completely understand? Having a go-to website or two that you can use to search a subject and find clarifying explanations can be extremely helpful in making sure that you actually understand the material you need to learn for your test.

Airplane Mode

That being said, you don't want to let the Internet become a distraction. To that end, we suggest you make copious use of the Airplane or Do-Not-Disturb mode on your phone. Keep your notifications off and only use the Internet when you have to locate additional study materials. You can even find apps and extensions that will limit which websites you can visit so that you can't go on Instagram - even if you want to. You'll thank yourself for this later when you get back your A.

Airplane mode is useful during a study session

Highlighters and Sticky Notes

As you read back through your textbook and notes, use highlighters and sticky notes to remind yourself of which key information you actually need to remember - because even the meanest teachers and professors won't make you memorize your entire textbook for your midterm. Avoid losing those important definitions and formulas by using some bright, fun color codes to keep track of these materials.

Sticky notes are great for studying


Finally, we suggest keeping a stack of notecards in your study space at all times so that you can create flashcards for upcoming tests. These are a useful tool for any subject that requires memorization, most of which do. And, yes, if you're so 21st century that you've gone paperless, you can also use online flashcards. But we're partial to the paper ones ourselves (just keeping it old school).

Good luck on your test! You've got this.

For effective online test prep materials, check out's engaging video lessons and courses.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
May 2019
test prep test readiness

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