Study Tips and Tricks

Study tips and tricks

In times of corona it can be hard for some students to study effectively from home, especially since studying together with fellow students on campus will not be possible for the time being. For this reason, we have compiled a list of useful study tips and tricks to help you out a little...


Create structure


During this time of constant change, it may be really helpful to remember that courses are still in session and set yourself a schedule of courses and studying...just as if you were going to class.

Distinguish between study and home mode

Prepare yourself for the day and do as you would do on a regular weekday. Get out of your PJ’s and get dressed properly, have breakfast and brush your teeth at the start of the day to get in the "getting things done" mood.

Create a dedicated study area (away from distractions)

Your work/study area needs to be conducive to studying for extended periods. So maybe it is not the best option to study in the living room where all your house mates hang around. Make sure to have a clean and organized desk with only stuff you need for studying. Have your coffee/tea/water/snack next to you so there is no need to walk to the kitchen. Switch off your phone or put it in another room.

Schedule your time available

Try to write down specifically what you would like to accomplish in one week. Which assignments are you planning to complete? Which lectures would you like to attend online? If you divide these tasks in one week, it will help you fill your day as efficiently as possible.

Do not forget to include other tasks/plans not related to your academic work in your schedule as well (time to relax, volunteer work, sports, etc.).

Work in short bursts

With the current situation, all structure might be gone when it comes to studying (and other things as well). In order to be productive try to impose a structure on yourself. For example, working in 45-60 minute chunks of focused work, followed by a short 15-minute break. This can be an effective way to plan your day and maintain your concentration levels.

Do not forget to take breaks

Make sure to get enough breaks. Leave your desk for lunch. Don’t forget to get enough physical exercise either. Go out for a walk or use one of the 7 Minute Workout apps.

Stay connected with fellow (international) students

Find alternative ways to meet. Create platforms, see a Netflix movie with each other and maybe grab your phone to have a chat instead of only scrolling on Instagram and YouTube. There are lots of other alternative (online) ways to think of. Be kind to, and take care of each other.

Especially when you live alone with no house mates, this is important.  Studying together on campus can boost your motivation. Since this is no option now, Pukka Team can be helpful. It takes automated photos of you and each “team member” using a webcam so you can see all your team in one place while studying , helping create real “team” presence. There is also the option to video call each other. No installation needed, PukkaTeam (free trial for 60 days) works straight from your browser. All you need to do is login and you are all set!

Stay focused on the online lecture/problem session

With all this education now being offered online, you may be tempted to check on websites that are not necessarily study-related. There are browser add ons that can help to stay focused such as Stayfocused (Chrome) or Leechblock (Firefox). These let you block certain websites between for certain hours.

Extra tips to fight distractions: actively take notes during online education to stay focused. Also, instead of having multiple tabs open for all websites you use and that be distractions, a fairly simple solution is to switch to full-screen.

Remember, you have a job to do and you are accountable!

With the current situation where you study at home, and the extra freedom that goes with that, it might feel you are having a vacation. Just remember that this is not the case, and that it’s up to you to study and to work on your academic progress.

Ask for help

If you notice you are not doing too well, try to discuss your situation with fellow students or housemates. Perhaps they can give you additional tips and tricks. Of course you can also contact your own program coordinator and ask for help.

Source: These study tips and tricks are based on he TU Delft information sheet for Nanobiology students.

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