How to Study and Learn Better: Tips and Advice to Students!

Become conscious of how you learn and be aware of the factors that contribute to your own motivation.

Students studying
Do you need tips and advice on how to work better before the exam?

Professor Arild Raaheim offers tips and advice on how to approach these matters in his book «Tips and Advice for Students» (directly translated from “Råd og tips for deg som skal studere”). The book is only available in Norwegian, and the points below are collected from his book and translated.

How to Remember Facts?
The book separates between learning facts, understanding material and analytical knowledge and skills. You may use for instance ‘Mnemo techniques’ to remember facts. One form of such a technique could be to connect information and images to create a story. We must be focused to be able to perceive and store relevant information. In other words, we need to know how we function in different situations and what distracts us so that we can learn to remove these factors.

Become aware of what you usually remember from different situations and use this in your learning: Are you a person who remembers faces or do you more often remember names? Your feelings are connected to your memory and learning abilities: It’s important to create enthusiasm for the material you are supposed to learn. We learn much better when we are in a positive mood or state of mind.

There are some concrete questions you may ask yourself when you work independently during lectures and before exams, to better find out which learning methods you should use.

(Source: “Råd og tips for deg som skal studere”)

Working Independently

1) Find out where, when and how you learn best: By taking notes? Reading one book at a time? Through all-out effort? Study groups?  

2) Enter the role as a student actively, organise your time and the place to study according to that

3) Take breaks, also from the Internet

4) Accept that things don’t always happen according to the plan. Check what you have learned regularly to keep calm

5) What do you need to focus on?

6) Think ahead, make weekly schedules. Look forward to what lies ahead!

7) Work actively with the subject through thinking, reading, writing and talking about it

8) Boast yourself, reward yourself

9) Talk positively to yourself, not negatively

10) Don’t listen to everything your fellow students say, be critical

11) Use the library actively

12) It’s a good idea to have an unpaid job or organisation membership – when you have less time you become more focused

13) Spend time with your friends

14) Use your study advisor and other available sources to help plan your studies and career

15) Don’t push yourself to read when you don’t feel like it, try to find the reason why you don’t feel like it and work with that


16) Bring out your pen or pencil – there are no short cuts, digital or others

17) Prepare, take notes during the lecture and work with your notes after the lecture

18) Don’t attend all lectures – be critical to how you spend your time

19) Tell others what subjects or areas you are struggling with

20) Be critical and ask questions

21) Focus on the areas you are least familiar with


Before Exams

22) Vary how you repeat the material

23) Practice how to remember: make mind maps and time lines

24) Learn from professional athletes: Visualise the exam situation and practice mentally

25) Stop studying a while before the exam

26) Get enough sleep and eat healthy food