Seton Home Study School
Study Skills Online

Lesson 5 - The Second Step: Finding the best place to study

Studying is done best when you are by yourself. It is a personal and sometimes seemingly lonely task. You need to develop the ability to concentrate, which cannot be done with distractions by other people, or with vocal music in the background, or with younger brothers and sisters arguing nearby. Eating or talking to your friends on the phone is absolutely disastrous during scheduled study time.

You may have a good place to study. If you don't, try to find a quiet but comfortable place. However, it cannot be an overly comfortable place, such as in bed or a big lounge chair which puts you to sleep!

Your study area should be yours and yours alone, if possible. It can be a corner of your bedroom or a place in a separate room. It cannot be a dining room where people are continuously passing by.

Most people study well in a library in a study carrel, where it is quiet and distractions are limited. Food and drink are inaccessible, and the atmosphere is one of quiet concentration. In a library, research books and other materials are quickly available.

Proper lighting is vital. If you are studying in your home, be sure the light is bright enough on your materials. You don't want glare or shadows. If necessary make adjustments, move furniture, or buy a new lamp. Do whatever is necessary to be sure that you have good steady light.

Be sure the temperature is good for you for studying. If it is too cold, you will be concentrating on staying warm, and your fingers won't work well as you write or type. If it is too warm, you will become sleepy and not be able to concentrate. Most people like the temperature at about 68 to 70 degrees. Figure out what is best for you and keep it steady that way.

Music. Many people are so used to sound that the silence is almost deafening. However, silence is usually best while studying. Some people, however, have found that soft background instrumental‑only music can help studying. Sometimes, in a busy family, music is necessary to drown out background sounds in the house. If you try this, be careful, however, that it is not distracting.

            Next: Lesson 6.