How to know your studying efficiently and progressively.

Posted: December 3, 2021

Students tend to wonder, “How should I study?”

Students need to use their time more efficiently, learn information, and keep in mind how to meet each subject’s requirements.

Learning lab teacher, Elaine Ekstedt thinks about the bigger picture, “Well, I think that’s the wrong question,” Ekstedt said. “I think the right question is, ‘what should I be doing when studying, so I’m making the most efficient use of my time?’ Even if you studied for three hours, it doesn’t matter how long you studied, it really matters what you studied. What really matters is that you really learned from it. There’s a difference between doing it, and learning it.”

 What does a statement like hers mean? If you spend a day studying, but forget the material soon after, then it is pointless. If you spent an hour studying, focused on one thing, you’d end up remembering how to do these things in more difficult situations. 

“It’s all about the repetition” Ekstedt, has a great design for her students to understand, Ekstedt says, “So it’s an elevator shaft, what’s on top is what you’re learning and you need to be able to process that down the elevator, so you should take it one step at a time. Start on the upper layer, go down, down, down until you reach the bottom, the bottom is when you’ve repeated something a specific amount of times, now remember, its different for everybody, but when you are at the bottom there’s a file cabinet and this is where you store what you learned.” 

Great visual representation of what we need to know. Understanding how much we need to repeat the problem or essay is what allows us to remember and keep stored in our file cabinet (Memory). 

“So when students say they work hard, hard is something you do physically, I push hard, I pull hard. It’s not the right word for studying, the right word would be smart, I worked smart and efficiently on the work that I was faced with.” Ekstedt said.

“For students, it’s realistic to think they would have around an hour or two hours, depending on their grade level,” said Libby Burton, Minnehaha’s Upper School academic dean

Now this would increase if you’re taking honors and or AP level classes obviously. 

Burton also said, “I think to know that you’ve spent your quality time studying, would mean to have done It enough times, as YOU need for yourself to help you remember.”

 Another thing to tab down 

“Would be asking teachers clarifying questions, on what exactly the test would be on and what you should aim at studying for” Said Burton. 

Overall, Burton advises students to budget their time, and to make sure they can understand or remember the most important things in a class, achieved by studying.


Miranda Ritter, the senior academic intern said, “The student that I am tutoring needs to have a clear vision on what they want to get out of the tutoring session.” This means, to have an overall goal and understanding of what you want out of the time you’re spending. 

“If you know when you’re done studying when you’ve finished the assignment and then went over it to make sure all was right, as well as to work on the assignment long enough to understand the assignment fully,” said Ritter.  2-3 hours is what she recommends, to understand the topic.


Now ask yourself, have you been using your time to work smarter, and efficiently?

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