Cnoc an Chonnaidh, Muineachán, H18 W897

+353 (0) 47 72344


Are you getting optimum benefit from the time you spend studying?
Do you daydream?
Do you immediately forget information just learned?
Don’t sit in silence in the classroom. Ask questions, try to answer questions, take notes, participate in the lesson.
Are you getting the benefits you deserve from your time studying?


Don’t copy from the book/textbook when doing homework. Read the book first, close it and then do your best. If in difficulty, open the book, check the information, close the book and continue working. You learn from your mistakes. Remember that you are preparing for an examination where you won’t have a book and where you will be working against the clock.
It’s possible to develop bad habits if you spend as much time as you wish at homework because you will then find it difficult to complete your examinations inside the designated time.

Study Location

The place where a person studies has a big influence on the amount learned. Have a permanent study base – bedroom, sitting-room. Keep your books, pens, mathematics equipment etc. there.
Avoid ‘family areas’ in the house, avoid noisy places, busy places. Make sure that the place or study base is free of excessive noise e.g. interference from television, radio, telephone and visitors.

Light and Heat

An abundance of light required for general reading. The room should be comfortable and not excessively hot. Make sure that the room is well ventilated – with the window ajar perhaps.

Organisation and Furniture

It is better to sit on a hard-backed chair in front of a table or desk while studying. It is not advisable to sit on a bed or in an armchair, especially if you are undertaking writing exercises.

Duration of Study Time

It is very easy to waste time. It is an important skill to be able to use your time effectively. Always work against the clock because in the examinations you will be working against the clock.

When to study?

When the information is fresh in your mind and when you are sharp and alert
As soon as possible after school, after a short break
Don’t study after 10.00 pm
Relax for a while before going to bed
Every day but take a break at the weekend. Take Friday night or Saturday or Sunday off
Don’t stop studying during the holidays
The same time every day – try to stick rigidly to the usual study time every day.

Organising Study

It’s a waste of time if you try to study without having set out a clear plan for yourself.
Draw up a plan for your study to include what you will study and how you will study it.
Prepare this beforehand.
It is a starting point to choose History as a subject for study but it is preferable to be more precise and to know exactly in your mind what you wish to learn.
History – revise the painters of the Renaissance
English – analysis of the main characters in Act One of The Merchant of Venice
Irish – to prepare the key points in paragraph form for an essay on Sport in Ireland

Study Aims

Plan the amount of work you would like to have done by a certain time. Don’t try to learn too much because you will be disappointed when you fail.
It’s better to do a realistic amount properly and then you will be happy. Be sincere and honest with yourself.

Breaks during the Study Periods

Better learning takes place when the study period is broken up with short breaks. Work for half an hour. Take a five-minute break. Go out, get some fresh air and walk around during the break. Study for a further half-hour.
Do no more than two hours in any one session.

Subjects that you should study

We all have favourite subjects. It would be very easy to spend a lot of time learning these subjects.
It is foolish to spend all the time at one or two subjects.

How can I put pressure on myself to work on the subjects I don’t like?

Suppose that you like subject ‘A’ but that you dislike subject ‘B’. Don’t allow yourself to do subject ‘A’ until subject ‘B’ is done. This is self-control, and your reward is subject ‘A’ at the end.
Vary the order in which you do the different subjects.
Study the subjects you don’t like at a certain time every day, for example before a TV programme that you like, the reward being that you can watch the programme when the study is completed.

You can improve your mental concentration in the following ways:

Break the work down into small manageable units and do one unit at a time.
Have a definite idea of what you would like to achieve in one study session.
Don’t waste time on things you don’t understand.
Be active while studying – writing notes, self-examination, drawing diagrams.
Change subject when the information goes out of your head or if you become distracted.
Reward yourself when you finish your work.

Recommended Time per Subject

This varies from person to person and from subject to subject.
Spend two and a half – three hours doing homework and one – two hours studying (senior pupils/students only)
You should spend the same amount of time on each subject – on a weekly basis, not on a weekly basis. Try to spend not less than two – two and a half hours per week on each subject.
Keep up to date
This is the most important learning rule. If you fall behind in any subject it will be extremely difficult to catch up on the work later.
When you’re absent due to illness it’s very important for you to find out what work has been covered in each subject while you were absent.

Different Subjects

History and English – These subjects entail a lot of reading and note-taking. Concentrate on reading and reading skills, which will help you with note-taking. Be ready to summarise.
Written notes help the memory later on.
Revise the minor points like a shopping list.

Mathematics don’t require the same amount of note-taking as it’s a subject that has a lot of steps/stages.
A new theme is ‘built’ on the themes done previously.
You must know every step/stage/link in the chain before you go on to the next step/stage/link.
To make sure that you know every step/stage/link/level:
Ask questions in class when you’re not very sure about something.
Practice questions as often as possible.

French – There is less emphasis on detail in this subject but grammar rules, vocabulary, sentence structure, phonetics practice, aural work, and acquisition of phrases are very important. Repetition and regular practice are essential here.

Organising Your Subjects

Keep notes for the individual subjects separate from each other.
Have a folder for each subject.
You are wasting time if you are searching for notes during study time.
Know where the relevant textbooks are.


Make sure that you know exactly what the teacher wants from you. Ask him or her to explain each task to you.
Don’t waste time writing the homework answers straight from the book. You learn little that way.
Read all the questions.
Write the important points on a piece of paper. Then leave that task.
Do something else, and after a few minutes return to the task and try to do the homework with the book closed. If you find yourself in difficulty, check your notes and if that doesn’t help, return to the book and read the work again.

You can complete terrific work in the classroom.
Don’t sit at the back of the room, beside the window or beside students who obstruct the class.
Take down some written notes in every lesson.
Ask the teacher questions.
Every time the bell rings at the end of class ask yourself this question: What do I know at the end of this class?
Your progress in school depends on your attitude. Your success must be your only objective.
Don’t let anything dishearten or discourage you. Yes you will be disappointed from time to time, but you can learn from this too.

Method of Study

Word accumulation– what do I know already? (3 minutes)
Subtitles, graphs, maps, diagrams (1 minute)
Set a realistic target (1 minute)
Read the questions in the textbooks or in the past examination papers
Read quickly, go back and take notes.
Word accumulation – what do I know now?
Encircle neatly anything that you forgot or anything that was incorrect on your page of good notes.

You are locking information into your long-term memory when you record a mistake.
You retain information if you revise regularly.
Throw away the word accumulation and store your good notes.
The above study method helps pupils/students to recall information but it is also essential to write out complete answers.


This presentation will encourage you to organise your study at home with a view to increasing your learning capacity.
It is suggested that you ask yourself the following questions before starting to study:
What subjects do I plan to study today?
Which theme or mini-theme or chapter in these subjects will I do?
What targets would I like to achieve today?
Do I have the equipment, books, notes etc for studying these subjects?
Am I omitting or putting aside any subject or theme?
If I have written work to do, do I know what exactly is required?

If you have satisfactory answers to the questions above, you are on the road to effective study.

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Cnoc an Chonnaidh, Muineachán, H18 W897  +353-(0) 47 72344