Wish your students could learn how to study more effectively? They’re putting in the time, but their study sessions just aren’t translating to strong test grades.

But why not? 

Maybe they’re using ineffective techniques. Maybe they’re studying the wrong stuff. Or, maybe they’ve never been taught HOW TO STUDY.

In this video, I’ll share my six top tips for teaching your students how to study more effectively. Best of all, this short video is really the least you need to know to take action and teach them how to improve their studying today! 

It’s a super-highly condensed version of the Unlock Student Learning Masterclass I taught on Saturday. So, if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch the replay I sent Sunday, you’ll want to check this out–then, sign up and come to my live Q&A session tonight to get your questions answered! You can sign up here, submit a question if you have one, and I’ll send you the Zoom link to join us (and the replay if you can’t get there live).

Click the green link below the image to watch the short video (it’s only 6 minutes & 46 seconds) … or continue on to read the transcript!


How do you study effectively? And how do you teach students to study effectively? We’re gonna dig into all of that in this video. Take a look.

One of the most searched questions from students on the internet is “how do I study effectively?” And the good news is that my Anti-Boring Approach covers exactly that!

So first, we’re going to look at what are the five most important things every student should know about how to study effectively?

Then I want to dive into how do you transfer that knowledge to students in a way that helps them actually take action?
How do we study effectively?

The most important thing you can ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever ever do is test yourself to see what you know and what you don’t know. You always want to test yourself way before the teacher ever tests you. So you test yourself, over and over. You don’t just test yourself once right before the test–you actually, in tiny little increments, test yourself over time. This is a process called spaced retrieval. And it is what all of the neuroscientists can tell is the simple, most effective way to study.

I, and all of my 1000s of students I’ve helped, have figured out that this can get kind of boring. So it’s helpful to have a variety of different ways to test yourself and a variety of different ways to teach yourself, again, the stuff that you prove to yourself through testing that you don’t know. My quickest way to tell you how to do that is to remember that there’s a hand-brain connection–whatever you touch, whatever you do something with and manipulate, you will remember better. And also, there’s a word-picture connection. Whenever in our notes, we can put words and pictures next to each other, it is something we will remember better. That’s a process called dual coding.

So effective studying is as simple (and as complicated) as these steps: test yourself over and over in tiny, little bits and in a variety of ways using your hand and using lots of words and pictures.

Okay, fair enough. For those of us who are academic coaches, how do we teach this to students in a way where students will actually take effective action and actually experience themselves becoming more competent learners and self-studiers?

Six things to help your students study better.

  1. The Brain Science. I have found students really appreciate being told the brain science, the actual hard facts about what happens up in our noggin when we’re learning.
  2. The Strategies. Brain science alone doesn’t cut it, we also need very specific strategies to put that brain science into action. That’s what my Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying is all about.
  3. A Visual Anchor. When we’re teaching, it’s also very helpful to have a visual anchor. I have lots of visual anchors, when I am teaching the brain science to students. When you take my courses, you learn how to draw those visual anchors and how to tell translate that visual anchor into words that actually make sense to the students so they can take action.
  4. The Least Students Need to Know. We also need to learn to pare down and only share the least students need to know–not all the fun brain facts, but the least students need to know in order to get started taking action. Everything else isn’t helpful if we’re forcing it on students.
  5. Consent. We need to learn how to build in consent into the process. How do we make sure we’re not just talking at students, but, instead, it’s a two way street where we’re finding out what are their issues and concerns? And then letting them know “I might be able to help with that? Do you want to hear it?” And then, after teaching them, asking, “What’s your wisdom about what you just heard? What was helpful, what wasn’t? What makes sense to you now? What actions are you going to take as a result?” Really good questions are a part of the consent process. You ask a question to get into it, to get permission. And then you ask a bunch of questions to find out what landed.
  6. Practice and Accountability. The last thing we need in order to teach students to study effectively is a lot of practice and accountability for following through. So in my one-to-one sessions, I practice things with students; we do stuff together. When I’m presenting to large groups of students, we practice together. I’m constantly finding ways to get you to do, right now, the thing that I’m teaching you so you can have it in your body already; so you have a little baby neural pathway inside your brain. And the more and more you practice, you can build that neural pathway stronger and stronger and stronger. And that’s what the accountability is for as an academic coach.

So these are skills I recommend any of us working with students on habit building work on in order to get students to be able to follow through on these guidelines more effectively. Would you like more details about all of this? If so, I want to invite you to go to my website and request the free gift on that page where I lay out for you in much more detail my secrets to teaching students the brain science and the strategies and what I call the Anti-Boring Toolbox. So enjoy!

And while you’re still here, give me a little comment down below. Feel free to ask a question or say what your biggest takeaway from this video was. I would love to hear from you.

Take care!

P.S. Am I speaking your language? Do you already know you want to go deeper with the kinds of science-based study strategies I’m talking about? Then you’re in luck! 

Right now you can join me in a special session of my course Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically! I was inspired to run the course with a cohort (it’s been self-study since 2019) and add in live Zoom calls this spring. If you’d like to learn my entire Anti-Boring Toolkit with a community of like-minded educators and get your questions answered live, you’ll want to join us. Learn more about it here! I have a tiny, little inkling this is calling your name 😉