The secret to studying smarter and not harder

12 February 2024
Posted in Study
12 February 2024 Justin Valderama

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think,” Albert Einstein once said. This timeless insight raises the question: Are our children learning to think, or are they simply memorising? In today’s fast-paced, information-overloaded world, students must develop effective study habits that promote deep understanding and lifelong learning. But how can we help them? Here’s are the secret to studying smarter and not harder.

1. Mindful studying

Mindfulness may appear to be a buzzword reserved for yoga studios, but its application to studying can transform your child’s learning experience. Encourage your child to approach study sessions with intention, focusing completely on the task at hand. This includes creating a distraction-free study environment, disabling notifications on digital devices, and dividing study time into focused intervals. Mindfulness in studying improves concentration, increases retention, and turns learning into an enjoyable activity rather than a tedious chore. Alchemy Tuition emphasises the importance of a calm, focused mindset for effective learning, and our tutors are knowledgeable about teaching strategies that foster this environment.

2. Active recall

Active recall is a technique that goes beyond passive reading and engages the brain in remembering information without looking at it. This method, which involves self-testing or quizzing, has been shown to significantly improve memory retention and comprehension. Encourage your child to use flashcards, practice questions, and even teach the material to others. Students who actively retrieve information strengthen their knowledge and improve recall under pressure, such as during exams.

3. Spaced repetition

Cramming before an exam is a common practice, but it is not the most efficient way to study. Spaced repetition, on the other hand, entails reviewing material over longer periods of time. This technique takes advantage of the psychological spacing effect, which states that spacing out learning sessions over time makes information easier to recall. Implementing a schedule that includes regular review sessions can significantly improve information retention over time.

4. Growth mindset

A growth mindset, or belief in one’s ability to grow and improve with effort, is critical for academic success. Students who view challenges as opportunities to learn rather than insurmountable obstacles are more likely to stick with their studies. Encourage your child to view mistakes as learning opportunities and to approach challenges with a positive mindset. Alchemy Tuition instills in students a growth mindset, allowing them to face academic challenges with resilience and see their educational journey as a series of stepping stones to success.

5. Interleaved practice

Interleaved practice involves combining different topics or subjects during study sessions rather than concentrating on one area of study at a time (block practice). This method improves problem-solving abilities and adaptability by requiring the brain to constantly switch gears and apply knowledge in new contexts. While it may appear more difficult at first, interleaved practice improves long-term skill retention and transfer.


Studying smarter is about adopting effective learning strategies that foster deep understanding, retention, and application of knowledge. You can help your child achieve academic success and lifelong learning by encouraging mindful studying, using active recall, spaced repetition, adopting a growth mindset, and implementing interleaved practice. However, each child is unique, and determining the best combination of strategies can be difficult.

The secret to studying smarter, not harder


Get in touch

Let's create gold together.