Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician or any other professional takes education. Education means that you will have to attend classes. These classes, especially EMS classes, expect you to digest a lot of information in a relatively short period of time.
Simply attending class and hoping you retain your professor’s teaching isn’t enough. You will have to study. There is no way to get around this fact. Studying can be difficult for people there are many factors that can impact your ability to effectively study.
Most people will study at computers, or on the couch at home. While studying at home can be effective, it can also be distracting. When you are at home, your brain wants to do home stuff. It wants to watch TV or play on the phone.
If you are having difficulty studying maybe all you need is a change of scenery. We have put together a list of the best places we believe can help you study better, retain more information, and improve your chances of passing your class.
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The Best Places To Study
Aside from the places to study you are about to read about. Studying will be difficult if you have trouble focusing. People have different ways their brains work to focus on tasks such as studying. If you would like, we would like to invite you to take a Free Focus Quiz from our friends at Focus@Will.
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Here are the best places to study for class.
1. Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are great places to study. They tend to have a chill ambiance and plenty of caffeine. Coffee shops are friendly to students and business professionals. Many shops have ports for you to plug your laptop in and free wifi.
Coffee shops are great for people that have trouble studying in silence. The ambient noise and music are strangely soothing. Don’t believe me? Try it. Next time you are in a coffee shop just sit and listen. I almost guarantee that you will want to study.
The last thing I would like to mention about coffee shops is the coffee itself. If you have read our article on Passing the NREMT then you already know the effects that coffee has shown to have on concentration and mood.
2. The Library
Your local or campus library is a no brainer. These places are literally constructed as a place of study. Libraries feature tables as a place to plug your gadgets into.
Being quiet is an enforced library etiquette so you won’t be interrupted while you study. Some libraries even feature private study rooms that you and your classmates can utilize for group study sessions.
One of the best things about libraries is the fact that its a building full of books. If you find your class book is lacking on a subject, such as anatomy, you can easily find a resource that would give you more knowledge and understanding.
Libraries often have wifi access and computers that are for public use. If you lack a laptop for example, then a library is the perfect place to learn for you.
Campus libraries often have access to special academic archives that contain research papers that are great for sourced material.
3. Book Stores
A book store might not be the first place you think of to study, but it is one you should consider. Think about it. It’s quiet, larger book stores have a cafe where you can get a coffee. Many of these places also have wifi access. Perfect.
Even smaller book stores are great. Many of these stores have had to also become tea or coffee spots in order to survive in a world where you can order a book and have it the next day.
You will want to make sure you scope out a bookstore first. Make sure it is a place that wants you to spend time there even if you have no intention of purchasing a book. But I mean, if you want a book please consider supporting your local book store.
4. Study / Tutoring Centers
If you are fortunate enough to take your classes at a college campus then you should have access to their study centers. Study centers are usually attached to the campus library.
One of the best things about study centers is they are typically staffed with tutors. Sometimes you need help to learn and understand the difficult subjects you are being taught. Especially with EMS programs.
You can set up a time to meet with a campus tutor and get the help needed to grasp difficult concepts. Many of these tutors are senior classmates who have probably gone through the class before you, or they are professors.
5. Community Centers
Community centers can have study friendly areas. Community centers are great places to take affordable classes for hobbies, use fitness equipment, and meet other people that have similar interests.
Some centers will offer special study sessions or offer tutoring for various subjects. A great routine you could adopt at a community center is to go there for your study session and stay for a workout session.
This would be an excellent option to help you study for class. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps with memory retention.
Some college campuses also have community centers.
Locating a community center near you is easy. Just google “Community Centers Near You” and you should be able to find their websites and the activities they offer.
6. Empty Classrooms
One of the best places to study is a place you go every day. Your classroom. Now, this might not work out if you are attending your EMS education at a technical program. However, if you are in college, many of your classrooms are empty in between classes.
Ask your teacher if they mind if you stay and study. Classrooms provide an environment that is perfect for studying. This is because when you are in class you are there to learn. this environmental hint subconsciously makes you more apt to study without distraction.
The same reason this works is the same reason places like gyms work. When you go to the gym you are there to workout. People that have difficulty working out at home, often find by going to the gym they are able to maintain their routine.
You go to a classroom to learn.
7. School Lounges
If you have access to a school lounge then take advantage of it. These lounges are perfect places to study because you will be around other students doing the same thing.
Herd mentality is a powerful driving force and if you are around other people studying you are more likely to study as well.
Ever heard the saying that you are the average of the next 10 closest people to you? If you surround yourself with people that are serious about their education you will also take it more seriously.
These places are also not as strict with noise levels. So if you and a group of your classmates want to go over your cardiac drugs or trauma scenarios this is a great place to meet up.
8. The Park
Going outside is a great way to find a nice study space. A park near you usually has benches or picnic tables that can be commandeered to serve as a study space.
Some benefits of studying outside are increased mood, it just feels nice to be outside. Harvard actually studied the effects of nature on your mood and found that being is outside stimulating the brain.
For the best study environment outside, try and pick a day that is not too hot or cold. Early fall or late spring are typically perfect times to study outdoors.
9. Create Your Own Study Space
Sometimes the best place to study is located right at home. I know. You probably are reading this article because you have difficulty studying at home. But there are a lot of factors that prevent you from home study.
These can include your TV, children, getting distracted at your gaming computer. There are a lot of distractions at home. However, with some effort, these distractions can be mitigated.
Look for an area in your home that you can devote to being a study nook. This area needs to be dedicated to this purpose. It won’t work if you bring nonstudy items into this study space.
Made some ground rules for this spot. No cellphone, nothing on your laptop other than class materials. Next craft your routine around it. When do you study, how long? The important part here is when you are in this space its business time.
If you are living with other people or have children then you need to make it clear that when you are at your study spot that you are not to be disturbed.
Some Additional Study Tips and Advice
Be sure to check out our article on Passing the NREMT for more tips and advice on how to study for exams. If you stumbled upon us and are not an EMT student these are general tips that work for any class.
Evaluate Your Study Area
Your study area should be a distraction-free environment. The purpose of the study space is to study (duh right). The moment you bring distractions into this environment is the moment it is not for studying any more.
Many of the places we picked for this list were chosen because of the environment they produce. People are creatures of habit they also follow a herd mentality. Going to a place where other people are studying then you are inclined to study as well.
If you are someplace studying with other people and someone starts getting loud or not following the herd watch to see the facial expressions directed at the person. Then watch when that person realizes they are not fitting in. More often then not they will either leave or fall in line and go back to studying.
Create a Study Routine
Routine is important. It can take 21 days to form a habit and up to 90 days for it to become routine. This is why everything is a 90-day challenge. It’s not to complete the challenge its to form a routine that promotes a transformation in that person.
But wait, you want me to commit to a 90-day study routine? Yup.
Even if you are not in class or studying for something, keep with it and learn something new. There are plenty of sites like Udemy that allow you to learn new skills or improve existing ones for extremely affordable prices. You can even take a class on How to Study Effectively.
A popular study technique is the Pomodoro technique. Essentially you block your studying into periods with minor breaks in between. You commit to 25 minutes of uninterrupted study, then when the timer goes off you take a break for 5 minutes. After every 3 poms, you get a 10-minute break. Here is an easy to use and free Pomodoro Timer.
Create Study Rules For Yourself and Follow Them
The most important thing about effective studying is self-discipline. You need to create study rules for yourself and follow them. Probably the biggest distraction we have is in our pockets.
Our phones are one of the worst devices we can own when it comes to attention. We are literally addicted to checking our phones. It is to bad that a goldfish has a longer attention span then we do.
If there is one thing you gain from this article is that when it is study time, make your phone inaccessible. We know some people need their phones in case an emergency happens. But if you don’t need your phone. Leave it in your car, or put the phone a room away.
I promise you will study better and retain more information.
We hope this article was helpful to you. Studying is very important, but you need to study correctly to gain benefits from it.