If you’re hoping to score well in your examinations, you must unquestionably put in the hours to study. However, there is a thin line between working hard and over-studying—if crossed, one will likely experience burnout, a state of physical and mental exhaustion that results in a loss of motivation and focus.

Hence, it is critical to study smart. Read on to learn some of the steps you can take to maximise your time while guarding against academic burnout.

Keep Your Study Area Free of Distractions

One critical element of creating a conducive study environment is eliminating all distractions.

When surrounded by potential distractions, your mental energy is split: part of it is focused on revision, while another is wasted on your phone, laptop, or television. It is much simpler to put away the distractions that cause you to expend your limited capacity needlessly.

Remember that distractions don’t just come in the form of screens—if, for example, your family members make noise walking in and out of the room, your attention might be diverted. Hence, ask for your family’s understanding and find a quiet workspace. 

Active Learning

Passive learning, which involves taking notes and re-reading them, is the opposite of studying smart; it requires that you put in significant effort while curtailing your learning speed.

On the other hand, active learning ensures you thoroughly understand the material and helps you retain the information better. It may involve self-testing, explaining the material to yourself or someone else, or relating concepts to real-life examples.

Group discussion is another way to learn actively. Hence, we recommend that you study with others, be it an informal study group with your friends or group tuition. 

Stick to a Schedule

When it comes to studying, consistency is everything.

For optimal results, you should create a well-balanced schedule to ensure you’re allocating enough time for each subject or topic. By following a strict study plan, you can set aside extra time for your areas of weakness while preventing the need for last-minute studying, which can easily lead to burnout.

Take Regular Breaks

Breaks are crucial because they help you decompress and step back from intense studying.

It is best to take multiple breaks throughout a single study session. Take a short walk, get a snack, or do a few stretches—physical activity, regardless of how simple, helps boost blood circulation and keeps you energised.

Additionally, it helps to take breaks between study sessions. If there is no space in between for you to breathe, you might get overwhelmed and fatigued. Hence, knowing when to rest and how to rest is crucial.

Stay Connected

Revision and exam preparation is tough. As such, we encourage you to reach out to your family and friends. Depending on your support network and having healthy interactions can help relieve you of stress while strengthening your emotional well-being.


Think of studying not as a sprint but as a marathon: if you push yourself too hard, you might experience burnout and lose motivation. Conversely, pacing yourself and studying smart allows you to achieve your academic goals without overexerting yourself.

If you want to become an active learner, why not join us for group tuition classes? Miracle Math is a math tuition centre offering upper primary and secondary math tuition, including Sec 3 and Sec 4 A-Math tuition in Singapore.