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6 Most Effective Ways to Motivate Students to Study

Even the most dedicated students sometimes struggle to stay motivated and engaged with their school work. But studying doesn’t have to feel like a chore. There are many proven student motivation techniques to help you get your work done, and even have fun while doing it! 


With the right approach, you can stay on track, create a positive learning atmosphere, and build self-discipline skills. Whether you’re a student yourself or a Learning Coach seeking strategies for encouraging students to study, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover 6 motivational tips for students!

1. Make Studying Fun with Proven Tips and Tricks

learning coach helping student with homework on the computer

Make Up Songs

One of the easiest ways to retain information is to put it to a tune! This is especially helpful when trying to remember hard-to-retain material like mathematical equations or historical dates. Perhaps the best example of this is the quadratic formula song, which can help students remember the useful formula when studying for algebra exams.

Quiz Yourself with Physical or Digital Flash Cards

One of our favorite study tips for virtual students is to do self-assessments periodically to see how well you know the material. Consider making physical flash cards based on your notes with questions on the front and answers on the back. Then quiz yourself or have your Learning Coach quiz you. You can also do self-assessments online using programs like Quizlet, which allow you to search for or build your own sets of digital flashcards.

Try a Fun Study App

One of the benefits of virtual school, homeschooling, and other alternative forms of K-12 education is that you can incorporate technology, which makes learning more fun and more effective! All SLC students learn valuable technical skills that will help them in the classroom, their future careers, and beyond. In addition to the online curricula and software programs we use, you might try downloading a study app to motivate yourself. 

Make Your Notes Colorful

Studying is much easier and more enjoyable when you take great notes during class! If you’re taking physical notes, using colorful pencils, pens, highlighters, and stickers is a great way to add fun and creativity to your learning. 


If you’re taking digital notes in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, you can still make them dynamic by highlighting, bolding, underlining, and using colorful text. These digital tools also make your notes searchable, allowing you to easily find information without having to sift through papers.

2. Create a Distraction-Free Study Environment

For many students, distractions prove to be one of the primary barriers to a productive study session. From noise, to electronics, to a messy workspace, distractions in your immediate environment can frequently turn your attention away from the task at hand and impact your ability to concentrate and retain vital information.

Here are a few ways to create a distraction-free study environment:

  • Put your phone and other electronics on “do not disturb.”
  • Use noise-canceling headphones (especially if you’re studying in a common area of your home).
  • Keep your study area clean and organized.
  • Let your friends and family know when you’re studying so they know not to disturb you.
  • Go to a private room to study (bedroom, office, basement, etc.).
  • Use a desk and comfortable chair; being uncomfortable can lead to pain and impede your focus.

3. Take Study Breaks Frequently

While it can be tempting to just power through a dense or difficult study session, taking regular breaks to rest and recharge is key. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to take a short break every 30-60 minutes to grab a snack, take a quick nap, go for a walk, or check in with your loved ones. Frequent breaks help increase your overall motivation and productivity, preserve and refresh your energy, and nurture your mental and physical health.

4. Find a Study Buddy

two students in middle doing homework together and feeling motivated

There are many benefits of studying with a partner or study group, both academic and social. Scheduling study sessions with a classmate or group of peers can help you establish a study routine, make new friends, avoid procrastination, and learn new study skills.


If you decide to form a study group, keep these tips in mind:

  • Try to keep your group small enough (4-6 people) that you can stay focused on studying and avoid socializing too much.
  • Whether you’re meeting with your group in person or online, try to ensure that everyone has a distraction-free environment.
  • Keep your group study sessions under 3 hours to avoid burnout.
  • Try to set up group study meetings on a consistent schedule to stay on track.

Related: 6 Ways Virtual Schools Encourage Student Group Collaboration

5. Set Goals and Rewards

student holding her icecream reward after completing her school assignments

Studying without a clear plan or structure can feel overwhelming and uninteresting, which can be detrimental to your motivation. One of the most helpful student motivation techniques is to set achievable personal goals and a motivational reward system. This is an effective way of breaking up dense material and making the process less intimidating.


When establishing a system that works for you, your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and timely). Examples of a study goal might be to finish two chapters of your assigned reading by the end of the day or get through 10 of your flashcards without making a mistake.


Having a specific reward to enjoy once you meet your goal can also be a great way to stay motivated and make the process more fun. Your reward should be specific to you and your preferences. For example, you might reward yourself with an episode of your favorite TV show or a visit to your local ice cream shop!

6. Ask for Tips and Feedback from Teachers

When it comes to staying motivated while studying, who better to ask than your teacher? Every good teacher cares about their students and wants to help them succeed. At SLC, we don’t rely on generic, one-size-fits-all solutions and we don’t just respect individual differences – we celebrate them. Our amazing instructors, advisors, and other student supporters are committed to going the extra mile and accommodating diverse student needs.


If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to staying motivated in your school work, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to provide feedback, guidance, and support to all students and their Learning Coaches.

Stay Motivated With Effective Study Tips at SLC!

student with red hair having a one on one with his teacher

It’s not always easy to stay motivated in school, especially if you’re feeling burnt out with traditional methods of education. If you struggle to maintain your motivation in a conventional schooling environment, making the switch to a virtual academy may be the perfect solution.


In our digitally focused modern world, online education can offer practical and hands-on learning while giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn from anywhere. At Summit Learning Charter, our incredible instructors work closely with students and their Learning Coaches to provide a quality education in a caring and motivating environment.


Apply now to enhance your learning and expand your horizons!


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Sean Gallagher

Mr. Gallagher has been working at Summit Learning Charter since 2008, the school's founding year, and has been the Principal since 2014. Sean has been an educator for 27 years working in alternative education, teaching English, and school leadership. Sean's passion as a school leader is constructing Summit towards continual growth and student centered solutions.

Program Dates:
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