Study Break


Taking a break after a one-and-a-half hour study session has been shown to improve attention and focus. It will also improve productivity, although it might seem absurd if you are focused on cramming.

With that said, you need to be careful with the activities you engage in during a study break. The goal is to engage in activities that will ensure that you return to studying feeling focused and refreshed. There are tons of apps available that will help you get the most out of your study breaks. The apps also help in developing efficient study techniques, avoiding mental noise that causes distraction, as well as being able to stay in the moment. 

There is a wide variety of activities you could get up to, and they are not limited to:

  • Calling on a friend
  • Going to the gym
  • Listening to music or watching a movie
  • Playing video games
  • Running or jogging
  • Preparing and eating a healthy snack
  • Taking a nap
  • Colouring

During your break, you could indulge in a favourite hobby. Be sure that it helps you relax to rejuvenate your brain. When you get back to studying, ensure to answer a few quiz questions on what you were studying before the break. 

Why Is Taking A Break Important?

When most students are under pressure to meet deadlines or study for exams, they dive in head first into their books and will not think of a break. However, study breaks are important, since they help you achieve the highest level of productivity possible. Your online tutor will also advise on the importance of taking breaks. 

However, you must be careful to avoid engaging in a prolonged binge on unimportant activities. Some of the most popular benefits of taking a break from studying include:

  • Increase your productivity and creativity
  • Boost your concentration levels
  • Better information retention
  • It reduces the chances of a cognitive overload
  • You can study better for longer
  • Better conscious linguistic and perceptual processing
  • Boosts the chances of consistency

On top of this, taking breaks every so often ensures that you enjoy the topics you are studying. These benefits of taking breaks apply to both short- and long-term breaks. This means that whether you are taking a 30-minute break or a one-week break, you should always take a break.

But what happens if you do not take a break? Accounts from students and the results from studies show that one can easily get burned out and have reduced cognitive function, among other dangers. Worse still, all the studying you will do might go to waste since there very little information has been committed to long term memory. 

How Long Should You Study Before Taking A Break?

Taking breaks from studying is relative to individual students. Some students can go for hours without the need for a break, while some have a lower concentration and focus span. With that said, breaks allow your brain to relax and recharge in readiness for the next task. However, there is no defined answer to how long should you study before taking a break. 

Preferably, a one-hour study session is ideal. It involves 50 minutes of studying and a 10-minute break. However, every student is different, and they should find a study smart guide that best fits their studying habits. Some of the common studying personalities include:

  • The splinter is a student that takes many breaks when studying. This could include a five-minute break every half hour.
  • The marathon-runner is one of the oldest studying personalities, and it is where the student takes long breaks between focused and extended study sessions that could last between three and five hours or longer and then taking a two-hour study break.
  • The night owl type of student studies better at night when there are no distractions. They feel that they are more alert when they are about to go to sleep and might take their break in the afternoon or morning since their study schedule is determined by the time. 
  • The early bird prefers starting their study sessions when they have a clear head. They will probably take their break in the afternoon or evening.
  • The visual thinker likes pasting their colourful flashcards on walls and other surfaces to see the information literally. They ideally have to leave the room or place of study to take a break.
  • The auditory learner will require listening to music while studying, and the opposite exists, too, in that they cannot study with any noise in the background. For those listening to music, they could time their break to be at the end of a playlist.

Your studying personality will determine the length of your breaks. However, the aim is to time your breaks and avoid binging on less important tasks when you should have gone back to studying. It is easy to get distracted and waste several hours a day doing nothing. Preferably, you should set a timer to signal the start and end of the break.

How Long Should A Study Break Be?

Given the study personalities discussed above, the length of the break is relative to an individual. However, certain things should dictate the length of your breaks, which include:

  • How much ground you have to cover
  • The effectiveness of your study session before taking the break

However, how long should a study break be? There are several categories of students, and this will determine the length of your break:

  • Students who are analytical thinkers love to get to the bottom of things, and they will not take a break until the information makes sense.
  • Students who are global thinkers have brains that work in the background, and they might feel that they are not grasping anything, but then start to make sense after going forward. It is ideal that they take short breaks or carry simplified reading materials to help in making the connection.

Depending on whether you are a global or analytical thinker, do not be too hard on yourself and vow to keep on studying until something makes sense. However, it could be frustrating, and thus, you might take a long break, and the activity you engage in could erase the information learned. A study break is essential in boosting productivity, creativity and information retention. However, the length of your study session and the break solely depends on you. The type of activity you get up to during the break should help relax your brain, not add more stress to it. You could use the break to meet your tutor for tips on how to increase study motivation.