Students keep asking me this question of the most productive hours of the day, again and again. So to benefit all of them together, I decided to give a comprehensive view of it and to help them determine their timings on their own.
It is imperative for a student studying sincerely for his /her examinations, to know which are the most effective productive hours for studies because this is what can make a difference to their grades. Having a study schedule during the most beneficial hours can certainly raise their percentages and thereby their grades as also enhance their throughput and thus their output.
So what happens during these effective hours, when anything you study strikes your brain with much more power? During these hours you tend to absorb much more than the other hours, as they are aligned to your biological systems as well as nature. The letters, words, sentences and numbers get attached to the brains like nobody else, during these hours.
So which productive hours are the most suitable for a student to concentrate on?
I have always got the advice from my elders, that the morning hours are the best for your studies as it is during this time that the mind is fresh and therefore will be able to absorb more content. I did try, but on the contrary, I have always studied late till midnight to get the best results. Mornings are kind of lazy for me and I tend to doze off.
What science says about it?
As memory is crucial to studying and getting the required results, Dr. Jane Oakhill, a psychologist at the University of Sussex conducted various experiments to determine whether time of day affects your memory and it turns out that we have two kinds of it: Declarative and Semantic – differently throughout the day.
The mornings are better at Declarative Memory tasks. This tests our ability to recall exact details, like names, places, dates and facts. However in the afternoon, our brain seems to be is better at Semantic Memory tasks. This is our ability to integrate new information with what we already know and make it meaningful.
If this is so, then during the morning hours it is better to study NEW material and utilize the afternoons to recap and integrate new knowledge into what you have already learnt.
If we are to bifurcate this schedule into mornings, mid-day and afternoons, then we will get the following time deductions:
Morning time 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM is the best time of the day for test-review, problem-solving, report-writing, and math-oriented work.
Mid-day time 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM is best for movement-oriented tasks, like filing away paperwork, doing errands, and practicing music and art.
And afternoons 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM would be the best time of day for reading-heavy tasks like studying literature and history.
This would be the ideal situation, but then there are people who are good in the morning hours and then others who would be better off during the nights. In fact, the more I see today, I observe the tendency to find students studying more during the nights and utilizing the day for other errands. Well, time changes, working methodology changes and so do the work habits and so the difference in the study patterns.
Thus today, there is actually no one “best” time of day to study. Our energy levels determine the most productive time of the day for each one of us and we study accordingly. Some people get up early in the morning, wherein they have the most energy. There are others who are night owls, and their energy starts bubbling during the evening hours.
While energy levels determine the time for studies you can also look at improving your Study Time to find success in studies.
Thus, just like each student has a unique learning style and different times of the day would be better off for different students. You need to determine which part of the day you have the most energy levels where your concentration can be maximum and make use of these productive hours to study accordingly. And yes, most important do not have negative thoughts in your mind.