Studying is key in reviewing key concepts and practicing what you learned. Time is precious, and you want to make the most out of your focused session. However, when is the best time to study?

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Discover your optimal time for studying with these insights.

Factors that affect your study schedule

Before determining your best time to study, think about the factors that affect your studying. This is important because your optimal time to study will be based on your priorities and life routine.

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Factors that affect your studying include:

  • Your alertness and focus throughout the day.

  • Distractions in your environment.

  • Your everyday schedule/routine.

Everyone is different, so consider the benefits and downsides of each schedule to discover the study time that fits your life best.

Studying in the morning

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If you're a morning person,the morning might be the best time to study. According to Oxford Learning, studying in the morning can be beneficial since your brain is refreshed after a good night's sleep.

This schedule might be your best time to study if:

  • You're an early bird.

  • You feel refreshed and have the energy to focus.

  • You're least busy/distracted in the morning.

A boy studying at a table.

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Benefits of studying in the morning:

  • Natural/outside lighting can keep you alert.

  • Your sleep schedule isn't disrupted.

  • Your brain is more refreshed and able to focus after a good night's rest.

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Downsides of studying in the morning:

  • You may not be able to work in study groups if others tend to wake up later.

  • You may be drowsy in the morning.

  • The morning can be loud when everyone in the house is getting ready.

Studying during the day/afternoon

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Studying during the day or afternoon might be your best time to study, especially if you like to collaborate with others. Many students study during the day, as it aligns with the Circadian rhythm (or "body clock") and keeps them alert.

This schedule might be your best time to study if:

  • You study best with others.

  • You prefer studying in a specific environment.

A group of people studying together in a library beside a fireplace.

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Benefits of studying during the day:

  • You can study at any time during your free time/break.

  • You can find many places open to study and change your study environment (ex. coffee shop, library).

  • More people will be available for a study group if you prefer collaboration.

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Downsides of studying during the day:

  • You might not be able to focus well without a consistent study schedule.

  • You may find yourself more distracted by events/people/things in your environment.

  • You may feel tired from the "afternoon crash" and not have the energy to study.

Studying in the evening

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Studying in the evening is a popular schedule among students. A study conducted by the University of Notre Dame suggests that the brain processes information better when you go to sleep after a study session as the information is fresh in your mind.

This schedule might be your best time to study if:

  • You're a night owl.

  • You have the most time after school.

  • Your environment is quieter in the evening.

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Benefits of studying in the evening:

  • You're reinforcing what you learned at school.

  • Your environment will be less distracting and more peaceful.

  • Sleeping after studying can support memory recall.

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Downsides of studying in the evening:

  • You may feel drowsy and tired after a long day.

  • Your sleep schedule might be disrupted.

  • You may feel overwhelmed after a long day and might not be able to focus as well.


Anderson is planning a study session with his friends. He wants to arrange a time when most of his friends will available to meet up. When might be the best time for him to schedule the study session?

Take Action

Discovering your golden hour for studying takes experimentation. Study at different times during the day and see which schedule is most convenient and helps you focus best. You may find that a certain schedule's benefits outweigh some of its downsides.

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Finding the schedule that works for you will ensure that you make your study session as beneficial to you as possible.

As you find your optimal study schedule, consider:


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