Essentialism: The BEST way to study better before examinations 

study better

What is essentialism and how can the concept of essentialism help me to study and is it the best way to study better maximizing my studying efficiency? 

Today, we will explore the theory behind practicing essentialism but on an academic scale. As students, we often find ourselves struggling to complete our homework and assignments before class while juggling other commitments such as CCAs and tuitions. 

However, how can we better manage our time when examinations are closing in and we are tight for time? 

Practise essentialism!

What is essentialism? 

Essentialism is to practice prioritizing what is important and focus on doing less but doing it better to make the highest contribution. 

Greg McKeown, the founder of the concept of essentialism values the importance of doing less but putting more effort into the few important tasks. 

“Essentialism: only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

We will proceed to explore the 3 best ways to apply the concept of Essentialism to our study schedule.

3 best ways to incorporate Essentialism into your academic life to study better


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1 – Doing less is doing more 

The feeling of crossing off everything on our to-do list is what makes us feel productive. However, completing many tasks and stretching yourself thin might not be the best way to go about when it comes to studying. 

The first principle talks about how we should do less but doing it better to make the most out of our efficiency and effort. 

If you think doing 5 practice papers screams productive to you, think again. 

The thing about doing less is so we can focus our attention on what is important. If you made the same mistakes in all 5 papers, it is almost safe to say you are not as productive as you thought. 

Instead, focus on what mistakes you made, and get yourself to find out where your weaknesses are and how you can strengthen them. 

Essentialism here is to focus on what is more important – understanding your weaknesses not completing more papers. 

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2 – Study better the week before examinations

We find ourselves running out of time nearing the examinations, however, there IS a way for us to be productive the week before our finals. So how do we maximise our efficiency? 

Learn to say no to the things that are not as important during that week and learn to organise your time such that you revise what is most essential during that week. 

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.” 

At the same time, learn how you can incorporate useful study techniques like active recall and spaced repetition during that one week of productive study. 

Read more: Active Recall and Spaced Repetition: How to Study Effectively

Here is an example of how you can focus your time on the last week of revision. 

This is a rough guide to how you can space out your final week of revision. This planning also incorporates the spaced repetition study technique. 

You can schedule this according to your own strengths and weaknesses, how much study material you are left with and other study factors. 

If you are stronger in mathematics, you can delegate more time for your weaker subjects. This is also a form of practicing essentialism. 

At Tutopiya, we practice essentialism in every possible way to obtain the best learning results for our students. 

Tutopiya focuses on identifying our students’ weakness and work on closing up any knowledge gaps and building a strong foundation. 

Tutopiya also believes that every student deserves undivided attention when it comes to learning.

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3 – Saying no and making time for what matters

It is difficult to choose between 2 things and whenever we say yes to one thing, we are ultimately saying no to other opportunities also known as trade-offs. It is difficult to have the best of both worlds when time is limited. 

However, how do we know what to choose when put in the spot? 

Tips on helping you prioritise what is important to you: 

  • Identify your long-term goal/ semester goal (this goal can be academic or personal)
  • Identify what will bring you closer to your goal (is it studying hard and getting a good grade?) 
  • Execute the essential tasks that will draw you closer to your final destination 

Always remember what is your end goal and how far you have come. 

It is easy to get lost in the midst of everything that happens in your life hence remind yourself why you are here and your end goal. (not forgetting to take a break whenever you feel overwhelmed! 🙂 )

“Essentialism is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”

Hence choosing what matters most at that very point in time is a vital principle of essentialism. 

In a nutshell, everybody has different priorities and lead a unique life. So, lead a fulfilling life that you know you will thank yourself for! 

Tutopiya wishes all our students all the best and continue fighting and going forward! 

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