5 Tips on How to Study Smarter (Especially For an INFJ)

Here is a list of 5 tips on how INFJs can study smarter to perform better in college. Although the following study tips can utilized by anyone, I publish these with the intent of reaching other INFJs who are likely to benefit from them the most as we all share similar preferences when it comes to studying and learning.

Ok. Here we go.

1. Lay it all out!

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Studying for my calculus final exam.

INFJs like to see the big picture. Find someplace where you have a lot of free space available and spread out everything you need to study. Separate your stacks of notes in an organized fashion whether that means in lecture order, by chapter, or whatever sequence helps you grasp the major themes and ideas best.

You’ll watch yourself work through the piles of papers and feel accomplished once you can put each of them away.

2. Handwrite notes and then re-write them.

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Digitizing my Biology notes.

This is a study-technique I’ve developed with the help of my boyfriend. It was something I wanted to do this semester but I wasn’t sure if it would help or not. Once he told me that he does it too and that it helps him, it’s effectiveness was validated in my eyes. I’ve been testing it out this year and I’ve found it to be helpful so far!

I noticed that I don’t absorb things well when I’m in lecture trying to quickly write down whatever the professor is saying. Once I’m done with class a class, I go to my laptop and re-write everything using my tablet. I save the notes as a .jpeg and drag them into Evernote… leading me on to my next point!

3. Evernote everything.

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My notebooks for this semester.

I never tried out Evernote until this year but now that I have it, I don’t know how I survived without it. I have it all down to a science. Each course gets a notebook. Each lecture gets a note. Within each note, I insert my digital lecture notes, snapshots of important figures from textbook, an audio recordings of lecture, and anything else that I deem relevant. (The mobile app rocks.)

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I CAN FIT 10 OF MY BIOLOGY LECTURES ON A PIC SMALL ENOUGH FOR INSTAGRAM 😀

4. Run away and hide.

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You can study there (I did) but you have to be cautious…

INFJs need alone time. For this reason, studying alone kills two birds with one stone. (Gosh I hate that expression.) I like to take my textbooks, binders, and laptop and run away. Far far away. To somewhere where no one else can find me.

I have a long list of carefully selected study spots around the university where I can go to get work done in peace. If you’re an introvert too then you’d likely benefit from doing the same! Here’s an example of one place I visited last year.

5. MindMap more. Outline less.

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Studying Metabolism in preparation for my Biology exam.

It’s more effective for an INFJ to create mindmaps than it is for us to create textual outlines. Especially a typed one. It is better to take your time and think as you write everything out. Don’t rush. Take your time as you put each thought or idea into a bubble and connect them wherever appropriate. This will help you memorize as you establish and visualize the connections being made.

So yeah, there’s 5 tips on how to study smarter (especially if you’re an INFJ)! I hope you found them useful and at the very least somewhat interesting to consider. I’m curious, how do you prepare for exams? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear about them!

Good luck on exams, everyone! 😀

38 Comments

  1. medjosh

    This is fantastic! I have done this, but I’m struggling with consistency (except #4, I’ve also found many places where I can study alone!). I’ll definitely try to do these from now on…starting tomorrow! Thanks, as a fellow INFJ!

    1. Hi Samuel! That’s great that you’ve already been taking advantage of these techniques, especially if you’re also an INFJ. Just to be clear, I have no scientific evidence to back this up other than the pure fact that I’ve found it helpful with my own studying. You could very well still benefit from studying differently! We’re all unique.

  2. I love the mind map idea. I am an INTJ and am awful at studying. Give me an essay assignment, and I can rock that out without a problem. Ask me to study for an exam? No way. I never know where to start. I could have used your tips when I was an undergraduate!

  3. This is great. I like how you incorporated your personality into your study habits. Lots of people forget that personality defines how you perceive the world and learn about it. I’m an INTJ, and when I discovered mind maps, my life changed. I use Evernote too, but lately have been moving to OneNote.
    Regardless, I really enjoyed your post and I’m sure it helped out other students who might struggle with studying techniques.

    1. OneNote is good too! Same with an app called Noteability. I just like Evernote because it’s a great multi-platform service that syncs between devices. It’s nice typing my notes on my Mac and having access to them on my iPhone just seconds later. So happy you took the time to check out this post! 🙂

  4. Helena

    This is such an interesting blog post! I am an INFJ and I feel like I still haven’t found my “own” way of studying, but I would love to give these methods a try. Some questions for you:
    – What are some advantages of digitizing notes? I hand write my notes on paper and sometimes its hectic trying to manage all them.
    – Do you have any suggestions as to which tablet to get for notetaking regarding size and functionality?
    – I have been wanting to start mindmapping but the hardest I find is starting it. Where on the page and how do you start a mindmap?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Helena! I’m glad you found the post interesting! 🙂

      I like digitizing my notes because it means always having everything with me. If I’m riding a bus and I want to study, everything from every class is right there in my pocket.

      Since I do not own a tablet, I’m not the best person to ask. However, a past boyfriend of mine owned the Galaxy Tablet 10.1 (I think that’s what it was called…) and he actually regretted buying it! I hear good things about the Windows options. I would suggest anything with a stylus.

      For mindmaps, I start at the middle of the top and wok my way outwards and down. That’s totally up to you though! My way is not necessarily “the right way.”

      1. Helena

        That was the fastest reply I have ever gotten! thank you 🙂
        In terms of tablets, I meant what you have in the picture in your blog post, I don’t know what they are even called!

        1. Ahahaha sorry about that! You are correct: I own an Intuos Wacom Tablet and it’s fantastic. For simple note transcriptions, I’d recommend a cheaper tablet. I attended a vocational high school for graphic design so investing in a professional tablet made sense at the time.

      2. Helena

        Hello its me again! 🙂 I purchased a Wacom tablet today, Intuos pen and touch small and I am loving it.
        I was experimenting with it and was was wondering if you would have any recommendations for a good program to digitize lecture notes in.

        Btw, I’ve read both of your blog post suggestions and I enjoyed them all!! I have been looking for a clear definition for all 8 categories of traits and your post nailed it 🙂 INFJ’s are so awesome.

        1. Wow Helena! I’m so happy you decided to get one. You will NOT be disappointed, I promise. It took some experimenting but I finally settled down with digitizing my notes in a free program called SketchBook Express. I open a document for each lecture and just free-write: no lines, just white space! I still tend to do it in a linear fashion. It’s like taking notes on a blank sheet of paper. 🙂

          Thanks for checking out my posts! 😀

  5. I am also a fellow INFJ in college and I absolutely agree with all of these because it’s what has contributed to my 3.9 in college thus far! It was nice to read all of these and see what I do put in list-format! Thank you for putting it up. 🙂

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  7. MoonCity

    Hey there! I’m an INFJ as well and have been having trouble studying. I just started uni and its been 2 years since i studied (worked during that time), so my brain’s been a bit slower than normal in grasping information. I havent got any study techniques previously or even now. Hope your tips will help me with my studying. Just got a question tho, bcuz i tend to be a perfectionist when writing notes, i get agitated when i tried making mind maps bcuz most of the time i couldnt squeeze all the info in tht one page. How do u go about doing this?

    1. Hi MoonCity! Very happy to see you’ve stumbled across my blog. So when I make handwritten mindmaps, I use a .38mm pen so that I can write REALLY small. My natural handwriting is small to begin with. Small handwriting + small pen tip = fitting A LOT on one page. One time I managed to squeeze 14 pages of my own notes onto one page. I know it may be difficult for some depending on how you write but that’s honestly how I manage to do it.

  8. Adriene

    Wow! I am glad I stumbled across this! I recently took the meyers-brigs in my AP psych class and was surprised at how accurate my lettering was, so I started looking for “Infj life tips” etc and wow, I found a gold mine. Especially since I am going off to be a biology major soon…
    Thanks for this article!

  9. prettinessofpatty

    Hi!
    This is a very good blog post, especially because I am currently collecting all my informations to study for my finals. Even though it is still a month left 🙂
    I quite liked the tip with the mindmapping, even though all tips are great, and I think I have to try it.
    However, I have one question. What exactely stands INFJ for?

  10. Naz

    I mean…. what time do you prefer for study??. it is morning or early morning or late night?? how to remember biology well in exam?? It’s hard for me especially mitosis n cytokinesis.. can you share with me some of your biology note?? it’s seem interesting compared to the mind map that i learnt.. i want to apply your mind map into my study…

  11. doublebanilla

    I should have done this while I was still studying! I had a hard time studying my classes and I even failed haha I should have discovered my mbti earlier. 🙁 Definitely, I will try this if I study again. Thanks a lot for this 🙂

  12. I find 1 and 5 very effective, actually, it comes naturally to me when I’m studying. This post is really helpful in many ways. Now I’m starting to think about paying attention to the way I study.
    I don’t know if this is an INFJ thing or not, but I tend to visualize a lot when I’m in study mood, I try to see how the tilte is related to the content, and then make a specific meaning or explanation to each point so that I don’t get confused. This helps me a lot in any subject, and with time it becomes automatic and I only have to add the new information to pre-established categories..I love categorizing! As for the place, I mostly study at home, where I have my own space and there’s no possible distraction. As an introvert I get more work done when nobody is observing me.
    I also like study groups, I enjoy explaining things to people and people explaining thngs to me.

  13. really love the post! thank you for sharing! i am an INFJ too but my handwriting is awful. would you recommend some apps for making digital mind maps instead of writing them? i’d love to do what you’ve done, i love digitizing my notes and write them on my laptop (bcs of my awful handwriting), but i also love to doodle while i’m studying. this is so confusing to me..

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