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Study ability is a student’s working ability. Study ability will affect how your studies progress and how well you cope. When your study ability is at a sufficient level, you will find your studies manageable, make progress in your studies, and have plenty of stamina.

Study ability does not always feel sufficient. You may have difficulties concentrating on your studies and getting things done or feel like “nothing sticks in your head”. If these learning difficulties are temporary, they are nothing to worry about. However, if the problems are persistent or recurring, you should consider possible solutions.


Study ability issues can be caused by a variety of external or internal factors. Our ability to cope and study can be tested by difficulties, changes, or crises related to our studies or lives. However, study ability can be strengthened.

Study ability is built on many different factors. Success in one’s studies is not just a matter of personality; it is also influenced by many external factors. In addition to resources and health, our study ability is influenced by our study skills, the teaching we receive, and our studying environment.


Study skills are a student’s professional competence. Study skills are not innate, and they can be learned gradually through study and participation. Study skills include:

Everyone can learn and master study skills. There are many ways to achieve this, one being to study together with your fellow students. You can learn many practical study skills from other students.

Study skills can also be learned independently, for example by reading about different learning styles and methods. This way, you can find the best ones for you. Time management tools and aids are often helpful.

If you do not have sufficient means to improve your study skills on your own, you can turn to your school’s academic psychologist or guidance counsellor.


Not everything related to your study progress depends on you. High-quality teaching and guidance are key factors for building study ability. At best, they take into account students’ different backgrounds, interests, needs, and learning styles. Low teaching standards undermine study progress, although students can easily see the related difficulties as their own fault. For example, unreasonable course requirements and timetables are an indication of poorly planned teaching.


A suitable, motivating studying environment is a prerequisite for study ability. When the environment is right for you and meets your needs, your studies will progress better.

The physical studying environment includes the space and conditions in which you study, take breaks, and carry out tasks. The factors include accessibility, ergonomics, air quality, temperature, and noise levels. A suitable, motivating physical environment is different for different people. You can try out for yourself what works best for you. Your preferred, most effective study environment may be, e.g.:

  • Either alone, with a partner, or in a group
  • Either at home, at the library, at a café, or somewhere else
  • Either in silence, surrounded by background noise, or listening to sounds such as music.

The studying environment also includes the psychological and social environment. The interaction between teaching staff and students, as well as the study atmosphere, contribute to students’ ability to cope and progress in their studies.


Your personal resources are made up of many different factors. Resources refer to one’s life situation, life management skills, relationships, physical and mental health, and personality factors. Personality factors include one’s identity, self-image, and perception of one’s abilities and skills and their adequacy.

You can strengthen your resources in many ways. For example, your self-image and perception of your abilities may be overly negative, which can affect your study ability. We can learn to recognise our thought patterns and, if necessary, change them to better support our coping and self-esteem.

Health-related behaviours, such as sleepingeating, and exercising habits, as well as time management, can also be changed to better support our ability to study and cope. Social relationships are worth investing in, and interaction skills can be learned.