How to Use 80/20 Rule in Studying

What is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. This principle can be applied to various aspects of life, including studying.

How can the 80/20 Rule be Applied to Studying?

When it comes to studying, the 80/20 rule suggests that you should focus on the 20% of the material that will give you 80% of the results. Here are some tips on how to apply the 80/20 rule to your study routine:

1. Identify the Most Important Topics

Start by identifying the most important topics or concepts that are likely to appear on your exams. These are the areas where you should allocate the majority of your study time and effort.

2. Prioritize Your Study Materials

Once you have identified the most important topics, prioritize your study materials accordingly. Focus on the textbooks, lecture notes, or online resources that cover these topics in depth.

3. Use Active Learning Techniques

Instead of passively reading or highlighting your study materials, engage in active learning techniques. This can include summarizing the information in your own words, creating flashcards, or teaching the material to someone else.

4. Practice with Past Exams or Sample Questions

One effective way to apply the 80/20 rule is to practice with past exams or sample questions. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that are likely to be asked and focus on the areas that require the most attention.

5. Avoid Over-Studying

Remember that the 80/20 rule also implies that you should avoid over-studying. Spending excessive time on less important topics can lead to diminishing returns. Instead, focus on mastering the key concepts and then move on to other areas if time allows.


By applying the 80/20 rule to your studying, you can optimize your time and effort, ensuring that you focus on the most important topics and achieve better results. Identify the key areas, prioritize your study materials, engage in active learning, practice with past exams, and avoid over-studying. By doing so, you can make the most of your study sessions and improve your academic performance.

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