If I am not the only unlucky one, either one or both of the below scenarios should have happened to you before.

Scenario 1: Walked around in the CJ Koh library, the angsana, the summit, all the five storeys in block B, peered into all the classrooms, meeting rooms and seminar rooms, and still not being able to find a good seat.

Scenario 2: Felt like going to BTC in the morning to study for the entire day, but too lazy to walk through the botanic gardens.

When you cannot or do not feel like studying in the law school campus, here are some of the alternative places you can consider going for the next few weeks. Ratings are given with regards to the comfort, convenience, crowd, noise and practicality!

1) University town

This is probably the most popular study spot in NUS. It does not matter what type of student you are, there is definitely a suitable study spot for you in utown.

The Study (level 2) is one of the best study spots in the education resource centre because it has comfortable computer chairs and individual study cubicles. The cubicles even come with their own light and power sockets. This place is highly recommended for those who like to study alone and undisturbed.

As for those who like to study undisturbed yet with their friends (be it for moral support or other reasons), the 24-hours Mac Commons and PC Commons would be a good place. They are just like the quieter versions of the study room in BTC; you can sit together with your friends yet study without talking, not taking into account the occasional whispers.

How about those who can only learn through verbalising and discussing your thoughts? Fret not; there are open-air study areas outside Starbucks and outside The Study. Alternatively, there are air-conditioned private rooms in the Mac Commons and PC Commons equipped with whiteboards for group discussions. Unfortunately, good study spots should definitely not be the popular ones. Since a large proportion of the NUS student population flocks to utown, it is rather unlikely to find seats there, although sometimes you might still be lucky enough. However, for the nocturnal students, there would not be any problem of finding seats nearer to the last bus or mrt timing. Utown is good place to camp overnight because it has the 24-hours Starbucks (one of the rare few in Singapore!) and Cheers convenience store to tide you through the night. This would be an even better place for those staying in the residential colleges, who can make full use of the facilities round-the-clock.

Rating: 8/10

2) Libraries

The classic option for secondary schools and JC students. If you lose the motivation to study for the upcoming exams, you might want to give this place a shot to get into the familiar younger-days-exam-mood.

We all have preferences for specific libraries, taking into account factors such as the colour of the lighting, the type of chair, whether eating is allowed or even the attitude of the librarians. Multilevel libraries such as the Jurong Regional Library and the National Library are highly recommended because it is likely that certain study rooms or levels would allow eating or talking. The downside is that you would have to ‘compete’ with those uniformed students and if you are unlucky, you might be sitting beside those who are going to the library but not to study. A tip would be to find seats near JC students who are most likely intensely preparing for their promotional exams or A-level.

Rating: 7/10

3) Starbucks

Picture 4

Credits to: https://foursquare.com/v/starbucks/4b247077f964a5208b6724e3/photos?openPhotoId=4faeff19e4b028e6bcc22a71

If you are sick of studying (or eating) in the BTC, you might want to take a stroll out of the botanic gardens to the Starbucks located at the Coronation Plaza. Seats are mostly available in this two-level Starbucks so you need not be afraid of making a wasted trip.

However, people who prefer big table spaces might get really annoyed by the small tables in most coffee shops. If you do your muggers by referring to textbooks, hardcopies of the lecture notes and tutorial answers all at once, coffee places might not be a good choice.

Rating: 6/10

4) Home

The last option, also my favourite, can receive quite extreme comments. Some people hate it because of the distractions but some people love it because it gives them the maximum freedom to study in whatever ways they want.

If you are the kind who likes to blast music, to sit in random positions, or to talk to yourself, or to talk to yourself while walking all around the house, staying at home is probably the best option for you. If you eat home-cooked dinner with your family after a long day of studying, staying at home is also the most family-friendly or economically friendly option. If you simply enjoy staying at home, this is also the best option.

Rating (Disclaimer: highly biased): 9.5/10

Like the previous article about the best sleeping spots on campus, this list is not exhaustive. Feel free to add on to the list and share your secret study places! Don’t worry about your places getting flocked because we all have different studying styles and preferences!

With the exams in six weeks, good luck to all for the exams and for finding your best study place! Have fun studying!

Article by: Tan Hsiao Tien (Year 1)

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