Cramming for exams? Try studying near a plant

11 May 2015

Exam time has come around again and many students and pupils are going to be hunkered down for a few weeks, trying to cram in some final vital bits of information before they step into the hall. There is a huge pressure for them to do well in these exams, be they GCSEs, A-levels, Highers, or degrees: for months, years even, they have been working up to this moment.

Of course there is no substitute for hard work but there are simple ways to improve your learning environment to make studying more effective.

In our industry a word we hear a lot is ‘biophilia’. Biophilia simply means recognising humankind’s instinctive and vital bond with nature, and studies are increasingly proving the positive impact of biophilic design, which incorporates natural elements, for example natural light, water and plants, into buildings. Simply being near, or being able to see elements of nature can make a huge difference to our productivity and well-being.

There is a strong argument for this in learning enviroments: research has shown time and again that studying near plants improves concentration, creativity and accuracy in work. Students have also been found to think more clearly and be less bored or aggravated in classrooms with plants.

Many of our clients are universities and colleges who are often already aware of the many ways in which plants can improve learning environments. Plants in these breakout areas, for example can benefit students taking a break from studies as well as those using the space to work – relaxation (in moderation!) is also important when revising and plants can help us to relax, too.

Indoor plants also, of course, improve the quality of our air, which can be quite stagnant in closed classrooms and lecture theatres, particularly in the colder months whe the windows stay closed. Using plants to reduce  CO2 levels has numerous health benefits, a huge plus for students and pupils heading towards important exams.

Improved learning, productivity and creativity, reduced stress and better well-being: plants may be just the thing you need to get you through the exams. And maybe all this time around plants might inspire some horticulturists of the future!

A recent scheme of our’s at the University of Bradford

To find out more about how plants enhance learning got to our pages on the benefits of plants.