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This page is an evaluation of various places to study in Davis. Some are places of business, and others are just good spots to study uninterrupted. See also WiFi Hot Spots, Night Time (list of open-late places), Cafes, and Restaurants. UC Davis Student Affairs has a list of extended study hours for finals.
Study hints from Psychology: Students who did best on tests were those who got sleep between the time of studying and the test. Students who stayed up all night and got no sleep did worse on tests than students who got sleep. The amount of study time was the same.
The reason for this is that sleep is necessary for memories to solidify. If you do not get sleep the memories do not stick. You can stay up and study but you will completely forget most of the information by test time. Those who got sleep recalled more information and were able to think more clearly during the test.
Studying for a short period of time everyday is better than waiting until the night before and trying to learn everything all at once. Cramming is an inefficient and mostly ineffective learning method. Spacing out studying and learning a little each day will reduce stress, increase recall, and improve test scores.
- Arboretum Terrace - Probably one of the nicest outside places to study downtown. This is not the actual Arboretum, it's located on the side of what used to be Borders.
- Arboretum - The real thing.
- Map of parks in Davis
- ARC - Outdoor tables in front of the Cafe are seldom used, and when there are not events going on in the inside courtyard, it is surprisingly quiet. All locations have eduroam WiFi.
- Amtrak Station - The train station has lots of very pleasant and comfortable benches. It is almost always empty so the only disturbance will come from the occasional extremely loud train passing by.
- Shields Library - The inner courtyard is a great study area.
Shields Library - It can be loud during the day, but at night it's usually nice and quiet. Also on the plus side is the wireless internet available there, so you can surf the web with your laptop when taking breaks during long study sessions. Graduate students may also enjoy using one of Shields' study cages.
- 24 Hour Reading Room - This place is technically part of Shields Library, but it's open 24 hours and only to UCD students via swiping a student card. It's usually ultra-quiet and not super conducive to group study (unless done within one of the two rooms set aside for group work). All the tables include table-top outlets for whatever you need to plug in (very nice). The room features two vending machines and restrooms (often dirty).
- Study Spot - Located downtown between Woodstock's Pizza and Red 88 Noodle Bar, it is open from 12-8 PM daily. There is free WiFi, weekly public workshops, affordable private tutoring, and Friday potlucks. Bring yourself, either a dollar or a book to donate, and enjoy the community space!
- Carlson Health Sciences Library - Over by the Veterinary School and the Aggie Stadium, this library always has tables, study booths, and even personal or group rooms you can check out for hours at a time available. Quiet and nice, find a seat by a power plug though- they can sometimes be hard to find. WiFi for UCD students with password and computers available for guest use.
- The Laundry Lounge - Here you have a couch and a few chairs. There are tables and chairs outside and they have free WiFi. Sit and study in a clean quiet environment, while you get your laundry done. Or have them do it for you.
- ARC - The Cyberlounge and Student Lounge are popular study spots with eduroam (student) WiFi and campus ethernet ports.
- Sciences Laboratory Building - Second and third floor indoor study lounges have lots of windows. There are also several small meeting rooms around the building that are often unlocked and not in use.
- Kemper Hall - The perfect place to go to get some work done if you are an Engineering or Computer Science major. Nice lounge area with comfortable chairs and some tables, as well a basement full of computers in the Computer Science Instructional Facility, which are accessible only to those who have taken certain classes in the department.
- Learning Resource Center - Even though you are supposed to have an access card, you can wait for someone to come out to get it! If you bring your laptop and an ethernet cable along, you'll have internet too!
- Griffin Lounge - Busy, but quiet.
- Davis Public Library - They have study rooms for 2 people or large groups (4+). Otherwise, plenty of tables and chairs for your use, but they aren't open very late on weekends. Young children (and their attendant noises) in the library may be distracting.
- Mondavi Center's Quarterly Study Session - Held in the Yocha Dehe Lobby of the Mondavi Center, free coffee, plenty of outlets, tables, and classical music are provided once a quarter during finals week. Like Aggie Arts on Facebook for quarterly dates!
- Common Grounds - Very tolerant of studiers. The owner and staff are quite friendly to regulars, including those who come to study.
- Delta of Venus - Though there's always the danger of spotting a familiar face around Delta, afternoons are often pretty sparse and quiet, especially after the brunch rush on the weekends. While not in possession of many electrical outlets, the whole atmosphere is more open and more conducive to studying if you prefer studying in less cramped conditions.
- Temple Coffee - Free Wifi for 3 hours at a time.
- Mishka's - They are tolerant yet secretly hateful of students. The owner personally told a customer that he "hates students" because they never want to buy anything [and his cafe is actually a place of business, not a public school]. You must buy something to get a WiFi code that expires in 2 hours. So if you're into contributing to a greedy business that's only in it for the money [and you're not a cheap freeloading communist], this is your spot. The ambiance in there is very enjoyable.
- ARC Starbucks - This place is made for studying. It's huge and has tons of seating and tables.
- Cloud Forest Cafe - This place has a decent amount of room inside and on the patio for studying; it used to be a game room, after all! Their food and awesome coffee should keep your spirit fueled while you study. Plus, the staff is incredibly friendly. There is two hours of free WiFi with each order.
While studying in a restaurant may not always be a good thing to do, some do promote a study-friendly atmosphere.
- Crepeville - Decent, although don't abuse this. Word is that the management is increasingly frustrated with studiers who do nothing but order coffee and get free refills during peak times. If we want to preserve this place as a place to study, actually having dinner would be a good idea. And they have salads so huge, it takes about 2 hours to eat, anyway.
- Woodstock's Pizza - Very loud, but very tolerant and friendly
IHOP - Not recommended. It's much easier to get away with merely reading than doing homework. After about 5 coffee refills they get a little annoyed.
- Frankenbunny: I can't recall how many times I've been blown off just because I had my books out. Once, I couldn't even get a soda refill during my meal.
- Getting together with a group of kids to just straight up study can totally increase your motivation. Study parties can be an amazing venue for learning about people- NOT JUST ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE STUDYING. Anyone think of "Breakfast Club" when they read that?
- The Work Shop - Downtown location: upstairs at 213 E Street. Quiet, wi-fi, open floor plan, desks and shared tables available. Daily, weekly, monthly, night owl and weekender options. Try-it-out for 1/2-day for $5.
Field Guide to Study Spots
In Spring 2013 an undergraduate seminar compiled a field guide to study spots in Davis, including images, ratings, maps, and indicators for amenities like WiFi. The guide features several lesser-known study spots that aren't yet otherwise listed on this page. You can click here to view the guide as a PDF: Field Guide to Davis Study Spots Draft 6.pdf.
2006-03-03 06:27:58 The ARC is an excellent place to study on the weekends when the library is too far or too boring. Simply enter and sit in the couches at the front of the complex. It's extremely relaxing when there are relatively few people.
2006-08-02 16:40:17 I actually go to Borders every week to study, and I have never been kicked out; I've stayed there for about 3-4 hours maximum, and they are really nice about it. I think it was the workers at the time who were idiots (for all those with previous experience). And to the guy who got mad about the chess people: the lady shouldnt have kicked you out, especially if there were empty seats, but don't hate on chess players! Let alone the coaches probably paid borders. That lady was stupid, I hope she isn't there anymore. —MelanieDelacruz
2007-09-01 15:37:06 Delta of Venus is the place to study. No doubt. —JoshuaLee
2007-12-30 22:31:14 Is Borders not friendly to studiers? Really? When I was studying for the LSAT (granted, this was a while back), I would show up at Borders in the morning and order a triple white mocha and study there until the evening. This was my daily routine for three solid weeks. I would only leave for lunch and none of the staff ever said anything to me. And even now when I go get my coffee, I see people studying. Perhaps it is time to move Borders from the "Ugly" list? —CurlyGirl26
2008-03-16 02:18:00 One thing I learned from my many Psychology classes that really helped me out is that people do better on tests if they have a period of sleep between studying and the test. Sleep helps to solidify memories and make them permanent. It also makes you more rested to take the test. Those who pulled an all-nighter, did worse on tests because they did not have the period of sleep in between. You need to have a minimum amount of sleep to solidify those memories. Sleep is a wise investment of your time. —Jedron
2008-08-07 21:33:20 I like to sit in on other classes in large lecture halls while I do work or study, that way if I get distracted, I'm still learning something! —SunjeetBaadkar
2009-12-08 23:13:07 To add to the bit about Crepeville, I've gotten some pretty gross coffee after asking for a refill while I'm studying, even after I've ordered food. That was enough to get me out. —Patrick.M
2013-02-14 22:00:48 Are there any good place for group study, particularly with a whiteboard/chalkboard? I feel like Davis is lacking and whenever I try to study in a classroom, someone else comes in to use the class. —tiffng