Study Skills

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Manage Your Time

8 tips of getting an effective schedule
  • Place the calendar or printed schedule in a visible location so that it is easy to see and follow.
  • When writing dates on a physical calendar, use a pencil so that it is easy to make changes if needed.
  • Don't create a schedule that is overly rigid or that isn't flexible enough to accommodate emergencies or conflicts that may arise.
  • Schedules should be created so that the study times are consistent each day, which will help create positive study habits.
  • Don't forsake well-balanced meals for study time. Poor eating habits can lead to fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and consequently less effective study time.
  • Schedule study time in a location that has minimal distractions or interruptions.
  • Study one course at a time for no more than two hours.
  • Color coded schedules are often easier to see and follow.

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With homework make sure you start early, because if you start doing work too late in the evening, you will begin to get tired more easily, and it will be harder for you to focus on the work. Starting earlier ensures that your mind is more awake and active. Don't use too little time on your homework, but don't bury yourself in it. Don't wait until the last minute to get started. If you start earlier in the day, you can call a friend if you get stuck, before it gets too late. Give yourself time to review your work, and make sure it is done correctly.

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Study Hard Subjects First.

Study hard subjects first. Each night (or day) when studying or doing your homework, do those subjects first for which you need to be alert and energetic. Leave the easier, or more fun, subjects to later.

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Select a consistent and quiet place to study.

Study in a quiet place, with as few distractions as possible. Do not listen to music or TV: It is virtually impossible to do two things at once if one of them is studying.

The key is to find a comfortable place and study there regularly, such as the kitchen table, a desk, a favorite chair, bed, etc. Make sure it has adequate lighting and keep all your study supplies in reach.

 

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4 quick tips to gain better focus

  • For every fifty to sixty minutes of study time, plan a ten to fifteen minute break.
  • When taking a break, get a snack for an energy boost, be active and take a short walk, or listen to a few favourite songs.
  • Rewards for sticking to a schedule can be given at the end of a study day or at the end of the term. The reward for adhering to a schedule for a semester should be greater than the reward that one gives him or herself for sticking to it on a daily basis.
  • Study time should be scheduled for a time when the student is the most focused and alert. For example, people who are more alert at night should schedule their study time in the evenings.

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Do not over Highlight

There are several ways to do this. The worst is to use a yellow highlighting marker (or hot pink, or whatever colour you like). The main problem with this is that you will tend to find almost every sentence to be important or interesting. As a consequence, every page will become yellow (or hot pink, or whatever). Not only does this defeat the purpose of highlighting—because if everything has been highlighted, then really nothing has been!

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Read Actively, Not Passively

By 'text', I mean whatever you have to read: It might be a text book, a work of fiction, a poem, an essay, an article from a journal or magazine, or even a class hand-out. You should not read passively. That is, don't just read the text straight through without thinking about what you're reading.

If you read without thinking, I guarantee that your mind will eventually wander off, your eyes will eventually glaze over, and you will fall asleep—it's a form of self-hypnosis. So you must read actively. To use computer jargon, you must turn the inert medium of text on paper to an interactive medium, in which you have a "conversation" with the text, as you might if you could be talking to the author.

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Read Slowly

"…an undeniable truth: that in the pursuit of knowledge, slower can be better."

Before A Test

  1. Be sure to find out ahead of time.
    • what material the test will cover
    • what type of test it will be (multiple choice, true false, short answer, essay)
    • how the test will be graded
    • how much the test will count toward the final grade
  2. Study in a place that is free of distractions. Have ready all the things you will need, such as paper, pens, or a calculator.
  3. Study at a time when you are alert and not hungry or sleepy.
  4. Don't wait until the last minute to study! Short daily study sessions are better than one long session the night before the test.
  5. Set a goal for each study period. If you are being tested on three chapters, set up four study sessions, one for each chapter and one for a review of the main ideas in all three chapters.
  6. Repetition is key! Read and reread your class notes and the relevant chapters in the textbook.
  7. While you are reviewing your notes, cover them up periodically and summarize them out loud. Pretend that you are explaining the material to someone else.
  8. Create your own study aids.
    • Make an outline from your notes of just the main ideas.
    • Make a timeline of important dates or the order of events.
    • Make flashcards for studying vocabulary or events and important dates.
    • Make up your own quiz or test based on your notes and have a friend, parent or sibling test you.
  9. Do any practice exams or study sheets provided by the teacher. These will help you focus your study session and give you confidence.
  10. Get help from the teacher if you do not understand something.

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