By following these twelve tips, you will be guaranteed to get straight AAAAA’s. Read each tip carefully.
1. Find a quiet area in your house in which you are
comfortable and can isolate yourself from distractions. Be
sure that this space includes a chair, table or desk, and
sufficient lighting. Ask others not to disturb you while you
are in this special location and turn off all phones, beepers,
televisions, videos, music, or anything else that your mind
will wander to instead of focusing on the schoolwork.
2. Find the best time to study. Some students tend to do
their best work as soon as they get home from school
while they are still in the school mode. Others need a
break and don’t settle down to study until after practice,
playtime, a nap, dinner and/or family time. Just be sure to
allow yourself enough time to get everything done and still
get enough sleep each night.
3. Organize your day, week, month, etc. Set aside a specific
time each day to do your homework and study. Decide on
a reasonable minimum amount of time that you will spend
in this quiet place each day. For instance, lets say you
decide on 45 minutes as a reasonable amount of time to
dedicate to schoolwork each day. This means that even if
homework is completed in the first 35 minutes that you will
still stay in this area and study or review notes for the
next 10 minutes until the 45 is up.
4. Reward yourself for sticking to your schedule and being
productive. Decide on an activity to do once your study
time is completed. Plan on watching a television show later
in the evening. Tell yourself that you will play five minutes
of a video game for every fifteen minutes that you study.
Create goals and their rewards before you start studying
and work hard to reach them each and every day.
5. Variety is important. Vary the topics that you are spending
time studying. Get the mandatory homework out of the
way first and then go back and spend the additional time
reviewing material from different courses each day. If you
spent extra time reviewing history yesterday, spend the
additional time on science tonight. Some subject areas
may require more time than others. You should get a feel
for this a month or so into the school year.
6. Study the difficult subjects first and get them out of the
way. You will be able to absorb material quicker and make
more connections when you are mentally fresh.
7. Take regular study breaks. This can also serve as a mini-
reward. For instance, tell yourself that you are going to get
a drink or snack or listen to a specific song after you finish
re-copying your notes for science. Make the breaks short,
3-6 minutes or so, so you won’t get side-tracked or lose
focus for the day.
8. Don’t just re-read notes or the text. Ask questions. Create
flash-cards. Redo assignments. Create time-lines. Play
games. Re-write your notes. Get someone to quiz you.
Find websites online that review the same material. Make
up questions that you think will be on the test. Create new
outlines of the material by writing some specific topics and
filling in the details from memory. Studying should be an
active process, not just time spent re-reading something.
9. When you need to remember a group of terms use the first
letter of each to create a word (acronym) or a sentence
(acrostic). For instance, an easy way to remember the five
Great Lakes is the word ?HOMES?. By just remembering
the word ?homes? you can easily remember the names of
the five Great Lakes . H stands for Huron, O for Ontario , M
for Michigan , and so on. You can also create silly
sentences to help you remember long lists of terms. For
instance, remembering the sentence ?Martha Visits Every
Monday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period?, will help you
remember the planets in the order they are found. M for
Mercury, V for visits, E for Earth, etc.
10. Become a teacher. Find someone who is willing to listen to
you ?, a classmate (this would be a great review for them),
Mom or Dad, a sibling, the family dog ? and explain your
notes to them. Have them (except the dog) ask questions
about the material that they themselves don’t understand.
It’s amazing how much you can retain when you have to
actually teach material to someone.
11. Repetition, repetition, repetition. The material should
become second nature to you by the time test day arrives.
If it is not, then you need to devote more time to preparing
for the test.
12. Exercise often and before you sit down to study. Research
shows that students retain more after being physically
active. Go to soccer practice, take a jog, rough-house
with your dog, break a sweat first, then settle down and
focus on your school work.
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