Once formed, habits are hard to change. Get in to the habit of good study practices as soon as you can. The good habits will help you through school, college, and beyond.
When studying, avoid distractions. Concentrate on your studies, you will achieve more, remember more, and save yourself time. Study in a quiet room or space, with no distractions from conversation, telephones, televisions, or people moving about.
Only have your computer on if you are using it to study, computers alone provide a whole range of distractions. If you are using your computer for studying, don’t log in to your email account – you’ll only be tempted to check your mail.
Get into the habit of making notes as you study and in class. You don’t need to write everything down – just make sure your notes include at least the key pieces of information. Develop your own style of making and storing notes – one that you understand and can find your way around easily.
A good set of well-organised notes can make revision a whole lot easier come exam time.
Keep your study materials, textbooks and notes well organised. Don’t waste time looking for lost items, make sure everything has a place, and put it back there when you’ve finished using it.
Organise your time. Allocate regular times for doing homework or studying, and keep to your timetable. If you get all your work done as soon as you can, you’ll find it takes up much less of your time and leaves you more free time to do fun things. If you can, it’s much better to do a piece of homework on the same day as the lesson it was set in. The content of the lesson will still be fresh in your mind, making the whole process quicker.
Highlight the most important parts of your notes. This can make it much easier to find the section of notes you are looking for when you refer back to your notes. Thinking about what is important encourages you to check your understanding of the topic.
If you own your textbook, you may find highlighting text helpful, or using post-it notes and index stickers. If the textbook belongs to school, don’t mark it or you may well have to pay for a replacement.
Divide and Conquer
Projects, major pieces of homework, or revision for important exams can seem daunting to start with. Take a little time to think about what you need to do, and break it down into smaller, more manageable sections of work.
Make a list of what you need to do and make a timetable for the work. Each time you sit down to work on the project or whatever it is, you’ll know what you need to do. Each time you complete one of the steps off your list, you’ll have a sense of achievement and know you’re one step closer to finishing the project.
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