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5 Key Student Study Habits

Good study habits are important for being a successful learner‭. ‬They help with motivation‭, ‬focus‭, ‬organisation‭, ‬time management‭ ‬and retention‭. ‬Just like learning new skills and concepts‭, ‬you can learn study habits‭, ‬too‭. ‬

Motivation

Do you have trouble getting started‭? ‬You must try to change your attitude into one that wants to do well and expects to put in the effort to do your best‭. ‬You are responsible for your study habits‭, ‬for seeking resources and assistance‭, ‬and for managing your time‭. ‬The next time you think you can’t study or it is difficult to learn something‭, ‬give yourself a pep talk‭. ‬Tell yourself that you can do it and take one step at a‭ ‬time in getting it done‭. ‬You’ll feel better when the work is done which will help motivate you to keep doing your best‭.‬

Focus‭ ‬

Do you waste time when studying‭? ‬Use the same study area to help with concentration‭. ‬Remember to take breaks to keep your focus‭ ‬high when you return to studying‭. ‬Free yourself of distractions so you can focus‭ - limit access to a television or phone. ‬Find a desk with a comfortable chair in an area that is quiet and well-lit‭. ‬Make sure you have a healthy snack and something to drink prior to revising or studying and that you are well-rested‭.‬

Organisation

Do you have the necessary tools‭? ‬Try to keep your desk area‭, ‬backpack‭, ‬folders‭, ‬and locker neat‭. ‬You should be able to locate papers at any moment when a teacher requests them‭. ‬Also‭, ‬keep in mind that some classes require more effort than others‭. ‬For example‭, ‬maths and foreign languages might require daily work‭. ‬These subjects build on materials from the day before‭, ‬so you have to‭ ‬keep up in these classes‭. ‬Make sure you have all of the necessary items before you begin‭, ‬include pens‭, ‬pencils‭, ‬notebooks‭, ‬laptop‭, ‬textbooks‭, ‬ruler‭, ‬reference materials‭, ‬and a list of assignments‭.‬

Time Management

Do you study enough‭? ‬Set up a schedule and allow more time for difficult classes‭, ‬long-range assignments‭, ‬and tests to avoid scrambling to complete projects at the last minute or cramming. ‬Make sure you allot time for recreational and social activities‭, ‬plus time to reward yourself for your hard work‭. ‬Don’t waste time‭. ‬Complete all of your work each day‭. ‬Record your assignments and key dates‭, ‬divide the longer assignments and projects into smaller segments‭, ‬and cross off the tasks when you complete them‭.‬

Retention

Do you use some learning strategies to help you remember important information‭? ‬When possible‭, ‬review your materials from class‭.‬‭ ‬Repeat what you are trying to remember to yourself over and over‭. ‬Use strategies that are reinforced with your learning style‭. ‬Are you a visual learner and learn best by seeing‭? ‬Then you will benefit from rereading and studying by flashcards‭. ‬Are you an auditory learner and learn by hearing‭? ‬Maybe you can tape the key information for you to listen and recall‭. ‬Are you a tactile/kinesthetic learner and like to learn by feeling/doing‭? ‬Maybe you can draw‭, ‬build‭, ‬create and add movement to any number of academic subjects‭? ‬You can also try some of these memorisation techniques to help you to remember and to reinforce important skills‭:‬

  • Acronyms‭ - ‬make a word from the first letter of each word to be memorised‭.‬
  • Acrostics‭ - ‬use a phrase or sentence where the first letter of each word or line acts as a cue‭.‬
  • Imagery/visualisation‭ - ‬draw or imagine a picture of what’s being studied or use graphic organisers to help‭.‬
  • Flash cards‭ - ‬write out key information so you can access and review when you have free time‭.‬
  • Asking questions/summarizing‭ - ‬when reading‭, ‬ask questions along the way to understand the material and summarise in your own words after scanning and reading sections‭; ‬reread if necessary‭.‬
  • Taking notes‭ (‬listening or reading‭) - ‬use abbreviations for common words‭, ‬pick out most important information only or key words‭,‬‭ ‬use headings and pictures/diagrams‭, ‬highlight or underline key points in materials

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