Higher Grade Learning Centre

Making the Grades

Successful students have good study habits. Like anything in life, study habits take time to develop. In the long run, they help to achieve life-long learners.

Research has proven that consistent, ongoing studying is the most effective way to learn material.

Regular reading, reviewing and practicing concepts ensures ongoing positive results. If you think ‘cramming’ is an effective learning solution, read and implement as many of these effective studying solutions.

Try not to do too much studying at one time – If you try to do too much studying at one time, you will tire and your studying will not be very effective. Space the work you have to do over shorter periods of time. Taking short breaks will restore your mental energy and ensure you have small consistent learning successes.

Plan specific times for studying – When are you most awake and alert? Early in the morning? Just after dinner? Right after school? Study when you know you will do your best work. Also note, study time is any time you are doing something related to schoolwork. It can be completing assigned reading, working on a paper or project, or studying for a test. Schedule specific times throughout the week for your study time.

Try to study at the same times each day – Studying at the same times each day establishes a routine that becomes a regular part of your life, just like sleeping and eating. When a scheduled study time comes up during the day, you will be mentally prepared to begin studying.

Set specific goals for their study times -Goals will help you stay focused and monitor your progress. Simply sitting down to study has little value. You must be very clear about what you want to accomplish during your study times.

Start studying when planned -You may delay starting your studying because you don’t like an assignment or think it is too hard. If you procrastinate for any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything done when you need to. Don’t feel overwhelmed, just take the first step.

Work on the assignment you find most difficult first -Your most difficult assignment will require the most effort. Start with your most difficult assignment since this is when you have the most mental energy.

Create a study area– Choose a location with minimum distractions such as the telephone, radio or TV. Ask others in your home to respect this time and your need for concentration. Also, prepare your study area. Use a good chair, table and light, and ensure you have any materials that you need.

Review what you already know – When you start an assignment, review what you already know about the subject. Ask yourself, ʺWhat do I need to learn about this subject?ʺCollect any information, which may help you to learn the subject. This includes past tests, teacher handouts, homework assignments, and notes.

Get exercise and sleep – Try a little exercise just prior to studying. If you feel yourself losing your concentration, go for a quick walk around the block. Ensure you are getting enough sleep.

Use different ways to learn – Vary the methods you use for reviewing materials. Try reading aloud to increase your focus. Pin a piece of paper on the wall and stand up when creating a diagram. Use different colours of ink, or different writing styles when taking notes. Start at the bottom of the page and work up for a change.

For additional information on effective studying, contact Higher Grade Learning Centre at 604.572.9235.

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