2. Keep a planner. A planner plays a vital role in maintaining study habits and getting good grades. Planners can be used to record assignments, assign study blocks, and break larger projects down into daily tasks. !
3. Stay organized. Keep track of your notes for optimized unit test studying. Having a system to file all of your assignments/notes helps a lot during a long academic year. Don’t just write the notes and throw them in the bottom of your backpack. If you take the time to write detailed notes use them, don’t lose them! Keep a notebook and a folder for each of my classes. Some people find it easier to put all the completed notes in designated class folder, and at the end of a unit, pull all the notes out and make a combined study guide.
4. Keep a tidy study space. As they say, a cluttered desk means cluttered thoughts! But a clean and organized desk encourages productivity, and won’t distract you. When choosing a study spot, opt for a quiet place with enough space to lay out all your materials. Natural lighting is a bonus too as it keeps your eyes healthy and fresh. Of course make sure you have all the necessary materials: textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils, and anything else you find helpful. Also have a drink and something to eat at hand.
5. Find the right method for you. Highlighting and color-coding is aesthetically pleasing but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best method for YOU. Having said that, most students do find that this method helps them organize their thoughts. Of course with anything, keeping a balance is key so make sure it doesn’t become too distracting! You don’t get any awards for pretty notes. Find what works well with you. !
6. Read the text. It is very attempting when given a reading assignment to just take notes or answer the questions as you read. But unless you are seriously crunched for time, it is ideal to read the text first (keeping in mind any questions you might have to answer, and jotting down some quick notes), take detailed notes and THEN answer the homework problems. Yes, this method is more time-intensive, but it is guaranteed to help you retain information better. Also reading the text before you start note taking can actually save you time! So remember, understand the what the major points are before you start getting into the detail.
7. Write conclusions. Writing conclusions can save time during your revision period. It will instantly remind you of the most important details, and help you make connections too.
8. Take breaks. It is vital to take breaks when studying! It helps your brain absorb information, and avoid that awful “fried” feeling. Find a ratio that works for you. Typically students opt for a 45:15 minute study to break time and most class lessons are based around this time theory too. But of course every students is different so make sure whatever you come up with gives you enough time to get into your “study-groove,” but at the same time doesn’t exceed your concentration limits. During a break, the key thing is to try and distract your mind away from studying so it feels refreshed again. Some students do some stretching, drink water and eat food, even go for small walks. Every student will tell you that break time is great, but make sure it is distinct from study time. When you go back for another study block, don’t bring your phone! It interrupts your concentration if you are looking down every other minute to read a text, or check a notification. In order to optimize study time, unplug and leave any devices in another room so you aren’t tempted.
9. Dedicate time. This tip kind of goes along with taking breaks. Make yourself a study schedule! And when you plan a study session, really commit yourself to it. Don’t procrastinate or let yourself be distracted. Be as productive as possible in the time you have reserved for study!
10. Don’t get too stressed. It can be difficult to find a balance between being a dedicated student and normal human. But remember: you are a person first, then a student. If your workload is seriously interfering with your mental health, get help! Talk with your teachers, counselors or parents. They are there to assist you. And don’t get caught up in grading; you are going to school to learn, not to be judged. Make learning and studying fun so you get the most out of your education!