Study Skills are skills vitally important to a student's success. Here are some helpful skills to practice to insure your success now and in the future.
1 Believe in yourself. There is nothing in the world that you can’t do if you set goals, get your mind wrapped around your objective and dive in. Try and recognize the talents and abilities you possess and believe you can succeed.
2 Be organized! Use your agenda and fill out all of your daily assignments. List tests and read your agenda every night.
3 Take notes. Listen to the whole lecture and try to summarize the main points. DON’T try to write down everything the teacher says. Be an active listener, asking questions and being involved. Taking notes helps you to stay more focused. Believe it or not, if you are writing while your teacher is talking, you will be thinking about what is being said and understanding what is being discussed. Try to recognize the important information and put an asterisk by it or use a highlighter to mark it. Take notes that are easy to read. If they are sloppy and illegible, they aren’t going to be of any use. Please get in the habit of reading over your notes every day. This will help so much, that by the time a test date rolls around, you’ll already know all the info and this will be a huge help in getting prepared for being successful on the test.
4 Use folders for school work. Different colors for different subjects. Take time to put work from each class in the appropriate folders and get them to your backpack so they are ready to come home and are ready to come back to school the next day.
5 Have phone numbers of classmates handy. This may help in the rare instance that you have forgotten an assignment.
6 Keep your locker and backpack neat and orderly. Never put loose papers in either, they may not be in good shape when you need them.
7 Get organized before you go to bed. Complete homework and put in folders. Put everything you need for the following day in the SAME PLACE every night. This will become habit and you will always check that place before you leave in the morning on your journey to school. Putting your clothes out the night before also helps to save time in the morning.
8 Manage your time well. Always use the time teachers give you to work on homework, ask questions and get help.
9 Create your own study time. Set aside a certain time ever night. Study smart! Find a good place to study that is well lit and comfortable. This place should be away from any distractions. We all learn differently so learn what is the most difficult subject for you and do that first. Then it will be done and everything else will be much easier. If you do the most difficult last, you may be less alert and your mind won’t want to do any more. This often leads to work being “put off “until tomorrow morning and we all know how that goes. Prioritize your study time to complete the assignments that are due first. Tell your friends to not call during your study time and inform your parents that you need this time to study. Make it a habit! If you find times when you don’t have homework, this would be a good time to sit down and read your favorite book.
10 Test taking Strategies. These strategies have helped students of all ages to improve their scores. Many of our bright young students have “test anxiety” because of self and peer pressure. We all want to do the very best we can and these hints can help to reduce anxiety about a test and also can help us to do our very best. First, the student needs to get off to a good start by having everything that they may need for the test. Such things might include calculators, notebooks, textbooks, notes, pens, pencils, erasers, etc. the next thing is developing a plan for taking the test. For example; if a question starts out with 2 or 3 essay questions and 25 multiple answer questions, it might be a good idea to do the multiple answer questions first and move to the essay questions last. To answer essay questions, make a small outline of everything you know about a particular question and write about it in order. Make sure that the response flows together and makes sense to a reader. The third thing you may want to do for a test is read the ENTIRE test before you start answering any questions. This is going to reveal the questions that are “easy” for you and you can answer those and come back to the questions that are going to take more thought and concentration. To increase your odds on multiple choice questions, eliminate the answers that are incorrect. You may not know the exact answer but doing this will increase your odds of choosing the right answer. If two of the choices are similar OR opposite, probably one of them is the correct answer. Reread the question to make sure you understand the question and make your best educated guess. Reduce test anxiety by starting to study early for a test. All teachers want their students to have success and students know that tests are coming in advance. Don’t wait until the night before to start studying. Study a little every night, rereading notes and rereading textbooks are huge helps. Ask teachers about anything you may not understand. Mentally practice going through the testing experience. Close your eyes and see your self calmly and confidently walking into and taking the test. Walk in with your shoulders back and your head up. If you act confident, you will feel more confident.
11 Be successful in the classroom. Learn how to adapt to different teachers. Teachers are human and all are different and all expect different things. Be in school every day, on time. Be prepared for each class with your homework, textbooks, paper, pencil, and anything else you might need for a particular class. Sit in the front of class if at all possible. It’s easier to pay attention and there are fewer distractions. Please be aware of non-verbal communication and body language. If you are playing with a fellow student you may be disrupting class and could result in possible consequences. Participate in class. This helps to keep you focused and learning. Be a good group member and always treat others with courtesy and respect. Last and most important, involve your parents. They are your best allies.
12 Know how to read a text book. First scan the assigned reading by reading sub-titles, words in bold/italic print, and summaries at the end of chapters, charts and review questions. Doing this first will help you know what to look for in the chapter and help you to read the chapter with purpose. When you have finished with this, go ahead and review the chapter by going back and rereading the bold print at the beginning of each section. Check and see if you don’t know a lot more about the section than when you started.
13 The last study tip is to make sure you get help when you need it. If a student is struggling with a concept and doesn’t say anything to a teacher or parent, the problem will not go away. Get help! Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or parent. We all have trouble sometimes. We can work together to ensure understanding and solutions to any problem!