As students, how we study is so important in determining if we succeed. Good students have certain study habits that ensure top results. Look at these four rituals and see if you are using them. If not, it’s never too late to change how you study to get the grades you want!
1. What’s most important?
When you sit down to do homework, focus on one puzzling piece of your work that needs the most attention, the one you would most like to conquer. Stay focused and concentrate on thoroughly understanding the concept or problem for that particular subject. Focus too on those assignments that are due in short term – meaning tomorrow or the day after. This can include studying in advance for a quiz or test. Ask: what’s the most important work I need to complete today? No point in worrying about assignments due next week, when you have one due tomorrow!
2. Use your planner.
Invest in a planner, whether paper or electronic. If you have been reading S4 Study Tips regularly, you know this is our mantra! Write all of your assignments down those that are due tomorrow, the day after that, and those due next week. No one has a perfect memory so it’s imperative to record all assignments, when they are given, and when they are due. Of course, it would be silly to write things down in your planner and then never check it. Get into a daily habit of reviewing your planner every day, at the same time – maybe while you’re having a snack when you get home from school.
3. Cut out distractions.
Everyone knows what distracts them and takes them off the path to success. Distractions are your enemy! Get rid of them! Go to a quiet zone, free of electronics, free of TV, and work away. If you get antsy, move around if you must. Stretch or do jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. You are allowed to take a break, as long as it’s not a permanent one!
4. Plan for tomorrow.
So today it was the calculus problems that needed attention. Now that you have that mastered, what will it be tomorrow? Tomorrow should build on what you learned, practiced, and studied today. It may be a good idea to test what you know by taking the practice quiz at the end of the chapter. Knowing that you mastered a topic will give you both confidence and relieve some stress. If you start mastering today’s work and start to anticipate what tomorrow will bring, you won’t be so overwhelmed. And, it’s not like you have to memorize the entire textbook in one night!
Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to complete all of your assignments today. You can increase your studying effectiveness by focusing on the most pressing work. Make it a daily habit to record all of your assignments when they are given, and to check your planner before you start homework. As we know, distractions and healthy study sessions don’t mix. Go to a quiet zone where you know you can focus. When you’ve mastered and completed today’s work, you can get a jump by anticipating what’s ahead. If you try these 4 study rituals, you will see better results in no time at all as they will develop into strong study habits. Good luck!
Learn more about effective study habits in our workshops.