Study Skills That Will Help You Get Straight A's
by Scott Palat
By following these twelve tips, you will be on your way to getting straight A's. Read each tip carefully.
1. Find a quiet area in your house in which you are comfortable and can isolate yourself from distractions. Be sure that this space includes a chair, table or desk, and sufficient lighting. Ask others not to disturb you while you are in this special location and turn off all phones, beepers, televisions, videos, music, or anything else that your mind will wander to instead of focusing on the schoolwork.
2. Find the best time to study. Some students tend to do their best work as soon as they get home from school while they are still in the school mode. Others need a break and don't settle down to study until after practice, playtime, a nap, dinner and/or family time. Just be sure to allow yourself enough time to get everything done and still get enough sleep each night.
3. Organize your day, week, month, etc. Set aside a specific time each day to do your homework and study. Decide on a reasonable minimum amount of time that you will spend in this quiet place each day. For instance, lets say you decide on 45 minutes as a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to schoolwork each day. This means that even if homework is completed in the first 35 minutes that you will still stay in this area and study or review notes for the next 10 minutes until the 45 is up.
4. Reward yourself for sticking to your schedule and being productive. Decide on an activity to do once your study time is completed. Plan on watching a television show later in the evening. Tell yourself that you will play five minutes of a video game for every fifteen minutes that you study. Create goals and their rewards before you start studying and work hard to reach them each and every day.
5. Variety is important. Vary the topics that you are spending time studying. Get the mandatory homework out of the way first and then go back and spend the additional time reviewing material from different courses each day. If you spent extra time reviewing history yesterday, spend the additional time on science tonight. Some subject areas may require more time than others. You should get a feel for this a month or so into the school year.
6. Study the difficult subjects first and get them out of the way. You will be able to absorb material quicker and make more connections when you are mentally fresh.
7. Take regular study breaks. This can also serve as a mini-reward. For instance, tell yourself that you are going to get a drink or snack or listen to a specific song after you finish re-copying your notes for science. Make the breaks short, 3-6 minutes or so, so you won't get side-tracked or lose focus for the day.
8. Don't just re-read notes or the text. Ask questions. Create flash-cards. Redo assignments. Create time-lines. Play games. Re-write your notes. Get someone to quiz you. Find websites online that review the same material. Make up questions that you think will be on the test. Create new outlines of the material by writing some specific topics and filling in the details from memory. Studying should be an active process, not just time spent re-reading something.
9. When you need to remember a group of terms use the first letter of each to create a word (acronym) or a sentence (acrostic). For instance, an easy way to remember the five Great Lakes is the word "HOMES". By just remembering the word "homes" you can easily remember the names of the five Great Lakes . H stands for Huron, O for Ontario , M for Michigan , and so on. You can also create silly sentences to help you remember long lists of terms. For instance, remembering the sentence "Martha Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period", will help you remember the planets in the order they are found. M for Mercury, V for visits, E for Earth, etc.
10. Become a teacher. Find someone who is willing to listen to you -, a classmate (this would be a great review for them), Mom or Dad, a sibling, the family dog - and explain your notes to them. Have them (except the dog) ask questions about the material that they themselves don't understand. It's amazing how much you can retain when you have to actually teach material to someone.
11. Repetition, repetition, repetition. The material should become second nature to you by the time test day arrives. If it is not, then you need to devote more time to preparing for the test.
12. Exercise often and before you sit down to study. Research shows that students retain more after being physically active. Go to soccer practice, take a jog, rough-house with your dog, break a sweat first, then settle down and focus on your school work.
Scott Palat graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Health and Physical Education degree. In 2002, Scott started www.ehomeworkhelp.com because he saw a need to help struggling students complete their homework assignments and understand their schoolwork. Since this time, E Homework Help inc. and http://www.live-etutor.com have helped hundreds of students get better grades.