Improve Your Studying Skills Study Habits It is up to you to set reasonable tasks for yourself when it comes to what to study. It is also up to you to decide how long and how much to study. How do you do this? The first step is to set deadlines and STICK TO THEM. • It is suggested that you complete difficult tasks first. • Consider lighting, temperature and availability when you are choosing a place to study. If the lighting is unsuitable, you might easily get tired. If the room is too warm or too cold, you may be uncomfortable and unable to concentrate. • Every 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break. This will help you regain energy. Have a snack, stretch and clear your mind so that you can go on. • If you are bored and tired, switch activity, environment or task. • If you see that you are not being productive anymore, stop studying. • Studying with a friend or a group is to your advantage. You can share notes, explain concepts to each other and fill each other’s gaps in the material. • Review the details before you go to bed.
Find out what will be on the exam on the day it is announced. Find out the structure of the exam e.g. short answer, multiple choice, true/false and why questions, essay questions or a combination. Review notes several nights before the exam. Stress the points emphasized in class, the areas the teacher has mentioned will be on the test and the study guides, past quizzes and chapter reviews in your textbook. How To Prepare for an Exam
Types of Exams You should not use the same study methods for all types of exams. For example, if your test will be an essay test, study by stressing key concepts, evaluating principal ideas that would make good test questions and prepare outlines for probable essay questions. For Problem Exams: memorize formulas if they will not be given to you, practice problems, homework problems that you have gone over in class and examples from the textbook.
For exams that stress specifics, study by defining key terms and making up examples. If you expect some true/false questions, write down some false statements and why they are not true.Also, make up your own definitions for key concepts, that are easy enough for a 4th grader to understand. If you can do this, it means you truly understand the concept.
Traps of Studying • One trap of studying is thinking you do not know where to begin. You must remember that YOU are in control and make a list of everything you have to do. Begin studying in advance with one hour per day and then build up that time as the test comes closer. • Make sure you take your 15 minute study breaks every 45 minutes or so. These planned study breaks will allow you to absorb the information.
“I do not have enough time” is another thought that leads you to a study trap. Do not leave everything until the last minute. Sure, some people work well under pressure but everyone does better when they plan. • Review your syllabus, reading material and notes. Know in advance what to expect from your class, like test dates and project dates. • Read, read, read. Do not just preview material or skim through it. Examine it. Know what it is saying and think of why.
If you think the material is too boring, you will never take it seriously enough. Study with others to make tasks more interesting. Do not be passive. Be active and take control of the material, even if it is not your #1 interest!!! Do not just “guess” you get something. If you think you understand something, test yourself by making up questions concerning key sections and notes. Traps of Studying
Another trap is cramming. Waiting until the last minute is a classic trap and you should begin a week or so in advance. Start slow, with an hour a day and increase study time as the test creeps closer. Recall improves if you spread out your study time.
Avoid staying up all night right before the test. You will be mentally exhausted. You need to have a rested mind. Sure, maybe you stayed up all night a few times before a test and did alright. However, this way will not help you build great study habits. Eat well Sleep well Exercise This will guide your success on tests and in your career! Information derived from: http://caps.unc.edu/TenTraps.html