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How to Study the AST Way

How to Study the AST Way

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How to Study the AST Way

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  1. How to Study the AST Way Source: Colorado State University’s TILT Program

  2. Set Yourself Up for Success • Create a space or move to a location that is free of distractions • Limited background noise, good lighting • Get comfortable, but not so comfortable you’re tempted to sleep • Sit with upright posture at a table or desk • Anticipate your needs • Have all necessary academic materials with you before starting • Have water with you, so that you don’t need to get up when you’re thirsty • Keep yourself accountable, if you think you may become distracted • Study in a room with your parents and ask them to prompt you to get back on task if you’re distracted • Keep electronics in a different location • If you’re using a word processor, turn off your WiFi

  3. Study Methods • Space out your studying • Cramming the night before is never as effective as studying a little bit each day • Review new material the day it is presented and spend some time skimming back over old material • You will end up spending more total time studying and it will seem less unpleasant • Test yourself to see what you can remember before looking at the material • This builds a mental pathway that you can follow to access the information when you take a test • Work alone, with a friend or a study group to make practice questions that you do not know the answer to • Anticipate what you might be asked on a test based on what you deem important and what has been stressed by the teacher • Make and use flashcards for small pieces of information

  4. Study Methods (cont.) • Complete your assignments in order of priority • Make priorities based on deadlines, the number of points the assignments are worth, and which classes you are struggling in • Complete your assignments in order of your enjoyment of them • Do the hard classes that you don’t like first, when you still have the mental energy • Reward yourself by saving your favorite subjects for the end • Re-teach the material from memory to a friend, parent, or even your pet • Use a narrative structure, if possible (tell it like a story) • Change up your studying habits • New research shows this is better than sticking to a routine • Study different subjects on different days and in different locations • Change up the order in which you study and what methods you are using • This keeps you more alert and focused, but be sure you are still in a low-distraction environment

  5. Study Methods (cont.) • Supplement your study materials as you go • Your notes aren’t finished when you leave class • If you find relevant information that is not in your notes, add it to them and use it for future studying • Review notes with a friend in your class • Everyone misses some things in their notes but it’s unlikely that you both missed the same things • Focus on study methods that fit your learning style (but still use others occasionally) • Visual learners might want to create visual aids • Kinesthetic learners might want to study while moving around • Auditory learners might want to read aloud • Get creative • Don’t be afraid to use unconventional study methods or make up a new method • Employ mnemonic devices, even if they only make sense to you

  6. Maximizing Your Efficiency • No one wants to have to study longer than they need to • Do feel like you study for hours on end and you’re still not “getting it”? • Diminishing returns • The longer you study a single subject, with a single method, uninterrupted, the less effective it becomes • Break up your studying • Take a 2 or 3-minute mental break every 20-30 minutes (set a timer to remind yourself) • Get up and move, do light exercises • Do not use electronics or entertainment • Switch studying methods or subjects

  7. How NOT To Study • Many students use these methods and believe they should be well-prepared, but are then confused when they do not perform well on tests • We provide tips on how to fix these bad study habits • When completing a study guide or homework from a textbook, do NOT ever guess the answer to a question • A study guide is a courtesy from a teacher that shows you what to review • If you don’t know the answer on the study guide, you definitely won’t on the test • Even if you are 99% sure of your answer, find explicit evidence for it in your notes or text. • If the assignment is graded and you choose not to consult your materials, you are essentially submitting yourself to a closed-book quiz when you do not have to • Homework is for re-teaching yourself the material; if you do it wrong, you’re going to learn it wrong

  8. How NOT To Study (cont.) • Do NOT only simply read a text once • Take notes and actually review them • Some Liberty Common teachers allow student to use their reading notes on assessments, so the more you write, the better your chances are of performing well • Read a summary (in addition to, not instead of a text) especially for texts written in difficult language (e.g. much of the Liberty curriculum) • Skim back over a text and notes the day(s) after you read • When memorizing, do NOT only read over the material • Write and re-write the material (use a dry erase board to save paper) • Recite the material aloud from memory

  9. A Note on Procrastination Source: Cindy Swindell, CSU Health Network • Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is not usually a symptom of laziness • It is actually a way to cope with anxiety induced by assignments • It can result from (among other things): • Uncertainty on how to complete the assignment • Feelings of being overwhelmed by workload • Desire to complete the assignment perfectly • Disinterest in the assignment • Lack of knowledge of the content of the assignment • Procrastination is a short-term solution to a long-term problem • It immediately alleviates the feelings of anxiety by removing thoughts of the assignment from your mind • It only makes the problem worse, but cutting down the amount time you have to complete the assignment • Ultimately, the anxiety of getting behind and scrambling to complete the assignment at the last minute will be worse than completing it earlier

  10. How to Avoid Procrastination • Because procrastination begins to negatively affect you once it’s too late, the only way to fix it is by anticipating when it may happen and avoiding it • As soon as you receive a long-term project or paper, thoroughly plan how to complete it and think of everything you will need to do • If you don’t know how to do something, seek help ASAP (teachers love to help, just not the day before a deadline) • Anticipate how much work it will be and how busy it will make you • Ask for a due date extension early on, if you think you will need one, because teachers will be more willing to do so at this time • Remember that humans naturally underestimate how long a task will take, so allot yourself more time than you think you need

  11. How to Avoid Procrastination (cont.) • It’s possible to procrastinate on short-term assignments, too • Don’t save assignments until study hall on the day they’re due • There will not be enough time to complete it well • You will likely be distracted by your friends • Do not start relaxing/entertaining yourself at home before you have completed your homework • While taking breaks during studying is good, starting a new activity will actually make your brain more tired and you will likely have a hard time pulling yourself away from something that’s more fun than homework • If you don’t leave yourself enough time to do homework, you may have to stay up late to complete it or not complete it at all