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Effective Learning Strategies and Study SKills- Part 4

By Meaghan Montrose

Today’s topic concerns time management. This is probably the most important skill to develop in order to be successful when studying. It is impossible and impractical to try to cram everything in the night before a test. Learning occurs over time with practice and continual building on previous knowledge.
In general, units of study in school are presented over a two or three week period. It doesn’t make sense to only study for one day. Instead, you should break the work up into chunks and review the material more often. Here are some steps to follow to improve the management of your time and maximize your ability to learn.

1. Organization is key. The best way to save time is to keep yourself organized. A three-ring binder is a great way to store notes and handouts from class. If you have all of your work placed in an orderly arrangement you won’t have to spend any time searching for missing papers. Each time you start a new unit you should start a new section in your binder.

2. Go over the day’s lesson every night. It will be most effective if you study in small, controlled chunks of time instead of trying to do everything at once. Each day after you have taken notes in class, go home and reread your notes and spend about fifteen to twenty minutes reviewing the lesson. This keeps the material you are studying manageable. This is also a great time to use helpful learning strategies such as making flashcards and jotting down questions to ask the teacher.

3. Don’t let any time be wasted. There are many opportunities throughout the day that are wasted waiting. Instead of letting that time slip by, make use of it. Keep a set of flashcards or notes with you at all times so you can have quick study sessions when an opportunity arrives such as waiting for the bus, waiting to be picked up from school, sitting in a doctor’s office, riding in the car or bus, after you finish eating lunch, or during commercial breaks (put the T.V. on mute and flip through a handful of cards).

4. Use a calendar. To keep yourself on top of all the projects, tests, and other major assignments it is beneficial to maintain a calendar. Mark off the due dates for all of the assignments on the calendar. Add in any important events into the calendar that will take away from your study time such as school sporting events, club meetings, family functions, etc. After you identify the free time, schedule in two or three times to work on each assignment. Setting a specific time to work on a project or study for a test will keep you focused and more likely to stick to your schedule. In addition, starting the assignment ahead of time allows you flexibility if an unexpected problem should arise.

5. Set up a rewards system. Scheduling and planning to do school work is great, but it is meaningless if you don’t actually stick to the plan. To keep motivated, give yourself some type of treat or reward to indulge in after you complete a task. For example, tell yourself “you can only watch T.V. tonight after you review the math examples from class” or “you can’t check your email until after you have written an outline for your English paper”.

Topics: College Preparation and Advice, Study Skills and Learning Strategies | 1 Comment »

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