9 Helpful Study Habits

9 Helpful Study Habits

Courtney Shanley, Junior Contributor

1. Get Organized. A planner can help keep everything organized. You should write down assignments, appointments and to-do lists, then review items in the planner at both the beginning and end of the day to stay on track.

2. Know the Expectations. You shouldn’t have any surprises when it comes to how and what you will be graded on. By high school, most teachers will provide a course outline or syllabus, which can serve as a guide for the semester. If expectations aren’t clear, ask your teacher before it affects your grade.

3. Designate a Study Area. Yes, studying at the local coffee shop may seem like a good idea, but not if there are constantly people interrupting or other disruptions. Even at home, studying in front of the TV won’t be the best place to study. The best place is  a quiet, well-lit, low-traffic space for study time.

4. Develop a Study Plan. You need to know when a test will take place, the types of questions that will be included and the topics that will be covered. You should create a study plan and allow ample time to prepare, there’s nothing worse than cramming the night before an exam.

5. Think Positively. Being in the right mindset can make all the difference. Encourage yourself to think positively when studying or heading into an exam and by all means, avoid catastrophic thinking.

6. Create a Study Group. Working in groups can help you when you’re struggling to understand a concept and can enable them to complete assignments more quickly than when working alone. Keep groups small and structured to ensure the maximum benefit to participants and reduce distractions.

7. Practice Active Listening. It’s important for you to concentrate and avoid distractions when an instructor is presenting. Some tips to use: try concentrating on the main points being made, think about what the speaker is saying and pay attention to how things are said (gestures, tone of voice, etc.).

8. Review Test-Taking Strategies. First, make sure that you arrive on time and try to stay relaxed. Students should be sure to read all of the directions on the exam and pace themselves so as not to feel rushed. It’s OK to skip around on a test, if allowed, as you may be more comfortable with certain topics than others.

9. Read Actively. You should practice active reading by writing down the main idea of each passage and look up unfamiliar words or concepts. Make an outline of the chapter or create flow charts and diagrams that help map out the concept at hand. After each section, write a summary in your own words and come up with possible exam questions.