Shaping the Learner

Study Advice for Students

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Home How to Develop Smart Study Habits

How to Develop Smart Study Habits

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Whether you are preparing for an exam in school or to obtain a professional license, these tips can help your success rate improve. Take a moment to help yourself achieve your goals - you are worth it!

Things You'll Need:

•    Study Materials
•    Comfortable Chair
•    Good Lighting

Do not procrastinate. Be consistent so you do not fall behind and then have so much to do that it is easy to say there is just too much to do and thus set yourself for performing poorly. This means setting aside time prior to exam days or research paper deadlines and takes us to the next logical step below.

Prioritize and plan ahead. If you have a paper due at the end of the week and an exam that same day, plan to get the paper done first so you can then have time to study for the exam and not cram them both into the same night. It is a great idea to use a calendar so you can quickly review when you have assignments due or exams scheduled. There are free online calendars that make this easy and very useful.

Find a place that is conducive to studying. This should be a place where there are limited distractions, that is comfortable and where you can control interruptions. You do not always have to turn off the phone or sign off from your IM account, but when you need to get some serious work done, it is a good idea to sign off for an hour or so.

Study at a time when you are most productive. For some people this is early in the morning and for others might be late at night. You know yourself - try to study during the time that works best for you.

Study methods to memorize material or prepare for exams differ. Some people learn better from visual methods, others via reading or writing material. Try several methods such as retyping your notes from class in a more condensed format, highlighting items that you must memorize. If you seem to remember things better when you have something visual associated with them, add some clip art or photos. Then, when you are taking the exam, it may be easier to recall the material when the picture pops into your mind first. Making flash cards is another method that can be very effective for some, but does require lots of time. However, the act of actually writing material while studying, is known to help reinforce memorization.


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