Sunday, November 18, 2012

Study Tips for College and High School Students

If you are struggling in school, it might help you to change your approach to studying. I'm sure you know all of the usual recommendations: make a schedule, take a short break every 20 minutes or so, reduce distractions, read the chapter before class, organize your materials, etc. All of these are good ideas, but none of these address a basic problem of unsuccessful studying. It's possible that you are not really thinking about the material in a way that will help you remember it. I'm going to cover 2 study tips and techniques that can change the way you think about the material and that will therefore change how well you learn and the grade you receive.
The most important element of good studying?: be interested.
Okay that's easier said than done. What if you think the topic is boring? Well, if the material or the presentation doesn't naturally grab your attention, you must interject your own interests into the material.
The second most important part which will help with the first: You must ASK QUESTIONS. Ask questions until you become interested. Ask questions during lecture, while reading, while talking to people about the topic, while looking at flash cards. ASK QUESTIONS. When you are asking questions you are thinking about the material and making connections between things that help you remember the material.
Plus, if you're interested, you will be enjoying studying a lot more than if you are not.
Back to being interested... Use your own interests to generate interest in the material.
Do you like to watch movies? Compare elements of what you are studying to the plot, setting or characters of a movie.
* If you are studying biology, decide which part of the animal, plant or specific pathway or ecosystem would be your favorite movie star and why.
* Write your own script where the parts carry out their mission as if it was an adventure.
* Ask yourself questions about what is going on while you do this - delve deeper.
Do you like to do art? Make a collage, painting or drawing that represents what you are studying in some way.
Do you like to dance?
Make up movements that represent what you are studying. Involve other people to do the dance with you. You might even be able to get some extra credit if you share.
Do you like to travel?
Approach the topic as if you are studying international relations. Which thing, part or party you are studying would have trouble with the others and why?
Do you like music?
Write songs about your topic, or write new lyrics for your favorite songs that are about the topic you are studying. Try to make it funny or sexy, as you're more likely to remember it that way. Challenge your friends to write raps about different topics to share with each other. Another opportunity for extra credit?


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