If you are in high school and have recently finished your exams, congratulations! It’s a big milestone and you should take some time to rest. As you start the next semester, you should be thinking about how you can start it on a strong note. It doesn’t matter where you are now or how ambitious your goals are because everyone has the opportunity to improve his or her game. First, you should take time to reflect on your past semester. What study habits worked well for you and which ones did not? Are there some things you would do differently?
We strongly believe here at Prepsmart Tutoring that results come from core principle of good study habits. A recent Canada-wide study showed that 90% of students have the intelligence needed to succeed in high school and go on to attend university, but only 65% of Canadian high school students end up enrolling in university. Why is that? We believe that this discrepancy is not to do with smarts, but rather study habits. Those who manage to develop good study habits and study effectively for their classes are able to achieve academic success, while those who do not tend to fall behind.
Just as with everything else, developing good study habits is something that takes time and practice. What you should know is that the core principles of good study habits apply across subjects and disciplines. Whether it is Math, Chemistry, Physics or French, the process involved in doing homework, projects, and preparing for tests is the same at its root. If you can master that, you can translate the skill across all your classes and benefit all together.
New Semester Tips:
Below, we have outlined some of the key tips which we believe play an important role in developing better study habits. While the list is not conclusive, it does include the key areas of focus for developing good study habits.
Time management is a really critical part of taking your study skills to the next level. Create a schedule and a calendar for yourself. If you create a schedule and keep a calendar, you are much more likely to stay on top of things and never to miss a deadline. Also, this helps you bring some organization into your life.
Efficiency is key and focus plays an important role in becoming more efficient. If you spend 10 hours on something that should only take you 1 hour to do, you are taking away time from all your other commitments. So, time that you should be spending on other subjects or committing to other activities, such as extracurriculars, is being taken up. A big part of becoming more efficient is being able to focus. When you are doing something, try to focus on the task at hand. Turn your phone to silent and exit social media apps, because they just add to the distraction. If you can really bring your attention to the subject at hand, you’ll see that you are able to grasp and process material much more quickly.
Pay attention in class. Daydreaming is common, but if you pay attention in class, you are 50% of the way there. Teachers usually take content directly from classes for tests and exams. If you don’t pay attention in class, you have to come back home and review everything again, which just reduces your efficiency.
It is not enough just to understand the material. You have to do practice questions and practice tests. This is the only way you know you can apply the material you have learned when it comes to actually solving problems that show up on tests. Doing practice questions exposes you to different ways that material can be asked and makes you think about the real-world application of the material you are learning. So, doing practice questions is a great way to up your study skills because you are spending time on content that really counts.
Be engaged in your classes. There is a psychological component that goes into learning. If you are interested in the subject, you will process information more quickly. Additionally, ff you show your teacher that you are engaged, they will notice it and rewards you for it. Even if you mess up on a test or two, your teacher may take into account your efforts and reward you at the end for being engaged.
Don’t procrastinate and leave things to the last minute. Seek the help of a parent, teacher, or private tutor as soon as you encounter a problem and have difficulty. Pushing things off will only pile things up and leave you feeling nervous days before your upcoming test.
The above are some of the strategies you can use to start your new semester on a strong note and develop better study skills. Follow these tips and see the kind of impact it can have on your academic performance and overall well-being.