Homework Desk: Study Skills and Strategies
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
Doing well in school can open doors for you in the future. High grades in high school increase the chance of getting into your dream college, and the possibility of receiving scholarships to help you pay for your education. Good grades take work and focus, and developing good study skills now will help you reach your goal of attending a good college, and benefit you as you tackle the more difficult college classes in the future. There are strategies to developing good study skills and many universities offer a basic class to help you develop those skills. You can work on them while in high school as well.
The classroom is where you will interact with your teacher through classroom discussion and lectures. The key to being successful in this environment is to be on time and be prepared to learn. Paying attention in class and developing good note taking skills will help you to better understand the material and prepare for tests. Practicing these skills now will help you prepare for the large lecture classes you will have when you are in college.
Many teachers will base a portion of your grade on classroom participation. This means that you need to be able to answer questions and participate in classroom discussions. When you are debating an item in class you should be able to listen to the other side of the argument, so you can address the points where you disagree. Additionally, you should be able to communicate your ideas respectfully. This should carry over into your writing skills too.
Good Study Habits
It is important to cultivate good study habits when you are younger, because they will follow you through college. Completing your homework on time each day is a good preparation for college. Reading the assigned chapters for each unit and looking at outside sources can help you fully understand the concepts and prepare you for tests. Studying in a group or with a partner allows you to catch things you may have missed in your notes or reading.
Listening effectively to lectures and classroom discussions can make the difference between getting an A or a B on an assignment. These skills can help you when you begin working as well, since you will be understand your client’s needs or what your boss wants you to do to complete a project. In a discussion, repeating back a portion of what the other person said, and then following up with your point will demonstrate that you were listening. Learning to recognize the main points in a lecture will help you when you study again later.
Memorization is another important part of studying. Unfortunately many students end up cramming or trying to memorize facts quickly the night before the test. Although they may squeak by, it is not the best way to memorize something. It is best to work on memorizing the things you need to know a little bit each day. You can also use memory tricks such as mnemonics to help you memorize. Typing out your notes and creating flashcards can also help you memorize the facts you need to remember.
Problem solving skills allow you to look for new ways to solve problems. These skills can help you at your job and in college assignments. Problem solving skills allow you to access your creativity, and explore several different options to the solution. You can work on developing these skills with games such as brainteasers.
Project management skills will help you see a project through from the first idea to completion. In high school, this may be anything from a research project to an art portfolio you turn in at the end of the semester. Once you begin working you may become responsible for developing new applications or products for your employer. Learning to manage your time, and estimate how long it will take to complete each item is an important skill to work on now.
Good spelling is important for your presentations and papers. One of the best ways to improve your spelling is by reading extensively. You can improve your spelling by practicing each day and learning the roots of words, as well as prefixes and suffixes. You should work on memorizing the spelling for any vocabulary words in each unit. Carefully proofreading your work, instead of relying on spellchecker to do all the work, will help you catch any errors you might make.
Tests are usually a large portion of your grade. It is important to master the different styles of tests from essay tests to multiple-choice tests. Studying for tests should begin early and you should be sure you understand the basic concepts so you can continue to build on them. There are test preparation classes you can take to help you prepare for the big tests such as the ACT or SAT. Reviewing your notes and the chapters you have read will help you succeed as well.
Learning to manage your time is an important part of being successful in school. It is easy to become distracted by things that are more fun than studying or to spend too much time on just one aspect of a project. Breaking your project down into smaller tasks and creating a weekly and daily to-do list will help you manage your time more effectively. Setting aside specific time to study each day will help as well.
An extensive vocabulary can help you when you are writing papers or in classroom discussions. Studying the vocabulary in your science or history units can increase your understanding of the subject material. The study of a foreign language requires you to build your vocabulary each day. Studying a few words each day and using them correctly in a sentence can help you build your vocabulary. Learning to read with context clues and being willing to look up unknown words in the dictionary will increase your vocabulary. Memorization techniques will help you retain the information as well.
Developing effective writing skills is important for success both in school and at work. In high school you will be assigned reports and essays that allow you to develop these skills. Be sure that you proofread all the work you turn in, and have someone check over the assignment for errors as well. Outlining before you begin writing can simplify the process and help you order your thoughts.
Developing good study skills now will help you when you attend college. These study skills can help you get better grades now and increase the chances of getting into a good college. If you need extra help you can use a tutor, who should also help you develop your study skills. Many teachers are willing to offer advice on how to take notes and study more effectively if you just ask them for help.