Some people are lucky enough to naturally grasp things quickly and succeed in school without having to put in too much effort, while others need to spend endless hours reviewing material in order to learn it. Doing well in school does not have to mean endlessly reading the same thing over and over again until it sticks, as there are study methods which can cut down on study time, and make studying less tedious.
First and foremost, it is imperative to be organized and plan your study schedule ahead. The best way to stay organized is to have a monthly calendar on your wall and make sure that any and all tests, exams or assignments are clearly marked so that you are well aware of when things are due, and do not end up surprised when you find out than an assignment that slipped your mind is due in a day. Next, you should highlight the days that you are going to devote to studying or doing your assignments, so that you give yourself enough time to ensure that you do not end up cramming or trying to do too many things at once.
It is important that you do any and all reading that you are assigned, before showing up for class. Making highlights in your book and taking notes will help you be prepared when it comes time to study. Before you even sit down, open your books and begin to studying, you need to make sure that you take clear, detailed and well-organized notes while in class. By having done your reading before class you will be able to better understand the lesson while it is being taught, and will therefore be able to grasp more. Often classroom lessons highlight the most important points in a chapter, which will help you focus on the main points when studying, as opposed to trying to figure out what is most important yourself.
When it comes time to study, organize your notes by day. Say you will study for five days and have 10 chapters on your exam, then you can focus on studying for two chapters a day. That way you won’t end up spending too much time on one chapter, leaving you with too little time for another chapter.
To help you memorize things, always try and see if you can make an acronym that is easy to remember. For example, if you are trying to memorize the ingredients in a soup, which are celery, carrot, and broth, then maybe you can remember the ingredients by remembering that CCB are the names of your best friend, Cathy, Carol and Barb. By using acronyms, you will be able to more easily memorize and remember things, which will cut down on study time. You can also use Q cards to help you study and test yourself to see what information you have retained.
As well, make sure that you are well rested and that you have eaten before you study. If you are sleep deprived, it will be harder to focus and retain information and if you try to study on an empty stomach, your mind won’t be working at full capacity. You should not, however, try to study after eating a large meal as you will feel sluggish and having difficulty staying awake and focused.
Once you get into good study habits, you will find that achieving good grades in school is not as difficult as it once seemed.