What is the secret to studying? Read on to discover four dynamic study tips for high school students. Learn to overcome your anxiety, break, breathe, and review to improve your study habits and your grades.
Overcome your anxiety. You can master any subject if you believe you can. It all starts with the mind. It is important to replace negative thinking with positive images of you studying. Seeing yourself learning your study materials is a way of affirming that you can learn the materials.
Another way to overcome your anxiety is to build your confidence with proper planning by making a study schedule. You should write down your assignments on a calendar and plan when you will study. Make a list of all the subjects you have to study. Write down what days you will study a particular subject. You should use a pencil in case you have to change your original study plan.
Writing down your schedule on a calendar helps keep you on track. By writing down your schedule, you stay committed and accountable to your study schedule. It is important to stick to your schedule-but be flexible. Make it your goal to study a certain amount of time a week or to cover a certain amount of materials in a week. If you miss some days because of busy schedule or an unplanned event, make it up by the end of the week. If you get off your schedule and have to adjust it, write down your new plan on your study calendar. If your calendar is too busy, start over with a new calendar.
Realize that planning to study during the holidays or other breaks is a nice goal -which you might not meet. Instead of making it a goal to study during break times, be flexible by not counting this time in your study schedule. In the event you do study some, you are ahead of the game.
If you’re really tired, don’t study. Rest or take a nap first. If resting or taking a nap doesn’t help, take a day off from studying but make that day up later in the week.
Exercise is another excellent way to help you overcome your anxiety because it helps to relax the body by releasing natural endorphins in the body that make you feel better. The more you exercise, the more you increase your ability to naturally act as a receiver of information. Exercise every day you study even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Break. Taking a break from your studies is crucial. Study 15 to 20 minutes maximum at a time. Break 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how complex a subject is for you. Normally, the best pattern is to study for 20 minutes and then break for 5 or 10 minutes. Use a timer to help keep you on track. Do not start difficult tasks during your breaks. Only do simple task. It’s best to just do nothing but break. Don’t watch television during your breaks unless you are disciplined enough to resume studying.
Breathe. Breathing helps you to relax and to send oxygen to the brain. When the brain gets more oxygen, you are relaxed and you think better. Learn to take three long deep breaths before and after you study. Breathing will keep you focus. The world today is too busy and full of many distractions. When you breathe, you are only focusing on what you are doing-breathing. For a brief moment, you are only thinking about the present moment. Breathing helps you learn what it feels like to really focus. Learn to breathe when you study and when you test. When you take a test, always take time to breathe before you answer any questions. If you have a lot of questions on a test, learn to breathe every 10th question. Before you start answering questions, use a pencil to put a tick mark at each 10th question. The stick mark is a reminder to stop and breathe.
Review your materials. To fully understand what you understand and what you don’t understand, it is important to review all your subjects every day. Make a habit of doing so. Each week make an outline of your subjects and then make a tape recording of your outlined assignments. Make a list of all the areas of a particular subject. This list is not a formal outline. You don’t have to list 1, 2, & 3 or a, b & c. You can make your own outline format. Summarize each subject area. Make sure you cover key points. Check the outline to make sure you have reviewed all the key points.
After you make an outline of all the subjects in a particular area, make a recording of your outline.
o Making a recording is an excellent study method for auditory learners. However, it actually is helpful for most learners.
o Make the recording yourself. If you get someone else to make the recording for you, it is not as effective as hearing your own voice and reviewing the material again as you record the tape.
o Be natural. Allow for mistakes. You are not trying to win an Academy Award for your performance. You just want to make sure you cover all the points in your outline.
o Depending upon the complexity of the subject, your recording should be 5 minutes to 30 minutes. In some cases, the recording may be an hour.
o Listen to your recording every day. Listening to your recording is an excellent way for you to review materials while you are doing other tasks.
o Listen to your recording when you are sick. Listening to your recording is an easy way to study. You study without studying. You can listen to your recording during down times but you will cover your planned study materials.
After you learn to overcome anxiety, break, breathe and review to improve your study habits and grades, you will be ahead of the studying game.