Studying and achieving good grades in school are of the utmost importance in a student’s life. Yet, some struggle with being able to actually sit down, and apply themselves to do the work. I was such a student, suffering from ADD that was not diagnosed until well into adulthood, I had to learn the hard way. As a result, I have come up with a few useful tips on how to study and keep your mind on your work!
The first step in your journey involves getting some organization and order to your environment which includes your book bags as well as your room. A cluttered room or desk is distracting so take the time and clean it up. Place all of your books in order on the shelves, so that you can easily access them. Straighten out those crumpled sheets of paper (you guys still use paper right?) and place your pens and pencils in a holder. Create a nice place for your laptop and clear the area surrounding the desk. Believe it or not, it will make you want to study when your space is clean.
As far as that book bag is concerned, empty it out and organize it. Get rid of all of those crumbs, old potato chip bags and decide which crumpled up sheets of paper are useful. Straighten them out and place your belongings in a manner that you can access them within a moment’s notice.
Sit down and set up a schedule to study each subject. Allot a specific amount of time for each subject and use a timer when studying. Develop a habit of dedicating that allotted time to each subject, even if nothing has been assigned.
Take good notes
The first year I went away for college, I used to laugh at what they called ”nontrads”. Those were students who were older than the typical university student and thus called, nontraditional students. They were always so organized and nerdy with their little highlighters and seated right smack dab in the front of the classroom. However, I wouldn’t learn until I became a ”nontrad” the effectiveness of their technique.
If you are the type of student who finds yourself drifting off into dreamland, position yourself near the front of the class where you will be forced to pay attention. Jot down keywords, and highlight important facts. This will be a tremendous help when you go home and study.
Now here is the hard part. Sit down, take out your books and start studying. Read and if you find yourself drifting into dreamland, although your eyes are continuing to scan, take your highlighter and highlight as you go. Force yourself to read and understand those passages. At the end, ask yourself, ”what in the heck did I just read?” If you can’t summarize it to yourself, go back and read it again. As a person with ADD, the biggest problem I had was reading and thinking about something else at the same time. It as if the mind splits and engages in multitasking. Unfortunately,you can’t do that when you’re studying. Reading the Scarlett Letter and thinking about the argument you had with your best friend won’t do anything for you on an exam, so apply yourself.
If for some reason, your house is a little too distracting, head to the local library or bookstore. Find a desk either facing a wall or near an area with little or no traffic. If you need to, purchase some earplugs and bury your head in the books. You will be so surprised at how refreshed you feel after studying in such an environment. Sometimes it is one of the only ways you can get away from the distractions but it is worth it. Anyone can get good grades, but you have to develop a plan and stick with it.