Improving Study Skills For Students

Improving your study skills is easy through various strategies described here.

Whether in high school or college, taking exams is a matter of preparation and confidence. In order to ready yourself for an exam, studying should be a constant. It is important to reinforce each day's lessons at the end of the day by re-reading notes or handouts from that day's class. Also, keeping up with texbook reading is critical. As you read the materials, keep in mind that it is most important to completely understand the concepts rather than simply memorizing facts or scattered pieces of information.

When you sit down to study, find a place without distractions. That means no television, radio, or phones to divert your attention from the task at hand. Try to study at the same location consistently, so that your mind will correlate studying with that specific locale and enable you to focus better.

As you read, have a highlighter, pad of paper, and several different colored pens handy. Be an interactive reader by highlighting the material that you deem is important. Also, use the paper to write any questions you have that you may ask another student or a teacher about. Use another color to write any information which you find difficult and would like to return to later for a review or clarification.

Reading requires much focus, but it is important to not become burned out. To prevent burnout, study for an hour or so, then designate a specific time or set a goal for yourself which you must meet before you take a short 10-15 minute break. For example, "I will read 20 more pages and then I can stop for a break." During breaks, try to do activities which contrast with the work you have been doing. Take a walk to stimulate your circulation or listen to music to relax.

Study groups can also be very productive as long as the group remains focused and does not become too distracted. Small groups of 3-5 usually work best, so that the students can ask each other questions for clarification or quiz one another on the material. The spirit of these groups should always be one of cooperation and team work in order to achieve the academic success of all its members.

If these suggestions have been followed, the last step before a big exam is to get a good night of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the test. Knowing you have studied and prepared to the best of your ability, enter the test with calm and confidence--- and ace it!

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