Dear Auntie, I want to start off this school year on a good foot by getting better grades. Any tips for studying?
Starting off with this goal like ‘getting better grades’ is a great way to start off the year.
Something to think about is what kind of learner are you? This matters because it’s important to know how you learn. For example, are you a morning person? Late-nighter? Have no problem sitting for hours, or you can’t sit still through one class? Start to pay attention to these things. Try things like walking around the track while reading, or setting up your laptop on a high shelf, so you have a standing desk instead of sitting.
Once you’ve spent some time thinking about what kind of learner you are, you can experiment with the best places to study.
Where you Study matters:
- Your own study space – if you like organized, structured spaces, you can create a study space that is only used for studying. See if your parents can help you find a desk that has all the materials you might need to study, so that you can really crack down.
- Need quiet to focus? If you need total and complete silence in order to concentrate, then somewhere like a library, or study hall might be the best place for you to get your brain waves flowing. These places will also have a space for you to study like a table or desk, or a comfy chair or sofa for you strain your brain…just don’t get too comfy. I once passed out in the library while doing some reading and completely missed my next class!
- Do you like a little bit of noise? If it’s hard for you to be in an absolutely quiet room, where every sound makes you turn your head, then you might need a noisier place to get your think on. If this noisier place is too much of a distraction because of what’s making the noise (like an annoying roommate, or a screaming brother and sister), then maybe try a little music. However, stay away from the headphones and try to use a stereo that’s playing music you’re familiar with. This will help to not distract you too much. Research has shown that studying with headphones on tends to decrease memory and information retention, while background music can be a study aid.
How to “Study” hard…real hard:
So once you’ve decided what kind of environment suits you best, you can gear up for your cram session. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your study time:
- Turn off the TV.
- Turn off your cell phone, or put it on “airplane” mode if you need it to study.
- Get a good study buddy, or work alone. The apple of your eye is probably not the best person to “study” with (wink wink), especially if they’re not working on the same thing you are.
- Take a 10- 15-minute break for every 50 to 75 minutes of studying.
- Get a healthy snack during your break…you’re body and mind will thank you.
Best of luck to you!