Studying effectively can be a challenge all its own. We have provided some tips for parents and students to work together to make the most of study time and be prepared when the test arrives. Preparation helps to ease anxiety and help calm nerves; giving students confidence and focus when they need it!
Record assignments daily in either a planner (Helias provides one) or on a homework app (My Homework App is very popular) or even in the notes section of a smart phone.
Get organized in whatever way best suits the student. Use separate notebooks for different classes or a binder with dividers. Color coordinate notebooks and folders, and label everything so it is easy to recognize what goes with what class.
Once a week, it is great to go through notebooks and binders and straighten things up, organize what needs to be kept, discard what is no longer needed. Do the same with locker and backpack. Remember, most classes have cumulative exams, so don’t throw away what may be needed for studying later.
Figure out the student’s learning style. Are they a visual learner and need to see pictures, charts and concrete examples? Do they prefer having things read aloud? Is it more helpful for you to write things out?
Provide a quiet study area that can be monitored. When teens go to their room to “study” they are more easily inclined to get off task and play on their phones, video games, watch TV, etc. It may also help to provide a snack, paper, pens, pencils, index cards or a small whiteboard…whatever helps to make the study area comfortable and functional. Peppermint stimulates the brain, and it is said that eating chocolate while studying may help the brain retain information.
Look at the week in advance (maybe over the weekend) so studying can be planned out over a couple of nights instead of trying to cram it all in the night before a test or project is due. This is especially helpful when students are involved in activities, or have a job; it helps with time management and prioritization.
Note taking and studying
When taking notes, highlight or star important information in some way so it stands out when studying begins. Write questions in the margin if more clarification is needed on something the teacher explains.
Start a new page each day for notes, put the date and title at the top. This will help students find information when studying or answering questions. To learn and retain information, it’s helpful to listen to it, read it and write it. Writing something out is equivalent to reading it seven times.
Use a study app. Quizlet (quizlet.com) is very helpful for studying. A student almost always has their phone with them so they can study any time without needing to have books/notes with them. Quizlet has premade study information that you can utilize, or you can input your own notes/info for tests. You can use the search function to find quizlets for specific textbooks etc. Students can also share quizlets with each other.
When writing a paper, copy and paste one paragraph at a time to Google Translate and listen to it to find mistakes. Or have someone read it aloud. Wordhippo.com is a great resource for finding words that you can describe but can’t remember.
If possible, set a time for homework every night. Most students have at least 45-60 minutes of homework. If you don’t have any that night, use this time to go over notes, input information into quizlet, read and prepare in advance.
If a teacher has a Google Classroom, parents may ask to be added to the class and check it often for updates to your student’s assignments and schedule.
Find a study buddy, or create a group — virtually or in person — don’t do work for someone else or take someone else’s answers, but collaborate to get to the answer or figure out how to solve a problem.
Ask questions if you don’t understand. If you are struggling with an assignment, get to school early and meet with the teacher or stop by at the end of the day.
EXTRA CREDIT IS A GIFT which students should always accept!