January 17, 2018

Study skills for Student Success

Some high school students are finishing up this semester of classes.  Unfortunately, some are in panic mode.  It’s the time of year where teachers may hear, “Is there anything I can to raise my grade?”

They aren’t looking for help on how to study, time management strategies, note taking skills or creating a study guide.

Study skills

Too often students are looking for a quick fix as they are concerned with getting a good grade.

Let’s help our children learn how to study and help them learn how to be successful in both academically and personally.

Some students seem to know what to do . . .

  1. They go to class
  2. Take all the notes
  3. Complete their homework.
  4. Take the test and  . .  . FAIL?!? 

What’s going on?

Going to class is obviously necessary as you need to be physically present in order to get the needed information. Glossy eyes, droll coming from your mouth, head on your desk  – physically present, but not much learning taking place!   Being mentally present is something that is obviously necessary.  Be present and ready to learn.  Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast.  Exercise and diet are important to create a healthy life style that enables you to do your best.

Taking the notes in class does not mean that you have effective note taking skills.  If you are just copying notes down without processing them, then you are not actively participating in the learning at that moment.  No . . . doodling your boy/girl friend’s name or writing notes on what you are bringing on next weekend’s vacation  doesn’t count!   Remember, the notes the teacher puts on the board are there to provide the content.  You should use the margins to write additional comments, ways to remember the information, questions for your teacher or tutor.

Okay, I admit it, some homework assignments are just a regurgitation of facts.  In some classes (like math), the teacher shows you how to do a certain type of problem and you have 30 more just like it for homework.  Have you really been able to learn the concept she was teaching or just how to do the problem?  As you progress through school, that becomes a problem as you need to not only know the material, but will need to know how and when to use it.   Lots of application later on!

Did you actually study for the test?  How did you study?  Oh yeah, I know, the classic flip through the pages saying, “Yep, I know that . . . that . . . that . . .”   Is that how your teacher grades you?  Do you look through the test and tell her, “Yeah, that’s right.  I agree!”  You need to study in the same manner that the tests are being administrated.  Create a practice test that models the type of test you will be taking.  Find examples that you have answers to.  Look in your notes, your book, quizzes, study guide.  Write them all down on a separate paper then take the test at a later time or date.

Of course there are many more issues that affect a child’s ability to do well on a test including Test Anxiety.  We’ll go more into that in another post.

What is your child doing to get ready for a test?