Let's be Honest, studying isn't as much fun as other things in life. In fact for most teens
it ranks near the bottom of the list. But, like most things in life, it is a discipline that will serve
you well later in life no matter what life brings you.
There are three basic aspects to successful studying in a teacher's classroom. The first is
knowing WHEN to study, next is WHAT to study and the lastly is knowing HOW to study.
When to Study
This part is easy to say and hard to do. It is best to study briefly over a long period of time
than to try to cram it all in the night before. (see cartoon above). Of course we all have had
that time when we didn't study and managed to still do well on the exam, but we would have
learned more and remembered it longer if we would have taken 10-30 min every night.
What To Study (in my class)
In my class this is easy. Over 90% of the questions on the final assessment for the unit comes
from information in the outline you will get at the beginning of the chapter, which is also
covered in class during the unit and in the formative work you do at home in the evening. In
other words, I make sure you will be getting the information at least FOUR TIMES during the
unit. This may seem like that will make it easy, and I try to do just that, but the concepts are
not simple and it will take more than sitting and absorbing the information to really do well.
How to Study
First - Get what you need. This means a desk with nothing on it except what you need for the task you are going to
work on. Move everything out of the way. You want to concentrate on one thing: studying.
Make sure you have the following:
Your assignment notebook Good lighting Solid flat surface for writing
Books Eliminate all distractions Supplies
Computer (NOT for IM's or games) Wear your glasses (if you are supposed to)
Second - Have a regular time and place for studying, this means planning around your schedule. Sports, rehearsals
and other regular events should all be considered. It is best if you always study at the same time each day. Make a
weekly calendar of your life and see when you have free time each day. (Yes, it may mean setting the TIVO for your
Third - The setting. Studies have shown that we remember things we have studied when we are in similar settings.
This means that if the class will be quiet and you will be sitting at a desk when you are tested, this is the best
environment to study at. Many students like to have music on when they study (as odd as it seems, these are usually
the students who need absolute quite) and this is sometimes fine IF the music does not have words. Siblings, friends,
and yes, parents, should not be allowed to talk to or disturb someone studying. Parents may want to check in on their
children at regular intervals to make sure they are staying on task, but not starting a conversation with them.
Finally - one of the best methods to use to study is called active study. This is good for classes even when you
don't have any 'official' homework in the class. See the section on homework for more information on this.