Scallywag

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~

Key Secrets To High School And Study Skills Success

August 11th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 3 mins, 7 secs

Vital high school and study skills are essential for success.

Nearly every student thinks high school and study skills success techniques are obvious. But that’s only half true.

The upshot is the average student has a piecemeal view of what’s necessary. Worse, many schools assume their students know how to write essays, prepare assignments, and even study without properly teaching them how. It’s outrageous. But it happens. That’s why I have put together a list of study skills and high school helps. If you know someone studying at this level, or even at college or university, then by all means pass this on. Chances are, applying this information will give them that extra edge they need to succeed.

Let’s start with the basics. High School And Study Skills Step One: Have a clutter free place to study that’s away from the TV and distraction free (for instance, Facebook needs to be offline). So long as it’s not off-putting, music is optional. This space is where after school study and homework should happen and, ideally, nothing else. The idea is to create an unambiguous “nerve center” for study.

High School And Study Skills Step Two: Draw up an action plan (and I mean, draw). Create a simple diagram, like a mind map, pictorially showing time allocated per day for homework, when to do it (a regular time is best), why this work is being done, and also the goals being achieved. This should depict study free times too, to keep them clearly separate and, perhaps, tie them to rewards. Also include a date due calendar near the desk for hand in times to keep everything in a scheduled perspective.

High School And Study Skills Step Three: Follow a 20 minutes on / 5 minutes off approach. Research shows study works best when it’s broken into these smaller blocks, providing breaks are kept short too.

High School And Study Skills Step Four: 6 tools to help you recall everything you’ve been learning:

  • Draw simple doodles to represent concepts rather than writing mass slabs of notes. As the brain thinks in pictures (not text blocks), recall increases.
  • Use comedy and shock value in drawings too. Making them symbolic helps the mind to remember more, and feel free to use color to emphasize ideas.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat! Drill went out of fashion. But it works. So use it to go through material until it sticks.
  • Summarize ideas down to one sentence. Doing this gives students a useful mental hook to recall all they know about a subject come exam time.  Plus, it offers a good gauge of understanding.
  • Sing, say, and rhyme everything you need to know. Just like songs and ads that stick in your head long after you want them to go, these techniques powerfully embed information into your brain. Easily.
  • Look for the sense in everything. Don’t know what you are meant to learn? Ask the teacher until you do. Pester them if you have to. This is crucial. Then once you get it, keep it with doodles, dot points, and summaries.

Results are only feedback about progress, not a measure of knowledge. So resist the temptation to tie yourself to scores because they either inflate your ego or dash it against the rocks. What you learn and recall are your real results. By all means aim for A’s but realize that understanding is the name of the game, not point scoring. Some people will certainly disagree with me because, when it comes to study skills and high school, marks matter. That is, of course, true. But good students develop great study skills first and foremost. Cramming expertise, or how well we work out cheats might help get a pass. But they have nothing to do with proficiency. Instead, high school and study skills success is about understanding, doing the set work, and being able to explain it.

What else? Well, the quicker you know what you want to do, career wise, the better. This gives stronger reasons to apply your self when, say, everyone else is out there partying. You can also build on this by spending time with people already doing what you dream of doing (it’s a brilliant mental “tap tap” to build motivation).  Lastly, bone up on how to write essays and do assignments by googling YouTube to get a clear understanding of what you need to do.

Doing these things will boost your high school and study skills success academically. But the other half of study – the social side – is another story, which certainly deserves a post of its own.

 

 

 

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