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Three Effective Study Tips by Roger Lewis Fischel

Three Effective Study Tips by
Article Posted: 08/16/2017
Article Views: 322
Articles Written: 25
Word Count: 885
Article Votes: 0
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Three Effective Study Tips

How you study matters. In this brief article I pass on three of the most Effective Study Tips I know. We know for certain that the primary reason students do not succeed in school is a lack of powerful study habits. Our goal is to help as many students as we can to learn through effective study tips presented here. Here then are three tips for effective study that have a basis in peer reviewed research. Prepare your mind to study. Read and revise your class notes before you study. Study alone but review/practice with classmates.

Prepare Your Mind to Study

If you think of studying as punishment, something you must do, you have lost the game before it begins. A change of your own mindset is in order. Research suggests that how you approach a task is just as, maybe even more important than what you do. Success gurus have proclaimed that it must always begin with a positive mental attitude (PMA). Easier said than done, you say. No one can force you into having a PMA. There are sometimes things in the way that are out of your control. All kinds of distractions such as relationships, an upcoming event, your science project barely started seem to get in the way. If this is the case, studying is going to be non-productive. Yet this is the perfect time to clear your mind to focus on the job at hand. Don't let distractions work as an excuse. Set your studying aside for a few minutes and follow a routine to get your head in the game. Create a PMA Routine: Have a set of reminders to help block distractions. Reminders like, 'I've done it before, I can do it again,' or 'I have skills and abilities,' work for me. Ask yourself what works for you. Establish a routine to make your study time count by putting distractions on hold. Avoid Negative Thinking: All negative thinking does is reinforce your distractions. 'I'm a mess,' 'That science project is killing me,' and the like allow negativity to thrive. Avoid this inner speech. Do Not Compare Yourself to Others. 'Billy always gets better grades than I get,' is a sure fire way to set yourself up to fail. Funny, but we always seem to compare ourselves to those doing better. I am not suggesting that you compare yourself to those doing poorly. That is the same error. The PMA stance to to think about how you can improve on your last performance, not on trying to do better than others.

Read and Revise Notes Before You Study

I always recommend that you read your classroom notes daily from the beginning. But re-reading alone is not enough. As you re-read your notes, make connections to build a learning foundation. You should also look for contradictions so you can ask questions in class later. I have suggested before that the Cornell Note System is powerful for making connections. It is also a good format for reviewing your notes as well. Because we all differ, how we organize knowledge is somewhat unique. What is clear is that within this diversity there are several patterns that arise. Your notes reflect your style of learning. If you miss class for any reason, ask a classmate to look at their notes. As you transfer those notes to your notebook, transfer them in your style of note-taking. This assures that you see them in your unique style, making it easier to integrate later.

Study Alone but Review/Practice with Classmates

There are phases of learning; some solitary and some public. When presented with new material the vast majority of people need time alone to absorb the information. During this study phase, what we do is integrate the new with the existing to make sense of it. This leads, however, to some misconceptions. Left to our own devices, the odds of getting everything 'right' are against us. For this reason, when the solitary phase is over, it is important to study in a group of three people. Here we uncover misconceptions by comparing our learning with the learning of our friends. Think of review as a form of practice. One purpose of practice is to correct errors made to enhance memory. This is the basis of true learning. By reviewing and practicing we create memory paths that help us develop stronger connections.

Effective Study Tips: Final Words

In this brief review we touched on three important tips for effective study. The first focused on PMA, an attitude shift before embarking on study. Then we looked at note-taking and making connections through review. Finally, the idea of solitary study combined with group review led to enhanced memory. Each of these follow in a sequence of sorts. Each is important as a stand alone but together the make you into a power learner.

Dr. Roger Lewis is the owner of Effective Study Tips where he introduces parents and their children to the most effective study habits we know of. Dr. Lewis is a career educator teaching in both middle-school settings and in university departments of education. His specialty is in the teaching of reading methods for k-12 students. He is now retired concentrating on sharing his knowledge with a broader audience.

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