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Study Skills

Build Better Study Skills

  • You have homework, and you want to do it.  But you don't seem to get anything done!  These tips can help:
  • Begin at the beginning.  Break large projects into, small manageable parts.
  • List study goals.  Before each study session, you should make a to-do list. Post the list and cross off finished tasks.
  • Play beat the clock.  estimate how long homework should take.  Then set a timer and challenge yourself to "beat the clock."
  • Organize materials.  It's hard to study when you can't find supplies.  Make sure you have an organization system that makes sense, such as color-coded folders for each subject.
  • Review early and often.  Instead of cramming the night before a test, review material immediately after class and every few days.

When is the Best Time For Homework?

Some kids are night owls.  Others are up before the sun rises.  Finding your "prime time" for studying may be a key to success in school.  If you are an early riser, try scheduling homework before school begins.  You may find that late evening study hours are best.  There is no single best time for homework.  Experiment to see what works for you.   And remember, most kids (and most adults) need to take short, breaks so they can do their best thinking.  Schedule brief breaks during homework time.


Plan the Perfect Study Period

Limit each study period to 30 minutes long.  Take a short break, five to ten minutes, between study periods.

Example:  Suppose you need 1 ½ hours for study.  Your schedule should look like this. 
4:00-4:30 Study 
4:30-4:35 Break 
4:30-5:05 Study 
5:05-5:15 Break 
5:15-5:45 Study

Sometimes when a plan is made for study time, you will find that the whole 1 ½ hours is not needed.


Study Skills Links

How to Study 
More on How to Study
Study Guides and Strategies
Homework Desk: Study Skills and Strategies
Study Skills for Middle School and Beyond
100 Self-Help & Study Skills for Students with ADD




Preparing for a Math Test

  1. Start Early - preparation for the next test should be happening every day.
  2. Redo homework problems, especially the ones you got wrong the first time.
  3. Create flashcards with problems to practice.
  4. Create your own test with solutions.
  5. Do the practice tests at the end of the chapter.
  6. Do the extra practice problems at the end of the book.
  7. Do the extra practice problems on the textbook website. 
  8. Notice that the last three suggestions used the word "do" not just "look at."
  9. Get extra help when you need it. Go to your teacher's help sessions. Talk to a friend.
  10. Practice, practice, practice - everyday!


Determining Your Learning Style Can Help You Study Better

We all have ways in which we learn best. For some of us, it's by hearing and listening, auditory. For others, it is by seeing, visual. And for some, it is by touching and doing, kinesthetic. Making flash cards benefits all students. Review the following to help determine which method or combination of styles works best for you.

Listening. You may find it best to read text or notes out loud and record them. Then you can play the tape back and listen to the material. Use the flash cards to say the answers out loud.

Seeing. You may need to read the material several times. As you go through it the last time, you can quiz yourself on key points. Also picture the written questions and answers in your mind. A looker benefits from reading the flash cards over and over.

Doing. You may need to write out information. You can copy notes or make outlines. Drawing pictures and making diagrams is also helpful. A doer benefits from writing questions on one side of the flash card and answers on the other.