The world the our next generation lives in, is a complicated and technical place. For those in high school, you're surrounded by iPhones, androids, laptops, tablets, smart boards and touchscreens, yet despite the modernisation of, well, everything, the skills required for school have remained the same. You need to be able to spell, write, discuss and learn.
Often adults and teachers will tell you to go and finish your homework or go and study, but how do you study? You learn the content in class but sometimes you're not taught how to learn or how to study.
So for those studying Year 9 onwards, this is a place tailored just for you and it contains study skills that can help you improve your attitude and habits towards learning.
Adjust your music volume to what suits you the best. Some students study with music or background noise, and others need complete silence. Find your sound level, noting it may change depending on what you are studying.
As you read your subject books, use post-it notes as temporary summaries, so write down the key ideas and key points from that page and stick the post-it on that page until it comes to doing your final summaries.
Study spaces #1 - avoid studying in your bed, your bed is where you sleep and it is important for your brain to separate study from sleep. Sometimes it's also good to change up your study space to maintain productivity, maybe try sitting outside and get some fresh air, or sit at the dining table.
Study spaces #2 - make sure your study space is neat, tidy and clean. Try and brighten up the area where you predominantly study at home so you can stay productive. Also have what you use the most ready to go on your desk.
Always start your school assignments early, so it doesn't appear that you have rushed it. Starting an assignment early means you're able to do more research, have a better view of the topic, and you'll have more time to refine and proofread. Ultimately, this can lead to a higher mark.
Handwrite as much as you possibly can. Handwriting improves the amount of information your memory absorbs. It also improves your handwriting skills for exams. Many students nowadays cannot write consistently for 2 hours, often losing marks due to limited depth and length of their discussion.
Once you've read your subjects texts and highlighted the most relevant sections, it's really good to summarise each chapter of that textbook. Summarising is another way to absorb the information you need to learn for tests, sacs or exams. The best way to summarise is use headings, lots of colour (highlighters) and dot-point sentences. Headings break up the information into sections, colour allows you to have a bit of fun, but also grabs your attention when referring to them at a later date, and dot-points means you have been concise, they are much easier to read than paragraphs. Also try and aim for your summaries to be one third of the textbook chapter length.
Flash cards are a great way to summarise but more importantly, quiz yourself on coursework as exam or test revision. The great thing about flash cards is that you can use them for all your high school subjects, especially biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and legal studies. Flash cards are great for equations, and brief dot-points to prepare yourself for quizzes and short answer questions in a test.
Studying with your friends can be both rewarding and distracting, however if you can be productive and stay on task, you'll be surprised by how much you can learn and revise. When you're studying with your friends, you can discuss the English text, solve mathematical problems together and you can quiz each other for your next Science test. Studying with your friends also encourages you to talk and discuss which allows your brain to absorb the information in a different way compared to your usual private study where you are mainly writing and reading.
*Due to the widespread COVID-19 outbreak, the Modern Academic encourages all readers to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Distractions are common within our day - but what are the ones that impact on your study? Firstly, switch off your phone (or at least on silent). It is sometimes best if you can remove it from your study space as well. Facebook (or any social media platform) is a 'NO GO', it takes your focus away from your homework and prevents your brain from allowing information to sink in, instead of reading that page once, you may need to read it 2-3 times. Avoid studying near a TV. Also try and study in reasonable silence (some students like music, but try and listen to tunes without lyrics).
Avoid having too many things on your desk. Your mind needs to be focused on that subject, so having 4 subjects scattered across your desk will prevent you from being 100% focused on what you are meant to be doing at that point in time.
When you study with distractions it will take up to 2 or 3 times longer to absorb the information and this means instead of getting homework out of the way in 1 or 2 hours, you may be spending up to 4 or 5 hours (which can be extremely wasteful).