7 Study Tips that can help your child finish the school year strong!
Are you concerned about your child’s study habits? These 7 simple actions may help.
Since the 1930’s when Allen F. Morgenstern created a work simplification program and coined the idea of “working smarter, not harder,” this has been the battle cry of the American worker. But this concept does not just apply to people in the workforce. Students can also adopt techniques that allow them to work smarter, not harder. Learning expert, Jim Kwik, has several tips that students can adopt to help them maximize their study time and retain more information and I have added one of my favorites.
Tip #1: Quit trying to multitask
Multitasking is fruitless...and it’s a myth. Multitasking requires you to switch between tasks which causes you to lose focus and lose time. Believe it or not, it takes 5-20 minutes to regain your focus each time you switch back to a task.
Tip #2: Stop cramming
Did you know that sleep helps people form long-term memories? When students stay up late studying or pull all-nighters before a big test, they are actually cheating themselves. The information they are studying doesn’t readily convert into their long-term memory bank and they are more fatigued the next day when recalling the information is necessary. Studying is most effective when you take frequent breaks and get good sleep.
Tip #4: Implement spaced repetition
Repetition is good. Spaced repetition is even better. When you or your student study material at increasingly spaced intervals, this information moves from your short-term to your long-term memory. Check out Anki, an app that facilitates spaced-repetition learning.
Tip #5: Practice active recall
It’s easy to confuse recognition with recall. When you recognize something, it’s familiar. This requires some sort of trigger. For example, when you reread a chapter in your science book, you recognize the content and may mistakenly think you know it and quit studying. When you recall information, however, you pull information out of your memory bank without a trigger—a necessary skill for test-taking. Instead, close your books and quiz yourself periodically or recall all the information you can remember about a given topic. This is a much better indicator of how well you’re absorbing new information than simply rereading material.
Tip #6: Smell your way to successful learning
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a smell followed by a flood of memories? Smells have a unique way of helping people recall stored information. Much like a web, they attach themselves to memories and, when that smell presents itself again, it pulls that memory along with it. Use a new scented Chapstick or put on an essential oil or a scented lotion that you don’t normally wear when you’re studying a hard concept. Then, on test day, bust it out again and benefit from the web of information that’s triggered by that particular scent.
Tip #7: Do the hardest things first
We all enjoy working on the things we love and put off working on what is difficult and not as enjoyable. We know many students that will wait until the end of the evening to study for that Calculus test. At the end of the night, your tired, maybe a little anxious, and your brain just isn’t working as well. It is better to work on the hardest things first, when your fresh, and then reward yourself with working on easier or more enjoyable tasks. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make.
If you are looking for more study tips so you can study smarter, we would love to help! Feel free to contact us! If you or your child are struggling with learning and can’t seem to make headway, take our free brain skills assessment and discover any underlying cognitive issues that could be addressed.