By Angela Padrón
Studying is an important skill that all students should master. In order for students to retain information, the brain needs to practice it over and over again. When information is re-read and repeated, the brain realizes that the information is something important and thus it stores the data into its long-term memory bank. This allows students to recall facts and material at a later date to demonstrate mastery and to apply it in further applications or tasks.
There are many different techniques that students can use to develop strong study habits:
Stay organized – Be sure to have folders, binders and other organizational material where students can keep their homework and papers organized by date and subject. This also allows students to go back and review material prior to any test or quiz
Know the expectations – Students should have an agenda or notebook where they can write their homework down. They should also be aware of objectives and standards to meet, whether it’s through a teacher’s website, syllabus, daily board post, or weekly newsletter, there should be no surprises to material being taught and assessed.
Create a study area – Designate a place in your child’s room or home where he can go and complete his work and study each night. This will develop a routine for your child to follow.
Begin studying in advance – Cramming for a test the night before is a bad habit to get into. Students should start to review information days before any test, thus allowing their brains to slowly and methodically store information needed to recall for a test.
Form a study group – Students can work together to share ideas and test each other on topics they’re learning in class. Those who are struggling can look to others who are mastering the content, which in turn helps the mastery student review information.
Learn and practice good test-taking strategies – Students should practice completing tasks in a given time period in order to learn to pace themselves on timed tests. They should also review common skills, such as:
Process of elimination with multiple-choice questions
Reading the questions ahead of a passage in order to know what information to look for when reading
Going back to an unknown question after answering the ones you are confident about, and
Underlining important words in questions so you understand exactly what information should be included in an answer.
By developing strong study habits, students are increasing their chances for greater success in school now and in the future.