"Successful students are not necessarily born that way; they plan, set goals and work hard to achieve them"
This year as a part of our participation in the Communities Making a Difference Project we will be regularly publishing information that can help our students to be more effective in their study habits. These Study Tips are meant as a starting point students need to research and discover what will work best for them as individuals.
Each new school year, semester and term is a fresh start if you have not been productive and successful then there is always the opportunity to improve. Evaluating and realising that you need to develop your study skills is very important and a step in the right direction. There are many resources and staff at the College who are available to help.The first port of call should be the student's College Diary, at the rear of the Diary there are pages with tips on, Time Management, Goal Setting, Stress, Editing and Proof Reading, Study Tips and an excellent Study Timetable template.
Subject teachers can help you with subject specific study tips, Homeroom teachers can help with general study tips, Year Level Coordinators can help with general student welfare and pastoral care that pertains to study skills and the School Counsellors are also very knowledgeable on a wide range of strategies to support students in their learning.
Establish a Routine:
Are you one of those students who know that you have to study/do homework in order to keep on top of things, improve, complete and hand up work on time - BUT you never seem to have the time to sit down and get on with the job that by the time you do, it is too late at night and the due date is tomorrow?Use the Study Timetable template in the College Diary set aside the times when you are committed to family mealtimes, sport, part-time work and the Xbox.
Program time each day to study, two or three, 30 40 minute time-slots should suffice although Senior Students may require more.Plan what you are going to do in each time-slot before you start.
Check that you have allotted time equally to all subjects and a miscellaneous time-slot where you can utilise additional time for any pressing assignments and or revision for tests/exams. Try to vary the type of study you do during each session for example, practise extended writing or reading during one session and then revise scientific formulas or mathematical equations in another session.
Don't try to "study" all in one sitting of 3 or more hours, it will only serve to create a negative view of the experience.
Create a Study Environment:
Hands up if you regularly are trying to complete your study/homework with your Laptop and your dinner balanced on your knees in front of the television whilst your brothers and sisters are entertaining their friends in the same room.You need to create a space to study away from distractions and household kafuffle. Clear a space in your room; make sure you have a comfortable chair and desk that will support your back, neck and shoulders. Get a desk lamp to light your work space and make sure that you have some ventilation so that your room does not become too stuffy and you begin to feel drowsy.
Avoid interruptions. Once you have settled into your workspace make sure that you have all of the materials required to complete the tasks at hand. Planning before you get stuck into a study session is very important. Don't waste your 30 - 40 minutes flitting around the house looking for a pen or a glue stick.
Find a Study buddy:
Quite often students do not want to share their work with someone else because they fear the potential criticism. Be brave, take a risk, try something new this year - ask a friend, your parents or other family members to conference and edit your work or quiz you on what you have learnt; use draft questions from books, past assessments or major exam papers. Just speaking with another person about your work will often serve to clarify the information in your own mind. Combining study with someone else can serve not only the purpose of study, but can also be a social occasion as well. If you ask someone for their opinion LISTEN. At first you may not necessarily like what you hear - but what you need to keep in mind is that any advice that makes you think about and question the quality of your work cannot be bad, it's called reflection and evaluation!
Look after yourself:
There have been numerous studies linking hydration, diet, exercise and sleep to brain function. Effective study requires you to be well rested. You must make sure that you get enough sleep each night and do not overindulge in foods which cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Exercise is very important. Have you ever been tired and lethargic and jumped on your bike and/or gone for a walk only to feel reinvigorated afterwards? It is very important to alternate between periods of study and some sort of physical activity even if it is just to get up from your desk to wander out to the kitchen to make a healthy snack and grab a glass of water.Practise relaxation techniques which can be readily researched via the Internet or the College Counsellors. These same relaxation techniques could also be utilised during tests and exams.
An important point to remember is that if you have followed a study timetable, sought support where necessary, completed the work required and taken care of yourself along the way then success as a student should not be too far away.
Reward yourself for Studying:
All work and no play is not good for you you must have a work life balance. Make sure that you reward your study efforts with something that you enjoy doing, include your reward as a part of your Study Timetable. For example, after 30 minutes of study why not go for a 30 minute walk or play Xbox. Remember that rewards need to be earned and that there is no point in cheating yourself. Rewards are the most satisfying when you know that you have worked hard to achieve them and really deserve it.