study skills

study skills

What Does Your Learning Style Say About You?

raised hand in classWhen looking at matters of education, one of the best things you can do is know yourself. Whether you are a high school student or heading to college, knowing about your learning tendencies and habits will help you be more successful in the classroom.

One thing that can truly help your learning is figuring out what your learning style is. There are three different core learning styles and each has its own benefits. The three major styles of learning are visual, auditory and kinesthetic, and to find out which style you are, there are numerous free tests on the web that you can take. Finding out your particular learning style is the first step towards capitalizing on your learning capabilities.

The first style of learning to explore is visual. Those who learn best visually learn by seeing things in front of them and absorbing the material. Typically, visual learners really understand things when they see it in picture form or with the aid of charts and graphs. Some of the benefits of being a visual learner are that you might frequently make outlines, you take good notes from what the teacher writes on the board and you make a lot of lists. All of these things can be very helpful to your study habits. Visual learners don’t do well with tests where they have to listen and respond. Anytime you have a test that involves reading a map or diagram, typically you will do well because of your learning style. Read the rest of this entry »



You’re Behind in Your Work. Now What?

studyIt’s October, the fall semester is well underway and the assignments are starting to pile up. This is the time when some students start to get behind in their work. The good news is, there’s also time to catch up.

David Leibow
, psychiatrist and author of What to Do When College is Not the Best Time of Your Life shares his tips for getting back on the ball. He proposes the theory of FLAM, or the First Law of Academic Motion, a twist on Newton’s laws of motion. The idea is this: once you get going, you’ll be more likely to finish. But the longer you procrastinate, the worse the situation will become. Here are some more of his suggestions:

Stop Making Excuses

Don’t tell yourself, “I’m too tired now” or “I work better under pressure.” Say, “I have to do that now,” and then really do it.

Read the rest of this entry »



The Best Studying Snacks to Fuel Your Brain

Snack Plate of PeanutsIt is no secret that America is suffering from an epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles, but now researchers are saying that not only will eating better improve your physical health, but possibly your I.Q. as well.

In a time when students are desperately abusing prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin to increase their mental focus and processing during major study sessions, these same scientists are hoping that instead of popping pills, college students will incorporate these brain boosters into their diets. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Recover From Academic Probation

a-gradeAcademic probation isn’t a good thing, but it’s not something you can’t recover from. Academic probation happens when a student lets their grade point average fall below a predetermined number set by the school. There can be different academic criteria even within the same college. For example the overall school GPA may be one thing, but to keep your scholarship, or qualify for a certain field of study, the number may be higher. For some, the slip into academic probation is casual but for others, one semester of too much partying and you’re there. No matter what the scenario, if you find yourself on academic probation, there are a few things you can do to get yourself back on track.

  • Go to class, go to class, go to class: Many times the culprit for bad grades is missing class. Many professors offer participation points to students just for showing up. Even if they don’t, going to class every day will keep you involved in your studies. You will get information that you could miss out on by skipping and going will help you know exactly what you need to study for the tests. Going to class will help you absorb the information that you are being taught which will help improve your chances at a high grade. Read the rest of this entry »


How to Raise Your GPA

Raise Your GPACollege and high school are drastically different. Once you go to college, you’ve got a lot more freedom. It’s totally up to you as a student to go to class, remember to do your homework and study for tests. Sometimes that level of responsibility can be good, and for some, it can spell trouble.

Your level of attentiveness and class participation translates directly into your grades. If you miss class, or constantly show up late, you miss out on assignments, important notes the teacher might give, test dates and your grades can suffer. Having a high grade point average (GPA) in college can translate into getting into better graduate school programs, getting a better job or even being eligible for the best internships.

For those that find they have a need to try and raise their GPA, there is hope. These tips can even be used by those just starting college to keep their grades top notch. Whether you plan to go to graduate school or not, having a high GPA can be a helpful tool to show you’ve mastered your curriculum.

Go to class: Being in class shows your professors that you care enough to be there. Being in class will ensure that you never miss out on a surprise quiz, project or participation points. Many teachers have chosen to give students credit just for going to class. Those points can make the difference between letter grades. Also, if you’re constantly in class, you’re bound to absorb more of that information that’s being tossed around, whether you mean to or not. Read the rest of this entry »



New Research Ditches Common Wisdom About Studying

study-habitsAre you a left-brain thinker or a right-brain thinker? Are you an auditory learner or a visual learner? New research says that we should forget these categories entirely. An article published in The New York Times reveals that researchers have discovered much of the advice about learning and studying that’s been handed down to us is unsupported at best even flat-out wrong.

Take the idea that you should stay in the same place when you study, and that it should be a clean, quiet space. Psychologists found that students who studied the same material in different places, one of which was not quiet, did better than students studying the same subject in the same room. “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, author of the experiment and psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Whenever you study something, your surroundings also get registered along with the information that you’re explicitly trying to remember. It seems that the more surroundings that get attached to that information, the more likely you will be to remember it because it will have “more neural scaffolding.”

Read the rest of this entry »



Everything You Need to Pull an All-Nighter

coffeeAs another school year gets underway, there are some constants you can’t forget. Between homework and library research, term papers and study sessions, it’s inevitable that there will be days you don’t have enough time to finish everything in your regular waking hours. Whether it’s a habit of procrastination, a big test or a heavy class load, college students are going to need to pull an all-nighter sooner or later. Some dread them, and some find they work better under the pressure of a looming deadline and lack of sleep, but either way, you better get used to them.

It’s definitely better to study on a regular basis so you aren’t forced to pull an all-night study session to get things done, but when you find yourself unable to avoid it, there are some things that will make your evening easier, and maybe even a little more enjoyable:

  • Caffeine: Whether it’s in the form of coffee, chocolate, tablets or a fancy latte, caffeine is a must for pulling an all-nighter. It will help you stay awake so that you are alert enough to absorb the material you’re cramming into your brain at four in the morning. Read the rest of this entry »


Study with a Partner to Succeed

study partnersSometimes, it is just not fun to have to study, especially when you see other people out and about, doing fun things. But when you study with a friend, you know that you are not suffering alone, and that makes it somewhat more tolerable. Also, you have someone to help explain concepts or problems you don’t understand, and vice versa.

My main problem when I try to study with my friends is that we end up talking more about Desperate Housewives than the class we are supposed to be studying. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this habit.

So is there any way you can get the benefits of studying with a friend without getting sidetracked? I attended a seminar about the benefits of group learning and how to make it the most efficient use of your study time.

Here are some study tips that can help you and your study partner out.

1. Set an agenda. If you know what you have to study during your study session, you can make a list and check off each thing as you learn it. Put something rewarding at the end of your list, like a trip to the ice-cream shop, to motivate both you and your partner to stay on task.

Read the rest of this entry »



How to Stay Organized in College

student juggles timeWhether a college freshman or returning for what feels like your umpteenth semester, it’s important to start the year off with a plan to manage your schedule. The first few weeks might seem easy, a paper here, a book to read there, a few math problems here; but before long you’ll have 15 hours worth of papers, exams, required reading, class projects and more to keep track of, and that’s when problems begin.

There are probably as many ways to organize your schedule as there are college majors, so it’s important to find a method that suits your style and let it works for you. Whether it’s old school paper and pen, an iPhone app, a Google calendar or fancy leather-bound planner, make sure you have a scheduling method in place, and use it! Read the rest of this entry »



6 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills in Class

Students, are you listening?

texting

In my experience, one of the the biggest problems of many students was simply that they didn’t listen in class well enough. Because of this, they missed information they needed for exams and papers, and generally didn’t get as much out of school as they could have. I think listening is a skill that just isn’t taught enough in high schools.

Here are six easy tips to help you listen and concentrate better.

  1. Remove distractions. It used to be that if students wanted to zone the teacher out, their only choice was the student paper. Now there’s texting, IMing, iPods, and all kinds of ways to escape.  Of course, it’s more tempting to text your friends than it is to listen to a boring lecture, but if you really want to do well in class, put these away.
  2. Listen with your eyes. Keep your eyes on the lecturer as much as possible. This will help you pay attention and keep your mind from wandering. Read the rest of this entry »




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