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Study Skills Tips

Study Skills to Build Student Success

Establishing effective, consistent study skills requires teamwork of students and parents. Review and reinforce these strategies consistently so that they become daily practice.

Becoming a Flexible Reader
To become a flexible reader, you need to know how to select and use a reading style that is consistent with your purpose for reading.

Study Reading is the reading style used by flexible readers when their purpose is to read difficult material at a high level of comprehension. When using the Study Reading style, you should read at a rate that is slower than your normal reading rate. Further, as you read you must challenge yourself to understand the material. Study Reading will often require you to read material more than once to achieve a high level of comprehension. Sometimes, reading the material aloud will also help you improve your comprehension.

Skimming is used to quickly obtain a general idea about the reading material. The Skimming style is most useful when you have to read a large amount of material in a short amount of time. When using the Skimming style, you should identify the main ideas in each paragraph and ignore the details in supportive sentences.

Scanning is used to quickly locate a specific piece of information within reading material. The piece of information to be located may be contained in a list of names, words, numbers, short statements, and sometimes even in a paragraph.

Managing Your Study Time 

Prepare a Weekly Schedule
Each Sunday before a school week, prepare a Weekly Schedule. Update it as the week goes on. Record your daily classes. Enter things to be done for the coming week. Review your class notes from the previous week to see if you need to add any school activities. Add any out-of-school activities in which you will be involved during the week. Be sure to include times for completing assignments, working on projects, and studying for tests. These times may be during the school day, right after school, evenings, and weekends.

Prepare a Daily Organizer
Each evening before a school day, prepare a Daily Organizer for the next day. Place a ã next to each thing to do as you accomplish it. Enter the things to do for the coming day from your Weekly Schedule. Enter the things that still need to be accomplished from your Daily Organizer from the previous day. Review your class notes for the day just completed to see if you need to add any school activities. Add any out-of-school activities in which you will be involved the next day.

Improving Concentration
Many students have difficulty concentrating while studying. Being able to concentrate while you are studying is essential to doing well in class and on tests.

Here are 10 suggestions for improving your study concentration:

  1. Study in a quiet place that is free from distractions and interruptions.
  2. Make a study schedule that shows what tasks you need to accomplish and when you plan to accomplish each task.
  3. Try to study at the time of day you work best.
  4. Make sure you are not tired and/or hungry when you study.
  5. Don't try to do two tasks at the same time. You won't be able to concentrate on either one very well.
  6. Break large tasks into series of smaller tasks that you can complete one at a time. If you try to complete a large task all at once, you may feel overwhelmed and will be unable to maintain your concentration.
  7. Relax. It's hard to concentrate when you're tense.
  8. Clear your mind of worrisome thoughts. Mental poise is important for concentration. You can get distracted by your own thoughts. Monitor your thoughts and prevent yourself from following any that take you off track. Don't daydream.
  9. Develop an interest in what you are studying. Try to relate what you are studying to you own life to make it as meaningful as possible. This can motivate yourself to concentrate.
  10. Take breaks whenever you feel fatigued. There is no set formula for when to take breaks. You will know when you need to take a break.

SQRW - A Strategy for Reading Textbooks

Survey, Question, Read, Write (SQRW) is a four-step strategy for reading and taking notes from chapters in a textbook.

Surveying brings to mind what you already know about the topic of a chapter and prepares you for learning more. To survey a chapter, read the title, introduction, headings, and the summary or conclusion. Also, examine all visuals such as pictures, tables, maps, and/or graphs and read the caption that goes with each. By surveying a chapter, you will quickly learn what the chapter is about.

You need to have questions in your mind as you read. Questions give you a purpose for reading and help you stay focused on the reading assignment. Form questions by changing each chapter heading into a question. Use the words who, what, when, where, why, or how to form questions.

Read the information that follows each heading to find the answer to each question you formed. As you do this, you may decide you need to change a question or turn it into several questions to be answered. Stay focused and flexible so you can gather as much information as you need to answer each question.

Write each question and its answer in your notebook.

The Ten Study Habits of Successful Students

  1. Try not to do too much studying at one time. Take short breaks to restore your mental energy.
  2. Keep your backpack and your study area organized.
  3. Try to study at the same times each day. Establish a routine that becomes a regular part of your life
  4. Set specific goals for study times. You must be very clear about what you want to accomplish during your study times.
  5. Start studying when planned. If you procrastinate for any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything done when you need to.
  6. Work on the most difficult assignment first. Start with your most difficult assignment since this is when you have the most mental energy.
  7. Review your notes before beginning an assignment. Reviewing your notes can help you make sure you are doing an assignment correctly. Also, your notes may include information that will help you complete an assignment.
  8. Tell your friends not to call during your study times. Here's a simple idea - turn off your cell phone during your study times.
  9. Call another student when you have difficulty with an assignment.
  10. Review schoolwork over the weekend.

It takes 21 days for habits to set in. Start now with good habits!!