University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
How should I study to improve my academic performance in school
Studying is not reading. It requires a more intense and organised effort. To study effectively, you must have good planning, memory, reading, note taking and time management skills.Â To study effectively you must master certain skills:Â planning, memorising, time management, note taking, and sometimes managing stress. Everyone has a different “learning style”. Consequently, everyone has a different “studying style”. But the way that you are studying right now might not be the best for you. How would you know? Easy: If your grades aren’t what you’d like them to be, then you probably need to change how you study!
A). A Good Study Place
Although studying in a sitting room or dormitory room (for students in boarding schools),Â is convenient, it is often a poor place to learn. The dorm/sitting room has a plethora of distractions including sweet voices of your singing friends. If you want to improve your concentration and efficiency as a student, learn to study from the class, library or any other quiet place. You need a good study place to be prepared to study. You should be able to answer YES to all of the following questions:
1. Is my study place free from interruptions? It is important to have uninterrupted study time. You must maintain silence in class. Research shows that most students study best in a quiet environment. Study at the same time and at the same place, devoted to study only. This helps you to associate the time and place with studying and concentrating. You will find that you get into a habit of studying as soon as you sit down. However, change of environment may help in managing stress.
2. Does my study place contain all the study materials I need? Be sure your study place includes reference sources and supplies such as pens and pencils, paper, ruler, calculator, and whatever else you might need.
3. Does my Study Space contain a clean desk or table? While working on an assignment or studying for a test, use a desk that is free from other distractive materials. Allow enough room for writing and try to avoid clutter. You need enough room to store your study materials. Be sure you have enough storage space to allow you to keep your desktop or other work surface clear of unnecessary materials that can get in the way.
B) Manage Your Time
Schooling is a full-time job. And managing your time is important. If you have an activity after class that you do just for fun or if you participate in co-curricular activities (whether school-related or not), keep your priorities in mind: Your academic work should come first! Set yourself a grade goal. If you don’t meet it, cut down on some of the activities you are involved in.
C) Take Notes in Class & always Rewrite during prep time
Good studying begins with good notes taken in class. Just as everyone has a different learning style, different teachers have different teaching styles: Some teachers lecture, some lead discussions, some “facilitate” individual work (as in a lab), etc. Consequently, different classroom settings will require different note-taking techniques. The following are some of the suggestions: i. Take Complete Notes The key idea of taking good notes in class is to write down as much as possible. There are several reasons to take notes that are as complete as possible:
1. It will force you to pay attention to what’s going on in class.
2. It will keep you awake (!)
3. There will be less that you’ll have to memorize that time since you have a reference.
4. It enhances understanding when you review your notes. But if you have incomplete notes, it will be hard for you to learn what you didn’t take notes on. ii.
D) Ask questions and make comments
If you have a question or something comes to mind as you’re taking notes, you have two choices: You can contribute to the class discussion by asking your question or making your comment. Or you can jot your question or comment down in your notes. I suggest always doing the latter, but also doing the former as often as possible. One reason that you should always put your question or comment in your notes is so that you won’t forget it; you can then always bring it up later, either in class or one-on-one with the teacher or a fellow student. By the way, if you have a question, especially if you need clarification of something that the teacher said or wrote (possibly because it was inaudible or illegible), ask it! Do not be embarrassed about asking it! I can guarantee you that there will be at least one other student in the class (and often many more) who will be extremely grateful to you for having asked the very same question that they were too embarrassed to ask, and they will come to view you as wise and brave for having asked it. (So will the teacher!)