It is time to prepare for the first days of school!
The last thing you want to be thinking about is test-taking and homework. But preparing early and having a plan in place will get you the grades you want to accomplish. Whether you are a high school student or the parent of a grade-schooler, these tips can help to achieve success in the classroom.
Pay attention in class - This might seem like a no-brainer, but listening and participating in class can help you tremendously when it is time to study. Take notes and save handouts your teacher gives you. You will most likely be reviewing test information in class during the days or weeks before your exam.
Put a routine in place - Whether it works for your family to study right after school or after dinner, keep it consistent. It is easier to get into the habit of studying if it is done at the same time each day. It might be hard to do homework instead of playing video games, but stick to it! There will be time for other activities once homework is complete.
Choose a quiet workplace with minimal distractions - Sit at a desk, table or other place where the noise level can be controlled. Being able to see the television is a huge distraction; turn it off or leave the room until homework is finished. This doesn't mean that there needs to be complete silence - play soft music if that works better for you!
Gather study materials ahead of time - There is nothing more distracting than finding yourself without a needed tool when you are in the middle of an assignment. You could spend half of your study time looking for a pencil or highlighter if you do not take time to prepare. Keep all school supplies together in one easy-to-find place.
Start early and take breaks - If you know there is a test coming up, start studying immediately. If you give yourself enough time, you will be able to study information in smaller chunks. Don't expect that you can learn it all in one sitting. It will be much easier to prepare if your studying is not crammed into one session the night before the exam.
Take a practice test - Have someone at home quiz you on the information you have been studying. A home-based test will show you exactly what you already know and what you need to spend more time studying.
Teach someone what you have learned - If you can teach it, there is a good chance that you understand the material. I have my class teach me steps to complete difficult math problems. They repeat the steps as I perform the task. If they are able to guide me properly, it shows that they have mastered the subject matter.
Ask for help - When a question or topic is unclear, ask your teacher or a parent to clarify. They may be able to offer you new insight into understanding.
Rewrite information - This is one of my personal favorite study tips that proved useful when studying for exams in college. Studies have shown that you remember more when you write it down. Try writing out study topics by memory or copying important notes from class onto lined paper.
Reward yourself - Create small benchmarks and goals for yourself as you study. When you reach one, treat yourself! You could take a 10-minute break or eat something delicious. Just remember to get back to studying after indulging in your prize.