Learn: If You Study, You Can and Will
It is essential that you believe you can and will learn the material presented. An easy example of this would be to ask yourself do you know the words to your favorite song, the melody? If you are not into music perhaps your favorite movie. Are you familiar with the actors, their lines, the plot? If still no, how about your favorite game? Do you know all the cheat codes?
Most certainly the answer to at least one of the above is yes. Hence, you know all of the information about that song, movie, or game. If only it were the same for your classes, right?
Learning and Comprehending Depends on Study Time
It can be the same for your classes; you just need to spend some time getting yourself organized, keeping track of your school work with a student calendar, and putting in the time necessary to thoroughly understand the material. So accept the challenges of school and conquer them.
Ok so now you know that you can memorize and understand a tremendous amount of information based on what interests you. Now you must take the next step and realize that all the must presented to you in school must interest you at a minimal level and your only job as a student is to earn the very best grades possible. Furthermore, lectures by the teachers, the textbooks (textbooks are critical, be sure to have them all) and any extra material provided by the teachers contain all of the information.
The issue becomes how to organize the information so that you can understand it, recall it (memorize it), and then correctly apply it when the situation is appropriate (on a test for instance).
The Initial Study Plan
- Attend all classes
- Find a seat at the front of the classroom, closest to where the teacher will typically stand. If your teacher has some predetermined seating chart, meet with them after the period is over and ask to be moved to within the first or second row. Those that sit closer to the teacher while the teacher is teaching do better in classes.
- Make sure you have a blank notebook for each class when the term or school year begins and make sure you take notes.
- When taking notes in class, it is best to handwrite the notes old fashion style.
- Every night make sure you rewrite your notes into a backup notebook. So YES you will have two Notebooks for each class: one notebook for class (Notebook 1), and the other for your studying (Notebook 2).
- Before class and after class you must read the textbook. The night before class read the chapter and create an outline for the chapter in Notebook 2 (you might prefer to do this using MS Word rather than pencil and paper; which would mean your Notebook 2 will be an MS Word Document). If you choose MS Word, format the document as an OUTLINE, not as a regular word document (more on this to come).
Putting the Plan to Study and Learn into Action
So the first evening when classes are in session, I would recommend that you start immediately upon arriving home, would go something like this:
- The day before the class you read and outline chapter 1. The outline should be in Notebook 2.
- During the lectures/classes take notes in Notebook 1.
- That night you re-read the material and rewrite your notes from Notebook 1 into Notebook 2. Thus, incorporating them into the chapter outline, you created the night before.
- You complete any homework for that class, and you do the same for the next class.
- Prioritize your work based on coursework difficulty.
- Every night review the previous subject material. Rewrite the day's notes to incorporate them into the outline you created the night before, and then do the homework:
- Review all of the previous material chapter 1, and previous assignments. Make a copy of all your work before turning it in.
- Rewrite chapter 2 notes from Notebook 1, incorporating them into chapter 2 outline in Notebook 2.
- Do chapter 2 homework.
- Read and outline chapter 3.
- Move to the next subject.
Give yourself time to rest on Saturday but do the above five steps Sun - Fri.
Participate in Study Groups
Guarantee your understanding of the material by following these steps. To test yourself and to gauge how well you have learned the course material participate in study groups. While participating in study groups see if you can explain the information, clearly and succinctly so that the group understands also. If you can teach others in such a way that everyone understands, you comprehend the concept.
REMEMBER YOUR ONLY JOB IS TO LEARN THE MATERIAL TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.
The above might seem to be quite a bit of work, and the answer is yes it is work. Earning top grades in every class with a complete understanding of the material is not easy, but it is worth it.
Because you have been reviewing and staying prepared for the lectures, pop quizzes should not even be a concern. When it comes time for tests, this study method will have you ready. Each night of study includes a review of previous material. So you should not have to spend many hours cramming. Your usual routine includes reviewing and keeping yourself up-to-date with the subject matter. In the end, you will realize you were able to learn the material. If you are still early enough in your academic training, you can use these tips to improve your chances of admission into a top college/university. Graduating from a major university provides you with many advantages.
Get plenty of rest, strive for 8 hours each night.
ONCE AGAIN: REMEMBER YOUR ONLY JOB IS TO LEARN THE MATERIAL TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.
If you would like to discuss how to improve your study habits further, please feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve. Remember the first appointment is free!