In order to be successful, students need to be engaged in the learning process at the personal or individual level. Each student must take responsibility for his or her own academic progress. Teachers can only teach; students have to learn. Students are required to develop good study habits and use their spare time wisely. Time management is an important skill for all students. Many educational experts and practitioners agree that the 10 study tips listed below provide a framework for improved student performance. What other tips would you recommend to students?
1. Choose suitable places and times for studying. The environment must be conducive to serious work. It should be quiet, well lit, comfortable and free from noise and other distractions. Libraries and quiet rooms or spaces at home would be ideal and studying must become an accepted routine.
2. Create a personal study timetable to ensure that you cover every subject each week. No subject should be neglected.
3. As individual students you should discover and use your preferred learning styles and study methods as much as possible. For further information on the 7 learning styles, see my blog post “Individualized Instruction” dated September 2, 2013.
4. Review and revise important subject content and classwork at regular intervals. This reduces the need for cramming before important tests. Vital information should be repeated to aid retention and recall.
5. Focus on important topics and your weak areas. It helps to tackle difficult questions first in each study session, when your mind is fresh and you are not tired. Listen to teachers carefully to find out which topics are the most important.
6. Test your knowledge from time to time. Ask yourself questions on the content to be learned or get another person to question you. Explaining the work to others helps you to understand it better.
7. Link your studies to real-world goals. This way you are studying for a purpose and you will be more motivated.
8. Seek help when you do not understand the material. Go to teachers or more advanced students for assistance. Take notes.
9. Organize or join serious study groups in addition to studying alone. Different members bring different strengths and perspectives to the group and everyone benefits.
10. Look after your health. Eat a healthy diet, drink enough water, get adequate amounts of sleep, exercise, and relaxation, and think positively. Take breaks during long study sessions. You do not want to become ill or too tired to function properly at school or during examinations.
This is not a comprehensive list of study tips for students but if these 10 recommendations are followed consistently, they will enable any student to improve significantly his or her grades and examination performance.