Thursday, December 21, 2017

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4 Habits of Highly Successful Students

Developing effective study habits is a key step to achieving academic success, because it is what you do consistently, rather than occasionally, that makes a difference. Once you set a goal, or implement a habit, it is important to initially be disciplined and stick to it consistently over a period of time (i.e. a month or two). It takes effort. But once the momentum begins to build, it becomes easier, and you will be driven to achieve more!

Here are 4 common habits of successful students:

1. Set and Stick to a Schedule, with an end in mind

The main cause of wasted study time is not knowing exactly what to study and when to pursue that subject. To be able to study efficiently and effectively, you must set a goal: ask yourself, “What is my aim today? What do I want to accomplish by the end of today?” Anyone can set and follow a schedule, but those who don’t succeed have no idea where to begin studying.

These students waste time by jumping back and forth between material, and by getting distracted by something halfway. You can avoid these pitfalls by first measuring your time—how much time do you have available to devote completely to studying school work? List out your other duties, such as full-time or part-time jobs, classes, extracurricular activities, vacation, etc.

Writing your involvement down will allow you to observe the amount of time you can actually devote to studying without interruption. Once you have a calendar, create a study schedule by beginning with the end in mind.

This means that you want imagine and write down exactly what you want to get done before you start. Be specific. Do you want to finish reading 15 pages of your calculus textbook, make notes and complete questions 1-12? Or research for 5 sources for your English essay, and complete 7 pages of point form notes on the topic?

First, fill in all the days you will not be studying due to vacation, meetings, jobs, or prior commitments. Then fill in the rest of the calendar based on the topics you want to cover all the way up until test day. Be as specific as you can when filling in your schedule, so that you know exactly what to study for which day.

2. Track Your Progress

Tracking how you progress is your best form of self-feedback, and it will give you a realistic sense of how well (or how badly) you are doing. For each practice section you do, write down how many questions you got correct/wrong. This trick will help you to immediately identify your strengths and weaknesses.

You may be amazed to find patterns—for instance, your strength may be performing arithmetic rapidly, but tracking your progress may reveal that word problems in trigonometry is your weak area. Remember, every mistake that you make during practice is one that you can avoid on your real tests or exams.

You can achieve this goal by looking at the answers you answered wrong, and specifically asking yourself why you got that problem incorrect. Knowing the reason you answered a question will help you identify your thought process, and prevent you from making foolish mistakes on your tests or exams.

3. Take Control of Time Management

Your most valuable toll when studying for your tests and exams is the ability to control your time. For each of your study sessions, only you can tell yourself what to study and motivate yourself to achieve goals. You can make the path to successful time management easier by first finding a good place to study—make sure that it is quiet and away from distractions. Also try to find a location that is easy to commute to.

You lose valuable time if you have to drive an hour to another library when there is a conference room down the hall. To motivate yourself, be sure to set specific study breaks so that you don’t burn yourself out. Taking breaks will help you to refuel (eat a snack!), to rethink (reflect on the answers you got wrong), and to reflect (track your current progress for this week).

One trick that I have used is to work my day around my study schedule. Studying can be done anywhere and anytime. I bring flashcards with me and review them while waiting for the bus, or I read a passage or review a section while waiting for a lab experiment to finish. These are all valuable opportunities to get some studying done.

4. Find Discipline and Motivation

The most difficult moments of studying for tests and exams include staying motivated and not being overly stressed. Learning to remain calm when you hit an obstacle, such as not understanding how to apply a physics equation right away, will help you on tests by allowing you to think clearly. There are several things I’ve learned to help you face obstacles like self-discipline and motivation.

First, have a support system for yourself. This can include family members, friends, tutors, or even your study buddies! These individuals can be your moral support and the source of inspiration when you hit a lot point and don’t feel motivated to study. When you have a bad study day or feel like you are not getting anything productive done, go talk to them in person.

Chances are that they will help you figure out what is wrong, and may even help you re-arrange your study schedule so that you can better retain MCAT study material. Second, have an outlet for your stress. By ‘outlet,’ I mean that you should have a hobby or activity outside of just studying that you can pursue to relax. Try reading a good novel, going for a walk, gardening, or cooking. An outlet will help you relieve stress and make you more disciplined about studying when you return to your books.

Take-Home Points:

1.Develop a detailed study schedule—Be specific! Planning how and what you will study from now to test day will help you focus and save time.
2.Track your progress—Know where you are in terms of study material, strengths, and weaknesses. This will allow you to set and meet realistic study goals.
3.Control your study time and use it well—Fit your study schedule around your day, so that you do not lose valuable time at home or at work.
4.Stay disciplined and motivated—Find a support system and outlet for the moments of stress you may feel while studying hard for your school work.
Take a help of Tutoring Mississauga to build good skills for the future.

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