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Study to Success!

After your child’s notes are well organized it’s time to make use of those notes and start studying. How to study can be the most confusing part of academic work for some students, and most students consider studying to be a part of preparing for tests only. But more and more research has shown that studying is the most important part to the future academic success of your child. Studying reinforces memory which in turn improves test scores, makes homework easier to finish, will even improve how well and how quickly students comprehend new material and follow well they follow along in class.

How to study though is a question that’s tricky to answer. Students over time develop habits that are particular to them and which help them to retain the material (which is great!) but which perhaps are not helpful to other students. There may be as many ways to study as there are students studying. Yet there does seem to be a few good habits that seem to help universally with studying.

Student Studying in Library

  • More frequently, less time

When most people think of studying they think of a poor student with their head in their hands staring for hours at many books out on a table in a coffee house. But research has shown that students who study a little bit of material, say 20 flash cards of Spanish vocab., 6 times a day in quick, 5 – 10 min sessions are much better at remembering the material. Students should study what they have the most difficulty with, and they can do so after lunch, in between classes or even on the bus ride home.

  • Teach yourself!

Memorizing material as if you were going to explain it to others is a great way to study. A recent study has shown that when students practiced material in order to teach another student they retained 25-50% more of the main points of the material. So while studying, it helps to think about how you would explain what you’re reviewing to someone else.

  • Know what you’re doing when you do the homework.

One of the reasons teachers give out so much homework is to make sure students have enough practice that they understand the material. This will become especially important by the time students get to college, where professors won’t give out as much homework but will expect students to come to class with an understanding of the material. If your child does the homework but still doesn’t understand it, more practice is needed.

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