Study Skills

Studying for an exam, what a drag! You could be out spending time with your mates or just relaxing which seems like a much better thing to do. However, this is a short term thought and even though it is tempting to veer out of your daily study to do other activities, your studies should be taken seriously.

Why so? It’s mainly because of your future, meaning your career will be determined by how you perform in your HSC. It does seem like a hurdle to cross and with time ticking away before you know it, you could end up in a mess if you don’t plan ahead and practice essential study skills. So guys, I would like to share with you some study techniques which you may find helpful and hopefully from this, you’ll be able to incorporate these tips into your own study routine.

Let’s get started!

  1. Be organised – There’s nothing worse than that feeling that you’re not prepared for an exam simply because you were being lazy and disorganized. Make sure that for each subject, you have a syllabus for that subject and notes written for each dot point. Also, you should probably buy folders for each subject so it’s easier to refer back to something you’ve forgotten and there’s no need to flick through tonnes of pages in random piles to look up that certain doubt.
  2. Make notes from a variety of sources – Prescribed textbooks are ideal but there’s no harm in going a bit further and looking up information on a particular topic on the internet and encyclopaedias. The aim of this is to receive maximum exposure to the material you’re studying and to do whatever you can to get that mark you’re after!
  3. Highlight key points – By highlighting key points, you’re able to underline certain aspects of the material which is important and useful when you revise. Another way is also highlighting a sentence, paragraph or even a page of the study material is, or to use post-it notes, a handy tool indeed!
  4. Print off notes and stick them on your wall – Despite getting told off by your mum for ruining the paint on the wall, posting up notes of things which you’re having difficulty memorizing will help alot! By constantly looking back at these notes whenever you walk into the room and out, it will make memorizing alot easier. By the way, the notes should be just key points to trigger what you’ve learnt in detail in regards to that that particular point. Not pages and pages of information!
  5. Try and do some study every day – This may seem like a hassle to try and fit studying in with your day to day activities which maybe work or sport, but by getting a bit of study done every day will result in a lot less work to be done in the end. Less work at the end of semester = more time for revision! Cramming any study will not benefit you at all, you’ll tend to forget the information you’ve just learnt and the last minute stressing will be your enemy in the exam. So get started, as soon as you get back from school you should be revising what you’ve learnt and make notes. This without a doubt is one of the main study techniques most students tend to avoid.
  6. Create flash cards to test yourself – This is very useful and is handy for memorizing things. Not only is it a change from your standard memorization of page after page, it makes it memorizing fun! The flash cards should have questions on each of them and the answer as well, so upon recalling any information and answering the question, you can check your answer there and then. If you’re correct, move on! If not, just keep practicing and keep going till you get each question correct.
  7. A to do list and timetables – A to do list is extremely helpful and it can keep you in control of your studies. What you basically do is just write down all things which need to be completed by a certain time or date. After you complete a particular task, just tick it off and move onto the next one. It’s that easy! Despite the initial fright after seeing the amount of work you need to do, after a tackling through some work you will start to feel satisfied that you’re getting something done and that you’re not wasting your time either. Along with this, a timetable can be mighty helpful too to plan out your day or week, where you can allocate study periods for each subject to particular days. Try to vary it up a bit, doing the same subject for hours on end does tend to become boring. Also, another important thing about timetables is that it should be realistic! Don’t aim to try and complete a whole entire book within a night because even though that would be perfect, it is something really hard to do and by doing so, you may also burn yourself out and plans may fall apart. So make sure you set easy goals each day and also have a sufficient number of breaks so you can walk around, get some fresh air and rejuvenate yourself for some more study.
  8. Group study – Studying by yourself can be boring so get your friends in on it as well and study together. Not only do you get to hang out with your friends, you’re also able to exchange ideas and discuss the material at hand. It can also motivate you to study harder which is something you will have to do in order to achieve the HSC mark you’re after!
  9. Revision, revision, revision! – I know your teachers and parents tell you this everyday of your life but it’s true. Revision is important and it should be done weeks before an exam to prepare yourself! This maybe through flash cards or by reading notes as I mentioned earlier, or going over past HSC papers and working on the questions yourself. By doing this, you’re able to apply the material you’ve learnt over the year and by recalling this information, it further drills it into your head which is beneficial.

If you guys are thinking “hey I do most of this” or “Isn’t this something everyone should be doing already?” after reading this, good on you! For those who aren’t doing any of the techniques mentioned above, maybe you should take some of this advice on board, buckle down and get studying! Education is important in life and is something to be taken seriously. However, you should also enjoy life and studying shouldn’t be a chore! So remember to take it easy, plan ahead so that you’re in control of what’s going on and stick to your goals. Your future is mainly determined by you so don’t let anything get in your way!

Thanu (S4S Coaching)

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