study habits for students

It’s the first week of the New Year, so it’s a perfect time to think through what kind of resolutions to boost your studying for 2023. Here are some resolutions to consider adopting as goals for the upcoming calendar year.

1. Review notes nightly.

It’s not enough to just take notes; notes need to be reviewed daily (or nightly), especially in the weeks and days leading up to a test or exam. Using notes for review is one of the chief reasons for taking them to begin with. Keeping your notes fresh in your mind, even if several days or weeks have elapsed since you first took them, will help you learn and remember the information. You don’t have to spend an eternity studying notes; 10 to 15 minutes each day is plenty!

2. Ask for help if you need to.

If there is a concept or skill that is eluding you in any of your classes, resolve that you will ask your teacher for assistance as soon as possible. Don’t let too much time pass by; if you just aren’t clicking with a concept, your teacher can help you find a way to understand it, perhaps by taking a different approach than was taken with the class as a whole, or by talking it through with you one-on-one until it makes sense. If you don’t do this, you could be left farther behind. Teachers are happy to help students who ask for help, so make a plan to get completely on top of all your subjects by February 1 (or whatever date seems realistic to you). And if you are not finding your teacher helpful, maybe a tutor would be able to unlock the concepts that are evading you.

3. Participate more actively in class.

Following through with this resolution will have enormous benefits. Students who actively participate in class—by asking questions, contributing to class discussions, and taking active roles in group activities—are better prepared, better able to learn and retain information, and more confident about the material. If you tend to hang back in class, or if you sit in the back row and hope that you never get called on, this resolution could be a game-changer for you: ask to move your seat forward and start making your voice heard in class. You’ll be surprised at how much more you learn and how much more enjoyable the class can be.

4. Set a purpose for reading.

Resolve to become a more active reader in 2023. To better remember and learn from what you read, it’s best to go into your reading with purpose. You need to determine why you are reading and what information you need to know. Skim your text first to get an idea of what it is about. Take note of bolded terms. If your textbook, whether it’s online or not, is peppered with questions at the end of the chapter, read those first. Write down any additional questions you have that will guide your reading. Then, when you read, you will be more engaged as you seek out the answers to the questions that are guiding your reading. Write out your answers, too; those notes become your study guide!

Summary

The New Year presents a good opportunity to renew one’s focus and commitment to oneself! There are many small steps and adjustments students can take that will make a big difference in the result. Reviewing notes nightly, asking for help, participating, and changing the way you approach your reading can all yield big dividends. In June, there will be enormous satisfaction knowing that perseverance and commitment got the desired results.

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