This piece was created through KSP's school holiday hub program.
Homework. We all hate it, but it just can't be avoided. Can't find motivation to study? Can't seem to remember anything? Finding class an absolute BORE? These 12 super-easy tricks will absolutely save your life, and make straight A's a breeze!
1. Make a study PLAN
Whether you make a plan for every day, every week or every term, organising a schedule can keep you motivated and on-track. Write up a chart that outlines how many hours you will spend on a subject each day or week, particularly if you have lots of upcoming assignments. Keep in mind extra-curricular activities, family events, mealtimes and SOME down-time. You should push yourself to strive for the best but keep your goals achievable - don't overwhelm yourself.
2. Pay ATTENTION during class
Making notes on the lesson is actually a lot more helpful than playing Flappy Golf under the desk!Teachers want you to do well, but they create tests difficult enough to separate those who only study the requirements from the ones who go that extra mile and prove they're always attentive. If you are seriously confused, let your teacher know straight away and ask them to go over what they've said in simpler terms. I'm sure your teacher will happily answer questions and help you understand.
3. RESEARCH background/related information
Something that really helps me to memorise information for a test is background reading, especially with a science test. This can give you a much better understanding of the subject and make it easier to remember key points. Don't try to rote-learn 50 definitions. Find relevant chapters in your textbook/excerpts from class worksheets and read through them several times until you really understand the concept. Searching key words relating to your topic online is also very helpful.
4. Identify the MAJOR topics
You could be one of the lucky ones with a totally life-saving teacher who creates revision/outcomes sheets. If so, lucky you! If not, sort through your classwork and textbooks to find the most important information to remember for the test. It would be useless to try to memorise everything if it's not relevant, as you are using up your time, energy and brain space that could be used for learning vital info. So, only focus on the areas that you know you'll be tested on.
5. Keep it SIMPLE
For a topic test, you should have 20-50 main terms to memorise. These should be around 1-3 sentences long, there's no point trying to memorise huge paragraphs. However, if you have an Italian test for example, it's okay to have more than 50 terms if you are memorising short, one word translations or phrases. But in subjects like biology, economics and religion for example, you want to keep to no more than 60 terms to keep your study goals achievable.
6. Write out study notes and type up FLASHCARDS
No, I don't mean re-writing exactly what's in your textbook. Don't write study notes just for the sake of it - especially if the information isn't sinking in. Divide your notes into topics and write a heading for each term. Write in your own words to stimulate your brain and help you remember what you write. Type up your flashcards first, then write out your notes by hand onto paper so you can read them on the go.
7. Give yourself a BREAK
No one can study for 3 hours straight - it's impossible. You may feel super stressed and feel like you don't have time, but slowing down is so, so important. I like to aim for 40 minutes of uninterrupted work and then rest for 5 minutes. However, you may feel like 40 minutes is too long - aim for at least 25 solid minutes. Or, you might be on fire and want to keep working past 40 minutes, but I strongly suggest that you work for no more than 75 minutes without getting up and taking a drink!
8. Read out the notes and RECORD yourself
Once you have finished writing your notes onto paper, you may want to record yourself reading out the notes. This way, if you are an auditory learner, you will be able to memorise the information by listening. You can listen to your notes while walking to school, riding the train or before you go to sleep. Try to read in an upbeat, energetic voice and focus on the content of what you are reading so you don't fall asleep while listening to yourself later...
9. Highlight the MAIN points
I find that it really helps, after you have made flashcards and written notes, to type up your notes. You can then print them out and use a bright colour to highlight or underline the key words in each definition to get the main idea of the topic into your head. This will especially help you if you are a visual learner, and if you don't have time to memorise entire definitions.
10. Remove DISTRACTIONS
Heartbreaking as it is, this means putting your phone aside for a while. During exam week you will seriously benefit from giving your phone up completely. Simply turning your phone upside down on the desk is not enough to prevent the temptation of sending just one more Snap! Go somewhere quiet like the study with a glass of water/juice and ask those around you for some privacy. If you like, play quiet, non-distracting music (sorry, Bohemian Rhapsody and study don't exactly mix). Trust me, making studying enjoyable is possible and will make you so much more successful.
11. Find how YOU like to learn - Auditory (Hearing), Visual (Seeing) or Kinaesthetic (Doing)
Auditory learners like lectures and videos, repeating terms aloud and listening to themselves reading information. Visual learners like to take study notes, type up definitions and use flashcards to memorise terms. Kinaesthetic learners prefer hands-on learning, physical diagrams and short definitions. They tend to have short attention spans so scheduling breaks is especially important for them. There isn't one single technique that works for everyone, so you may have to do a little experimenting at first to create a study schedule that is easy to manage.
12. SLEEP well and stay hydrated
Sleep can work miracles! Aim to get at LEAST 8-9 hours sleep so you can function the next day. The biggest culprit for lack of sleep is when you're checking Instagram before bed and say 'oh, just five minutes more' and suddenly you're still online at 3am. Also, drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water daily will keep you hydrated, healthy and happy. And, it's great for your skin.
- Skwirk for research and resources
- Schmoop for homework help and study guides
- Quizlet for flashcards and test generators
- Chegg for flashcards
- Voice Memos for recording your notes aloud
- Pages for typing up notes
- Word for typing up notes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Lily Graves, I am 14 years old. I absolutely love dancing, writing, exercise, music and most of all FOOD! I have entered and won several story competitions in the past and this is my first blog post. Hope you enjoy it :-)