Study Strategies: Test Taking Stratigies: Writing papers: Public Speaking

Develop Good Study Habits on a Daily Basis

  • Set up a nightly routine for doing homework
  • Set up a regular location for doing homework
  • Make sure you have the right supplies at your homework location
  • Use a system for completing homework such as setting a timer (play "beat the clock"), do the same class first each night
  • There is no such thing as no homework in high school.  You should at least have Math homework every night.  You should have reading and re-writing of notes every night.
  • Check and re-check the details. Make sure there are no mistakes so you can earn the maximum points possible
  • Believe in yourself and set goals for yourself to improve your grades.  For example, maybe you have a 78% in a class.  Set a goal that in two weeks, you want to raise that grade to a 90%.  Use your Parent Connect and monitor your grades weekly.  
  • Have phone numbers of fellow classmates to contact when you need support
  • Email teachers if you need support
  • Go in at lunch or after school to get extra help if you do not understand an assignment or problem from the night before. 
  • Get Ready the night before. Use your binders and planners and stay organized. Pack your back pack and lay out your outfit for the next school day
  • Get plenty of rest

How to Study

  • Be an active listener:  You can also ask your teacher if you can use your phone to record the lecture so you can listen to the lecture again at home to make sure you did not miss any notes.  
  • Take good notes: Learn to recognize important information and use a different colored pen when writing important information in your notes.  Go over your notes as soon as possible.  Get copies of class notes if you are absent
  • Know how to read a textbook:  Begin by scanning.  To scan, read the title, the subtitles, and everything in bold and italic print.  Look at any pictures, graphs or charts and then go over the review questions and read the summaries. Then go back and read the assigned chapter with a purpose.  To give your reading a purpose, you can try turning each bold faced word into a question, then try to answer your question in your reading.  This gives you a reason to stay focused.  After you have scanned and then read your text, go back and review.  To review, re-scan the material to lock the information into your brain.
  • Studying for a test: is not something that should be done the night before the test.  Your notes should be organized and ready to study one week before the test.  Read any related text and make sure you know the review questions and any word from the text that are in bold or italic.  If you get a review sheet, have it completed several days before the test.  Review all of the material often, at least 20 minutes a night and review every night a week before a test.  When you review, review out loud.  Reviewing will help take the material from your short term memory and put it into your long term memory.  When this happens, you are learning not just memorizing!
  • Use tricks to memorize:  Make up a word that uses the first letter of each sentence you are trying to memorize.  Rhyme.  Memorize something by putting a picture of it in your head as you memorize.  Make flash cards.  Spread out memorizing over several days.  Look over notes and memorize before you go to bed each night.  You will be surprised what your brain can do with that information while we sleep.  Look for easy logical connections for example, Homer wrote the "oddysey" so think, Homer is an Odd name.  
  • Know your Leaning Style: Are you a visual learner (you learn best by seeing material).  Are your an auditory learner ( you learn best by listening), Are you a Kinesthetic learner (you learn best by carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations).  Do you learn best through the use of technology.  Think about how you learn best and adjust your studying style to your learning style.  
  • Improve your computer skills.  Learn technology, learn how to type, learn how to make your papers and presentations look good and include all the important information.
  • Be prepared for open book or open note tests.  Know how to find information quickly by using sticky tabs.
  • Review prior tests and go over any missed questions. 
  • Being well prepared for a test can reduce your test anxiety.  
  • Test Taking: when taking your test, begin by skimming the questions first then go back and read.  This will help you focus on your reading and give it purpose.  Read the directions carefully.  Read for understanding and attack the numbers if it is a math test.  Skip more difficult questions then go back to them later.  Look for clue words on multiple choice questions and look for works like always, never, none ore everyone on True/False questions.  These words usually indicate a False answer or that an answer is wrong.  
  • Check your answers on a test before turning it in.  Get plenty of sleep the night before a test, eat a good breakfast, dress in your favorite outfit and most of all, be positive and walk in with confidence.  

Know how to Write a Paper, or Make a Presentation

  • Spread out your writing over a period of time.  Writing should be a process not a one time event.  Begin by brainstorming, then take notes, then make an outline.  Use great examples and explanations in your paper. Use clear, concise, complete sentences.  If you are writing your paper, make sure it is legible.  Create an opening paragraph in which you tell the reader what they can expect to learn in your paper.  present examples, details, evidence and facts to support your points.  At the end of your paper, restate the most important points, draw conclusions and write a brief summary.  Try to make the reader visualize your writing in their brain. Write a rough draft from your outline.  Put your paper down and walk away and then re-read it again.  Have someone else read your paper to give you suggestions.  Re-write your paper until you have it just right.  Finally,  write the final draft.  Make sure you turn your paper in on time and quote any other person's words or ideas.  
  • Presenting in front of others can be scary for all of us.  Use props whenever possible to give your audience something to look at.  Props can be posters, equipment related to your presentation, or computer technology.  You can use some of your props to put notes on.  Use 3x5 cards for notes during your presentation.  Number your 3x5 cards in order of how you will use them.  Add enthusiasm to your voice by smiling and pretending you are telling your friend a really important story.  Make eye contact with your audience.  If making eye contact is difficult for you, look at your audiences foreheads.