Five Ways to Improve Your Study Skills

November 1, 2023

Strong study skills can help you learn more, achieve good grades, and get into your preferred college. Productive study habits also reduce test taking stress; the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to perform well. Here are five effective ways to get the most from your study sessions.

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1. Establish Your Own Note Taking System

Each person learns differently. Do you see scenes and images when people describe a story? Do you learn faster if you have the opportunity to discuss concepts with others? Is it easier to remember instructions from your online tutor if you’ve written them down and reviewed them several times?

Develop your own note taking system based on your learning preferences. You may need to write down most of the details you hear. Alternatively, writing down key vocabulary and examples may be all you personally need to remember something. Drawing pictures and diagrams next to concepts is the method of choice for some learners. Do what works best for you.

2. Turn Your Reading Session into Active Studying

When completing reading assignments, actively study the content. Rather than starting at the beginning and reading through the end, first read the title, table of contents and introduction to understand the overview. Next, read through the chapter or article titles and subtitles to get a feel for what the material will cover. Then return to the beginning of the book or article to read each paragraph in order.

As you’re reading, stop to take notes in a notebook or highlight important concepts in the textbook. This strategy will organize your thoughts. When you meet next with your online tutor, teacher or discussion group, you’ll have a better grasp of what you’ve read.

3. Use Active Memorization

Reading the same information over and over is actually one of the least effective ways to memorize. One effective strategy is to picture a definition or concept in your head. Saying the word(s) out loud is also helpful. Creating acronyms for a list of things is yet another useful strategy. For example, when memorizing states in Northern Europe, you might use the acronym ELL to help you remember that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are located next to one another.

4. Take Regular Breaks

Your mind needs regular breaks to relax and allow what you’ve learned to sink in. Take a 5 to 10 minute break every hour. You will actually learn more this way than cramming for hours without breaks.

5. Ask Plenty of Questions

Asking questions will take you from a passive learner to an active one. One of the many advantages of meeting regularly with a live online tutor is that you can ask about concepts, words or formulas that you don’t understand.

Our effective and flexible online tutoring sessions at Growing Stars are the ideal place to strengthen your study skills. Incorporate these tips to give your study habits a boost. Also be sure to ask your tutor for more study skills tips related to your specific subject.

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