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Sunday, March 9, 2008

How to Succeed in Studying

Make studying a part of your everyday school routine and don't be limited to 'cramming' for exams and tests.

  1. Establish a routine
    Set aside a particular time each day for study and revision and stick to it.
  2. Create a study environment
    This should be away from interruptions and household noise, such as the television. Ensure there is adequate lighting and ventilation, a comfortable chair and appropriate desk.
  3. Set a timetable
    With a timetable you can plan to cover all your subjects in an organised way, allotting the appropriate time for each without becoming overwhelmed.
  4. Look after yourself
    Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and eat healthy foods. Keep sugary foods to a minimum. Make sure you get enough sleep each night. Regular physical exercise makes you feel great, boosts your energy and helps you relax. So try to keep up regular sporting activities or at least fit in some regular exercise as often as you can.
  5. Reward yourself for studying
    Watch your favourite television program, spend time with your friends, walk to the park and play sport throughout the week.
  6. Have variety in your study program
    Study different subjects each day and do different types of work and revision in each study session.
  7. Avoid interrupting your concentration
    Have all the appropriate materials with you before you start a session of study to minimise distractions.
  8. Test yourself on what you have studied
    Ask your parents or family members to quiz you on what you have learnt, use draft questions from books, past assessments or major exam papers.
  9. Don't panic at exam time
    If you have followed a study routine and have been revising your class work, there should be no need to worry. Try to keep yourself calm, positive and confident.
  10. Ask your teachers for guidance
    Especially if you're having trouble - whether it's grasping a new concept or understanding something you learnt earlier in the year. They will be happy to help.
Balancing Commitments

School is more than books and assignments.

It is important to maintain balance. Balancing commitments is especially important to senior high school students. Being able to balance your school commitments with social, recreational and family life is important for a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Key ways for students to achieve this balance include: having a set of priorities and goals; being as positive as you can; having support networks of people you can talk things over with; and being prepared to tackle problems early and work out ways to manage them. There is no perfect way of 'doing the HSC'. Each student needs to be supported to find their own way of managing their lives at this stage. If things are not going well at school or there are other pressures it is useful to know that there are other pathways to the HSC.

Remember that while you are at school and studying you are gaining life experience as well as building and making a positive contribution to your future life.

Things to remember
  1. Time management
    Planning your time will allow you to study as well as take time off to watch TV, go out with friends and have extra curricular activities such as music and clubs etc.
  2. Planning and discipline
    Select a time for study when you concentrate the best and develop a habit of studying at this time. Some students prefer the early morning, others the afternoon or night. Try to make this study time when there are fewer distractions around you.
  3. Keeping fit
    Exercise and keeping fit are some things that many students worry about as it is time consuming - but don't put this off because of a lack of time. A fit and healthy lifestyle helps you feel more positive and have more energy. It also helps concentration. Play a sport, get outside for fresh air and exercise and try to do this on a regular basis. Even 10 minutes of fitness activity each day has benefits. And don't forget, relaxation exercises are also helpful. (your school counsellor could give you more information on these)
  4. Manage your stress
    It's the rule rather than the exception for student to feel nervous before exams. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Aim to keep your routines as normal as possible during exam periods. On the day before an exam, stick to your revision plan. On the night before, have an early night, so that you give yourself the opportunity to get plenty of sleep and wake up alert.
  5. Learn to say no
    Your friends want to go out on Wednesday but you're committed to studying for that Economics exam? Or you're not allowed to go out on weeknights so you get the weekend free? Then, say no. It's the only way your plans for the rest of the week will stay in place.

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