It’s no secret that tests, essays, and assignments can be extremely challenging and stressful for young students at times. As higher education becomes more and more competitive, it’s imperative that your child develops good study habits at a young age. Developing effective and useful study habits can help your child improve their current test scores and guarantee they succeed later in their academic careers. By assuring your child implements these simple study habits, they’ll begin performing better in their classes while developing the confidence needed to tackle any standardized test.
This sounds simple, but many students underestimate the importance of organization. Start by understanding the teacher’s expectations and preparing the right material to study. A great tool to use is a planner. Students should mark down assignments on their calendar when the assignment is given in advance so they do not forget. They should also write down daily homework reminders or anything extra their teacher says might be important right away.
It’s also helpful to check with a trusted classmate before the test to make sure you have all the important study guide material. Once students have clearly outlined what they need to know for their assignments and future tests, they should break up the work. Breaking up the work over time will help your child learn more, while also staying organized about what they already know and what they need to focus more on.
Having a go-to study space is absolutely essential for success. Some students prefer to study in a completely quiet area, such as a closed room without the possibility of much outside noise. Other students need some background noise, such as a cafe or busier library, to keep them the right amount of focus. Factors such as lighting, proximity to a distracting friend, and seating arrangement, might all be relevant things to think about when choosing the right space. Once students have found a space that they are most comfortable and productive in, continue to use it!
Once this study space is established, students may want to set up rules for themselves while in. For example, no cell-phone use while in the study space or no visits from friends. Students should also come to their study space with everything they need- flashcards, textbooks, highlighters, pens, a calculator, a snack, etc. Finding the place that makes your child feel most comfortable and study most productively is key.
Many students develop the awful habit of procrastination. This is when students push off their work until the very last minute. When procrastinating working on assignments or projects, your child will not produce their best work and they may be very stressed or hand their work in late. For students who procrastinate studying tests, their test scores will be significantly lower since students cannot absorb and learn material when it is crammed into their brain the night before.
If your child knows he or she has a test coming up, they should start studying a little bit every day. Rather than studying all night before a test and trying to memorize important information, they can study for a half hour or an hour each day leading up to test, focusing on a few concepts at a time. This will eliminate stress and improve the quality of work. Getting out of the habit of procrastinating will not only help your child as they move on to higher education but is also an important life skill to understand.
Students should have an allotted amount of time dedicated to studying. Having a set study schedule will make sure enough time is spent on that subject and also have an end goal they are working towards. Scheduling studying also allows for fewer interruptions. T.V. shows, hanging out with friends, or phone time should all be planned around study time, not the other way around.
As a part of scheduling time to study, students should schedule short breaks within that time. If a student gets frequently distracted, it might be beneficial to set short five minute breaks for every hour or half-hour of studying. This will prevent more frequent and prolonged study breaks that might be keeping your child from having successful study time.
Students must be exposed to a concept several times before mastering it. It is important to keep reviewing the material consistently and effectively. Your child can do this by making sure they complete all their homework that is based on the teacher’s lessons and future tests. They should also review the material weekly, even if they do not have a test in the near future. When students receive their test scores back, it is important they look at what they got wrong and make sure they now understand the concept. Having multiple exposures to the material discussed in class, will make your child more prepared for the next test and make sure they are truly learning.
If your child feels overwhelmed in school and anxious about taking tests, start by adding these simple study habits into their routine. By doing so, your child will be aware of what good study habits are and continue to be mindful of what works for him or her going forwards. It is best to relax, have a comfortable study routine, and stay positive. With these tips, your child will be acing tests in their hardest classes in no time!