How to develop good study habits

02/20/2013  | 

Navy Lifelines

Starting college or returning to school as an adult can be daunting, but when you’re a servicemember or military spouse, it can seem overwhelming. The idea of taking statistics or chemistry may make you hesitate, but don’t let doubts stand in your way. Opportunities for both military and civilian education are virtually everywhere. Developing solid study habits will help your personal success as a student. It will also give you ideas to help your children develop lifelong skills that they can begin refining long before they send out college applications.

Getting Started

Having a routine and a regular place to study is a good start in developing strong study skills. Some people study more effectively in the morning, others at night. Discover your best time and develop a schedule that allows for your peak study time.

Getting Organized

Whether you’re in middle school or graduate school, you’ll find that lack of organization is the main cause of low academic performance. With multiple teachers to answer to and different class schedules and assignments to track, unorganized students find themselves quickly falling behind in their grade point average (GPA).

  • Keep a separate notebook for each class. The type of notebook will depend on the teacher and the assignments. Color-code classes if necessary.
  • Keep good notes. Class notes, assignments, tape recordings (if the teacher allows it), and personal reminders help you keep up and not be surprised by that Friday afternoon quiz.
  • Pens, pencils, computer ink, and other supplies should be on hand and convenient to your study area.
  • Backpacks keep everything together and available. Make sure you routinely check the supplies in your backpack or organizer bag if you’re often on the road or in different locations to study.

Balancing Family, Fun, Work, and School

If you are returning to school and have a family and/or career, setting priorities is the first step toward time management and that’s the first step toward success.

Study guides help you find what works best for you or your child. Good study habits can make the difference between just passing and making the dean›s list.

Succeeding in Continuing and Higher Education

Higher education can seem like a strange, new world and overwhelming challenge. Spend some time thinking about how to get the most out of it.
You can help yourself work through the “big picture” by using this exercise.

Ready? Let’s start with a few basic questions.

Part 1: Personal Goals
In this section, consider your personal educational goals.

Follow the English SMART acronym: Specific - Measurable - Attainable - Rewarding - Timely

What are your goals?
Scan this list and select the most important to you, or think of your own.
Remember to be “SMART”!

  • Better earnings
  • More interesting career options
  • A liberal arts education
  • Learn more about the world
  • Greater critical thinking ability
  • Improved self confidence and interpersonal skills
  • Extracurricular activities/sports
  • Progress toward advanced degrees

Add a personal, specific statement about one of these goals:

Part 2: Your experience in, and preparation for, learning

Let’s build in some factors that will lead to your success.

  • What are three things you have done to prepare yourself for college?
  • What is one area of study you enjoyed the most?
  • When studying the most important, what separated it from your other studies to make it easier?
  • How can you apply this successful strategy to other areas?

Part 3: Challenges

What will prevent you from succeeding?

  • Are the circumstances right for you to succeed in higher education?
  • What are three areas you will find yourself most challenged?
  • What one circumstance affects your dedication to completing your education?

Part 4: Aids to success

  • In this section, you will consider what will help you succeed.
  • Identify three resources or people at the school that could help you.
  • Identify three resources or people outside the school that could help you.
  • What is one option, if necessary, that you can change if things become too difficult?

Part 5: Your plan

For each item below, enter a summary statement of a sentence or so:

  • From your experience, list three “steps” you think will help you succeed in school.
  • What is the first or most important?
  • What one strategy can you use to allocate time to your studies?
  • What is one other control or self-discipline practice you can use to succeed?
  • Name one strategy you will use to deal with stress?
  • What is one type of reward you can reserve specifically for success in this process?

After you have listed out answers to this list,  print out a summary of your thoughts, ideas, and plans regarding your own higher education.

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Published By    -  Other Publications: SouthEast Education Network   |   Carolina Fire Rescue EMS Journal

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