The end of the school year is a few short months away. We’re sharing our top test prep tips to help students boost their study skills and lower their stress (and yours!)
Unlike the last two years – when pandemic disruptions resulted in less work and fewer (if any) tests – schools are now in full-swing. For many students, this means wrapping up year-end projects and studying for final exams.
At Tutor Doctor of North Jersey, we’ve seen firsthand that students continue to struggle with the shift from remote to in-person learning. As the school year has progressed, their work load has increased. And, over time, their inability to keep up has caused even some of the best students to falter.
One issue we see is that students either never learned or have forgotten how to study. If your student’s test grades have been falling, ineffective study skills – from note-taking shortcuts to waiting until the night before to study for a test – may be a key reason why.
These 6 Tips for Creating Good Study Habits will help students of all ages be better prepared for whatever the year-end has in store – and set them up for success in the years ahead.
1. Organization is key. Developing executive function skills is critical to every student’s success. And when it comes to creating good study habits, organization and time management are essential. We encourage students to find a system for keeping track of important dates and upcoming assignments (agendas, planners, reminder apps, and to-do lists are all great tools.) Check out this article for more advice on helping your student improve his/her executive function skills.
2. Avoid cramming at the last minute. Long, late-night study binges are never a good idea. When students cram too much into their brains at once, it leads to overload. As a result, they fail to absorb and retain information – and spend more time to get less results. Our tutors work with students on incorporating study time into their homework. Studying for short periods, spread out over time, and taking breaks in between is far more effective and definitely less stressful!
3. Get a good night’s sleep. The brain uses the time during restful sleep to encode short-term memories into long-term ones. Students who study in intervals and sleep soundly in between are giving their brains time to recharge – and improving their ability to recall what they learned the night before. If something seems confusing, sleep on it – literally!
4. Minimize distractions and avoid multitasking. We might think we’re good at multitasking, but we often don’t realize how much distractions divert our attention. Students need to minimize distractions in order to concentrate, and this is best done in a quiet space (preferably not their bedroom) with electronic devices turned off or out of reach. Some students like to listen to classical music and keep a small snack and drink on hand. The point is to arrange study sessions so the focus is solely on the material itself.
5. Teach the subject to someone else. Explaining a concept or subject to another person is a great way for students to break down their understanding of what they’re learning and further retain the knowledge they have acquired. Have your student teach his/her parents, sibling or tutor about what they’re studying, and encourage them to ask questions afterwards.
6. Write down notes. Highlighting text is fine, but actually writing something causes our brain to use a different set of mental processes. Physically putting pen to paper helps students familiarize themselves with information as they learn it, and improves their understanding and memorization of the material. Notes should be detailed enough to create a comprehensive study guide for later. Finalizing notes by typing them up on a computer also helps students solidify their understanding of a subject.
Effective note-taking is a required study skill at all levels of education – but not every student retains information the same way. A combination of visual, audio, and/or hands-on activities can lead to better recall later on. Here are Tutor Doctor’s note-taking tips for each type of learning style.
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Meet Jessica Bush
For Jessica, “making learning personal” is not just a slogan – it’s the foundation on which she has built Tutor Doctor North Jersey. For the past 10 years, her instinct for uncovering the unique needs and desires of students and their families – and her passion for helping them achieve their dreams – have been the hallmarks of her tutoring practice.
Jessica understands that learning is often about more than just mastering academics. Whether it’s test anxiety, executive function, or school avoidance, her expertise lies in helping families address even the most complex learning challenges holistically. Families can count on her not only to connect the right tutor with the right student, but to build a support team with a shared commitment to seeing each student succeed – in school and in life.
Connect with Jessica at (201) 492-1888 or visit www.TutorDoctor.com/Bergen-Rockland
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