“Study the strategies of the sport,” makes good advice for an athlete; “practice two hours a day” would be great to tell a pianist. Such tips aren’t directed at the sport or the piece being played, but how the athlete or pianist plays or perfects his technique. Here are some ways for you as a student to raise your A-game, to help you study, remember what you’ve learnt, and perform better in class.
- Be aware that homework and studying are not the same thing. Homework is something teachers make you do so that you’ll better remember and understand what they taught you in class. Studying is something you do on your own.
- Studying is something you do regularly, not just before a test or exam. It’s a good idea to schedule a regular study period. You can start reading or studying for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Don’t forget to set time aside for (3 to 5-minute) breaks!
- Start from day one—although it’s never too late if it’s the middle of the term. You have to want to study, and the sooner you start a regular study routine, the better. Using a daily planner, whether it’s written or online, is also a good idea.
- Pick out a good studying spot. It has to be comfortable (like a chair with a backrest), but not too comfortable (like a bed). It should have enough light, and be the same spot you study in every time.
- Filter out distractions—the obvious ones being non-school-related internet, your mobile phone, video games, pets, friends, and family. But even books for another class (like history books when you’re studying for math) can be a distraction, too.
- Use your textbooks, especially in classes where teachers go strictly by the book. You can also take notes from the book, writing down key topics and important terms.
- Read with a purpose. Know why you’re supposed to read what you’re reading before you read it. Scanning what you read before you read it can help you understand it better. It’s also a good idea to review what you’ve read afterwards.
- When memorizing information, take care that you don’t forget what you’ve memorized before whenever you memorize something new. To avoid this, try memorizing lessons for different classes on different days.
- Go to and participate in class. Don’t just sit there—take good notes (unfamiliar terms and main points in your own words) and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Review your notes as soon as possible afterwards.
- Organize your notes, books, study area, and schedule. Do your best to keep things neat as you go along, which is actually easier than letting things (and things to do) pile up and then straightening things out or catching up afterward.
- Make and save your study guides like notes and flashcards as you go along every day, instead of just making them before a test. Filing your guides means you will have them handy when you need them for a major exam.
- Talk to your teachers, especially if there’s a lesson you don’t understand. Don’t wait for the last couple of weeks before the finals. It’s also a good idea to show your teachers from the get-go that you are putting effort into learning.