DEVELOPING GOOD STUDY SKILLS 

In both public and private schools, the best performing students have virtually all learned good study habits. Yet many students who have not acquired good study habits find academic success elusive even though they are bright and can read very well.  Fortunately, good study habits can be taught.

Most studentsí grades and enjoyment of learning increase as they learn organization and time management strategies, note-taking techniques, reading and study strategies and test-taking strategies, yet these are seldom taught in school.

Students who learn how to make effective use of a planner much like those adults use, and to record assignments and due dates reinforce the actual time management behaviors of successful professionals in almost every field. This equips them not only for school, but for life.

To elaborate on note-taking an instructor must present students with opportunities to practice purposeful listening, and through discussion jointly evaluate the results.  Listening is a skill. 

Practice in outlining will strengthens organizational skills at the same time students learn to listen for details and cluster them with graphic organizers.  Note-taking and review become useful tools rather than mystery as one learns a variety of outlining and listening techniques.

Reading strategies should encompass practice in skimming as an aid to increase reading rate and spelling ability.  A variety of learnable memory tactics can also enrich the studentís ability to assimilate to printed and verbal material.

The stumbling block for some is tests, not learning.  In these cases the student may understand and be able to apply the information but he or she panics during testing and is unable to demonstrate those abilities.  It is important to teach students how to prepare for tests, and the different techniques that can be employed when taking multiple-choice, matching, true/false, essay and sentence completion tests.  Once this is understood, abilities increase, fear lessens and the studentís confidence level zooms upward.  The student who also understands test taking is well armed both to understand the structure of material and to compete with academic rigor. 

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