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Copyright @ 2011 by 

Tom Siebold

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A Few Ideas to Consider 

Sometimes it is the little things that can make the difference between success and failure.  The study tips that follow just might give you an edge. Try them.

1. When you have lots of things to do, all of which are coming from different directions and in different forms, it is very helpful to make a "Things-To-Do List."  Each evening before you settle in for the night make a brief list of tasks that should be accomplished on the following day.  Beware, however, that you donít become a slave to your lists and donít allow them to inspire guilt or rigidly dictate your activities.  Instead remain flexible; your list is just a road map to help guide you efficiently.

2. Donít procrastinate!

3. Many students find it helpful to study with a partner, a study buddy.  Mutual support can smooth out rough bumps in the grind of school.

4. As the pressure of school mounts, it is often easy to forget your long range goals.  You may ask yourself, ďWhy in the world am I here feeling all this pressure?Ē Have the answers right in front of you by making a list of why you are in school.  Post this list over your desk in plain view.  Look at it occasionally to both motivate and reassure you.

5. Get involved.  Schools are large institutions and it is not too hard to feel like a bit player in a cast of thousands.  If you take advantage of an activity sponsored by your school, you will feel more like a valued part of the whole.  It can also be a lot of fun.

6. Keep a daily journal.  This kind of regular reflection will keep things in perspective.  Your journal can be that safe forum to let off steam, express hopes, and reflect on what is happening.  All in all, itís a good way to glue together who you are with what you are doing.

7. Experiment with your newly acquired knowledge.  Your classes are not only providing you with new information, they are instilling in you new ways of thinking and dealing with the world.  Share the excitement of growth with friends and relative: discuss ideas, debate, speculate, and question.

8. Carry a pocket notebook.  You will find that at odd moments during the day good ideas will strike without warning.  Perhaps a paper topic that has been mulling around in your head will come to fruition.  Capture it by jotting it down in your pocket notebook.

9. The institution in which you are enrolled has a keen interest in your well being.  Hence, if needed take advantage of the services provided by your school, i.e. counseling, health care, recreation facilities, political and religious organizations, and support groups.

10. Be punctual, donít be late and donít skip class.

11. To avoid confusion and the great frustration of messing up your notes, use a separate notebook for each class.

12. Participate in class.  Even though you may be somewhat reluctant to speak in front of others, force yourself.  Participation will build a high level of interest.  Good things happen when your mind is actively engaged with a class.

13. Work on your listening skills.

14. Photocopy important pages or sections of your notes.  Then you can carry some of them with you to study in those inevitable ďlullsĒ during the day.

15. Consider joining or starting a study group.  Working with other students can not only be motivational but it also helps you stay up to speed with the content of a class.  A study group encourages you to be prepared for your group meetings and it requires you to participate in content discussions.  This is a great way to reinforce your learning.  Keep in mind that study groups donít work for everyone.  Also if you are studying with close friends be careful that play doesnít replace work.

16. Break up long study sessions by switching subjects.  Learning researchers know that long, marathon immersions into a single subject is not the most productive way of studying.  After a moderate length of study time it is usually a good idea to switch to another topic.  Pounding away on one topic hour after hour becomes increasingly counter-productive.

17. Sit in the front of the classroom.

18. Tell your friends not to call during your study sessions.

19. Learn to say "no."  Stick to your study priorities. Your friends will not only wait, they will understand.

20. Resisting friends is important. You have to learn to say no. I hate to miss things. I want to be there having fun, but I remind myself I have to keep my priorities straight. School has to come first. There will be other times to see my friends.

21. If you have to miss a class, ask a reliable classmate for his/her notes.

22.  Be true to yourself.  As you and your perception of the world change, keep a handle on who you are and donít try to be something that you are not.