Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

StudyRight: Five grade boosting tips for middle to high schoolers

Posted April 9, 2014

Skylar Anderson, seminar director for StudyRight, a local study skills training company, will host a study skills training course at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab in Raleigh on April 23 and April 24.

StudyRight offers study skills training for middle school and high school students with the goal of giving kids skills that really work and making it fun in the process. 

"For us, this means that students will learn more in less time in the books, and to that end we've focused on developing our courses based on cognitive psychological research," Anderson tells me. " ... If we give them fantastic skills but they don't have fun, they likely won't use what we teach them."

I asked Anderson to share some quick study skills here on Go Ask Mom. 

"With the semester half over, it's a great time to start thinking about how to get prepared for finals," Anderson said. "There is still plenty of time for students to hone their test prep and study skills and maximize their grades this semester."

Here are five grade-boosting tips to help kids ace their finals, courtesy of StudyRight. 

1. Start Reviewing Now

The best students make reviewing a part of their regular homework rhythms, and not just for fun. It can significantly improve recall. Psychologists call this the "distributed practice effect." For our students who want to create a review schedule but don't know where to start, we recommend simply reviewing all your class notes and homework from seven days ago. We find it's fairly easy to remember the schedule that way.

2. Use connection to learn more information, faster

It's generally accepted that your working memory can only effectively remember five to nine items at a time. So how in the world can you study for all those cumulative exams? In addition to reviewing each week, try breaking information into smaller groups. Five groups of four onnected facts is much easier to remember than 20 less-organized ideas.

3. Don't over-hype flashcards

Flashcards can be great. But don't sacrifice the importance of connecting ideas together on your flashcards. Consider grouping flashcards together by certain related features if you're going to use them. Even if you have 600 responses memorized through flashcards, you still need to be able to connect the dots between ideas.

4. Quiz yourself frequently

When it comes down to it, quizzing yourself is still one of the most effective ways to study. Try answering questions at the back of textbook chapters, past homework questions, or create your own questions from your notes or study guides. Nothing gives you an accurate a picture of your preparedness like quizzing yourself.

5. Try a study group

Good study groups can be extremely effective tools for studying for final exams. When students with different strengths, weaknesses, and ways of processing information start talking, good things happen. Either that, or they just distract one another; however, the benefits are worth the risk.

To make the most of your study group (without just spinning your wheels), shoot for three to five people in the group, make sure everyone studies on their own before the group meeting, and focus on talking through difficult areas in the material. Especially if you're a highly verbal learner, these groups can be invaluable.



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