How to Have Good Study Habits

Hi Everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful morning. Today we have an article by Deerfield student Eleanor Wenners on creating proper routines for studying, something that comes in handy especially in tough academic atmospheres like prep school. Happy reading!

"Study hours have commenced. It is the night before your first test. Sitting in your wooden chair, you stare at the notebooks stacked in front of you. Your heart sinks. Reality hits. You haven’t read your notes once. The clock reads 9:00, threatening you to begin studying. You crack open your textbook, flipping through the chapters filled with highlighted terms. Your all nighter begins now.

We’ve all been in this situation. At boarding school, you're on your own. You no longer have a parent there to tell you when to study. I believe the best way to keep these kinds of nights to a minimum and to create better study habits is by making a schedule, getting into a routine, holding yourself accountable, and taking care of yourself.

Rather than cramming the night before, work time into your schedule to study on days leading up to the test. Plan out your study hours. On lighter homework nights, blocking out just 20 to 30 minutes of review for a test later in the week can make a big difference. Before bed, bring a stack of flashcards into the bathroom and review while brushing your teeth. This incremental approach allows you to get more sleep the night before the test, provides time for the material to settle in your brain, and avoids panic.

If you can manage to pull yourself out of bed on time, study and review while you eat breakfast. Get to the dining hall early for some focused quiet time. Or go 30 minutes before morning classes with friends if you can study in the midst of side conversation. Quiz yourself on the material you reviewed the night before. The act of learning a concept and then quizzing yourself allows you to build a concrete understanding of the topic and serves as practice for recalling information during the assessment.

Allow yourself the time to hit pause and take your mind off of studying, especially on weekends after a tough week. Create scheduled times designated for studying, hanging out with friends, campus activities, and self care. Taking breaks and making time to do other things can help frame a positive mindset for when you do study. Studying on weekends may seem silly, but it can help ease the stress of an upcoming assessment in next week.

Some other tips and tricks I have found to be helpful include writing reminders about an upcoming assessment in red ink, as well as putting sticky notes around your room that have vocabulary words or formulas written on them. Know your teacher’s office hours and get in a routine of attending. Furthermore, asking questions in class when you are confused prevents frustration and wasting time while studying. Find out what environment you study best in: try out new study places and find a space that works best for you. Try finding a study buddy that keeps you on task or try studying alone. If you work better with music, try classical music or white noise to keep distractions to a minimum. Keep the lighting in your room bright. And most importantly, try new ways of studying to find how you can best support yourself."


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