Recently, a student asked me for my hot list of academic life-changers; key study skills you can use to dominate your grades. Here goes…
1) Get help. It’s the 21st Century, fellow netizens! Flying cars, robotic house maids, and personal jet packs are now commonplace… okay, well, maybe not. But it’s still the 21st Century!, which means you don’t have to rely on your brilliant professor’s rapid-fire mumble-lectures and micro-type PowerPoints. Use the interwebs and find help online. Get tutoring. Talk to the TA, a grad student, or another prof. Hell’s Bells, peeps, phone a friend! Going it alone is soooo last century. This is an instant study skills upgrade! BONUS: Active learning, taking charge of your own education, also amps up your focus!
2) Stop procrastination. Procrastination is enemy number-one for my erstwhile readers, and it’s a totally fixable problem. Take a look here for loads of proven, rock-solid techniques for making procrastination just one more item on the long list of problems other people have. Stopping procrastination is also one of those study skills that will serve you well in other areas of your life!
3) Fix your focus fails. One thing skeet-shooting champs, tigers, fighter pilots, birds of prey, and neurosurgeons have in common; they can refrain from checking their electronic iCrack while trying to concentrate. Developing the focus of half-starved jungle cat on Aderol is within your grasp; just take a look at these posts.
4) Use your down time. Time management is not just for business execs and planner fiends. Time management is for students! How much time do you spend singing along with Adele at stop lights, ambling across campus, or playing Angry Birds while waiting for your next class to start? That’s not time management, people; that’s wasted time (except for maybe Adele). Instead, make time management one of your main student tools. Treat school like an 8 to 5 job and carry your study fodder with you (Flash cards? Notes? Anki?) so that any time is study time. Do that, and you might actually have time for a real (guilt-free) social life. More info here.
5) Teach to learn. The single best way I know to master new materials is to teach it to someone else, mainly because it fosters active learning. What’s active learning? It’s when you get off your passive “feed me” academic keister and start taking charge of your own learning. Active learning is, well, active! Teaching the information you are learning to someone else forces you to engage in active learning. Here’s how. Take the notes you make in class or while reading for a class, and use them as an outline while you teach the topic to a motivated learner (even if that learner is just in your imagination). Learn more.
Get help with your academic troubles and sore spots. Stop procrastination cold and get moving. Fix your focus fails and up your concentration. Use your down time and translate time management into better grades. Teach you study materials to someone else to learn it better yourself. Those are definitely the big five study skills that will make your academic life thrive. Take a look at my ebook, Secrets Smart Students Know, for more details on all of the above study skills and mucho mas.
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