Back to school is a memory. Students have pumped academic iron for over a month and it’s time for a little coaching. Whether it’s memorizing spelling words and Bible verses or understanding honors courses, mastering study habits can make a big difference in grades.

These tips are straight from Cornerstone Christian Academy teachers, so there’s a good chance they’ll put you on the path to success. And here’s a special note for 7-12 grade students: some of you may think these tips are “too elementary,” but be assured even college students use these simple techniques to study.

GOOD TO KNOW: THE BASICS OF STUDYING

  • Start out by studying to RECOGNIZE the answer, but move onto being able to fully RECALL the answer.

  • For the understanding of concepts, write out your own summary of the process, historical event, etc.  After writing it out, compare your summary to the textbook/notes.  Evaluate whether or not you have written correctly about the concepts.  Did you miss a step in the process, or an important date in history?  Write your summary again, adding these important parts, but make sure you don't give yourself a cheat sheet - put away all your notes and previous summaries.

  • When you do homework pay attention to the concept the homework is teaching or reviewing. Don't treat homework like a checklist item, treat it like an opportunity to learn or practice what you have already learned.

  • Start nightly re-reading notes from the day...even begin building quizzes for later use. As you review write questions you may have and ask your teacher the next day.

    • Highlight notes as you review for really important info or info that is on the unit guide.

  • Make notecards. Think of three ways to think of the term a) definition b) connection of term to unit c)example d)a connection to something else in the unit. The more connections you can make between terms the better.

  • Begin studying a week before the test. Even devoting 5 minutes a night will make a big difference. This wakes your brain up to what you’ve already learned.

  • Eat healthy foods when you’re studying

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QUIZ YOURSELF

  • Write out your own "quizzes" where the answers are not available.  Answer what you can, then check your answers.  Fill in the ones you missed, then try taking the test after a bit more study.  Complete as many times as it takes you to get 100% on your own quiz.

  • Flashcards - best for learning terms and their definitions.  There are even apps where you can make your own flashcards!  Super handy since your phone is always (except during school hours) there.

  • Pretend you are the teacher. They say if you can teach the material (to your younger siblings or stuffed animals etc.) then you have to know it!

  • For labeling of figures, print off many blank copies (not labeled). Fill the first one out using a key (the labeled figure).  After this, take a blank figure and see how many terms you can fill in correctly without looking.  Fill in the terms you missed, then try again on a new, blank figure. Do this over and over until you can fill all the terms in without looking.

  • Ask teachers for practice tests or websites that provide practice.

Resources include:
Quizlet the app or quizlet.com, Kahn Academy online, StudyBlue app
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MEMORIZATION

  • Spend 10-15 minutes per night.  Repetition helps! It’s helpful to repeat it over and over to yourself out loud (especially with Bible verses and spelling words)

  • Try to make it fun!  For elementary remember, if your child is having fun, things will be much easier.  Reward cooperation with an extra book at bedtime or special time with you!  

Resources include: Spelling Monster app, SpellingCity.com or app
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GET CREATIVE

  • Do something different each night (ie. trace spelling words, type the words, "rainbow color" the words, write the words in sand or shaving cream, stamp the words, use configuration boxes (tall letters, small letters, letters that fall), make words using magnetic letters, etc. )

  • Create a song using the terms you need to memorize.  Take a catchy song or chorus that gets in your head, change the words (correctly!), and memorize your own new song.  You will be amazed at how quickly you'll learn new terminology.

  • Draw a doodle or picture next to a term.  If the term reminds you of something, create a little icon next to it.  This helps your brain recall things even quicker, because now you have used art to describe the term.

  • Use colors to coordinate terms with their definitions. Sometimes the addition of color will help your brain put the two together.

  • Record yourself speaking a question and record an answer. Make it into a quiz show or newscast.

  • Acronyms - create an acronym using the first letter of each term in an category.

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STUDY GROUPS

  • Study groups - get a group of focused classmates to work together to quiz each other.  You can even use your parents as a study group!  College students have study groups in their dorm - so use those people living in your house to quiz you.  Your parents want to help you. Be sure to study in a place without distractions. Make sure everyone is participating. Sometimes your best friend is not the best study partner. Make sure everyone has complete notes. Keep the group small 4-6 people maximum.

Whatever you find that works best for YOU, continue to study in that way!   Everyone learns differently, and only you can discover what works best for you.  Use your own techniques as long as it keeps working for you!

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