Develop good study habits

You might as well get the best results since school takes up 10 to 13 years of your life. Many people spend another 3 to 8 years in university. Excelling in school will help you to excel in university, get scholarships, and find a good job.

It is a fact that the higher the education level, generally the higher the income. Furthermore, the gap is getting bigger. Over the last 50 years, workers without degrees have seen their inflation-adjusted earnings drop while the income of those with degrees has increased more than inflation.

Good results have less to do with intelligence than good study habits. Many smart students don’t excel, while many ‘average’ kids do.

Stick to a regular timetable. Determine the least number of hours you will spend in addition to formal contact – in school, this might be 2 to 4 hours a day. In university, you might expect 2 hours of study per hour of lecture, for a 40 to 50 hour week. Commit to starting at the appointed time: even when you are not in the mood, get started at your study desk. Once you get started, you will often find the mood soon after.

Stick to a regular place. Have a regular place to study where all the necessary accessories are conveniently organized. See Concentrate: Manage your environment

Learn so that you can apply. When reading, ordinary students try to understand what is there, excellent students read to answer questions that are already in their heads. The same is true when listening.

Practice and practice. Repeat exercises such as in mathematics for speed and error-reduction until it becomes second nature. In essence, this is what tutorial schools such as Kumon provide.

Remember and recall. Much of formal education is about remembering concepts, processes, and facts. Organize your knowledge – it is much easier to remember when you have a structure. One proven structure resembles an inverted tree – an overriding idea is broken up into parts, which are further subdivided.

Keep notes that summarize the key concepts. Turn the notes into flash cards. Test your recall daily, weekly, and monthly. Use mnemonics and associations appropriately. These are taught (often in expensive courses) as the key to good memory. Certainly they help but are like a ferry taking you across a river; you don’t want to carry the ferry once you get across.

Get ahead of your cohort, whatever the subject, whether in school or university. If you are in Year 5, use resources for Year 6. Similarly, prepare for major exams one year ahead of time. If possible, take some exams earlier.

Don’t be afraid to talk to real experts in your field, even if you are in school. They are often able to give you the most important ideas in a topic in a concise way. Related idea: Encourage mentors

Be multi-skilled. To excel in school, you need a wide range of skills. One special skill is not enough. Example: One of my classmates in school was a genius in mathematics. He could get perfect marks in this subject but couldn’t pass any other. Unfortunately, he did not move up to the last two years of high school, so there was no opportunity to make use of his special talent.

Develop good relationships with all teachers. They are more likely to give you the extra hand. You learn better when you have rapport with them. In many universities, the same lecturer who teaches you also sets the exams. These grades are not totally objective – lecturers are human. In addition, some lecturers are consistently generous with, others miserly – go for the former if you have a choice.


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