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Study Suggestions 

STUDY SUGGESTIONS

Students should study their Physical Science notes about 30 minutes EVERY night.  Some people need more time, some less.  Prep for a test may take more time. However, If the student has studied every night, the prep the night before the test becomes a review and can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

STUDY HELP WEBSITE:  www.howtostudy.org

Environment

  • Do NOT study in your room.  All your distractions are there.  I made my sons study in the diningroom (nothing there of interest).
  • NO cell phones, ipods, TV, radio...you need to focus.  If the silence is deafening, play classical music (no lyrics, they make the mind wander).
  • Get comfortable.  Clothes, chair, drink, plenty of light, etc...

Schedule

  • Have a set time for study.  Set up a schedule and stick to it.  Make it a habit.
  • Use a 60 :15 routine.  Study 1 hour then get up move around, go outside, clear your mind for 15 minutes.  Then go back and quiz yourself on what you had previously studied...then study again.  
  • Prioritize.  You can't study everything every night.  Evaluate what is a priority.  Allocate time for the subjects then get busy.
  • If you skip physical science one night to prepare for another subject, double up on it the next night.

Active Studying

  • DO NOT JUST READ YOUR NOTES.  This isn't studying at all.  At best, it is a terrible attempt at memorization.  Our minds wander when we read.  How many times have we been reading only to realize we don't know what we have read.  After flipping back 1 or 2 pages we find where we lost our focus.                                                   
  • When studying:
  1. Quiz: Have a parent or someone quiz you on terms and topics.  (straight from the notes, they don't have to understand it)
  2. Write out: Cover up the definitions, explanations, etc... read the terms and/or headings and write out everything you can think of on the topic.  Then uncover and compare what you have written to your notes.
  3. Flash cards: Make flash cards of the elements, polyatomic ions, terms, concepts, etc... carry them everywhere.  If you have down time (waiting rooms, little brothers soccer practice, haircuts, mom dragging you around the grocery store) whip out the cards and start quizzing.
  4. Study Groups:  This is a tricky one.  Many times these are more destructive than constructive.  The group must be serious about studying. A study group can quickly deteriorate into a social group of gossip and playing.  If you join one, evaluate what you are getting out of it. 

Homework

My homework is given as reinforcement of skills required to succeed on the test.  It is important that YOU do your homework.  If you are copying (or letting it be copied), blowing it off, whatever the excuse...just not doing the work, you will do poorly on the test.