Academic Tip of the Month – Don’t Study Harder – Study Better!

Photo Credit: TheAtlantic.com

After I meet with a student, one of the main takeaways for them is to focus more on their grades. This is a critical piece to the puzzle of whether or not that student will be recruited for a particular rugby program or simply admitted to their top choice school. I’ll ask, “So, what do you plan to do to bring your grades up?” and the common answer is “I’ll study harder.” As I push students to elaborate on what this means, it’s interesting to hear that most of the time “studying harder” simply means “study more” as in “spend more time reading, re-reading, writing notes, highlighting and so on. A month or so later, upon checking in, the students will share that even if they are committing more time to “studying” they still aren’t doing better in school, retaining the information, or learning more. This got me thinking – there MUST be a better way for students who are feeling caught in this cycle of wanting to do better, being unable to do so, and ultimately giving up.

Here are the Top 6 Tips for Effective Studying:

  1. Spaced practice – spread out short study sessions over time (No cramming!)

  2. Interleaving – don’t spend too much time on one topic for too long

  3. Elaboration – ask yourself why and how things work

  4. Concrete Examples – relate to real life examples

  5. Dual Coding – combine your notes with visuals

  6. Retrieval Practice – recall what you know

Here is the video explaining each of these strategies:


http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/8/18-1

Academic Tip of the Month Brought to you by ArborBridge

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