Hi! Welcome to email four of eight of our email course!
Today it’s time to turn up the heat.
Up until now, we haven’t talked much about the practical side of effective exam study. We needed to get the non-tangibles sorted first.
But now it’s time to talk about exactly what your teen needs to do when studying to get the fantastic grades they’re capable of.
So without further ado…
Students who consistently get high grades have two things in common:
- They know why it’s important they do well at school, and
- They use the same study techniques every time they sit down to study.
(Sound familiar? I talked about this in the very first email. We’ve covered the first point, now we’re onto the second.)
In other words, teens who get good grades have a ‘study formula’.
Today I’m going to explain how you’re going to help your teen figure out THEIR study formula.
Once your teen has this sorted very exciting things will start to happen for them.
A study formula is the academic equivalent of an athlete’s race-day rituals.
Athletes know exactly what they need to do before a race to ensure they’re as prepared as they can possibly be. They have a formula/process they go through before every race.
It’s the formula that guarantees they’ll compete to the best of their ability. Or at the very least, it’s the formula that leaves the smallest amount of room for error.
Once your teen has developed their own study formula, they will know exactly what they need to do every time they sit down to study in order to get the most out of that study session.
Your teen’s study formula will be unique to them
This is because we all learn most effectively in our own unique way.
Figuring out their study formula isn’t something your teen can do overnight. It’s a learning curve. It’s a process of test and measure. It’s a continual work in progress.
Even after all these years, we’re still refining our own study formulas!
But your teen can start figuring out their study formula right now by thinking about the following…
Learning styles can play a big part in a student’s study formula.
It needs to be understood that every student is different, and we don’t all learn in the exact same way.
School caters best for students who learn from reading and writing.
Students who learn in other ways, particularly the kinesthetic learners, don’t often get a chance to put their learning style to use.
It’s not that the boy who can’t focus on what the teacher is saying for more than five seconds isn’t capable of learning or studying. Think about it – does he have trouble focusing on his Playstation? Absolutely not. Perhaps if school was more about doing stuff (more kinesthetic), he’d get better grades.
However, it’s not overly realistic for schools to cater to every student’s individual learning style… But your teen CAN figure out what their own learning style is and use it in their own time to study.
Once your teen knows what their predominant learning style(s) is, it will give direction to their study. It will help them figure out what study techniques work best for them.
Get your teen to take our Learning Styles Quiz to see what their predominant learning style is! It only takes a few minutes, and they will have made a fantastic start to figuring out their study formula.
There are four different learning styles your teen can subscribe to – Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. In the learning styles section we have a heap of information about the different types of study techniques that work best for each learning style.
Most teens tend to benefit from some techniques associated with other learning styles too, so it’s definitely worthwhile having a read of all the learning style pages to see what study techniques appeal to your teen.
But Wait! There’s More…
Knowing what their learning style is does not mean your teen has their study formula entirely sorted. There are plenty of other pieces to the puzzle.
They need to start asking themselves questions about how they like to learn.
- Do they prefer writing full sentenced study notes?
- Or would they rather bullet-pointed short lines?
- Do they like using highlighters when they study?
- Do they like drawing diagrams?
- Do they like talking about what they’ve been studying?
- Do they learn from watching videos?
- Do they learn best by actually doing things?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s simply a place to start.
There are no right answers to these questions. I know I’m a stuck record, but every student studies most effectively in their own unique way.
Your teen’s study formula will be comprised of all the different study techniques that work for THEM. No one else.
The Importance of Their Study Environment
Understanding the environment in which your teen is most productive is an extremely important facet of their study formula and extremely influential on the success of their study sessions.
Ask your teen what kind of environment they think they work best in. Do they need to lock themselves in a room away from all distractions? Or do they need to be around people?
Do they get lots done where they study currently, or would they be better off somewhere else in the house? Would going to the local library help them focus?
Also – do they study best in the morning or at night?
Does music help or hinder their concentration?
For how long are they able to study before needing a break? Is their memory retention better with long periods or short bursts of study?
The list of questions you could ask is almost endless…
Study Formulas and Fantastic Results Go Hand in Hand
You can probably see now why figuring out their study formula isn’t something your teen is going to do overnight!
It is supposed to be a game of trial and error. It should be thought of as a constant work in progress. Every time your teen studies for an exam, their study formula will improve.
They just need to make a conscious effort to think about what study techniques ARE working for them, and which ones aren’t.
Once your teen starts doing this regularly, you can expect great changes to come of their grades.
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Clare & Chris (The Study Gurus)
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