Hopefully your teen is using these tips to build their Study Formula. This means they’re figuring out what study techniques work specifically for them.
A Study Formula is basically a study routine. We want your teen to get in the habit of using the same study techniques every time they sit down to study.
Once their study habits are set, studying becomes a whole lot easier.
As your teen’s Study Formula takes form they should find that studying is no longer a horribly daunting task, because they know what to do – they understand how to study.
Also, having a Study Formula and study routine will make it that much easier for them to maintain concentration. The two go hand in hand.
Last week we introduced the first four of our concentration-inducing practices for you to share with your teen. Now it’s time for the last four.
5. Remove the technological distractions. Facebook and cell phones – that means you!
We know that for some teens, switching off their cell phone or not checking Facebook every five minutes would be equivalent to the paralysis of a limb. But as we all know – they will survive.
If your teen gives themselves the opportunity to be distracted like this, they’re inevitably going to check for updates all the time. This will annihilate any chance of establishing a work-flow because part of their mind will always be focussed on the computer or their phone, and not on the work that needs to be done.
They’ll get so much more done in the same amount of time with their cell phone in another room and not logged into Facebook. If they have to, try turning off the internet for a bit to remove the temptation entirely.
6. Stick to a timely routine.
Our brains love structure and routine. Implementing routine study times into your teen’s weekly schedule will feed the part of their subconscious brain that regulates concentration.
We strongly recommend making a timetable of their normal school week and fitting in regular study times. If you’d like to pre-made timetable you can just print off without any hassle, a timetable template is one of the four documents contained in the Exam Survival Kit.
7. Make sure they have an objective
Before your teen sits down to study (for exams, an assignment, as essay – anything) they need to have a clear objective in mind.
What are they going to study?
I’m going to study *insert subject/topic here* for *this long*.
And what do they want to take away from this session?
By the time I’m done I want to *understand mitosis/remember important dates during WWII/be confident in solving a quadratic equation*.
Again – such a simple thing – but so effective.
8. There’s nothing wrong with doodling!
Research published in Applied Cognitive Psychology has shown that doodling may help to improve your teen’s concentration and recall.
Apparently secondary tasks such as doodling and chewing gum don’t distract from our main focus, they in fact appear to strengthen concentration. Who would have thought!
[This tip might seem a bit obscure, but I (Chris) completely related when I stumbled across this article. Whenever I study I am constantly and absent-mindedly fiddling with stuff lying around and chewing on a pen. Chewing on a pen means I’m in the study zone. It may mean buying a few more pens, but if something quirky like this could potentially help your teen concentrate – who cares!]
Over the last two weeks we’ve covered quite a lot with just eight tips. It’s important to understand that not all of them will work for everyone.
In the pursuit of your teen developing their Study Formula, they should give all the tips a good go, but also keep an open mind about which ones are working for them, and which ones aren’t.
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