5 Habits to Spruce Up Your Study Skills

Demonstrating productive and effective study habits is a key component of a successful academic foundation. The challenge is that we are often taught what to study, but not how to study. Whether in a traditional school setting or on location, you can help your student boost his or her academic performance with these five tips.

Note it down – The first step to good study habits begins before your student leaves the classroom with good, old-fashioned note taking. Not sure where to start? Focus on facts the instructor highlights. Keep papers such as homework, classwork, and quizzes that have been returned. These are great tools for review, too.

Create a work space – Identify a space for homework and studying. It should be relatively free of distractions and have enough work surface for your student to spread out books, papers, and materials. Keep the area stocked with paper, pencils and other related school supplies. It doesn’t have to be a desk. The kitchen table can be homework central at a specific time of day, especially if you want to be close at hand to answer questions and keep your student moving. Some research indicates that listening to music can help improve focus and concentration. Whether music is a help or hindrance, however, depends upon the individual.  

Practice not review – It’s never a bad idea to review your notes and previous assignments, but there’s more to studying than re-reading what you’ve learned. Students need to practice concepts and work on recalling material. Use tools like flashcards and the online resource Quizlet, which allows students to create online quizzes of their own material or search for existing practice sessions that others have developed previously.

Make it a game – There are things your student will simply have to memorize. But that’s no reason not to make it fun! Use songs, poems, mnemonic devices, and games to help your student commit the materials to memory. Sometimes simple rhymes and other memory boosters stick with us long into adulthood.

Use the time you have wisely – Studying demands time, which can be a hard-to-come-by commodity, especially for a young performer. Encourage your student to study when in the car, while waiting to go into an audition, or other down times.

Bonus tip – the same skills that help you study academic material can be applied to learning lines. Give it a try!

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