This is a big week for The Study Gurus, as we became students once again.
We’re back on the other side of the desk.
Except this time, we know exactly what we’re doing.
Just to clear up the confusion about why we’re now students again, well, it’s not because we failed the first time…
After we finished our degrees in Biomedical Science we found ourselves at a bit of a loss.
We didn’t know what we wanted to pursue, and so (among other jobs) we’ve been tutoring high school students in maths and science for the last couple of years.
About a year ago we had simultaneous epiphanies about what we thought we next wanted to sink our teeth into. So on Monday Chris had his first day at Medical School at Deakin University, and Clare had hers at Law School at the University of Melbourne.
Much to our disbelief, and in complete defiance of the oaths we swore that we’d never sit another exam again, we’re now tertiary students for the second time. (And this time we’re really excited about it!)
What we’re going to do differently this time
The good news for you here is that your teen doesn’t have to wait until they start their second degree (…) before they know what we’ve taken YEARS to perfect!
So here they are – the three things your teen can start doing NOW to get on the track to straight A’s.
1. Keep on top of things from the very first day.
When we were at uni the first time ‘round, we didn’t appreciate nearly enough the benefits of studying from the get go.
The mindset was, “We just got going! We don’t need to start studying for ages!”
We completely underestimated the power of the long-term memory.
If you don’t start revising what you’ve been taught in your lectures (or in the classroom) until exams are just around the corner, you don’t give your brain long enough to convert that information into it’s long-term memory.
Whereas if your teen starts revising what they’ve been taught in class NOW, they won’t be able to forget it come exam time.
Just half an hour a day can make a HUGE difference to your teen’s grades at the end of the school year.
We find it incredibly effective to write out or type up what we’ve learnt in class that day when we come home.
Since we started doing this, we’ve been amazed at how much we managed to retaine months later when preparing for exams.
Please relay to your teen that getting good grades at school doesn’t mean they need to sacrifice everything else in their life.
Half an hour a day is sometimes all it takes.
2. Keep study notes and everything to do with each subject in ONE place.
It took both of us a while to figure out that having a system in place to keep our separate subject stuff altogether in one place makes life a lot easier.
It doesn’t matter how they do it. It will certainly depend on how they make their notes.
But make sure your teen keeps ALL of their subject materials in once place. Whether this means using a ring binder to put all loose papers in, or writing everything for each subject in ONE exercise book, it doesn’t matter.
The important thing is just that your teen knows where everything is.
The task of studying for exams can be daunting enough without having to find and attempt to organise a years worth of books, notes, and bits of paper!
3. Make the most of different ways of learning.
Right now there are so many resources out there other than dusty ol’ text books to help your teen study.
The Internet on it’s own should be an invaluable resource to your teen’s studies this year.
Everyone learns in their own unique way, so it’s really important that your teen uses resources that help them study best. And this could be quite different to the traditional method of ‘swatting’.
There are thousands of educational videos, interactive exercises, quizzes, and practice questions available entirely for free online that can help your teen get the grades they deserve.
When we were at uni the first time around, and certainly at high school, there wasn’t nearly the same amount of information available on the Internet. And now that it’s been embraced by so many fantastic educationally-minded people, it’s hard to NOT find what you want!
Now that we’re studying again, we’re going to make use of the amazing resources available to us – online and elsewhere. (Check out Khan Academy if you haven’t already!)
There are many other aspects of studying effectively that we will no doubt be much better at now (and we look forward to sharing them with you) but the three we’ve talked about today are probably the most important for your teen to take on board right now.
These are also things you can help your teen with at home, which is a great way of showing them that they have your support and encouragement.
Image Credit: Akeg on Flickr