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Twelve secrets of effective learning

    Get organized

    Carry a homework planner with you at all times. Writing in homework, projects, tests, and assignments as soon as they are assigned will ensure that they are not forgotten.

    Pay attention in class

    It is important to focus and avoid distractions when the teacher is speaking. Practice active listening by focusing on what is being said and taking notes in your own words. This will ensure that you hear (and understand) the material being taught.

    Avoid distractions

    Distractions are everywhere – from cell phones to social media to friends. Be aware of what distracts you in class and know how to avoid those distractions. Avoid sitting next to friends if you know they will distract you. Turning off your phone can also ensure you are paying attention to your teacher.

    Make sure your notes are complete

    Taking clear and complete notes in class will help you process the information you are learning. These notes also become study notes that can be reviewed before a test. Talk to friends or the teacher if you missed a class to make sure your notes are complete.

    Ask questions if there is something you did not understand

    Raise your hand and ask questions if you didn’t understand something. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of everyone, write down a reminder to talk to the teacher after class.

    Create a learning plan

    When you create a learning plan, look at your planner and think about what needs to get done. Think about what types of questions will be on the exam and what topics will be covered so you know what to focus on. Set specific goals for each study session, such as how many topics you want to cover by the end of the session.

    Go over notes from class every night

    After school, go over notes from class and review them in more depth. Reviewing notes helps transfer what you learned from short-term memory to long-term memory, which will help you on the next big exam.

    Talk to teachers

    Teachers are there to help you do your best. Talk to your teacher and ask for clarification or extra help if you need it before your exam. Taking the initiative to ask for help goes over very well with teachers!

    Designate a place to work

    A quiet, well-lit place with little traffic is best for studying. Make sure there is a clear work area for studying and writing. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important to find a space that works for you.

    Study in short intervals

    Take a short break of 10 to 15 minutes every 30 minutes to recover. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time.

    Simplify your notes

    Make learning easier by summarizing your notes from class. Underline or highlight key concepts. Create visual aids such as diagrams, story webs, mind maps, or outlines to organize and simplify information for better recall.

    Learn with a group

    Working with classmates fosters an interactive environment that keeps you on task. This gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge with others, quiz each other on the content, and build each other’s confidence.