Counseling & Guidance » Getting Organized to Study Effectively at Home

Getting Organized to Study Effectively at Home

Turn off the TV and turn on your thinking power!

Lots of teens think they can play The Study Game with only a few minutes of preparation. Or they put off homework until it's too late, and then skip it completely. Why? Television. Too much TV watching is a big problem for many students today. It can keep even the brightest people from doing well in school. Don't kid yourself! You can't do your best thinking with the TV on. If you try, you'll pay the penalty in poorer work. It's the biggest favor you can do...for you! Now that the TV's off, what else can you do at home to prepare for better grades?
Choose a place to study

Find a spot that's comfortable 
Study in the same place everyday.
Find a spot that's comfortable. Music is okay-but only at a low level in the background. Study in the same place every day. Get in condition and it's easy to follow this new habit.

Choose a time to study

Pick a time when you're most alert. 
Pick a time when you're most alert to study. Maybe you like to get your homework done as soon as you get home from school. Great! Maybe you'd rather relax for a while and study after dinner. That's fine too. The point is to choose a time, then make the most of it. Study every day. It's the mental workout that keeps you in condition and on top of your game.

Plan how long to study

Study at 45 to 90 minutes every day.
Study in short bursts, and then relax.
Set aside between 45-90 min. of study time every day. You may need more time, depending on your classes. Sometimes you'll have to study longer because of papers, projects or tests. You may feel that others study much less. But others may not have your goal of getting great grades!

Study in short bursts of about 20-30 minutes each. You remember things best from the beginning and end of each study session. So take breaks often to stretch, get a glass of water, a healthy snack, etc. It helps relieve the 'brain drain".
Gather your equipment

Get the supplies and references
Keep your supplies in one place
Make files of class work
No athlete functions without the right equipment. Get a dictionary, atlas, almanac, pens and pencils. Get a typewriter if you can. Your parents may help with supplies. Check used bookstores and office supply stores for bargains. Keep all your supplies in one place where they're ready to go to work. Make files. Don't throw away any coursework until a class is over. Keep all returned homework, quizzes and other papers. Use this material for review before tests.

Find a Study Buddy
Choose a friend or classmate to help you
Ask for help when you need it: Parents, Teachers or Homework Hotline
Choose a friend or classmate to help you with drills (language, vocabulary, etc.)

Ask a classmate who gets good grades for help in a subject that's hard for you. Exchange phone numbers so you can get assignments when you are out sick or need help on an assignment.