If beginning your new school year includes improving your study habits then our hat is off to you. Congratulations on making a commitment to enhance your educational experiences.

By Wendi Ostroff

When you go online to search ‘study habits’ you will likely find several articles on time management. But how do the words time management translate into successful study habits for young people?  The word habit implies an action or activity that is done routinely, on a regular, ongoing basis.  So, study habits are the repeated actions taken in regard to studying.  The key is to make these habits work for you in a positive way – there are negative study habits like procrastination, distraction, and lack of motivation that are better left behind. Highly successful students approach studying with a thoughtful plan for completing tasks. Many have a favorite place, time of day, or duration of time that they devote to their studies on a daily basis.

Here are CLC’s suggestions for developing good study habits for the new year.

  1. Create a quiet, comfortable study space. Sit at a desk or table with good lighting. Declare the space for studying-only and limit all other activities within the area. Go into this dedicated space mentally prepared to get to work.
  2. Be consistent. It’s okay to take time off on the weekends but people who study regularly during the school week are well-prepared for tests (or surprise quizzes) and they stay on top of regular homework assignments.  Create a block of time each day for studying and make it a habit.
  3. Make a list and check it off as you go. If there are multiple assignments in need of attention, create a list of priorities and set a time expectation for each one.  Parents can help younger children estimate the amount of time for each project. Check off the completed projects as you go.  Checking items off the list is very satisfying.
  4. Be honest about your commitments. Anticipate events that will take you away from studying. A baseball game lasts longer than nine innings – count the warm-up and post-game pizza when determining your schedule.  On the flip side, learn to take advantage of time spent in a waiting room or stuck in traffic. Keep your books handy for unexpected opportunities to study and consider these times a bonus.
  5. Realize your strengths and weaknesses. Some students read especially fast and are capable of getting through several chapters in one sitting while others need more time. A math assignment for a student who loves math will likely require less time than a student who shies away from numbers.  Know yourself and plan accordingly.
  6. Choose your study buddies wisely. Let’s be honest, certain friends are better study partners than others.  Study with friends who are motivated and focused on the assignment.  Use time efficiently while studying, and then be social.
  7. Not all days are good days. It’s not easy to approach homework with a smile each and every day.  Some days require you to push on through, stay up late or even skip a social event, but don’t let that become the norm.  Start each day with a study goal and a solid plan in place so you can finish your homework and still enjoy other activities.
  8. Ask for help. If you are falling behind with your homework, ask for help.  Teachers, parents, school counselors and even siblings can provide help and encouragement.

Learning to manage your time wisely requires effort and maturity, don’t expect to get it right every time.  The fact that you want to improve your study habits is a great start.

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Written by a teen for teens on the topic of Stress and Time Management.