It happens quickly during the school year; one day you're easing your way into the year, laughing through the icebreaker activties and breezing through the review from prior courses, when all of a sudden, you look at your agenda and realize that tomorrow you have two tests and a quiz looming large. It's usually this time of year when things get serious and students buckle down to lengthier assignments and first exams. Luckily, we have some tips for you on how to maximize your study time!
1. Minimize distractions. We all think we can multi-task and complete many assignments simultaneously. In this day of social media, it's so easy to quickly check Instagram or snap a friend a quick pic. While these apps can be super fun, to truly maximize study time, it's important to minimize these distractions. Hide your phone or put it on airplane mode. Turn off the TV or Netflix. Music can be good to help focus, but put on an album or playlist that you won't have to skip songs or change frequently. Research shows that by allowing our brains to function on one task at a time, we absorb the most new information which will really help you ace those tests.
2. Find a study spot that inspires you. Turn on warm lighting in your bedroom, find a quiet nook in your basement, or pop in your earbuds in the TA library (it's open until 5:30pm!) Placing yourself in a location that is conducive to studying can really make a difference. The cafeteria is a great place to eat tater tots and catch up with friends, but for serious studying, track down an academic teacher to get a pass to the library. Finding a spot where you can be alone and focus will really help you work hard and retain information.
3. Ask for help. We've already mentioned this one in a prior blog post (http://blog.thorntonacademy.org/get-involved) but it's important enough that we want to emphasize it again here. Make sure you know where your teachers post their homework - popular places are EBackpack and Google Classroom among others - and check these sites regularly. Get the apps on your iPad and use them! One of TA's greatest assets is our expert and helpful teachers. They want you to be successful. Stop by their classroom before or after school, email them at any point, and make sure to ask questions in class. Studying will be much easier if you know what to study.
Good luck in this new school year and practice the TA pillar of investment! By studying hard and interacting with your teachers and classmates, you invest in your education and your future.