• Create A Study / Homework Environment

    Creating an appropriate study environment is very important.  Find a space at home that you use ONLY for school work!

    Check out the tips below to make your studying easier J

    ·       Make sure your space is QUIET – You should feel comfortable and be able to fully concentrate on your work without any distractions.  That means putting your cell phone in another room while you study!


    ·       Stock up on supplies – Make sure you have pens, pencils, paper, index cards, etc.


    ·       Have good light – Make sure your study space is bright enough so you can stay alert while you are working.


    ·       Daily Planner – Make sure you have your assignment pad on your desk so you can see what work you must complete.


    ·       Large Calendar – It is a good idea to have a large calendar on the wall to keep track of long term projects and tests.




    ·        Make a to-do list of the tasks that need to be accomplished after school. Your agenda pad should serve as your source.  Try to always keep your agenda pad up to date.  If you have missed writing down an assignment check teachers’ websites or check with a classmate.


    ·        Larger projects should be broken down into smaller more manageable parts.

    o   Set deadlines and due dates.

    o   Stick to those deadlines and check in with teachers as needed.


    ·        Begin with hardest assignment or subjects and finish with easiest.

    o   Do not procrastinate starting your homework.


    ·        Set a time limit for each task.  Take short breaks between tasks.


    ·        Working in 20 to 30 minute intervals with 3 to 5 minute breaks may work best.


    ·        On nights with little overnight homework make sure to allow time for long term projects.


    ·        Check off tasks as they are accomplished.


    ·        Utilize your weekends for long-term projects and to review your progress in each subject.  Plan for the upcoming week (for example reading an assigned book: Monday - read chapter one, Tuesday – read chapters 2 and 3 (short chapters), etc.)


    ·        For some students using a homework folder works well.  That way as you complete each piece of homework it automatically goes into the folder and the folder is put in your backpack or binder when all tasks are completed. 

    Organizational Skills


    1.     Keep your Locker organized.   Once a week spend time cleaning out old papers and keeping materials in order.

    2.     Organize your agenda and use it daily.   When you complete your homework, remember to check off each item you complete in your agenda.

    3.     Organize your assignments to return to school the next day.

    4.     Organize and utilize a homework folder/binder system that is effective for you.   Use it daily and work at keeping all school materials organized.  Remember, this should be done several times a week.

    Plan for Long Term Assignments

    It is important to start planning for long term projects and tests as soon as they are assigned by your teacher.  The following sheets will assist you in making sure you leave enough time to get all of your work completed.

    ·        Fill in your assignment description on the sheet labeled “Long Term Task List” – This should be done at home on the same day that a project or test is announced by the teacher


    ·        Fill in the due date on the Long  Term Planning Calendar


    ·        Block out days that you are already busy (for instance if you have a sports game or will be away with family)


    ·        Complete the task list needed to complete your assignment – This involves breaking the project down into smaller tasks. For a test it means listing the different areas that you must study.


    ·        Indicate how long it will take to complete each task (One day, two days, etc.)


    ·        Fit your tasks into your calendar with enough time for each task.

    Long Term Task List


    Assignment:  ___________________________________


    Due:  _________________________________________



    ORDER To Be Completed


    Days Needed to Complete



























    Long Term Planning Calendar




















    REMEMBER . . .

    ·       Link whatever you’re trying to learn with what you already know

    ·       Use mnemonics that work for you

    ·       Colors, shapes, placement and pictures are important to your memory

    ·       Make your memorizing methods organized

    ·       Make remembering a habit

    ·       Break up material into small units and review daily

    ·       Review your class-notes daily to reinforce your memory

    ·       Review each day for 10 minutes

    ·       Continually quiz yourself

    ·       Continue to review even after you know the information

    ·       Use the buddy system – find another student in your class with whom to discuss the material

    ·       Compliment yourself on working well!













    Mind Map

    Organize mental maps from known information; then fill in missing information: main ideas, details categories/parts, diagram labels.

    Visual Chains

    A visual cycle of pictures and/or words; cause/effect, linking systems, sequencing


    Let the first letter of each word in a sentence represent the first letter of the words/list you wish to memorize; Lists, sequencing

    Word Links

    Use the meaning of one word to associate with another: definitions, pairs

    Poems, Rhymes, Nonsense Verses, Lyrics

    Using a familiar tune, substitute information to be learned: details, sequencing


    Make up a sentence using the first letter of each word: sequencing, lists

    Make a Tape

    Make a tape recording of information to be learned: vocabulary, foreign languages, spelling lists, sequences, almost anything

    Play it repeatedly over several days. Play it just before sleeping at night.

    Write It!

    Write information repeatedly and say it aloud as you write: almost anything



    Write the numbers to be remembered; sequences

    Note a special sequence and associate it with some familiar date.


    If you had number 21, 764




    2     17     64

    Mo     day     year    


    The best way to remember poetry is to break it into small, meaningful sections

    Remember the story.

    Practice the meter/rhythm

    Mental Pictures

    Visualize how you see or expect to see a total picture: diagrams

    Close your eyes and visualize and X-ray view of the skeleton from the head down (skeletal labeling)

    Create and Experience

    Mentally and visually create/recall and experience and link information to be learned with what you do: sequences, details

    Imagine yourself making cookies, building a bookshelf, etc. Step by step.  Plug information to be learned into each step.

    Learning Styles

    Most of us have a predominant learning style.  To find out yours there are a number of assessments that are available for free.  Here are a few online resources:



    What’s Your Learning Style?






    ·         Needs to see it to know it

    ·         Strong sense of color

    ·         May have artistic ability

    ·         Difficulty with spoken directions

    ·         Trouble following lectures




    ·         Use graphics to reinforce learning; films, slides, illustrations, diagrams, doodles

    ·         Color coding to organize notes and materials

    ·         Written directions

    ·         Use flow charts and diagrams when taking notes

    ·         Visualizing spelling of words or facts to be memorized




    ·         Prefers to get information by listening

    ·         Difficulty following written directions

    ·         Difficulty with reading

    ·         Problems with writing





    ·         Use tapes for reading and for class and lecture notes

    ·         Learning by participating in discussions

    ·         Read questions or directions aloud




    ·         Prefers hand-on learning

    ·         Can assemble parts without reading directions

    ·         Difficulty sitting still

    ·         Learns better when physical activity is involved

    ·         May be very well-coordinated and have athletic ability





    ·         Experiential learning (making models, doing lab work and role playing)

    ·         Re-writing letters and words to learn spelling and remember facts

    ·         Use of computer to reinforce learning

    ·         Memorizing or drilling while walking



    Suggested Aids For Learning Modalities

    Use these aids to sharpen your particular dominant learning modality or to strengthen a weaker one.  Try to be aware of the different activities you do daily to help with all three of your modalities.




    Use guided imagery

    Use tapes

    Pace/walk as you study

    Form picture in your mind

    Listen to music

    Breathe slowly

    Take notes

    Make up rhymes/poems

    Role play

    See parts of words

    Read aloud


    Use “cue” words

    Talk to yourself

    Take notes

    Use notebooks

    Repeat things orally

    Associate feelings with concept/information

    Use color codes

    Use rhythmic sounds

    Write list repeatedly

    Use charts, graphs

    Have discussions

    Use mnemonics (word links, rhymes, poems, lyrics)

    Use maps

    Listen carefully



    Use oral directions


    Draw/use drawings

    Sound out words


    Use exhibits

    Use mnemonics (word links, rhymes, poems, lyrics)


    Use mnemonics (acronyms, visual chains, mind maps, acrostics)




    Strategies for Taking Tests

    Multiple Choice Questions

    1.      Read the question carefully.

    2.      Make sure you know what they are looking for.

    3.      If you know the answer, mark it and go on to the next one.

    4.      Cross out answers that are wrong.

    True False

    1.      Usually there are more true answers than false on most tests.

    2.      If there is no guessing penalty, then guess. You have a 50% chance of getting the correct answer.

    3.      Read through each statement carefully, and pay attention to the qualifiers and keywords.

    4.      Qualifiers like "never, always, and every mean that the statement must be true all of the time. Usually these type of qualifiers lead to a false answer.

    5.      Qualifiers like "usually, sometimes, and generally" mean that if the statement can be considered true or false depending on the circumstances. Usually these type of qualifiers lead to an answer of true.

    6.      If any part of the question is false, then the entire statement is false but just because part of a statement is true doesn't necessarily make the entire statement true.

    Fill In The Blank Questions

    1.      Read over your class notes and underline new terms, important dates, noteworthy phrases, and the names of key people.

    2.      Put parentheses around the sentence that contains your key word or phrase.

    3.      Copy each sentence onto a clean sheet of paper, leaving out the key word or phrase.

    4.      Leave a blank space where they key word or phrase should go.

    5.      At the bottom of the paper containing your sentence, make a list of the key words and phrases.

    6.      Read over your sentences and attempt to fill in the blanks with correct answers in very light pencil. Consult your notes when necessary.

    7.      Erase your work and continue this process until you can answer all your fill-in questions with ease.

    8.      For insurance, read through the relevant chapters in your text to find any words or phrases you didn't find in your notes.

    9.      Go through the same process of copying sentences and filling in the answers until they all come easily.


    Short Answer and Essay

    Read the directions carefully. Pay close attention to whether you are supposed to answer all the essays or only a specified amount (i.e. "Answer 2 out of the 3 questions).

    1.      Make sure that you understand what the question is asking you. If you're not, ask your instructor.

    2.      Make sure that you write down everything that is asked of you and more. The more details and facts that you write down, the higher your grade is going to be.

    3.      Budget your time, don't spend the entire test time on one essay.

    4.      If the question is asking for facts, don't give your personal opinion on the topic.

    5.      When writing your essay, try to be as neat as possible, neater papers usually receive higher marks.

    6.      Make an outline before writing your essay. This way your essay will be more organized and fluid. If you happen to run out of time, most instructors will give you partial credit for the ideas that you have outlined.

    7.      Don't write long introductions and conclusions, the bulk of your time should be spent on answering the question(s) asked.

    8.      Focus on one main idea per paragraph.

    9.      If you have time left at the end, proofread your work and correct any errors.

    10.  Budget your time. If you have an hour to write 3 essays, spend no more than 20 minutes on each essay, then if you have time left over at the end go back and finish any incomplete essays.

    11.  If you aren't sure about an exact date or number, use approximations i.e. "Approximately 5000" or "In the late 17th century."

    12.  If you make a mistake, simply draw a line through it, it is much neater and quicker than erasing it.

    Strategies to Reduce Test Taking Anxiety

    1.      Being well prepared for the test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety.

    2.      Space out your studying over a few days or weeks and continually review class material. Don't try to learn everything the night before.

    3.      Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test.

    4.      Exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.

    5.      Get a good night's sleep before the test.

    6.      Show up to class early so you won't have to worry about being late.

    7.      Stay relaxed, if you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and then get back to work.

    8.      Read the directions slowly and carefully.

    9.      If you don't understand the directions on the test, ask the teacher to explain it to you.

    10.  Skim through the test so that you have a good idea how to pace yourself.

    11.  Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won't worry about forgetting them.

    12.  Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.

    13.  Don't worry about how fast other people finish their test; just concentrate on your own test.

    14.  If you don't know a question skip it for the time being (come back to it later if you have time), and remember that you don't have to always get every question right to do well on the test.

    15.  Focus on the question at hand. Don't let your mind wander on other things.

    Note-Taking Tips



    When you take notes, you will save time and energy by using abbreviations.


    The following list shows some common abbreviations.

    If you are in a class that uses a specific word over and over, such as Civil

    War in American History, it may be helpful to make up your own



    For example, you could use CW.


    The most important thing is if you make up abbreviations ensure that you

     remember what they mean.



    Common abbreviations:



    Equal: =                                                                      Department: dept.


    With: w/                                                                    Compare: cf


    Without: w/o                                                            For example: e.g.


    Number: #                                                                 Against: vs.


    At: @                                                                          Introduction: intro.


    And: +                                                                         Organization: org.


    And so forth: etc.                                                     Politics: pol