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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Brillyx Offline
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Exclamation Having a real hard time with my studies. - December 1st 2011, 07:42 PM

I was never a straight-A student, never, but now that I am in 10th grade, I think not studying and getting mostly Cs and Ds, a few unfortunate Fs, and occasionally a B or an A isn't going to work anymore. Now that I'm in highschool I really need to start getting serious and getting good grades, since I plan on going to college.

Only one problem, I have a very hard time getting into studying. Sometimes I will put it off, and then when it's later on at night I will tell myself the test won't be too hard...which it always is, and I always end up with a grade.

Other times I will actually get around to studying, and will start reading the text book and I start to get bored and my mind wanders. I even study in my sister's room (She packed up and moved out to college) which has literally nothing left in it except a desk, chair, and bed...and STILL I will just start to drift and think of something totally different.

I have heard that you shoulden't study for more than 15 minutes at a time, but even when I did that I still came up with a grade!

My mom tells me I spend too much time on my 360, or too much time on the computer, which tbh is true. Recently I have started cutting time from them to get my schoolwork done, but when I finally sit down, I just can't seem to actually learn anything that I need to know for a test.

So I guess what I'm asking here is 1. How can I solve the problem of my procrastinating issue? 2. How can I not have my mind wander off to other things on my mind while reading the exciting (sarcasm) pages of my history or biology textbooks? 3. Any studying tips some may have, such as how long to study for, how often during the week, etc. etc. Just some general studying tricks and tips and any studying advice you may have, because I seriously think my method blows.

My routine so far has been that I will wait until the teachers tell us when the next test is (usually 3 or 4 days in advance) and then I will make a mediocre effort to study for them, which as you can tell from all of the above, hasn't been working out. Please someone help me with this issue!
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Having a real hard time with my studies. - December 1st 2011, 10:36 PM

Coming from a high-school and university nerd, studying can be fun IF you like the subject because it can have more value than merely getting a good grade on a test. I detest English courses, always have and always will, so studying for a test in English wasn't fun nor easy. I'd study for a bit then think what else I could be doing or think how boring this shit is. However, after all my moaning and groaning, I told myself if I wanted to achieve one of my ultimate goals of becoming a doctor, then I first have to get into university, which requires good grades.

In general, I'm extremely competitive. If someone beats me in something, I'm going to find out exactly what they did then how I can beat them and won't stop until I'm satisfied. For studying, I'd imagine myself as a hobo, as a complete failure but still being competitive to scramble for the last spot over a hot grate for the winter. The purpose was to light a fire under my ass, to make me want to succeed because I do not tolerate losing. I'd become as competitive as possible to get a high mark in a course I get mediocre grades in because with each successful step forward, I was 1 step closer to getting into a good university.

If I failed a small test or quiz, it sucks but I view it in the grand scheme of things. If it's worth a tiny amount of my overall grade, then I'm not going to worry about it, I'll use the determination I had for it to propel me to the next test or quiz. Point is, you have to get yourself motivated, whether that means locking up your 360 or not using the computer unless you need it for an assignment.

As for studying tips, I'm not sure how much help I can be. I'm a person who can read a biology textbook and memorize the anatomy of, say, the heart in a few minutes then replicate it on a sheet of paper. I also use metaphors when understanding something, so I write notes such as:

I walk out of the house to go to my garage, open the garage door and drive out of the driveway. I drive straight for a bit until I reach the fork in the road, at which point I get on the ramp for the highway that goes in both directions, keep going straight until I reach the end of the line, then turn along some smaller streets to reach the mall

For me, that describes the pacemaker-conduction system of the heart. For you it may be different but you probably cannot look at a diagram and memorize it perfectly, try it piece by piece.

As for the text, read it a few times and compare it to your notes from class. There will be overlapping areas, which are quite important. Make note if your teacher and textbook repeat something multiple times because that is very important so it'll be on your test.

Make some practice tests, such as multiple choice questions where you'll have to know a small key piece of information, as well as a short/long answer, where you'll have to integrate information.

You probably have a course syllabus so look to see when your tests are and prepare in advance. By the time the teacher announces the test is in 3-4 days, you should be almost be done studying and may have some questions for the teacher.

There's no set study duration. Many people cite study blocks of 45 minutes but if you can keep studying, then don't stop. I've studied for hours on end and stopped once I felt mentally tired because there won't be much use going beyond that.

If you have questions about some content (specific ones), you can ask here because many users are in high-school or have completed it. For example, next semester I'm doing biomedical research in university so I can help you with specific biology questions but not with history. Also, give some background as to what level you're at.

I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
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Re: Having a real hard time with my studies. - December 2nd 2011, 01:18 AM

Thanks for the response. I will try using some of your methods of studying, because god knows my methods haven't been working for me this year.

As for the levels I'm at, there are no real set levels except for Spanish and Math. I am in Spanish 2 (Dropping that rubbish next year, only want the two years for college) and I am in Geometry for Math. Otherwise; Biology, History, Literature, and Theology (No one cares about that class) are what the names describe. Everyone says it's basic and easy stuff...tbh it kinda is, I just need to get into studying more.
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Re: Having a real hard time with my studies. - December 2nd 2011, 01:36 AM

I have a hard time with studying as well. I am a terrible procrastinator, which is something that developed when I was in high school.

I learned to go to my local library when I had papers to write and tests to study for. Now that I'm in college I spend time at the Library between my classes and for an hour or two after my last class before heading home. Something about being there around other people keeps me focused on writing my paper and off the internet. It also keeps me focused on reading my text book.

Take notes while reading your text book. Make flash cards. That definitely helps with studying. I read over my notes real quick in class before a test.

It's not true that you shouldn't study for more than 15 minutes. You should not study for large blocks of time without taking breaks. Cramming is fine, just don't sacrifice sleep. I am not a morning person, but I learned that when I procrastinate it's easier on me to go to bed usually, and wake up earlier to study more. Sleep is a huge factor when it comes to committing things to memory. If you don't get sleep, that stuff never makes it into your long-term-memory and your staying up all night to study isn't doing you any good.

I find it easier to remember history when I can relate it to something I already know or when I make a mnemonic or use a popular one. I'm sure you've heard "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue..." That is the only reason I know Columbus found North American in 1492. The great lakes? HOMES. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, and Superior. etc. Try making up your own.

Try to keep in mind what you're learning or supposed to be learning while watching TV, listening to music, and in everyday conversation. You'll be surprised how much it comes up. I makes it much easier to remember when you can attribute it to many sources as well.

One example is; I was trying to memorize US geography for my US history class, and was having a terrible time with the rivers. I was watching some documentary about 9/11 and the attack on the pentagon. The General talked about crossing the Potomac. I will never forget that the Potomac is in Washington D.C. because of that.

Another example: In Psychology I was told if I remember nothing else, remember "correlation does not equal causation." Well if you tell me that's the only thing I need to remember, forget me remembering it. On the Simpsons later that night Lisa said "there is a correlation, but, could there be a causation!" There we go. Find whatever works for you.

Don't for a second think if you make Cs and Ds now you will never get into college. If you can figure out what study habits works for you, you can start of your college career at a community college and make amazing grades, prove yourself, and transfer into a "better" university after.

We were made to be courageous.

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think itís more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Donít you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

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Re: Having a real hard time with my studies. - December 3rd 2011, 04:46 PM

Thank you so much for the helpful studying tips. I too have done that in the past but it has worked without me noticing. I will definitely try relating things or objects to when I study.
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