1. Manage your time
Use a calendar to track due dates for end-of-year projects and exams. Map out the amount of time it will take to complete each item, and stick to your plan to avoid last-minute cramming and panic. Never say you have no homework. On days when assignments are light, fill in that time reviewing the things you learned for the day.
2. Don’t procrastinate—begin studying now
Use your class notes, homework assignments, past tests and quizzes, and begin reviewing each night to ensure you are comfortable with the material that will be covered on your final exams. Don’t waste time studying things you are comfortable with. Be sure to focus on your weakest areas until you feel confident that you understand the material.
3. Limit distractions while studying
Choose a quiet and comfortable place to study. Be sure there is good lighting and little or no distractions. Try to avoid lying in your bed or on a couch to study—it’s too tempting to take a nap. Pick a time of the day to study and stick to it. Don’t plan to study when your favorite show is on TV, and don’t study later than you would normally go to bed since you will be too tempted to go to sleep.
4. Find study methods that work for you
Don’t just re-read material. Try putting ideas into your own words on note cards to study from. You can create your own study guide using the questions found at the end of chapters. Use reading strategies like SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) to pull important information from your textbooks or try the Cover, Recite and Check method when trying to recall certain information. If you are the kind of student who studies better with others, get involved in a study group or find a study partner to bounce ideas off of.
5. Fuel Up
Hours of studying is time well spent, especially if your child is also eating the right foods. Fairfield-based Certified Nutrition Specialist Alexandra Demas offers these recommendations for brain-boosting foods: Choose foods rich in Omega 3s, shown to be important for memory and brain function—wild salmon (not farm raised), ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts (whole/shelled), and walnut oil. Also grass-fed, organic beef, extra-virgin olive oil (first pressed/cold pressed), and organic eggs are excellent choices for staying energized. Avoid foods high in sugar like sugar-coated cereals, cookies, candies, cakes, and ice cream. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, have been linked to headaches, fatigue, and mood swings.
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