Guest Post by Gunnar Fox – Author of University Success Plan.
This article a follow-up to Young + Free Time + Money = Trouble?
The greatest downfall of many students is that they build their study approach on a shaky and weak foundation of cramming for tests and writing papers over a compressed time period. This is not how the brain works best.
This is not being kind to yourself.
This is gambling with your future instead of taking control of your life. Above all, this is entirely unnecessary.
When you play tennis, a good instructor will tell you to draw your racquet back the moment you see the path of the ball coming toward you — well before the bounce. The player who waits for the ball to bounce before drawing her racquet back will rarely be able to hit an optimal, controlled shot. They will be rushed and out of position.
Similarly, the moment you know when your test dates will occur or when your paper or project will be due you must spring into action and develop a plan. Don’t wait for the “ball” to bounce, so to speak.
Don’t rely on your reflexes to kick in. Don’t rely on miracles to occur.
Anticipate and visualize how you will attack the challenge WELL IN ADVANCE!
Tips to Be a Brilliant Student
There are many wonderful and easy tricks you can apply to stay on track.
I like to go old school and advise students to obtain or create a GIANT calendar (the bigger the better) with important dates highlighted clearly. If you have this timeline hanging on your wall where you see it several times a day key priorities tend to stay on the top of your mind.
Another key is daily discipline. Every day I advise that you do something to increase your command of your classes.
If you wait for days at a time before engaging with the material the class will become like a stranger to you. And when you finally do engage your mind will feel like starting a cold engine in the dead of winter — painful, slow and filled with apprehension.
By staying engaged with each of your classes constantly your mental gears will stay well lubricated and you will be less inclined to procrastinate and ultimately cram.
Perhaps one of the most effective strategies is to schedule time to review your notes, starting from the beginning of the semester. This is a great activity on days when you would otherwise do nothing for a given course due to a long break between classes or obligations.
Best of all, this repetitive review of the key concepts in each class is an amazing and practically effortless memory activator.
If you want to take it to the next level develop your own simple test questions around your notes.
Using “active recall” by answering these test questions later will massively enhance your memory as well. The information becomes “sticky” and practically impossible to forget.
Those who pursue their university studies with that level of control have much more fun and a far better grade point average.
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After you have Hit Like, you should read – 9 Traits of an Above Average Students