To be successful, not just in school but in life, requires change. Learning is recognizable by changed behavior. 5 relatively quick tips 1. Stay organized. (thus, the Benjamin Franklin quote). Seriously, this is the foundation to build on. This is how you also make connections between big ideas. 2. Study smarter. Spending hours learning the same concept is the crux of the problem.
If you don't can't apply what you learned in class to your homework, jot a question or two down that specifies where you were stumped.
Ask your teacher or a friend. But, if you are going in circles or staring at your popcorn ceiling for divine intervention, stop, ask a question, and move on. Come back to the issue when you receive a response that will help you.
What's the big idea? Start with the main concept and then deconstruct it to see the parts. Then connect the parts. And make sure you figured out the "how" and the "why".
Draw a lot. TOO many words (like this page is getting) is TOO much. Instead of vocabulary, draw a representation of the word and you will soon be building a strong memory for the vocabulary word and connecting it to something concrete which will cement your memory.
3. Don't stare, it's rude.
Staring at a problem with a blank space is accomplishing nothing. Start writing something from the problem you recognize.
You KNOW something.
If there is truly nothing, ask questions but don't wait for a response. Move on. Come back to it later. Annotate questions.
4. Use your brain.
Make educated guesses as often as possible.
Construct and re-construct. your own meaning.
Do NOT write down too many notes. Don't write things you already know. Don't write definitions. If you have to look things up, you have to waste more energy which you will not want to do and you will make your brain figure out tricks and such to try to remember things.
Don't ask "do I have to write this down?" You decide what you know or don't know. Telling you to write something down doesn't mean you will find any significance to the information. You need to decide if something is significant in order for learning to truly take place.
5. Own it.
Be accountable for what you are or are not doing.
And if you don't like the results, do something about it and read or take a different approach to studying.
Performing well on an exam is not an impossible feat. Do what you can do be prepared. Be an active learner.
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