A Step by Step Approach to Building Academic Success

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Learning can actually be fun if done the right way. Here are some tips to guide you towards building Academic success.

Building Consistent Study Habits

For every student, achieving good grades and accomplishing set goals in high school are often products of hard work. But the ability to work consistently is attainable only with structured schedules and well-thought-out study habits. What exactly is a ‘study habit’?

A study habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed by a student until his need to study, read, or finish homework becomes almost a reflex or involuntary action. Developing a sound study habit early in the school year helps you to complete schoolwork without having to consciously think about working. Thus, doing class assignments on a daily or weekly basis will seem routine at first, and studying will no longer feel like a burden.  

How can you alter your daily schedule to begin to develop consistent study habits? The focus here involves adapting your current habits to form a set of newly improved study skills. It is challenging to change drastically, so it is not expected that you do. Depending on the student, the speed may just make all the difference. Besides, different students have different study styles, different strengths, and ways of solving problems. Use the following tips to start building a consistent study habit.

  • Make a quality decision to change your study habits
  • Develop and follow your newly adapted study habits on a daily or weekly basis
  • Set boundaries to protect your new habits

When you decide to develop good study habits, the results will reflect in your academic performance. Instead of thinking, “I wish I could succeed in school,” your focus becomes “succeeding” in your academics. Essentially, you have gone from being a passive student to a proactive individual who is firmly set on academic success.

“Consistent habits” involves staying on track on a scheduled basis. A typical study pattern I have identified in past students is their desire to finish their homework right after school finishes and before dinnertime. However, they usually become easily distracted once they arrive home by video games, friends, or TV, and instead begin to see homework and studying as a tiresome chore. This is because they are not practicing their study habits; once you set a goal of studying during a specific period, stick to it from the beginning, and soon it will feel like part of a natural daily routine rather than a chore.

After setting up consistent study habits, you must respect those habits by setting up boundaries to protect your new routine. For instance, you might want to turn off your phone, so you are not tempted to chat or put away the video games until you are done with school work. Creating these boundaries allows you to keep the distractions out of your sight so that you can focus on studying or completing homework.

Set Daily Academic Goals and Review Them Everyday

Unlike academic dreams, which may take a long time, educational goals actually come true – in a shorter time. You can, for instance, set academic goals every night, writing them down in a list and posting them where you can see them every morning. You may make many of these ‘to-do’ lists, but it is essential to make your list as specific and detailed as possible. For instance, instead of writing down “Finish the biology homework due Thursday,” try to break it down by writing step-by-step instructions on your list. As an example, you could write,

  • Read Biology Chapter 7, pages 556-568
  • Review class notes taken during class for the lecture related to this homework.
  •  Read the homework assignment, do Problems 1-5
  • Take a short break between 8 am to 9 am.
  • Do Problems 6-10.

By breaking down your original goal to “finish the biology homework due Thursday,” you have now just created a feasible step-by-step flowchart of how to complete your assignment.  Writing down a list of your academic goals each night has several advantages. First, the list will require you to think about the exact sequence of actions you will need to accomplish your goal. Second, listing them out each night will allow you to reflect on what needs to be completed in the days to come. Third, writing a detailed step-by-step list of how to accomplish a goal will help you to mentally prepare yourself for completing that goal later on.

Finally, having a specific list in your hand the next day will allow you to view your goal as something readily achievable. Seeing the words “Finish biology homework by Thursday” may seem like a daunting task, but breaking it down makes it easier and simpler to get it done.

Set Daily Goals and Review Them Everyday

As said earlier, breaking down your “To-do list” makes the task of studying more comfortable and less stressful.  Here is another example of how to write specific step-by-step academic goals. What would you write instead of “Study for 5 hours tomorrow after school”?

  • Get home from school at 3 pm, eat a light snack.
  •  In Chemistry chemistry textbook: Read Chapter 4, pages 45-58 until 4 pm.
  • Review notes taken in Chemistry class from the past two weeks.
  •  Re-read the last two Chemistry homework assignments, which will be tested on this exam.
  • Try to re-do problems from this two homework for practice until 6 pm.
  • Take a short break.
  • Read “Othello” for English class, pages 78-96 until 7 pm
  • Go back and take notes on the characters in “Othello” for tomorrow’s pop quiz.
  •  Finish at 8 pm, eat dinner with family

Final words

Building academic success may seem like a daunting or impossible task for many high school students, but with the right approach, excellence can be achieved. If you`re having issues sticking to or achieving success academically, you can begin by applying the contracts and steps discussed here.

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