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“Developing work habits that will help
you now and in the future.”
Why Study?
• Any habit becomes stronger and more readily
accessible the sooner it is established. Experts
say it takes 21 days of reinforcement for most
habits to stick. Learning the most effective study
habits now will set you up to successfully face
the many challenges of school work in the
• Whether you’re a student who learns quickly or
one who takes a little longer, you will achieve
more with good study habits especially as you
advance to the higher grades where work
becomes more challenging.
• The need to learn doesn’t end when you
leave school. In the adult world you need
to be able to study in order to:
• Acquire any type of license (driving, boating,
• Keep up to date with changes in technology
• Pass exams required to maintain a job
• Complete almost all types of repairs
• Make good financial decisions
• Assist your own children with their schooling
• One of the most important reasons for
learning to study is that it helps to build
self-confidence. When you “know that you
know” it makes it easier to achieve the
goals that you set for yourself!
Hard Work should be Rewarded!
Short Range
Study science for
2 hours
Watch music videos
for 30 minutes
Pass midterm in
Go snowboarding
for the day
You will need supplies!
Here are the basics:
• For holding your notes you will need a
sturdy three-ring, loose-leaf binder (many
teachers insist that you have a single
binder for each course). Alternatively, you
will need folders in different colours, one
for each class, plus some extras. Folders
should have two inside pockets (for
handouts, assignments, etc…) and
fasteners for three-hole paper.
• Lots of lined, three-holed, loose-leaf paper
• A box of hole reinforcements (tears
• A pad of scratch paper
• Ballpoint pens, #2 pencils, erasers
• Highlighters to color directly over notes or
handouts but never to be used in text
books or library books.
• Fine-point coloured markers to draw
attention to important review material
• Tape, glue stick, paper clips, stapler, ruler
Specific classes may require
additional items:
• Math: compass, protractor, graph
paper, calculator
• English: dictionary, thesaurus, style
• Art: portfolio, paint set, brushes,
scissors, etc..
Finding a Great Work Space
• Ideally, your work space should be able to
accommodate a comfortable chair, a desk or
table, bookshelves and drawers for storage. A
hanging bulletin board for notes and a calendar
outlining due dates are very helpful. A
wastebasket and clock important items.
• A good reading lamp is essential.
• Your work space should be the same from
day to day. This will save you time since
your things will be set up and ready to go.
Familiarity will also help you to develop the
mind set needed to focus and get down to
work especially on days when it isn’t easy.
• If you’re easily distracted the noise of
televisions, telephones and stereos should
be minimized.
At School
• Get to class on time. When you’re late you
miss valuable focus time, information and
• Eat right during the day. Eating too little
can make it hard for you to focus. Eating
too much can make you feel sleepy.
• Make sure you’ve had enough sleep the
night before – it gives you the stamina you
require throughout the day
Two Systems for Note Keeping
Three-Ring Binder System
• One binder per course
• Large supply of paper
• Label clearly with name,
grade, course and teacher
• Separate contents into Units of
Study using dividers
• Keep a section for extra loose
leaf paper and returned
• Repair torn holes right away
• Once a week look for papers
that can be thrown out or
removed and stored in a
course-specific folder at home
for exam review later.
Coloured-Folder system
• Different coloured folder for
each class
• Durable material with inside
pockets on both covers
• Metal fasteners that hold threering, lined, loose-leaf paper.
• Clearly labeled with name,
grade, course and teacher.
• Place a supply of loose-leaf
paper in each folder using the
• Use one pocket for graded and
returned papers. Use the
other pocket for assignments
in progress or to be turned in.
• One additional folder for notes,
permission forms, to do lists,
daily schedule, etc..
Note Taking
• Have in class: binder, pen (an extra just in case),
• If time permits open your binder to last day’s notes to
quickly review where you left off.
• At the beginning of each new class write your name,
course name and date at the top of your notes
• Use ink since it remains legible longer
• Sit where you can see and hear without distraction
• Use point form only so that you do not fall behind in the
Two Important Goals of Note
1) Make a well-organized record of the most
important information
2) Understand what it means and how it
connects to other things you have learned
in the unit or course.
“Good note takers write 20% of the time
and listen the other 80%”
The Role of Verbal Cues in Note
Teachers can sometimes give hints about
information that is vital for you to know.
Listen and make sure to record
information that is introduced by phrases
• “pay particular attention to,”
• “the basic idea is,”
• “don’t forget that,”
• “most of all remember that,”
Teachers use body language too!
• Most people, including your teachers, use body
language to emphasize their spoken words:
• A teacher may have the habit of removing her eyeglasses
before making an important point.
• Some people have a way of pausing and looking around the
room before saying something especially important
• Some teachers slow down or speak more loudly when
emphasizing a point
• Sometimes teachers will repeat information in order to
convey that it is important to know
This is your cue to get it down in your notes!
Studying for Different Purposes
Think about your daily work load as a whole.
Look at each assignment and decide what your
goal is ahead of time. Are you:
studying for a test,
reviewing for a class discussion/debate,
trying to reinforce newly acquired information,
reading to locate important quotes for an essay
Keep your goal for each task in mind and it will
help you to focus and decide how much time you
will require for each of your assigned tasks.
Reading Strategies
• Scanning: Is done quickly to get a general sense of the
structure of the reading material. A book may be
scanned to find a quick fact or definition
• Skimming: Is done to discover main ideas and topics.
You should read titles and subtitles, check paragraphs
for names or dates and look at illustrations, charts and
graphs. Skimming is usually a pre-reading activity done
to get a sense of the material before reading for more
• Reading for Detail: This is done more slowly since your
goal is to absorb a lot of information. Stop from time to
time to sum up what you have read and connect it
• Many students prepare for tests by re-reading
the section of the textbook or the notes on which
the test is based. While reviewing information is
important, this approach rarely helps students
understand and retain the information until the
actual test takes place.
• A system that actively engages you in the
process required for learning the material will
bring you much better results on that test/exam!
The SQ3R System (tried and true!)
• A system that helps students to retain
information and that works especially well
when reviewing information from textbooks
and other materials involves fives steps:
Survey, Question, Read, Recite and
• At each stage, the student is focused and
engaged in understanding the material.
1.Survey (or The Big Picture)
• As you begin studying, look over the entire section of
reading/notes that you must know.
• Read all the titles and subtitles
• Skim the material, paying attention to any details that
seem to be emphasized (by bold type perhaps).
• Look at illustrations and graphs
• Get a broad sense of the content and the main ideas
• Pay special attention to the final paragraph and any
questions that are left at the end of the section
2. Question
• Identify each of the main topics in your selection.
• Use each of the topics to create a question that
starts with one of these words: who, where,
when, why, what. Write these questions down on
note taking paper.
• In the next stage, as you read you will check off
each of your questions and make notes on the
answers and other important facts
3. Read
• Read the material paying special attention to
details and examples that support the main
ideas. Make note of facts and examples that
help to answer the questions you developed in
stage 2. Now you are actively engaged in
learning the material.
• If the text describes a sequence of events and
the order is important, be sure to write the
events down in their exact order.
4. Recite
• It is a fact that people remember stuff better
when they say it out loud.
• When you have finished reading and note taking
for each section of your assignment, stop and
read the answers to your written questions out
loud. Don’t you sound knowledgeable? You
are! You may have to do this a couple of times
until you feel confident. Make sure you clarify
any words that are getting in the way of your
• In your notes, underline the key words in each of
your answers. This will help you to remember.
5. Review
• When you find that you are having difficulty remembering
certain details of the assigned text, review or reread
those sections. Think about how they are tied in to the
rest of the information (Are they linked by cause and
effect? Are they part of a common theme?) Add these
important discoveries to your notes.
• THIS PART IS CRITICAL: Review everything again the
next day, then two days later, and then again as your test
or exam draws near.
• Congratulate yourself when you feel confident that
you know the material because you have really
worked hard!
Memorization Strategies: Graphic Organizers
(You can improve your memory!)
• Graphic Organizers – these are tools that help
you to organize information in a visual way that’s
easy to remember. They work in two ways: 1)
the process of creating them helps you to learn;
2) their format helps you visually remember facts
and ideas when you review them later.
• Graphic organizers have several forms: charts,
concept maps, time lines, tables, outlines,
Timelines help you to see how events are linked to one another, how they
evolve, or how they change over time.
Concept Maps
Concept maps allow you to see how subtopics or ideas are linked to main ideas.
They help to show how information ranges
from general to more specific
Tables help you to organize information and make observations
Waste Disposal in Canada 2000 and 2002
Total waste disposed
Residential sources
Industrial, commercial and institutional
Construction and demolition sources
Taken from Statistics Canada website
Taking an Exam
Some final tips
• Exam preparation should begin long before the exam
date. The earlier you start to review the better your
chances for remembering.
• Get sleep, record times and locations of exams carefully,
and give yourself lots of time to get to your exam on the
scheduled day.
• Read over the entire exam and create a plan to help you
organize how much time to spend on each section. Look
at how many marks are allotted to each question and
divide your time accordingly.
• Stay calm, use deep breaths to relax. If you feel nervous
begin with the question that looks the most manageable.
Once you are able to focus you will feel more confident.
• Read each question carefully. Use a pencil or
highlighter to identify the parts of the question
(there’s often more than one). Underline verbs
that explain what you have to do (e.g., compare,
outline, list, defend, evaluate, etc…). This will
help you focus your thoughts.
• Jot down any important details you’ve
memorized that you might be afraid of forgetting.
• Reread your answers at the end of the exam (if
there’s time). No matter how tired you are or
how badly you want to leave the exam room,
you will thank yourself later if you catch an error
or two that would have cost you some valuable