11 tips to be an extremely effective student | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

11 tips to be an extremely effective student 

Nervous about the new school year? No problem, you can do it! Here’s a quick guide to success at school. 

  1. Befriend your classmates. This way, you have someone to help out or seek help from when you’re confused, or when you want to practice the material you’re working with. Also learning should be fun, so having friends will only improve the classroom environment. 
  2. Go to office hours/extra help, especially at the beginning of the year/semester. Introduce yourself, so you can develop a rapport with your teacher/professor; this can help down the line so the teacher can tailor your learning needs to who you are as a person, not to who you are as just a student. It also makes a great impression! 
  3. Don’t be afraid to use mnemonics. Whether it’s a rhyme, a song, or an association, if it helps you remember the concept, it works.  
  4. Practice giving and receiving constructive feedback. The only way to get better at something is to get comfortable with recognizing that there’s a reason you need to get better. It’s a rare skill to not get defensive when trying to grow in the workforce and in the classroom, so get a head start by being curious about how you can improve. 
  5. Make mini study guides for each unit, so when the test comes around you’ve already familiarized yourself. It’s stressful and impractical to cram all of the material into your head the week before a test. Treat it cumulatively, and this way you’ll have an easier time each step of the way and understand the subject matter more deeply. 
  6. Learn to learn, not for a one-time exam. Learning > memorizing. 
  7. Teach others to practice what you’re learning, whether it’s a family member or your dog.   
  8. Keep a to-do list. It’s easy to forget the things we have to do day to day, big and small. Prevent this by tracking your tasks and checking them off in the different categories of your life: short term, long term, school, personal, etc. 
  9. Take notes based on your interpretation, not word for word what a lecturer is saying. To listen to your teacher and not just scribble down what they are saying, you will understand as you write and further understand when you return to the notes later. What you learn only makes sense to you the way that you know it, not the way that the teacher is phrasing it.  
  10. Pick one or two classes to prioritize based on difficulty; put the other few on the backburner. This doesn’t mean you’re going to neglect them, but realistically every class requires different energy levels. Putting 100% of yourself into every class means you will do average or below average in all of them, or above average on one and below average on everything else. If you choose where you need to put your time to get the best output for each, and at times an average output for one or two classes, you will take care of yourself and acquire lots of new knowledge.  
  11. Ask questions, lots of them.