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Study Skills and Cornell Notes

notesFor Success in High School

Whether you're a freshman or a senior, developing the following ten skills will help you achieve success in school, in your chosen career, and in life.

  1. Manage Your Time - You know the deal: There are just 24 hours in each day. What you do with that time makes all the difference. Use your Husky Planner to write down assignments. Include test dates and project due dates. Break larger projects down into smaller tasks. Schedule your homework/study time-daily- and work the time you spend with friends and activities around that schedule.  It's easy to over-schedule or "double-book" if we aren't careful. Manage your time wisely and you'll get the maximum out of each day.
  2. Good Study Habits - If you've got them, great. If not - well, there's still time to develop them. Good study habits include these basics:
    • Always be prepared for class (book, pencil, paper, etc.), attend classes regularly and be on time. Participation points are only earned if you are in class and engaged.
    • Complete assignments thoroughly and on time. Many teachers do not accept late work.
    • Review your notes daily rather than cram for tests the night before.
    • Set aside quiet time each day for study -- even if you don't have homework or a test the next day!
  3. Set Attainable Goals - It's important to set goals, as long as they're attainable. Setting goals that are unreasonably high is a set-up -- you'll be doomed to frustration and disappointment. Setting reasonable goals really does help you to accomplish more. Give yourself a pat on the back when you attain your goal--then set a new one!
  4. Concentrate - Listen to your teacher and stay focused. Be sure that you understand the lesson. If you don't understand something, ask questions! You've heard it before, but "the only dumb question is the one you don't ask" is absolutely true. If you've been paying attention, it definitely won't be a dumb question. Meet with your teacher outside of class if your'e not understanding something. You'll get the help you need plus the teacher will see how much you really care about your education.
  5. Take Good Notes - ♦ You can't possibly write down everything the teacher says since we talk at a rate of about 225 words per minute. But, you do need to write down the important material. ♦ Be sure to validate yourself after a test by going back over your notes to see if your notes contained the answers to questions asked on the test. If not, you need to ask to see a classmate's notes or check with the teacher for help on improving your note-taking.  ♦ Studying with a partner is also a good idea, provided that you study and don't turn it into a talk-fest (there's time for that later). Note-taking should be in a form that's most helpful to you. If you're more of a visual person, try writing notes on different colored index cards. Music can also be a good memory aid as long as you don't find it distracting. Re-writing your notes daily is another strategy. If you really have a problem with note-taking, you might ask your teacher if you can tape-record daily lessons. Do whatever it takes!
  6. Complete Assignments - Teachers assign homework for a reason. While it may seem like "busywork" at times, it definitely has a purpose; to help you learn the material! Put your homework to good use. Remember, you'll only get out of it what you put into it.
  7. Review Daily Notes - Don't wait until the night before the test to review your notes. Go over your notes each day while the lecture is still fresh in your mind. Add any missing pieces. Compare your notes with a classmate's notes. This isn't cheating -- it may even be mutually beneficial. Review your notes each day to reinforce your learning and build towards your ultimate goal: MASTERY of the subject or skill.
  8. Get Organized - Keeping yourself organized will save you valuable time and allow you to do everything you need to do. Remember: "A place for everything and everything in its place." Keep all your study materials (calculator, planner, books, notebooks, laptop, etc.) in one convenient location. Remember to use your Husky Planner too.  Include test dates and project due dates. Break larger projects down into smaller tasks.
  9. Stay Motivated - You need to be motivated to learn and work hard, whether or not you like a specific subject or teacher. Self-motivation can be extremely important when you aren't particularly excited about a class. If you must, view it as an obstacle you must overcome. Then, set your mind to it and do it -- no excuses. Finding some classes or activities that you do like at school can go a long way in helping you through the more challenging classes. Success is up to you!
  10. Commitment - You've started the course, now you need to complete it. Do the best -- and get the most out of it -- that you can! Your commitment will pay off in the end.

--adaptation from an article by Clint Page

Want to be a successful in school? Check out this link: Successful Student

Cornell Notes

Many departments have adopted the Cornell Note taking format for the classroom lectures. Using this strategy in the classroom will not only be often counted toward the grade, but is also an effective technique in learning. Open the file to see the format and instructions - Cornell Notes