In Focus Careers

Study Skills and Learning Styles

Leave a comment

All experts work on improving their skills. To be a study superstar you need to work on your study skills.

img_1213Step 1 Prepare

Go through your diary and mark out:

  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Important dates in sport
  • Exam times
  • School holidays
  • Other important dates in your year

Go through your diary and mark out your week

  • Mark in study planning every Sunday night for 10 minutes
  • Family time
  • Church time
  • Sport training
  • Music lessons and practice
  • Your part time job
  • Volunteer work
  • Hobbies and mucking around with friends

Where Does Your Time Go?

Discover where your time goes. Virginia Tech, in the United States, has created this study skills quick quiz to help students to become aware of how they use their time.

  • Do the quiz.
  • How many hours do you have to left study?
  • If you need more time to study modify your time usage to suit your needs.
  • Mark your diary with the study time blocks.
  • Mark your sleep time in your diary.
    • Schedule half an hour phone-free-zone before bed.
    • Create a pre-bed “sleep set-up” routine for that half hour.

Step 2 Pinpoint Your Goals

My Goals

  • List each of your subjects
  • Set your measurable goal for each subject e.g. English     75
  • Ask your teacher if this is realistic.
  • Ask you teachers what you need to work on in their subjects. Write down what they say.

This becomes your TO DO LIST

to-do-list

Step 3 Be a Study Superstar 

Plan Your Study

When you first sit down to study, make a list of the things you need to do.

If you haven’t got anything to do go to your To Do List and start to work on those items.

Secret Sunday Success Strategy

Each Sunday evening take 10 minutes to:

  • Plan what to work on in each study time block.
  • Plan your study time to complete assignments.
  • Focus on your weaknesses.

 

Reflect on how well you studied last week…

  • Does your study timetable need adjusting?
  • How accurate you were at guessing how long each assignment was going to take?
  • Can you do anything more to pay  attention to your weaknesses?
  • Could you have asked your teachers for feedback or help on anything?
  • If you managed your phone.
  • What score out of 10 would you give yourself as a professional student?

 

phone

  • Complete calls and text messages BEFORE you go to your study area then remove your  mobile phone from your study zone.
  • After an hour, take a break and check your phone messages, have a drink, talk to your family for 10 minutes.
  • Go back to your study zone and recommence the work you were doing.

_______________________

Learning Style – Just for Fun

These learning style quizzes are fun and they may give you some understanding of how to study more effectively. Write down your answers and check out your style preferences.

Activity 1: Introvert or Extrovert

Tick 0 for Never, 1 for Sometimes or 2 for Always to indicate your preferences.  0 1 2
1 I easily make new friends.
2 At parties or gatherings, I feel energised and have fun.
3 I like groups of people.
4 It is easy for me to talk to strangers.
5 In social groups, I easily keep up with news or gossip about other people.
6 I am rather shy and quiet most of the time.
7 I like to have friendships with just a few people.
8 It is hard for most people to get to know me.
9 People view me as quiet more than sociable.
10 In a large group, I listen rather than speak unless I know the people well.

The first 5 Questions highlight your Extroversion Score___________

If you have a high extroversion score you probably enjoy talking about your thoughts and ideas.

The second 5 Questions highlight your Introversion Score____________

If you have a high introvert score you might like to study independently or with someone you know well. Debating your ideas in a group is not your ideal way of learning.

A balanced score shows that you are capable of working in both ways depending on your situation.

 Activity 2: Your Sensory Preferences

  Tick 0 for Never, 1 for Sometimes or 2 for Always to indicate your preferences.  0 1 2
1 I remember things better if I write them down.
2 I take lots of notes.
3 I can visualise pictures, numbers, words, or pages in my head.
4 I get distracted by background noise.
5 I have to look at someone to focus on what they are saying.
6 I remember things better if I discuss them with someone.
7 I prefer listening to a lecture rather to reading a textbook.
8 I can easily follow a speaker even if I don’t see him or her.
9 I remember better what people say than what they look like.
10 I remember jokes that I hear.
11 I don’t like to listen to or read directions; I’d rather just start doing things.
12 I like building or making things.
13 I like frequent breaks.
14 I think better when I can move around and when I don’t have to sit at a desk.
15 I use my fingers to count and/or move my lips when I read.

You will have some strength in each area. This quiz may help you to understand whether you prefer watching, listening or doing.

1st 5 Questions = Visual learner Score_________

                                                                                 

2nd 5 Questions= Auditory learner Score _________

 

3rd 5 Questions = Kinaesthetic Learner Hands On Score____________

 Activity 3: Your Relations with Ideas

  Tick 0 for Never, 1 for Sometimes or 2 for Always to indicate your preferences.  0 1 2
 1 I have a good imagination.
 2 I like to come up with new ideas or options.
3 Step-by-step learning often bores me.
4 I like to work out the major principles that might not be clear at first, rather than being told.
 5 I consider myself original and creative.
6 I am a practical, realistic person.
7 I am attracted to sensible people.
8 I like things presented in a step by step way.
9 I like concrete facts, not speculation or hidden meanings.
10 I prefer to avoid too many options from which to choose.

1st 5 = Intuitive Score________

You enjoy playing with ideas and enjoy theoretical thinking.

Intuitive learners can be random in their approach to learning and will flick from one website, conversation or information source to another, picking up snippets from each rather than following step by step instructions.  

2nd 5 = Concrete/sequential Score_______

Sequential learners are likely to prefer step-by-step logical activities. You prefer to take a course to learn rather than guessing and learning in a random way. Casual skipping across topics frustrates you.

Choose your style and use it to make your learning faster and more fun.

 Activity 4: Your Orientation to Learning Tasks

 

Tick 0 for Never, 1 for Sometimes or 2 for Always to indicate your preferences.  0 1 2
 1 I reach decisions quickly.
 2 I am an organised and punctual person.
 3 I make lists of things that I need to do, and I generally follow through.
 4 If I’m going somewhere, I like to plan in advance what I will be doing and approximately when.
 5 I start early so that I can finish before the deadline.
6 I put off making decisions as long as I reasonably can.
7 I am a spontaneous person and do not like to plan ahead too much.
8 Lists of tasks and deadlines depress me.
9 I keep an open mind about things.
 10 I like to just let things happen.

 1st 5 = Closure Score___________

This indicates how quickly you need to reach decisions and finish tasks.

If you have a high closure score you focus on tasks, meet deadlines, plan ahead for assignments, want explicit instructions, and ask for clear direction.

 2nd 5 = Openness Score______________

A high Openness score indicates how much you need to delay reaching decisions and finishing tasks. You enjoy “discovery learning” in which you pick up information on your own, and you prefer to relax and play with ideas without much concern for deadlines or planning ahead.

If you are too closed you may make decisions too quickly and find later that it was the wrong decision. If you are too open you may never finish anything or get work done on time.

Activity 5: Your Overall Orientation.

  Tick 0 for Never, 1 for Sometimes or 2 for Always to indicate your preferences.  0 1 2
1 Essays and tests are easier for me than multiple-choice.
 2 When I am studying, I look for similarities rather than differences.
 3 I like getting the big picture before getting the details.
4 I enjoy summarising and synthesising.
5 Too many details tend to confuse me.
6 I like to see details before seeing the whole thing.
7 I like to break things down into pieces so I can understand them.
8 In taking on anything new, I look for differences rather than similarities.
9 Summarizing bores me.
10 I use logical thinking to solve problems.

1st 5 = Global SCORE__________

If you are more global, you enjoy getting the main idea of a subject. You like to know where a lesson or idea is heading before you fill in the details. If you are not told where the lesson is going you will guess what the point is, then check your assumption throughout the lesson.

2nd 5 = Analytic SCORE___________

If you are more analytic, you might feel less comfortable with big picture techniques and want the team or author to get on with it rather than generally exploring a subject.

A balance between these indicates you have the capacity to see the big picture AND to analyse details in a manner that identifies details.

 

We all have the capacity to use ALL of our senses to learn.

These quizzes can point you in a general direction towards your strengths.

 

Author: Bev Johnson

Deciding what to choose for a career as we experience this tsunami of change is a huge challenge for school leavers. Hello, my name is Bev Johnson. I write, teach and coach senior students so that they have the best possible opportunity to become future ready citizens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s