Study skills – encouraging best practice

The way your child studies, can have a huge impact on their motivation to learn, their self-esteem and ultimately on their educational outcomes.

Study skills are a critical ingredient for achieving higher exam grades and academic success. They can also prove beneficial for life-long learning.

Generally any skill which increases a child’s ability to study effectively can be classed as a study skill.

Study skills are valuable techniques that can be mastered, usually in a very short time and can have broad applications across most fields of study.

There is a vast array of study skills, which are effective in the process of:

  • Organising information
  • Retaining information
  • Coping with exams
  • Boosting confidence levels and perceptions of personal ability

They include:

  • Planning and prioritising your child’s workload
  • Goal setting – what does your child want to achieve? Are they on-track for success?
  • Stress management – methods to help your child relax and remain positive
  • Critical evaluation – reflecting on current progress and past performance. How is your child going to go that extra mile? What extra support or skills do they require?
  • Efficient note taking – highlighting, using key words
  • Visual summaries – using pictures, mind maps, charts
  • Time management -planning and prioritising for assessment, using exam time wisely
  • Memory skills- how our brains work, mnemonics
  • Effective reading – reading for a purpose, visualising
  • Focussing strategies – concentration techniques
  • Critical thinking – setting your child up to meet the elusive A grade criteria.
  • Summarising – use of key words
  • Identifying and maximising on your child’s preferred learning style/s
  • Flash card summaries – these are invaluable for pre-exam revision.

Illegible handwriting – this makes it very difficult for examiners to read responses and may affect the grade awarded.

Handwriting speed is also crucial in exams if your child is to be able to demonstrate their complete knowledge of a topic under time constraints. Should you be aware of any difficulties your child may have in this area, it is advisable to seek professional advice. Remedial handwriting tuition may solve the problem, if not, access arrangements may be required.  One of the most frustrating challenges for a child is being unable to complete an exam – especially when they knew the required answers. It is crucial that your child has every opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

Revision techniques – how can your child revise productively?  Effective techniques have been shown to have a positive correlation on enhanced outcomes in exams.

Coping in exams – Having the right equipment, time management, careful reading of the questions, structuring responses, proof reading answers and keeping calm.

Developing productive study skills can be the first step in increasing your child’s confidence levels, enabling them to plan to improve their performance on assignments and in those all important exams. Effective study skills can help to equip your child with a blueprint for success and the taste of success is empowering!

It is also advantageous for parents to be equipped to assist their child with the exam process.