Study Tips

How Practice Quizzes Help with Test Anxiety

Cognitive scientists argue that testing improves learning. They call it “practice retrieval” or “test-enhanced learning.” In layman’s language, that means that the brain learns new information and skills by being forced to recall them periodically. Remembering consolidates information and helps the brain form long-term memories. Of course, practice quizzes are not the only way to accomplish this, but it’s easy and efficient in a classroom. Several meta-analyses, which summarize the evidence from many studies, have…

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Study Habits for the New Year

The school day is already long, and many children are not getting enough sleep. Add in extra after-school activities, and it’s easy to understand why shutting off their brain is often their number one priority. Some children find it more difficult than others to crack a book open when they get home; even children who find the time to sit down and study may struggle with using this time well. Watching your child struggle with…

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Mental Health-Focused Study Tips

You’ve signed up for classes, you’ve learned your way around the virtual course system — and now, you’ve got to make sure you survive all the way to graduation. Laptop or paper notes? Highlighter or flashcards? And does music help while studying? Here’s how to take better notes and study so that you remember what you’ve learned — without getting crushed by college stress. Plus: what to do if you do feel crushed. There is…

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10 Tips for the Back to School Season

It’s that time of year again—it’s back to school season, and about time to start off another school year! While a new outfit or set of school supplies can definitely help get you off to a good start, so can a fresh perspective. August is a great time for students to evaluate their performance from the previous year, explore new ways to overcome challenges, and come up with a plan to stay on track for…

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Study Tips and Strategy Ideas

Daniel Willingham is a University of Virginia psychologist who frequently engages in pop culture battles armed with academic research and study tips. Research evidence shows that we all learn through a variety of ways: visually, aurally and kinesthetically. For years, he has complained that teachers aren’t heeding research and study tips about reading instruction, and that many educators are misguided when it comes to teaching critical thinking. Now, Willingham has shifted his focus from teachers…

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How Much Does Noise Inhibit Learning?

It’s no surprise that loud, unwanted sounds can be disruptive and even damaging to ears. However, even background noise like the air conditioning running, the refrigerator humming and delivery vans idling outside can be cause for concern. According to Nina Kraus, a neurobiology professor at Northwestern University who studies sound, ongoing noises that people claim to “tune out” are unlikely to harm ears, but they can still have a profound effect on the brain. Repeated…

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7 Spelling Tips for Young Students

A common concern for parents and teachers is that even when the children score perfectly on their spelling tests, they don’t always carry that knowledge over into their reading and writing. In other words, they memorize and write their spelling words for the test, but their new-found knowledge is not carrying over into practice. There are also children who find it nearly impossible to memorize spelling words, so they consistently fail spelling tests. This inability…

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8 Student Tips for Using a Planner

The assignment is due when? Tomorrow? We’ve all been there at some point. Somehow, that assignment due date can slip right up on you without you noticing. That is why using a planner and building organizational skills are so important to school performance. Who wants to get an “F” because they’ve forgotten to put their completed project in their book bag the night before it was due? Here are 8 tips for students on using…

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How to Organize A Planner for School

Maintaining a planner for school can help you complete all of your assignments on time. Once you’ve chosen the type of planner you want, create sections for each subject and fill in all the information you already have. Each day you can look at what’s on the agenda and add any new information. Things like color-coding your planner and making sure to add all types of obligations will also help you stay on top of…

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