From our Head of Secondary, Brad Bowen

Routines and Tips for Academic Personal Best

For any student, the start of any school year is one of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. The potential for new opportunities, new goals and a fresh start can be invigorating for students. However if students fall into old ‘bad’ habits involving homework and study that lead to results that are less than those that should be achievable, then students become disenchanted and negative about their ability and towards school in general. It is important that students prioritise and balance their time spent on sport, music, employment, cultural pursuits and study.

It is also important to develop habits and routines that help determine ‘success’ in all areas. Below I have listed 20 Homework and Study tips that should help building foundations that lead to academic personal best.

Homework and Study Tips

1. Develop a routine.

Write down your general weekly schedule and create a routine.

2. Set rules for yourself.

E.g. Start studying for tests at least one week in advance. Start assignments straight away. Every night place your electronic device out of reach with notifications off.

3. Write everything down.

Use your diary or canvas or the Calendar in Outlook or use an app like Google Keep.

4. Work on one task at a time; don’t multitask.

Stay focused on the task at hand. Research proves this is more efficient.

5. Use a Weekly/Term planner, you also have your Canvas calendar and assessment calendar.

Put the planner in your home study area and refer to it often.

6. Declutter once a week.

Clutter attracts clutter. Decluttering once a week will help you to stay organised in general.

7. Put sticky notes in a place that you pass by before leaving home to help you remember things, alternatively you could use the Sticky Notes app on your laptop.

Use this tip for things you absolutely don't want to forget.

8. Keep one exercise book for each subject.

This is a better method compared to using only one notebook in which you take notes across all your different subjects. Multiple subjects in one notebook leads to clutter and overlap

9. Keep your locker (school) and study place (home) organised.

This will ensure that your ‘spaces’ don’t get too full or messy.

10. Do five minutes of daily planning each day.

This can be done in extended home room or the night before. Before you start doing your homework or studying for a test, look at your planner first. Then, decide what specific tasks to work on for the day.

11. Learn to say no to things that take away from opportunities and study times.

If you want to be an organised and enjoy the opportunities provided then you need to prioritise your time and energy

12. Create a conducive environment at home for studying.

If you want to be an effective student, you need to have the right environment to work.

13. Before you start work, eliminate all distractions.

Put your phone in another room, turn off apps on your computer (unless required for the work you are doing), etc.

14. Use a stopwatch or timer when doing homework or studying (30 min blocks with a 15 min break is often recommended).

Using a timer adds a sense of urgency and forces you to focus to meet a deadline.

15. Double-check that you’ve completed all the work that’s due the next day.

This will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute or pulling an all-nighter just to get an assignment done.

16. Keep an ongoing list of the questions you have about the class material.

As soon as you’re able to, ask your teachers about the items on your list.

17. Every school night, pack your school bag for the following day.

This way, you won’t have to scramble in the morning to pack.

18. Wake up a little bit earlier each morning so you don’t have to rush.

For most students, waking up 5 to 10 minutes earlier is enough to avoid the unnecessary stress of rushing in the morning.

19. Make your bed every morning.

This is a small victory to start the day!

20. Do a monthly reflection exercise.

During this reflection exercise, ask yourself: What have I been doing well? What have I not been doing well? What should I do differently in the coming month?