The Secrets of an A+ Study Plan

By Sprott Shaw College - Vancouver Pender Campus Modified on September 05, 2019

Consider who you are, what motivates you, and how to keep organized.

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A student colour-codes her hand-written notes as part of her A+ study plan.

Let's be real. Studying is something most students dread. But sometimes, studying can be genuinely fun (or at least tolerable), if you use smart and effective studying practices. While everyone is different and has their own methods that work for them, there are a few underlying principles that can serve as the foundation for a productive study session. This guide offers some studying tips and tricks to help you get those As.

1. Consider the Type of Person You Are

Because everyone is unique, what works best for you may not work for your next-door neighbour ? that's why you have to first consider the type of person you are.

Do you like reading your study notes digitally or on a piece of paper? If you like things digital, use a laptop to take your notes. If you prefer writing the old-fashioned way, then do that! If you're a mix somewhere in between, you could try a tablet and stylus to take notes.

While these points may seem obvious, the number of people who take notes on laptops because paper is "outdated" ? even if they prefer paper! ? is alarming. Why worry about what other people are doing? Do what helps you study well.

2. You Need to Have Motivation (Other Than Straight As)

With anything in life, motivation is key. The question to ask is: What motivates you to keep studying? Is it a TV series like The Blacklist? A refreshing beverage like roasted milk tea? A simple chocolate bar? Whatever it is, think of what might push you to continue studying.

Before you actually start studying, set limits for yourself on what reward you'll earn after finishing a particular section. Don't forget to decide how much of the section you need to complete before receiving your reward! After finishing each section, then you can watch an episode, have a sip of bubble tea, or indulge in a chocolate bar. And then the process repeats itself with the completion of each section! Do your best to stick to your schedule.

3. Colour-Code Your Study Notes

While preparing your study notes, one of the most helpful things you can do is colour-code your notes with highlighters and markers. Not only will these colours make your notes look organized, but research suggests they can actually help with your long-term memory of the material.

For example, you can highlight all the definitions yellow, all the key terms blue, and all the main concepts pink. These associations with colours will help your brain pick up and retain the material faster ? elevating your study skills!

We hope these tips and tricks will make studying more bearable and help ease your study stresses! For more articles like these, check out Sprott Shaw College's collection of stories.

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