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5 Tips for Effective Study Habits

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Testing time can be a source of anxiety for many K-12 students. Helping your child prepare can ease their stress, help them focus, and can ultimately make a huge difference in their academic outcomes. We've put together the following study tips to help your child be ready and confident on test day. It's important to keep in mind that every student is different, and your student may need to use variations of these techniques to prepare for an exam. 

1.  Study Regularly

When a test is scheduled, encourage your student not to wait until the night before to study. Daily, regular review is the best approach to studying. It eliminates the stressful environment caused by scrambling the night before to prepare. It’s not fun to feel panicked, and this doesn’t have to happen if your student plans accordingly. Encourage them to set aside 10 minutes after completing their homework each evening (or longer if needed) to look over any material pertaining to upcoming tests.


2.  Discover How Your Student Learns Best.

Is your student an auditory, visual, or tactile learner?

  • Auditory learners tend to learn material best through video or sound, as hearing the information helps them with learning.

  • Visual learners learn best by seeing the material, which include practices such as reading text, looking over notes and diagrams, or watching a presentation.

  • Tactile (or kinesthetic) learners learn best through touch and movement. They take a more hands-on approach to learning. An activity such as a manipulative would help a tactile learner while studying. To discover your student’s learning style, have them complete this quick online quiz.

3.  Limit Distractions

Once your student gets into the habit of setting aside time to study each day, be sure that they focus on the task at hand and limit distractions. Put the smartphone away and silence notifications. Also, turn off the music. Although reports are conflicting, one study found music to be distracting and not helpful in learning environments. Make sure that your student is using study time wisely.

4.  Set a Daily Goal

Have your student write down what they want to accomplish while studying. Do they want to review one chapter? Two chapters? Do they want to focus on a specific concept?  Setting study goals will help to keep your student focused on a task they feel is attainable. Most importantly, it will keep them from feeling overwhelmed.

5.  Get Your Rest

School-aged children require between 8 and 11 hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep will cause your student to be unable to focus. Thinking clearly is important when taking an exam. Getting the proper amount of sleep also helps with memory function, which, in turn, helps with test taking. A Penn State article discussing sleep duration and study habits explains that it is important for children to get no less than 9 hours of sleep each night. Additionally, the article explains that the amount of sleep needed varies for each individual.

If you have additional study tips that work well for your student, please share them with our community by commenting below. Let’s work together to help our students thrive!

Heather LiVorio_bioHeather LiVorio has 12 years of combined online and classroom teaching experience. She currently teaches Science and Family Consumer Sciences for Lincoln Learning Solutions and has been employed with the company for 5 years. Heather enjoys spending time with her three boys and family, vacationing at the ocean, and going on adventures.