Study Tips and Techniques: Helping out learners reach academic success

As a high school librarian, one of my primary goals is to help learners develop effective study habits. By providing tips on time management, note-taking, and test preparation, we can empower learners to excel academically. Educating our learners about various strategies for different learning styles and resources available in the library is vital to supporting their learning journey. I also strive to create a school library environment conducive to learning, so learners can study and focus without distractions. Throughout the school year I will often offer different study tips and techniques programming focusing on time management, note-taking, and test preparation to help learners be their most effective selves academically. 

Time management:

Learners need time management to balance their academic workload effectively. Creating a study schedule, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, and eliminating distractions are three different tools I teach my learners about time management.

  • Create a study schedule: Encourage learners to create a schedule that allocates specific time slots for studying different subjects. This will help them stay organized and prioritize their tasks.
  • Break tasks into smaller chunks: Encourage learners to break down their assignments or study materials into smaller, manageable tasks. This approach can prevent procrastination and make studying easier.
  • Eliminate distractions: Encourage learners to find a quiet and distraction-free study environment. This could be a designated study area at home or a quiet corner in the library.

Note-Taking:

Effective note-taking is essential for retaining information and understanding key concepts. There are three different ways to approach taking notes: active listening, using abbreviations and symbols, and organizing notes systematically.

  • Active listening: Encourage learners to actively listen during lectures or class discussions. This helps them identify key points and capture relevant information accurately.
  • Use abbreviations and symbols: Encourage learners to develop their own system of abbreviations and symbols to condense information while taking notes. This allows for quicker review and better understanding later.
  • Organize notes: Encourage learners to organize their notes in a systematic manner, such as using headings, subheadings, or bullet points. This promotes clarity and makes reviewing easier.

Test preparation:

Preparing for tests effectively is crucial for academic success. Here are some strategies learners can employ:

  • Review regularly: Encourage learners to review their notes and study materials regularly, instead of cramming before the test. This approach promotes better retention and understanding of the subject matter.
  • Practice with past exams or sample questions: Encourage learners to practice with past exams or sample questions to familiarize themselves with the test format and identify areas where they need improvement.
  • Seek help when needed: Remind learners that it’s helpful to seek help from teachers, librarians, or classmates if they struggle with certain concepts. The library can provide additional resources, such as textbooks, study guides, or online databases, to support their learning.

Strategies for Different Learning Styles:

Everyone learns differently, and it’s imperative to cater to their individual learning styles. Some learners may respond better to visual aids, while others may need verbal instruction. Some learners may be more hands-on and need opportunities for experiments or projects. It is critical to find out what works best for each learner and adjust the learning environment accordingly.

  • Visual learners: Encourage visual learners to use diagrams, charts, or mind maps to convey information and make it easier to understand.
  • Auditory learners: Suggest that auditory learners record lectures or study materials and listen while studying. Also, encourage them to participate in group discussions or study groups to reinforce their understanding.
  • Kinesthetic learners: Advise kinesthetic learners to incorporate movement or hands-on activities into their study routine. This can include using flashcards, acting out scenarios, or creating physical models to enhance their understanding.

By providing learners with study tips and techniques, we can help them develop effective study habits and achieve academic success. Encouraging time management, note-taking skills, and test preparation strategies tailored to different learning styles will empower learners to excel in their studies. As high school librarians, we can also utilize the resources available in the library, such as textbooks, study guides, and online databases, to support their academic journey.

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Author: Jessica Fitzpatrick

Jessica Fitzpatrick is a high school librarian in Houston and is in her tenth year of education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Houston and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas. She is a 2022 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, 2022 TLA MVP, an AASL Inspire Special Event Grant recipient, 2022 YALSA’s MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, the 2022 TLA Branding Award Winner for Reading Program, the 2020 TLA Branding Award Winner for Community Engagement, YALS article contributor, and on the TAYSHAS Reading Committee. She enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her two daughters and husband. You can follow her on Instagram at @librarian_fitz and on Twitter at @librarianfitz .



Categories: Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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2 replies

  1. Hi Jessica! Thanks for the nice tips!
    I would like to point out that combining various learning styles can be very effective. The human brain retains knowledge best when it processes it in a variety of approaches.
    https://ivypanda.com/blog/the-problem-with-learning-styles-and-how-to-use-it-to-your-benefit/

  2. Thank you for sharing these study tips! They are indeed beneficial for learners. However, I must express my disagreement with the learning styles theory. Numerous studies have debunked this theory because it lacks scientific basis.

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