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Study Tips
Class Assignments

General Tips:

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet, well-lit place to work undisturbed.
  2. You cannot be studying effectively if you are talking on the phone or instant messaging at the same time.  Set aside a period of time to work and let your friends know this is your study time- you'll talk later.
  3. DO not procrastinate - studying a little each night is better than cramming the night before a test.
  4. Make sure you know the difference between active and passive studying.
  5. Get enough sleep and exercise.  You'll think better if you are well rested.
  6. If you are getting tired, bored, or overwhelmed, walk away and do something else for a while (another subject's homework is fine) then go back to your studying later.

For New Topics and Concepts:

  1. Be prepared - read ahead in the textbook before we start a topic and write notes so that you can ask relevant questions.
  2. Ask appropriate questions in class.
  3. Make your own notes from class discussions and from the text.
  4. Read over your class notes and the worked examples.
  5. Ask a classmate if they can help explain.
  6. Come for tutoring after school (check with me for times and days).
  7. Re-read the appropriate part of the textbook and follow the sample problems at home.
  8. Check out some online tutoring sites and practice problems (see useful links page).
  9. Form a study group with other students - online or in person.

When Homework Problems Get Frustrating:

  1. Do NOT leave practice problems until the last minute - some of them are more complex than they look.
  2. Keep trying - do not give up as soon as you see an unknown word or term.  Find terms you do know and work from there.
  3. Refer back to your textbook and the problems we've worked in class - see if one looks similar.
  4. Talk through the problem aloud - to your brother, parents, poster on the wall etc.  It's often helpful to reason aloud even if no-one's responding.
  5. Walk away from the problem - go on to another problem, get a snack, or do other homework and then come back to the problem later (not too late to finish it in time though).
  6. If it's still before the deadline, ask for a hint in class.
  7. Ask a friend for a hint (but NOT for all the steps and certainly NOT for the answer).
  8. If all else fails, do as much as you can then move on.  It is better to hand in a partial assignment than none at all. 
  9. Once the assignment has been graded make sure you understand how to solve the problem and practice solving it by yourself so you'll be prepared next time.