Here is a little, easy-to-read six-chapter book on study skills.
The book begins by describing four different study personalities: the
Unperfected Perfectionist, the Deadline Daredevil, the Mack Slacker,
and the Brain Trainer. These roughly translate into: someone
who studies hard but doesn't do well; a procrastinator; someone
who just plain doesn't study, doesn't do well, and (supposedly)
doesn't really care; and finally a pretty good student. These student
descriptions are used throughout the rest of the book. The author
recommends you read the whole book in order from beginning to end,
but come back to the beginning to re-read the general suggestions
which pertain to the type of study personality you have.
The next chapter talks about learning styles or strengths, especially
as they relate to retaining information. A fun learning-style quiz
Setting up a study space and adopting good study habits is the
next chapter topic. There is some refreshingly good, old-fashioned
advice here about studying at a desk or table instead of a bed
or the couch, turning off the music when studying, and staying
unplugged. "Give yourself the freedom and space to socially check
out for a couple hours so you can get some work done. Your friends
will understand, and if they don't . . . well . . . maybe they
aren't such great friends."
Memory tricks based on color, movement, sound, and mnemonic cues,
and coded by type of learner is covered in chapter four.
Chapter five discusses frequent errors made by students and how
to avoid or correct them: how to take good notes, how to
review your notes, staying awake and alert during lectures, how
to tackle difficult literature, stress reduction, time use, making
studying more enjoyable, and study groups/tutors are the topics
The last chapter covers learning disabilities, with a focus on de-phobia and
alerting the student to a possible LD diagnosis. There is an appendix that
lists some helpful resources for students with learning disabilities.
Subtitles and small sections, diagrams, quizzes, illustrations,
bullet lists, and end-of-chapter outlines make this book accessible
to even the most printed-word allergic student. The author has
already done the work for you. Bolded sentences throughout this
book contain the essence, meaning you could read only those and
get the gist of the book. This will help you focus on the key points
as you read. Illustrations of study aids the student can make and
use are found in the appendices.
I really like how the book ends, with a half page admonishment
to the student: if, after giving these suggestions a try
for several months, you don't improve, talk to someone you trust
and get help so that you can do and be your best, whatever that
best is for you.
Study Smart, Study Less is one of the best books on study skills
that I have ever read. It is a quick, easy read. It is succinct.
It includes tried and true methodology as well as some innovative
ideas. Buy this for your high schooler. If you have or know any
college students, sneak this book into their backpacks next time
you see them.