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Five major study tasks to do after class

  • To become a high flying student isn’t by mere rhetoric. It comes with hard work, diligence, discipline, and what have you. Many students believe that if they can go to class regularly and achieve the average 75% attendance schools usually require of them, they have already done all there is needed to be academically successful. No! Attending classes is very important, no doubt. However, what you do after class is very important in determining whether or not you will become a high flying student.

    Below are some important tasks you should engage in, after class, if your goal is to graduate with flying colour:

    1. Read and review your notes on a daily basis

    Don't let a day slip by without reading and reviewing all the notes from the lectures taken during the day. Doing that will enable you to understand what you have learned better and makes it easy to remember it for the long-term. Always ensure you read and review your previous notes before going to new lectures.

    It's true, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with many lectures often come with many notes to take and assignments to submit, but working on your time management can help you remain organised and achieve your academic goals. No matter how much you have to accomplish, planning and organising can make a significant difference.

    2. Summarize the (points in the) notes

    Another vital study task after class is summarization. Summarization greatly aids understanding as it gives you the opportunity to reproduce what you have studied in a way that makes sense to you, that is, you re-write the notes in your way.  Summarization will also help you to get the main points and the essential details. If you can’t summarize it, then you haven’t understood it. Summarization can also activate your schema to have a different perspective of the concepts. If you can, after your summary, discuss with your course mates. The discussion will help you not only in further retention but also in comparing your understanding with that of your colleagues.

    3. Consult textbooks and other secondary materials

    After class is the appropriate time to visit the library to consult textbooks and other secondary materials, e.g. journals, newspapers, web resources, etc. Studying these materials will give you diverse perspectives about what you are studying and expand your understanding beyond the average level. It's crucial to remain focused on the particular concepts you aim at when you extend your reading in the library. This is because many times if you don't do that, you may end up broadening your scope beyond the course requirements or wasting precious time in reading what you shouldn't be, and so in the end, you may run short of time to cover your core syllabus.

    4. Draft likely questions

    This is a critical study task, especially when preparing for continuous assessment or examination. While studying, take your time to draft reasonable questions on each topic and provide relevant points to answer the draft questions. Apart from making your study useful, developing possible questions will assist you in determining how well prepared you are for your examinations.

    You may also try to compare your self-drafted questions with previous examination question to see accurate you could nail them. Be frank with yourself. Don't ask unrealistic questions and don't scale down so low. It's always more helpful though to challenge yourself with higher tasks.

    5. Discuss with your peers

    This point further reiterates what I mentioned earlier that it's okay to discuss your reviews with your course mates. Group discussion is a vital study task after class. It aids fast learning and gauging one's achievement in reading. It also presents an avenue to get new perspectives on what you have studied from other group members. Besides, presenting your views to the group members also facilitates easy remembrance for the long-term.

    Through study group, you also get the opportunity to ask questions on whatever aspects that are not clear to you and fill in the gaps.

    Bonus: Pre-class prep

    To understand the class lectures better, take time to go through your courses' outlines and know which topic the lecturer is going to teach in the next class. By this, you will be able to read up before class and comprehend better during the lesson as you will be familiar with the topic beforehand.

    Lastly, you can read further academic tips on study skills and exam preparation. I recommend time management tips, too, for students. Good luck with your study!

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