Good Listening in Class
It is important for you to be a good listener in class. Much of what you will have to learn will be presented verbally by your teachers. Just hearing what your teachers say is not the same as listening to what they say. Listening is a cognitive act that requires you to pay attention and think about and mentally process what you hear.
Here are some things you should do to be a good listener in class.
- Be Cognitively Ready to Listen When You Come to Class. Make sure you complete all assigned work and readings. Review your notes from previous class sessions. Think about what you know about the topic that will be covered in class that day.
- Be Emotionally Ready to Listen When You Come to Class. Your attitude is important. Make a conscious choice to find the topic useful and interesting. Be committed to learning all that you can.
- Listen with a Purpose. Identify what you expect and hope to learn from the class session. Listen for these things as your teacher talks.
- Listen with an Open Mind. Be receptive to what your teacher says. It is good to question what is said as long as you remain open to points of view other than your own.
- Be Attentive. Focus on what your teacher is saying. Try not to daydream and let your mind wander to other things. It helps to sit in the front and center of the class, and to maintain eye contact with your teacher.
- Be an Active Listener. You can think faster than your teacher can speak. Use this to your advantage by evaluating what is being said and trying to anticipate what will be said next. Take good written notes about what your teacher says. While you can think faster than your teacher can speak, you cannot write faster than your teacher can speak. Taking notes requires you to make decisions about what to write, and you have to be an active listener to do this.
- Meet the Challenge. Don't give up and stop listening when you find the information being presented difficult to understand. Listen even more carefully at these times and work hard to understand what is being said. Don't be reluctant to ask questions.
- Triumph Over the Environment. The classroom may too noisy, too hot, too cold, too bright, or too dark. Don't give in to these inconveniences. Stay focused on the big picture - LEARNING.
Taking Notes in Class
In classes, your teachers will talk about topics that you are studying. The information they provide will be important for you to know when you take tests. You must be able to take good written notes from what your teachers say.
Taking good notes is a three-stage process in which there are certain things you should do before class, during class, and after class. Here are the three stages of notetaking and what you should do during each stage.
1. Get Ready to Take Notes (Before Class)
- Review your notes from the previous class session before you come to class. This will help you remember what was covered and get you ready to understand new information your teacher provides.
- Complete all assigned readings before you come to class. Your teacher will expect that you have done this and will use and build upon this information.
- Bring all notetaking materials with you to class. Have several pens and pencils as well as your notebook.
2. Take Notes (During Class)
- Keep your attention focused on what your teacher is saying. Listen for "signal statements" that tell you that what your teacher is about to say is important to write in your notes. Examples of signal statements are "The most important point..." and "Remember that..." Be sure to include in your notes information that your teacher repeats or writes on the chalkboard.
- Write quickly so that you can include all the important information in your notes. Do this by writing abbreviated words such as med for medicine, using symbols such as % for percent, and writing short sentences.
- Place a ? next to information you write in your notes, but about whose meaning you are not sure.
3. Rewrite Your Notes (After Class)
- Rewrite your notes to make them more complete by changing abbreviated words into whole words, symbols into words, and shortened sentences into longer sentences.
- Make your notes more accurate by answering any questions you had when writing your notes in class. Use your textbook and reference sources to obtain the information you need to answer your questions. If necessary, ask your teacher or other students for help.
- Check with other students to be sure you did not leave out important information.
Having good class notes will help you to be better prepared for tests.
Many students have difficulty concentrating while studying. Being able to concentrate while you are studying is essential to doing well in class and on tests.
Here are 10 suggestions for improving your study concentration:
- Study in a quiet place that is free from distractions and interruptions. Try to create a space designated solely for studying.
- Make a study schedule that shows what tasks you need to accomplish and when you plan to accomplish each task. This will provide you with the structure you need for effective studying.
- Try to study at the time of day you work best. Some people work well early in the morning, others late at night. You know what works best for you.
- Make sure you are not tired and/or hungry when you study. Otherwise, you won't have the energy you need to concentrate. Also, maintain your physical fitness.
- Don't try to do two tasks at the same time. You won't be able to concentrate on either one very well. Concentration means focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else.
- Break large tasks into series of smaller tasks that you can complete one at a time. If you try to complete a large task all at once, you may feel overwhelmed and will be unable to maintain your concentration.
- Relax. It's hard to concentrate when you're tense. It's important to relax when working on a task that requires concentration. Meditation is helpful to many students.
- Clear your mind of worrisome thoughts. Mental poise is important for concentration. You can get distracted by your own thoughts. Monitor your thoughts and prevent yourself from following any that take you off track. Don't daydream.
- Develop an interest in what you are studying. Try to relate what you are studying to you own life to make it as meaningful as possible. This can motivate yourself to concentrate.
- Take breaks whenever you feel fatigued. There is no set formula for when to take breaks. You will know when you need to take a break.
Studying without concentration is like trying to fill a bucket with water when the bucket has a hole in its bottom. It doesn't work.
Managing Your Study Time
There are only so many hours in a day, a week, and a term. You cannot change the number of hours, but you can decide how to best use them. To be successful in school, you must carefully manage your study time. Here is a strategy for doing this.Prepare a Term Calendar
At the beginning of a term, prepare a Term Calendar. Update it as the term goes on. Here is what to do to prepare a Term Calendar.
- Record your school assignments with their due dates and your scheduled tests.Record your planned school activities.
- Record your planned school activities.
- Record your known out-of-school activities.
Prepare a Weekly Schedule
Each Sunday before a school week, prepare a Weekly Schedule. Update it as the week goes on. Here is what to do to prepare a Weekly Schedule.
- Record your daily classes.
- Enter things to be done for the coming week from your Term Calendar.
- Review your class notes from the previous week to see if you need to add any school activities.
- Add any out-of-school activities in which you will be involved during the week.
- Be sure to include times for completing assignments, working on projects, and studying for tests. These times may be during the school day, right after school, evenings, and weekends.
Prepare a Daily Organizer
Each evening before a school day, prepare a Daily Organizer for the next day. Place a √ next to each thing to do as you accomplish it. Here is what to do to prepare a Daily Organizer.
- Enter the things to do for the coming day from your Weekly Schedule.
- Enter the things that still need to be accomplished from your Daily Organizer from the previous day.
- Review your class notes for the day just completed to see if you need to add any school activities.
- Add any out-of-school activities in which you will be involved the next day.
Your Weekly Schedule should have more detail than your Term Calendar. Your Daily Organizer should have more detail than your Weekly Schedule. Using a Term Calendar, a Weekly Schedule, and a Daily Organizer will help you make the best use of your time.
( Courtesy: http://www.how-to-study.com )