Six Tips for How to Study When Facing Problems

Students often ask me if I have any timely tips on how to study. I always ask them why learning new ways to study would be important for them. The most common response is that they find themselves having problems when studying and really don’t quite know what to do with them. They tell me that the directions for a given assignment are not so clear. I also hear problems like not knowing the right approach or procedure to to the work required to answer the questions being asked. Sometimes students report that they are simply frustrated, feeling that they are so far behind that they can never catch up. Forgetting a needed resource to complete an assignment in a place where it cannot be retrieved until the morning or even later is another problem that crops up from time to time.

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Here’s the thing, you can give up, wallow in the frustration that is eating you up alive or you can study smarter and respond in a positive way to solve the problem at hand. The choice is always yours and the study smarter choice is always the best one. One key to studying smarter is to become aware of things to do when you are facing what seem to be insurmountable problems thereby having tools to work around the problem and find a workable solution.

Here are six potential work-around solutions to problems you face from time to time.

1. Call a Classmate:

Collect phone numbers and email addresses from some of your fellow students in class. Get as many as you can and then sort out those that are the most responsible. You are actually creating an informal study group for each class and can readily draw on each other during times of frustration. In my own case, I would always get to class early on the first day and as people wandered into the room behind me, I would simply ask them if they wanted to be in a study group and we’d exchange phone numbers (it was the time before email even existed). By the time the first five or six people came into the room, I had a list of people I could turn to when I needed help and they had a list as well.

2. If possible, Contact your Teacher:

As a teacher, I always maintained a website for my students to use. My email was listed and I also placed my campus phone and home phone on the site. Next to the home phone I asked that students not call after 10 PM but other than that I was available. I also maintained a study forum where students could ask questions of each other and me and answers went flying across the internet in this virtual classroom. The ability to contact your teacher is a powerful tool that many students don’t use effectively.

3. Don’t Forget about Homework Help Sites:

For middle school and high school students, homework help sites are often maintained by the school district and by teachers. If this resource is available to you then take full advantage of it. There are also general sites that are available as well. Google ‘homework help’ and you’ll be exposed to any number of sites that are ready to help you solve a problem.

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