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6 brain-boosting study tips: reviewing homework habits

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Whether you’re heading back to school after the summer vacation or after a 20-year hiatus, now is the time to review your homework habits.

Where you choose to study is up to you, just make sure it’s a distraction-free zone. Try turning off your phone notifications or blocking Twitter (temporarily) on your computer, so you can concentrate on your homework. And don’t feel you have to be tied to your desk, you can study just about anywhere… in libraries, coffee shops and parks.If you’ve given yourself a whole day to study, vary your location every once in a while, a change of scenery can prompt your brain to retain information better.

Getting into a study routine is important. Set time aside to do your homework every day,remembering that this can change from day-to-day, depending on your schedule. And be realistic about the time allotted. Gauging how long it will take you to complete an urgent paper will help you plan how much additional homework you can do at one sitting.

Cramming the night before a test may work in the short-term, but your brain is unlikely to store what you’ve learnt for more than a day or two. You’re better off studying a little every day and going back over it regularly. Make a habit of looking at your notes each night. Fill in details, edit the parts that don’t make sense, and highlight the bits of information that you know are most important, or don’t fully understand. Interacting with your notes will help you remember them.

If you’ve got a big assignment looming,stay motivated by completing a piece of the project every few days.Write a paragraph a night, or do five algebra problems from your problem set at a time, and then take a break.

Get hold of a calendar so that you can plan ahead and organise your time. Make sure you’re marking down your extracurricular activities, and work and social commitments, as well as your homework assignments.

It’s important to organise your study notes systematically. You might choose to have one big binder for all your classes with colour-coded tabs, or keep separate notebooks and a folder for handouts. Keep the system simple – if it’s too fancy or complicated, you are less likely to maintain it.

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