Thu | Aug 13, 2020

How to study effectively and manage your time

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMPaul G. Messam

So you plan to take an examination? Or maybe a class test? In any case, do not rely merely on luck.

If you have a study plan and you are not sticking to it or it is not working for you, then there are some tweaks that you can make.

It is good to think that taking an examination is like taking a trip. The better it's planned, the more pleasant the journey. Yes! We can do anything we want to do, if we stick to it long enough. The road to success and studying is paved with good intentions. But, as a popular song says, "it's not an easy road."

Educators and students give their recommendations on the best practices.




"Students are usually encouraged to develop a kind of regularity and consistency in their study habit," says Dr Jean Johnson, educational psychologist, at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

"Even if it's an hour each day, a student should have a plan, stick with that plan and remind himself of this study plan.

Dr Johnson advises students to do additional information gathering, read beyond the text or notes and listen carefully in class, while recording the key points and words.

She further explains that in order for learning to take place, students must be paying attention. This means that the learning environment must be arranged to foster leaning. Students and teachers are responsible for creating this kind of environment. The student must also be motivated internally and externally. Internal motivation is vital because the learner needs to believe him or her.

External motivation is important, too, as this can come from various sources such as seeing someone being rewarded for doing good work, being encouraged by parents, guardians or teachers. The student must also have the right attitude. "The right attitude will assist the learner to develop the personal qualities of patience, perseverance, punctuality, purposefulness, productivity and so forth," Dr Johnson adds

There is an old axiom which posits that "If you fail to plan then you plan to fail." "The love of study is a passion that derives great vigour from enjoyment, supplies each day, each hour, with perpetual round of independent and national pledge."

Edward Gibben, a writer, says, "When I see my niece studying, she has in front of her, laptop, her text books, pens, sharpener, cell phone, all the things she need are within reach of her person."




Paulette Henry of St Richards Primary, a teacher who has been teaching from age 18, says that students should find creative ways to study.

"It cannot be business as usual," she said, encouraging students to use the cell phone as a tool for doing research, not just for gaming and chatting.

According to Bradley Beadle, peer tutor and prefect at Mona High School, success does not lie in results, but in the efforts made. Being the best is not so important, according to Beadle, doing the best matters.

"In order for me to be successful in my academic life, I have to set a standard for myself; I think of my favourite character Rachel Berry from a series called Glee, who is described as being, well rounded, persistent and driven to reach her goals," Bradley said.

"Read, recall and review," Wayne Robinson, acting principal, Jamaica College, always reminds his students, adding that time is life and life is time; if you waste time, you waste life.

Keven Jones Headmaster of Mona High School says that students should make it a point to go to their classes on time, develop a positive attitude and determine their values.

It is very essential for students to ensure that each week, they spend at least 20 hours in class, 40 hours studying, 56 hours sleeping and 52 hours of recreational activities.

It is important for them to read widely and a part from their textbook, read another book each week.

Student must always have their dictionaries with their person, not only for English Classes, but to develop an attitude of searching for meanings, spelling and unfamiliar words.

It important that the students spend twice the time they spend in class to study each subject, outside of class.

Avoid long hours of studying, take breaks periodically. After a period of time, the brain stops accepting; take a break. The best time to study is usually after a good night's sleep (early morning) or to study late into the night.

However, this is dependent on what kind of person you are - if you work effectively in the early morning or have the capacity to study late into the night.

Time management skills are vital to the study process. Students must use their 24 hours wisely.