Go Full Speed in Fall

Barry the Study Dog goes hard at the beginning of the year in case he wants to chill in spring.

Study Skills Series: The first Monday of every month, we give timely, practical, and original study skills advice. Timely means it’s especially useful during that month of the school year. Practical means it’s easy to act on. Original means we wrote it ourselves and you can only get it here.

T here’s no such thing as an academic comeback. There’s being half a step ahead of your competition – which is school itself – and there’s losing in a blowout.

At this point in the school year, if you’re not half a step ahead in all your classes, chances are that you’re behind in all your classes. Don’t let school win!

Half a step ahead means that you spend two minutes previewing the content of each of your next class meetings so that you can learn as much as possible the next day, and that you have an up-do-date study guide of your own design for each of your courses so that you can quiz yourself on the material well ahead of the test date to discover whether you’ve mastered it.

The best time to preview tomorrow’s classes is right before you start today’s homework, and the best time to review each class and update your study guide is weekend mornings.

If you’re not half a step ahead, it’s probably because you’ve been lollygagging through the start of the school year as if Week 1 wasn’t the most important week of the academic term – which it totally is – which might not be your fault.

Teachers, and schools as a whole, tend to ease into the new year, which sends the wrong message, a message that students then further misinterpret as, “We’re not really doing anything yet because the school year just started,” all of which adds up to a big bowl of Wrong.

Go full speed in fall, get half a step ahead in each of your classes, then figure out where you can cut back, in case the weather is really good this spring and you want to chill.

Taking it easy at the beginning of the year has never worked for anyone, ever.

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