Do you think your child has the capability to become a topper, but is not actually living up to her potential? Maybe, it is time you helped her set right her study habits.
Here are ten habits of successful students that you should teach your child to help her better her academic performance and surge ahead of her peers.
1. Prepare consistently: Beginning preparations early and in a systematic manner is the key to success in academics. This is a much better strategy than starting to study a few days before an exam. Explain to her how it helps to study throughout the year rather than trying to learn during the study holidays prior to exams. Also, encourage your child to stick to a ‘no cramming’ policy to help her stay relaxed on the day of the exam.
2. Follow a time table: Help your child prepare a study schedule that will help pay attention to all the subjects. Ensure that he sticks to the schedule and does not procrastinate. Following a consistent routine will not only discipline your child and but also help him cover the entire syllabus.
Students need to be systematic and consistent in their preparation to excel. Distractions come in different forms at different ages. But, good students know how to overcome these distractions. Children need to be taught to become their own masters. Parents can help by cutting out sources of distraction at home and providing a suitable environment for learning. This, they should do in a gentle but firm manner. —Ruth Eunice Anand, Education Consultant, Chennai
3. Do not compromise: Encourage your child to regularly study subjects that he finds most difficult and not leave it for the last. Successful students leave no gaps in their studies and make sure that they clear all their doubts as and when they arise. They do so by trying to work out the answers themselves or by seeking help from the teachers.
As a student, I used to actively take part in extra-curricular activities. This helped me excel in my studies as well. A tight schedule helped me become more productive in my academics as I knew I had only so much time to devote to my studies in a day and made sure I didn’t waste that time. I used to study for about an hour every day in the morning, and used to break down my study time into short sessions. That I had a support system at home also helped. My parents always encouraged me to follow my chosen path and achieve my potential to the fullest. — Sharanya Gopinath, playback singer, Chennai [Sharanya was a class X topper from CSI Bain Matriculation HSS (2008) and is a multi-talented personality. She is a well-known face in the music industry in Chennai.]
4. Learn from others: Encourage your child to pick the brains of other good students. A discussion with peers, especially those who are good in studies, will not only help your child learn but also motivate her to give her best.
Parents should try to understand the learning behaviour of their children. Some children learn better through the reading text while others learn better through visual cues. In such cases, parents can make things interesting by complementing learning from textbooks through resources such as videos found online. Also, parents need to refrain from enticing children to study with promises of external rewards. Instead, they should help develop children’s inner drive. — Esther Stanley, Freelance Educational Trainer
5. Follow instructions: Explain to your child the importance of paying attention in the class and noting down every important instruction provided by the teachers. Often, teachers give useful tips on how to approach different types of questions and how to answer questions in such a way that it increases the chances of scoring high marks. Students who follow these instructions diligently usually score better than the others.
6. Revise frequently: Make sure that your child’s study schedule includes the scope for frequent revisions. This will help your child recall what he has studied during the past few days. Make your child understand the old adage, ‘Practice makes perfect’ and tell him how he can apply it to academics.
7. Make notes: Good students usually don’t rely only on notes distributed by the teacher. Make your child go the extra mile by asking her to read in detail and then making her own set of notes. Not only would this habit help in lower classes but also when your child pursues higher studies.
8. Understand concepts: Make sure that your child understands concepts to be able to apply them practically. Discourage rote learning at all costs. Your child should understand the crucial difference between memorising and learning by rote without understanding.
I used to put in a lot of effort to master challenging areas of any subject and try to understand practical and real-life applications of all concepts. I would study not just to get good marks but with the aim of gaining knowledge. I used to take regular breaks during my studies to read the newspaper, watch sports and interact with family members. Also, it helped to keep myself physically fit by exercising regularly. — Rakesh Ramakrishnan, Senior Systems Engineer, Syntax Coreservices, Mumbai [Rakesh was a consistent top ranker throughout his school days and stood third in the Class X board exams (2004) in his school - Mahila Samiti English High School.]
9. Test knowledge: Once your child has covered and revised the entire syllabus, she should test her knowledge by trying to answer questions given in textbooks, question banks, and question papers of previous years. While your child may be able to answer most questions, she may also come across a few challenging ones, to which she may not know the answers. This will help her understand the lacunae in her preparation and help set them right.
10. Take mock tests: To do this, you can either prepare your own set of question papers or use copies of previous years’ test papers. When your child sits down to write and test his level of preparedness, instruct him to finish the paper within the stipulated time. This will help him learn how to manage time while writing an exam.
Helping your child inculcate all these habits may prove to be challenging. However, doing so will bring in great rewards in the long run.
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