Consistency Wins

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Written By Chloe Lee

I really wish there was a magical formula to cramming the night before an exam and still crushing it. Helping students with their study habits and organization skills as they transitioned to competitive high schools, honors, and AP classes revealed the biggest theme for academic success: consistency.

  1. Organize your notes – EVERY DAY 

Students often knew it was important to be ‘organized,’ but what often prevented them from putting this idea into practice was not knowing ‘how’ to organize notes as a habit. Especially now when students often juggle both paper and digital documents, having one place for your notes is critical. The various resources that teachers use is THEIR method to relay an abundance of information to students. Students’ job is to ensure their own understanding of these materials. 

  • To do this efficiently, create a large margin on the right side and rewrite the key ideas and concepts in your own words
  • Also, include necessary mnemonics to help you remember. 
  • Especially for math and science classes, write down the steps to break down the questions and stay consistent with these steps when doing homework. 
  • Investing 10 minutes each day to ensure full understanding of what was taught each day is the most time efficient way to study.  
  • At the end of each chapter or unit, collect notes you have written in the margin into one document. These unit master sheets should be all you need to review for finals if you do this the right way. 
  1. Organize your folders – EVERY DAY 

Folders within each subject should be organized for their purpose. 

  • Class notes and any material from teachers that help you to learn the content should live in one folder. 
  • The HW folder should not only collect your homework but also help you easily find the questions that you have missed for a review.
  • Quizzes and tests should contain notes taken on the questions you have missed. Fully analyzing why the questions were missed should include answers to questions such as “where did I take a wrong turn on this question?” “What about this question challenged me?” “Why did I not remember this correctly?” “How else can I study better?” 

Up until Algebra II, I had studied math intuitively and just went off of what I remembered rather than fully studying for exams. After staying up late to study and still struggling on the exam, trying various methods of studying was my desperate attempt to not go through that stress again. Consistently investing 10-15 minutes each day to be responsible for what was taught that day was the most foolproof method to maximize my performance. 

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” -Dwayne Johnson

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