Study skills

Reducing boredom

A better way to study: chunking time and facts to reduce boredom

It is less effective to sit and try to study for an hour continuously than it is to break up the time you spend studying into small chunks with breaks.

First, break up sets of new facts into understandable chunks of about 4.

Next, spend 1 minute solidly focusing on those facts – try not to become distracted while you are focusing. Tell yourself that you will only focus for 1 minute before doing something else.

After focusing for 1 minute stop and give yourself a small reward – a mental pat on the back and a quick stretch. Then stop.

After 5 minutes return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop.

After another 10 minutes return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop.

After another 30 minutes return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop.

After another 60 minutes return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop.

After another 3 hours return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop.

The next day return to the original set and read them again. That’s all. Just read. But pay close attention to what you are reading. Then stop. Wait 3 days and do the same thing, wait 5 days and do the same thing, wait one week and do the same thing.

You have now rehearsed those facts 9 times and they will be yours forever but you have spent less than 10 minutes in all and reduced boredom. In between times choose other sets of facts and repeat the procedure.

Study skills courses

Learn how to pass exams!

You might be having difficulty studying because not everybody learns and remembers in the same way. Discover how you learn and remember by using Associative Cognitive Recall (ACR) techniques. ACR is a model of how the memory works that has been developed from current research.

There are 24 different methods of learning and recalling information. If you are having trouble studying, or if it is just taking too long to study, then it may be because you are trying to do it in a way that either doesn’t suit the subject or doesn’t suit you.

Study skills courses are available for individual students wanting to know how to become a more successful student.

If you think you a learning difficulty or ADHD is preventing you form achieving in school you can go to: www.rowenahardingsmith.com.au for more information

Study skills camps are available for school groups in years 10, 11 and 12.

Creative writing is a compulsory part of the NSW curriculum and is examinable in the HSC. WMI manages tuition for individuals and groups in essay writing and creative writing for years 11 and 12.

WMI runs creative writing courses for reluctant writers and for those students in years 5, 6, 7, 8 who dislike writing.

Essay writing tips

Trouble writing that essay? Do you keep putting it off? Do you keep finding better, more interesting things to do? Maybe you are afraid of the blank page.

If fear or uncertainty stops you from starting to write that essay then it is time to fool yourself into starting to write.  Procrastinators are very good at fooling themselves so this should be easy.

Pretend that you are not about to begin writing on that blank page. Pretend that you are just going to format it. Set up the reference page at the end, put on the headers and/or footers and the page numbers, write the title, and draw a border.

If you have successfully done this then the page is no longer blank but it might still look a bit daunting.

Now decide to write one paragraph only – only one, not more, this is important – about the part of the essay/report that you know best (not the introduction). If you are unable to write any sentences then put down a series of bullet points about the facts that you know.

You have now been thinking positively about the essay/report for several minutes. Have a look at your page. It is no longer blank. Reward yourself with a small treat. Now return and expand on those bullet points or decide to write the next paragraph – but no more than one. If you have done this – well done! Check your word count and reward yourself with a small treat. Now repeat the same procedure and soon you will have a completed essay.

NB: it will be important to use a non-food reward or you could become very fat using this technique.