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Making a plan for success

Every year many students start back with the intention to do well and make the most of their academic school year. Getting back to success in the classroom is not about working harder, it's about working smarter. Here are the steps for making a plan for success at every level:

Post-Secondary School: Professors will provide a course outline or syllabus showing what topics will be covered each week. Students should set a time to complete their readings for each class beforehand, make notes as they read and prepare questions ahead for the next lecture. Anything discussed in lecture will be added to their notes. Make a note of due dates and begin to prepare for final tests and assignments at least two weeks ahead of the due date. Dedicate at least 1.5 hours of study time each day. Don't forget to allocate time for editing, reviewing and researching for papers.

High School: Teachers are likely to provide an outline of what will be covered for the year. Expect to have a test at the end of each unit, and prepare ahead of time to study and review notes rather than waiting for the teacher to announce a test. Dedicate at least 60 minutes a day to reading a section of the chapter, making notes and completing homework for each subject. If the student is in a term school, they should spend time studying and reviewing information for the courses they had that day while the information is still fresh in their mind.

Elementary School: At the primary level, the course load of work may not be as intense but it is still good practice to build a routine and structure for students on completing their homework. Even if it's a small 20 minute window, create a space that allows the student to work on school assignments. As the workload increases to the intermediate level, eventually the length of the work period will increase. This may be the point where students require a bit more support in organization and time management. Help them to plan and work out their study time, and to understand the concept of breaking work sessions down per subject and assignment.

“Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong."

~ Albert Einstein

Starting back to school may produce feelings of excitement or anxiety. Making a plan to create successful study habits and routines, before jumping headlong into the school year, will help students to be prepared to start the semester strong and have academic success in the long run.

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