The Importance of Study Skills
Nowadays, children are overstimulated, as they’re continually exposed to diverse information. This makes it hard for them to stay focused and attentive for a long period of time, which is essential for studying. For this reason, we developed the following article on the importance of study skills.
Gaining knowledge is one of the most rewarding capabilities of human beings. Therefore, it’s best to teach children study skills from the first elementary school years so they can begin acquiring them slowly and, thus, prevent school failure.
The importance of study skills
Study skills are essential to achieve good academic performance. They’re very important when it comes to learning since they’re useful for:
- Sorting homework and syllabuses.
- Harnessing available resources.
- Developing new ways of using knowledge in the future.
By definition, study skills are considered learning strategies that allow students to yield the best results from the development of different capabilities. This helps them properly address academic activities.
Thus, according to speech therapist and educational psychologist José Barrena, study skills involve the continuous training of various types of aspects:
- Firstly, conceptual. This refers to the physical and psychological conditions of studying and the knowledge of study skills.
- Secondly, procedural. This refers to the ability to organize and plan tasks by establishing effective and coherent schedules.
- Likewise, attitudinal. This consists of the motivation to study, meaning that the child gives the learning process the functionality and significance it deserves.
- Finally, cognitive. Memory, attention, and reading comprehension skills.
The success of study skills depends on order, perseverance, and creating habits that allow the child to be better prepared to do certain assigned tasks. Also, they enable students to better understand the study material so they can do better on tests.
Types of study skills
Planning and organization
Planning and organization are the keys to success. Some guidelines you should follow to organize your study time are:
- Use an agenda to write down the test dates and the work you have to turn in.
- Dedicate a few minutes every day to studying or reviewing subjects.
- Establish a realistic and constant study schedule.
- Always study in the same place and make sure that it has suitable environmental conditions.
- Take breaks, as they’ll allow you to relax and concentrate better.
Reading correctly and focusing on what you’re reading is essential to understanding any material. This is because, to be able to assimilate any text, you have to understand it. To do this, you need to do two types of reading:
- Firstly, pre-reading. A quick first reading to explore what the text is about.
- Secondly, comprehensive reading. A second reading in which you must read carefully and make sure you understand every paragraph. This way, you internalize the text’s ideas.
Selection and visual organization
Once you understand the material, you should select relevant information. In other words, the main ideas and secondary text. You can accomplish this by highlighting text.
Subsequently, to better understand the material, it’s advisable to visually represent the information with techniques such as:
- Firstly, outlining.
- Secondly, summaries.
- Thirdly, mind maps.
Memorization and evaluation
You have to make a great mental effort to retain information. In fact, storing information in your memory isn’t a simple process. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use certain mnemonic devices or simple tricks that facilitate memorization.
In addition, as a last step, you have to evaluate yourself to check what you’ve learned. And, if necessary, review the information once again.
How to teach study skills
You can teach children study skills at school and at home. In this regard, it’s always important to use an active and participative methodology. In other words, children must be the main protagonists of the learning process. This way, students can build their own knowledge.
In addition, you have to bear in mind that, to teach study skills, you must adapt to each child’s characteristics, taking their evolutionary development and study needs into account.
Finally, it’s important to note that, to achieve a good study method, you just have to practice and try different learning strategies. Therefore, you have to stress the importance of study skills.
“Never consider study as an obligation, but as the opportunity to penetrate the beautiful and wonderful world of knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein –