9 effective learning strategies top Junior College students use.
Strategy 1: Save the lecture hours.
Most students sit through Mathematics lecture copying notes and not knowing anything after they leave the lecture.
If you read to the end, you will understand why this is such a big deal! It makes a big difference to grades, to the time you have, to your overall mood and experience of Junior College. You will learn the secret to overcoming this problem and surf through JC with relative ease compared to your peers.
You know what? Using lectures to copy notes is a top time waster. It makes students unhappy and unproductive.
Successful students have fully filled-up notes before the lecture and already know what the teacher is going to teach, they use the lecture to revise what they already know.
But before I share with you how to do that, let me explain why filling up blanks in the notes during lecture is such an ineffective thing to do!
When going through the students' notes, I often found errors in what they copied. And because of copying wrongly, they could waste time trying to figure out what's wrong.
Furthermore, a lot of students cannot multitask. Understanding math can be challenging; not to mention doing it while trying to listen and copy at the same time! Therefore, most of the students just focus on copying and not understanding anything the lecturer said during the lecture. Worse if you have a talkative classmate sitting beside you.
Now imagine the opposite. You have your lecture notes already filled up and already know what the lecturer is going to teach. You already know 50-80% of the topic, you only have some questions that you want answered. You know what you don't know so you listen attentively to those parts. When the lecturer is going through, you take it as a revision of what you already knew.
So instead of wasting the 1.5- 2 hours lecture doing a brainless copying job, your mind is active. If you have to missed part of the lecture for any reason, you are not worried because you already knew.
Furthermore, If you want to use the lecture hours to do tutorials. You can!
Compared to your blindly copying classmates, with every lecture, you are 2 hours ahead in revision, with 30 lectures, you are 60 hrs ahead in revision. Even if you think you are not that smart compared to some of your classmates, your results will still be better because you are studying smarter.
Here is how to do this:
You take the previous year JC notes from your seniors (you can also get it from me), read and understand, and then try to fill up the new notes given by your teacher before the lecture. You leave blank those parts you are not sure and circle them. When you go to the lecture, you are going to pay attention to the lecturer, not copying, only adjusting or making special notes of what the teacher explains, only those things that make your understanding sharper or inspires you.
For your peers who are copying ‘blindly’, they still need to spend time to understand what they copied, but you are already done with those and can move on to tutorial or the next set of lecture.
You can even try to do all the notes before you start your JC1 (with the 3 months before O level results are released). That will put you 3 months ahead of other JC students and on pace with those IP students who are not wasting that 3 months waiting for O level results but going straight to learning the JC syllabus.
Note IP students don't take 3 months break, right after their 4th year, they are given work to do to prepare for their 5th and 6th year, which is equivalent to the 1st and 2nd year of JC, therefore If you wait for O level results and entering JC to start learning JC stuff, you will be 3 months behind.
I am not teaching you to be Kiasu, I am showing you a way so that you won't feel stress or tense when you fall behind in your studies, so that you can feel relaxed and in the optimal mental state to learn and enjoy your Junior College experience. With the extra time you have on your hands you can explore other interests and skills.
If you like to learn more strategies that can allow you to learn more optimally and be more hours ahead, WhatsApp me at 81808611 to join my $12 learning strategies workshop. For the $12, you will be given a Junior College Math Concept Map and an effective learning strategies book for Junior College students that I wrote. The strategies in this workshop will save you many hours of study time yet give you equal or better results. Imagine using those hours to do better for other subjects, to spend more time with friends or exploring your other interests, this will put you in a positive cycle where you learn even faster, enjoy life more and do better for your future career. I will inculcate in you a mindset to look for ways to save more time and energy when you do things. I will put you in a network of friends who do likewise. What this means is it will drastically reduce the pain and anguish in your life, and you will not wonder why some people are always complaining about life while others seem to be enjoying and making the most out of it.
I will let you in on a few other strategies before you go. Strategy 2: Study while you do your favourite thing. Your favourite thing maybe Tennis, TV, Running or swimming. Whatever it is, find a way to slip in some learning in between. I used to study while watching drama series, when part of the drama is boring, I will switch to my studies. Guess what, not only does this not slow me down, it helps me learn faster because the TV induced a peak state of attentiveness in me. If you are swimming, I recommend that you make some notes and put it at one end of the pool. Every time you finish a lap, read the notes and try to understand or memorize as much as you could, then swim another lap.
Compare a student spending 60 minutes with a 10% absorption rate to a student spending 10 minute but with a 100% absorption rate. The latter is better and he or she gets time to do what he or she enjoys also. The brain wakes up when it is enjoying. Having this experience, you will not wonder why some people can have fun and achieve successful academic results but another study all day long, gets grumpier over time but fare worse in the end.
Knowing this, you will not grow up and make career choices that makes you grumpy and unproductive adults. I will connect you with a network of other people who are taught the same strategies to support you to excel and live a productive life. WhatsApp me at +65 81808611 to find out if my free coaching and network support is still available at the time you read this document.
Still curious what the other strategies are? Below is the outline of 5 more strategies. The details and rationales of these strategies would be revealed in the workshop where I will answer your doubts and help you make the connections.
Strategy 3: Organize your learning materials before the end of every day. Keep to one set. Keep everything you need to know in two copies, one in your brain, the other in the school lecture notes. Keep to one set of notes, the one given by your school, do not make a separate set of notes. Over the 7 years of teaching, I have seen many students trying to create their separate set of notes, taking pains to copy what is already in the lecture notes out to their own notebook. Guess what, these students have something in common, their results are bad, and it is hard to help them improve as long as they insist on that habit.
This is not hard to know why, time is precious, and we want to use them for high quality learning, not copying blindly. Since the school have already printed the notes for you, you should spend your time trying to understand them, not duplicating the work. You can annotate the existing notes, highlight, add comments besides the relevant sections but I repeat, do not keep a separate set of notes! You can copy examples from assessment books into this set of notes if you think they help. You can write on A4 blank paper what you think is important but not already in the notes and staple or file them together with the notes under the same topic. But do not keep those notes in separate files. They need to be together, collected in one file so that it is easy for you to do revision without searching high or low. When it comes to revision time, you don’t want to spend time deciding which set of notes to you, it would be THE set of notes and THE set of tutorials. Whatever is lacking in THE set, you can complement by adding your other notes into it, but never ever keep 2 set of duplicate notes.
Forgive me for nagging, it is so important, because this is a tested and proven thing that students who spend time duplicating notes always gets bad results.
Strategy 4: Sleep before 10pm at night. Sleep immediately when tired and sleep for as long as you want. When you feel guilty about the amount of sleep you get, get up, warm up and do some work. Lack of sleep is dumbing down people’s brain. The more you learn, the more sleep you need to get for your learnings to sink into the deepest part of yourself. The best time to memorize something is before sleep, try recalling a few times, you may find it a bit strenuous to recall before you go to sleep but when you wake up, your recall will be swift and effortless, this is proof for the power of sleep in helping your learning sink in. Short work rest cycles are proven to be better than longer ones.
Strategy 5: Do at least 15 minutes of exercise that makes you breath deeper and sweat. Daily.
This will give you the health, stamina and alertness to learn well.
Strategy 6: Read self-help or business books at least 15 minutes a day, whether you like it or not.
Even if General Paper is not one of the subjects offered, I would recommend this to students because it really helps to wire the students in such a way that they keep looking for better ways to do what they are doing. Over time, this compounds to give you a lot more time than your peers and allow you to see things people don’t see. It improves your reading speed, linguistic ability, persuasiveness and ability to think in structured ways.
I will recommend Barbara Minto’s Minto Pyramid Concept as your first book. Using the concepts in that book, you can then read faster, with more intent and focus.
Strategy 7: Only check your phone 3 times a day and make your reply to messages as short and sweet as possible. Let people know that they have to call you for urgent matters in your status.
Don’t let your phone keep distracting you. When learning, you need to let momentum builds up and finish your train of thoughts. Do not let the random whims and fancies of your phone disrupt your train of thoughts when learning.
Strategy 8: Make yourself available for meetings, but scarce.
Project work meetings, CCA meetings, Student Council meetings etcetera. Let your team know that you can turn up but can only afford 30-45 minutes to talk about the most important stuff, start your watch the moment you arrive and when 30-45 minutes is up, you go. People will learn to value and treasure your presence and time.
There are books on how to time manage in meetings, read them. Good sources of such books are Kinokuniya Orchard, Popular at Bras Basah and Google Play. If you want my recommended reading list, whatsapp me at 81808611 or use the chat app at the bottom of this page.
Strategy 9: Get a coach
A coach is someone who have achieved the success you want. He or she knows what works and have helped a lot of people achieve the same success. In selecting the coach, make sure the following: 1. The coach have achieved the success you want. For example, if you want to get A for your exam, you make sure the coach had achieved an A grade for his own exam too. 2. The coach had worked with a reasonable number of students and helped them achieve the success you wanted. This is because someone who is successful may not be able to help another person succeed. However, if a coach had the track record of working with alot of students and a high percentage of them succeeded, it can mean that he is really good at relating with different types of people and problems regarding that subject. You can whatsapp me to get recommendations for Junior College Tutors with excellent track record in helping students get good grades without making their students lose sleep and fun.
You may click here to see the testimonials from my students and the results they get to judge for yourself whether the advice I given above is reliable.
If you have any issues or doubts in implementing these strategies or you are interested to learn more strategies from me, you can whatsapp me at +65 81808611 or use the chat app at the bottom of this page.