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The Study Skills Spreadsheet

This week and next high school students are preparing for their end of the year finals. One of the tools that I have students, of all ages, use to prepare themselves is a spreadsheet formatted study guide.

When I first introduced this study tool for students it was meant to be used in Language Art classes. Yet, as time has gone one, I’ve been able to implement it into nearly every subject area. Plus it can be used as early as middle school and into college and beyond.

The spreadsheet needs to be formatted to fit the specific needs of the class, or subject being studied. By starting in the 2nd column, add in topics or key terms; in the case of Language Arts, it could be theme, character development, figurative language, etc. In the first column, skipping the first space, list checkpoints. For example, it could be chapters of a book, sub-headings from a textbook. The point of this is to assist you in having a way to group the information and keep it organized.

It is important to include any key elements that your instructor wishes for you to focus on. The reason for this is that you want to make sure to keep yourself on track with what the class’ goals are and use those as markers for your learning. Also, keep the spreadsheet either open on your computer, or printed out, and use it as you are reading through the book, notes, or textbook. By taking that time and effort while you are first studying, you are allowing your brain to retain more information. Furthermore, you are creating categories and headings that make sense to you – the learner, and making it down in such a way that you are more likely to remember it.

If you would like more details or examples on how to set this up, let me know.

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