Win the Study Game
Have you ever thought of studying as a game? Some of the most successful students are not necessarily those with the greatest natural ability or intelligence in any given subject area; they’re the ones who know how to “do school.”
If you were to think of studying as a game, you might say that these students have learned the rules and perfected the strategies. And that they are playing to WIN. This month we look at how you can make final exam preparation into a game you can win.
One way to stay focused is to set a short term goal and then reward yourself when you meet it. Decide ahead of time what the reward will be so you have something to look forward to. The goal might be something like…
- 60 minutes of uninterrupted study time with no phone, internet, or other electronic distractions
- reviewing a stack of flashcards until you know every word in the stack
- reading one chapter or section of a textbook
When you’ve won the little “game” you set up for yourself, make sure to enjoy the reward. It might be talking to a friend, watching an episode of your favorite show, or having a snack.
Break Your Own Record
Some people do best when they strive to surpass their own prior achievements. If that appeals to you, try this little game.
Make a list of five habits or activities that you know will make you a more successful student. This might include things like…
- reviewing notes after class
- rereading textbook chapters
- making or studying flashcards
- visiting a teacher to ask for help
- contacting a classmate to ask for help
Then record how many times you do these habits in a week. Maybe in the first week you do 3 of these habits one time each. The next week you can strive to surpass that record and go for 4 habits one time each. And the next week try for all 5 habits, or strive to do some of the habits more than once in a given week.
Start a Friendly Competition
It never hurts to invite some classmates into your study games. Try creating a friendly competition that will motivate you to get your work done. Once you find a friend who wants to enter your competition, propose a goal you both want to strive for and a prize that the winner will receive.
Your goal could be studying a certain number of hours in a day, memorizing a certain amount of information that will be on an exam, or earning a certain grade on a practice test.
Enjoy your Success
Don’t worry about bragging. If you have set a goal for yourself and reached it, it’s worth sharing your success with at least one other person. Find someone who will appreciate that you are playing to win the study “game.” Tell that person about the game you set up for yourself, and then celebrate what you’ve accomplished.