This unit discusses the concept of why and how people study. It teaches the use of text books, the art of making note and time table management among others including preparing your learners for Examination


Why Study?

The motive of studying influence to a great extent the type of method one devices in ensuring that understanding takes place. As mentioned by Adegbija (1987) and Akande (2004) the following are the reasons why people study.

1. To maintain a well informed state of mind

2. To gain knowledge in a particular area

3. To be enlightened intellectually, socially and aesthetically

4. To sharpen the mind of individuals

5. To develop peoples personalities

6. To enrich the individuals world view

7. To enrich the individuals vocabulary

8. To get certification for certain line of expertise

9. To carry research on specific topic

10. To be able to invent or find solution to specific problem 11. To contribute to the body of knowledge

12. To be able to write articles, books etc

13. To pass examination that can enhance job opportunity 14. To make studying become a thing of interest and pleasure.

With the listed reasons for why people study, it is certain that one cannot go through the school system without studying.

Method of Study

The significance of studying in the life of students cannot be over emphasized. Studying is very essential to good academic performance but very little attention is paid to methods of study. Most students do not get much out of their hour of study because of poor study habits.

Methods of study means ways or approaches to studying. What constitutes good study habits include the use of textbooks, art of note-making, organization of work, revision and review of work. Plus the relevance of the classroom environment.

Living is learning. For learning to be a pleasure and not a burden, students should cultivate good study habits as early as possible in their academic pursuit.

Use of Text Books

Studying cannot be successful unless understanding occurs. That is why you as a student needs to master effective reading habit that will help you read fast and effectively. In the first instance, avoid pointing at words and vocalizing, for such slow down learning.

Akande (2004) enumerated the following as effective comprehension strategies:

1. Linking the previous knowledge acquired to the current knowledge

2. For understanding of the passage being read to take place, the basic foundation needed is concentration. Without concentration, the mind will just be wondering far and wide.

3. Focus your mind on the most important details, while you neglect the less important ones.

4. Integration of information by trying formerly stated content with new information in order that the two will reinforce each other.

5. If you are in doubt try to question the importance of the truth of the subject matter as the information you read about in books may not always be true.

6. With the interpretation of the text, it is important that as you read, you

– Summarize

– Make conclusion

– Formulate hypotheses

– Try to draw inferences from what you read

– Make use of general knowledge, association, background information and experiment to explain

– Verify, clarify, validate and generalize or react to the content of what is happening, ponder on it and attempt its description.

7. Always try to find out whether you actually understand what you have read by setting questions to provide answers.

8. To ensure understanding paraphrase a portion of the text which you find difficult to understand using your own words.

9. You can re-read any portion of a text that you find difficult to understand.

On the whole, good study strategies hinges on the kind of material you study. The material you use must be current, authoritative and reliable. Ensure you buy your own textbooks and read journals, which report recent research findings in your own areas. Make sure you study your textbooks diligently, religiously and regularly.

Art of Note Making

As a student, you must be skillful in note-making as it aids memory in respect to the information received during lessons and from textbooks and other printed materials. One of the important study skills is learning how to take notes since it helps to separate important points from the supporting ideas and relevant materials in your now words. These also improve the understanding of what has been studied.

Good Note Making

1. Ensures the active participation of the student in the process of lesson.

2. Encourages the students to listen with intent attention.

3. Saves time, you don’t have to read the whole text book once you have taken down good notes.

4. Helps in revision when preparing for examination, you can cover a wide ground within a limited period of time.

To ensure good note making:

1. Endeavour to get to the class on time so that you can comfortably sit.

2. Be familiar with abbreviations, acronyms that will aid fast and

accurate writing of notes during the lesson

3. Cultivate good listening and writing skills so that you will be able to put facts together on what you have heard.

4. Listening skill will enhance comprehension

5. As a student, don’t just copy any note word for word without understanding

6. Attempt to write down whatever the teacher says

7. Indicate queries or reaction on the note where necessary

8. Make sure to you up date your notes

9. Make sure you review and revise your notes regularly

The habit of making good notes from what you read or heard from the teacher is an important factor that affects cultivating of effective study habits. As a student you must apply seriousness to proper note making.

Organization of Work

Organization of students as well as the physical resources available in the classroom is an essential element that brings about good study habit. A class must be organized so that as little opportunity as possible is afforded for disruption of work, or interruptions, noises or disorderly behaviour.

Part of organization is grouping of students to ensure efficient management in the classroom. Also proper sitting arrangement whereby short students sit in front, while tall ones are arranged at the back, to allow for proper view of the teacher, the chalkboard and instructional materials.

Selection of competent class leaders by watching for leadership qualities in students. The teacher assigns certain duties such as group leaders, class monitor, class prefect and class representative to such students that posses leadership qualities.

So also instructional facilities are properly arranged by the teacher to be within the reach of the student. There should be proper care and maintenance of all facilities to be in good condition for use all the time.

Many failed because they could not manage their time very well.

– You must set aside a few hours each day for study rather than spending many hours once a week because studying regularly aids retention and habit formation.

– Make a private time table to include all subjects including the subjects you do not like but which you must pass.

– Follow the time schedule strictly. Never wait until the school time table for examinations is out before you begin to study. Those who wait for examination time table subject themselves to a lot of stress and strain.

– Give more time to the subjects you find difficult and study such subjects when you are mentally alert and fresh. This will enhance concentration.

– Have a break after some hours of studying to increase your concentration potential.

– Sleep for at least six hours per day to retain freshness.

– Find time for hobby and recreation to further promote your level of concentration.

– Whenever you are given an assignment, try to complete it before it is due for submission so that you are able to read over and make necessary corrections.

 Time Management and Time Table

One of the effective keys for studying is judicious management of time. Time poorly spent frustrates, discourages and could hinder success.

Revision and Reviewed Work

Revision of work means an act of going over work done previously with the aim of improving one’s knowledge, typically for an examination. While review implies a formal assessment of something with the intention of bringing change if necessary.

In the process of effective learning there is a need to go over and also to assess work done. These can be carried out in the following ways:

1. The teacher should ensure that each student has personal private time-table in which all subjects, extra curricular activities, free and rest periods are included. The time table must be followed strictly.

2. Planning for one’s homework must be stressed as this is the period a student can on his own go over work done in the class and understanding is ascertained.

3. Preparation for weekly and monthly tests are necessary and should be stressed. Once there is a test ahead students are bound to revise and review their work.

4. While going over their work, students should be told not to mix listening to music and studying at the same time as this does not allow for maximum concentration.

5. Subject teachers should guide their students on how to study their specific subjects. This will aid their going over work done.

6. Students should not lie down while studying as one cannot assimilate much and one can easily fall asleep.

7. Students should keep away from noisy environment and distractions at all times

8. Ensure comprehension of what you learnt by being able to apply it to real life situations

9. Students should learn how to turn headlines or topics into questions and make attempt to answer such questions.

10. Recite what you have read by answering questions in your own words

11. Revise and review what you have studied to ensure retention and understanding.

Physical Environment of the Classroom

There is a lot of relationship between classroom environment and student academic performance. If the classroom environment is conducive to learning, students will perform very well.

The physical environment of the classroom means the classroom building, the outside and inside of the classroom with their equipment, tools and other facilities.

Classrooms are part of the school structures provided by the proprietors of schools in accordance with the approved plan by the Ministry of Education. The teacher does not have control over the site, size and structure of the classroom.

The teacher manages the classroom because learning and teaching take place in the room. The classroom is where the teacher puts into practice all he has learnt theoretically.

A good teacher could get his efforts frustrated in a disorganized and poorly managed classroom. This implies that a teacher must be a good manager of his classroom for effective teaching and learning processes.

1. The lighting conditions in the classroom should be moderate. This can be done through the opening and partial closing of the windows.

2. Classroom should be painted in light colours

3. The classroom should be well ventilated. The teacher ensures that the

windows are opened on either sides to allow for cross ventilation.

4. In the class, each child should have his or her own seat and each child should have enough space to move.

5. More often than not, the method of teaching by the teacher affects the sitting arrangement.

6. The classroom arrangement can be made attractive in the following ways:

– Students should be encouraged to keep their seats clean and tidy

– There should be provision of dust bins and wash hand basin

– Charts, maps and other instructional materials should be
placed on walls.

– There should be nature corners, library and shopping corners in the class

– Sweeping of the classroom regularly

– Opening and closing of windows and doors as at when due

– Scrubbing of the floor when necessary

– Renovating the chalkboard

– First Aid Box

– Removing cobwebs

– Taking care of the surroundings.

If all the above are put in place the classroom will be conducive for learning

 Improving Study Skills

The reasons for the need for good study habits can be seen as ways of finding solution to the problems of students failure, examination malpractices and the like.

The following outline the roles for the teachers and the students in improving study skills:

1. The teacher should stress that good study skills are essential to successful academic performance

2. Teachers should guide the students on how to use dictionaries

3. The librarians should help students learn how to use encyclopedias and reader’s guide

4. Students should be taught how to budget their time effectively.

5. The importance of good health and exercise should be stressed by games master or school nurse.

6. Teachers should avoid the habit of giving lengthy notes to students

7. Students should be encouraged to make their own notes while the teacher should collect students’ notes to examine so as to correct faults.

8. Students should watch their physical health and ensure fitness.

9. Students must have regular sleep and proper eating habit

10. Students should avoid the use of candle light to protect their eyes.

Both the teacher and students have significant role to play in ensuring effective study habit.

Preparation of Examinations

The level of preparedness of the student determines to a great extent the performance of such a student. A student who has failed to prepare for his examination has planned to fail.

There are basic things a student must do in preparing for examinations:

2. It is generally advisable that you jot down notes while you are studying.

3. Summarize what you have to read in an outline form, such summary notes will be very helpful during revision for examination

4. Such summary notes should be made in your own words and not a carbon copy of what is in the textbook.

5. Students should establish a relationship between facts in a textbook and some events outside to aid recollection

6. Remembrance is enhanced by picking out the first alphabet in each of the key words that make up the item you want to remember. This is called Acronym.

7. Students must join discussion groups as they prepare for examination

8. Endeavour to attend the study group promptly. The group must have a time table

9. At the end of each day’s discussion, go through all the topics you covered and make highlight of each

10. Make use of previous past questions on each of the subjects you offer

11. Find out how to answer past questions using marking scheme. If need be let the subject teacher take you through the process of scoring marks.

12. Combat anxious thought with positive statements like I can make it, I will pass, worrying about situations aggravate the problem.

13. Two weeks to the examination period begin intensive revision and review of all your jottings and summary notes

14. If need be, clarify and cross check your points with your notebooks and textbooks.

15. Make summary flash cards which you can pocket and make reference to at anytime and anywhere.

16. Review all topic. Don’t leave out any topic.

17. Attempt to answer all questions that flash your mind

18. Get prepared very well for all examination.


Methods of study provide numerous ways by which good study habits can be inculcated in the students during the process of teaching and learning. The bulk of what to be done to enhance effective studying habits rest mainly on the students. The teachers must endeavour to pay attention to the fact that their students have a good foundation in the use of textbooks, art of note making and all manners of ways by which their study skills can be improved.

Source: School of Education, National Open University of Nigeria


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