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Lesson #2 -Preparing A Study Plan

A study plan is a strategy to do your best as you study. In this way you can learn more, learn it faster, remember it better, and get better grades.

Q: Why do you need a study plan?

Plans are necessary to learn the most in the least time. You may find, for example, that you like one subject and dislike others. You may have some teachers who are very hard and others who are easy. Sometimes, you may have to memorize facts, dates, etc. Other times teachers may expect you to analyze a poem or event in history. All of these differences should signal you to change how you study.

Q: How do you make a study plan?

Begin by looking at your Study Analysis Form 1.2 and your Study Diary Form 1.1. Make a list of your best Study Actions (Use Form 2.1). In the next column, identify when you use these actions. Also, write the subject and next to it the task you must do. This could include facts, ideas, dates, formulas, main points, vocabulary, and so forth.

Then, at the bottom of the Study Analysis Form 2.1, identify what you think are your most troublesome problems during the study. Here, identify the study problem (e.g. memorizing, reading the text, lack of interest, etc.), the subject, and the task. You can also identify specific teachers for both sections if you have teachers who are helpful or you have problems satisfying.

Now, look over the lists and pick out common factors. For example, you might find you have trouble recalling facts or studying a text. You might also find you have trouble with math or history. This will allow you to focus on your strengths and weaknesses. You can take advantage of your talents and develop skills to reduce your weaknesses. You can record these on Form 2.2.

You want to use your strengths as much as possible in all study. As you work through other lessons, you can develop skills to reduce your weaknesses. Don't forget you can always improve your strengths, also.

Q: What is the next step in developing a study plan?

Study goals state your purpose for studying and help you know if you have been successful. Study goals include a specific behavior and a clear outcome.

A goal is a very specific statement which describes what you will be able to do at the end of your study. For example:

"I will repeat from memory the steps in mitosis and describe each step."

Notice that this goal is very specific; it says what you will do - "repeat from memory." Notice also, that this is an observable action. If you can do this, it will show you have learned.

Second, notice that an outcome is included - "The steps in mitosis." There is no question about what you will accomplish, and how you can test yourself.

Q: Could you see some more examples of goals?
  1. Explain the causes of the Civil War to my parents.
  2. Work correctly 10 practice problems in algebra.
  3. Solve inequality equations without error.
  4. Write a 50 word summary from memory of section 4 of chapter 3.
  5. Outline from memory, the main points in chapter 7 of my History Text.
  6. Identify in writing the central themes in chapter 3 of The Odessey.
Q: How can you get started?

Now you try writing some study goals. To do this use, the Goal Chart, Form 2.3. First, write a goal action such as solve, repeat, state, etc. Then, specify the outcome. Finally, indicate what study action you will take to meet your goal. For example, you might read, review, listen, watch, or work problems to learn.

Use this goal chart to write study goals for yourself during the next week. In the next lesson, you will learn to schedule your time so you can meet your goals.

Lesson #3
Lesson #1

ECC [] ©Copyright 1991, Thomas M. Sherman. Further distribution without the written consent of, Inc. is prohibited.


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