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The

BRAINIAC
Guide

MSHS Study Skills for Success
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Maroochydore State High School
Excellence in Education for all

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6 Steps to Brainiac Success

To make the most of your potential in class, you
need to learn how to be a ‘Brainiac’. Brainiacs
know how to keep effective notes, manage their
time and prepare for assessment.
You can improve your academic results by following these simple steps

1. Organise your notebook
2. Review your work daily
3. Complete Homework
4. Prepare for Assessment (Assignments)
5. Create Study Groups
6. Prepare for Assessment (Exams)

Your teacher may not ask you to do all of these
things everyday. This is because they assume
(and expect) you are doing them anyway!
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3 .

Organise your stationery 2.. Collect a term planner from each subject teacher and stick this in your book 4. On your organiser you could. highlight in pink new words Complete a google and/or wikipedia search on the pink words and make notes on your Advanced Organiser (AO) 4 . a. 5. Create your title page 3.Step 1 Notebooks Set up your notebook at the start of term 1. highlight in yellow words you have heard before c. highlight in green information you already know b. Use an advanced organiser (see templates) to clearly identify the main ideas for this term.

5 .Organise your notes 1. symbols. Personalise your notes Use sketches. write questions or to make links to other sections of your notebook or textbook 2. Rule up a wide left hand margin Use this space to include pictures. diagrams. Use highlighters to link common ideas. symbols or abbreviations that make sense to you. colours. Don’t just copy from the board. 3. Use clear headings and sub-headings Turn headings into questions that need to be answered during the lesson.

Get some background information on this terms topic Try to make sense of the information by using advanced organisers Note book examples PTO 6 .

Paste in your Unit Overview 7 .

Create an advanced organiser for eaach unit. 8 .

9 .Create a definitions page to keep track of new words and meanings.

and a space at the bottom for summaries and homework information 10 .Leave a large margin for questions.

3. This means you are required to: 1.H.During the term you need to R. 2.P.P During the term you need to R.A. Review school work daily Complete all Homework Be organised with your Assessment Preparation                 •     •  •     11    .H.A.

2. try to solve problems again without looking. Redraw diagrams. You can Review your work by doing the following 1. Change your notes.Step 2: Review (R. it is expected. Your teacher won’t always ask you to do this.P) Review the work you have studied in class today. 3. use your Ipod/phone to record yourself reading your notes out aloud. Do this by creating a mind map and adding to it after each lesson Make sure you tick off today’s work on your study planner and congratulate yourself 12 . draw pictures and diagrams to present the information in a new way.H. Read over your notes from the lesson and try to understand them. Link today’s information to yesterdays.A.

so use them to reward yourself instead. TV and Facebook make home work take longer. Move away from distractions.H. Stick to your study planner routine – stay in control 3.P) Did you know that research says you need to practice a skill 24 times to reach 80% competency? The first four times you practice a skill are apparently the most important so make sure you STAY FOCUSSED! How to make Homework.A. 4. Have a go even if you don’t understand. less work 1.Homework (R. 13 . Write your homework in your school diary EVERY lesson to stay organised 2. Ask your teacher a specific question for example “how do I add these fractions?” is more useful than whining “I don’t get it” because you haven’t tried.

Write down synonyms and plurals of keywords (e. b. Understand the Question a. concepts and keywords.P) ASSIGNMENTS 1. draw pictures and write questions d.A. Add information you must find out. On paper write down what you already know. places. When you get home. Indigenous Australians). read the assignment sheet again and rewrite the question in your own words. Search people. Write down key words and look up the meaning of words you don’t understand c. Look at your criteria sheet. Aboriginal and aborigine) and phrases (e. Check out Wikipedia.Assessment Preparation (R. Brainstorm your ideas about the topic. Use these terms when searching for information 14 .H.g.g. Get some background information. to your Brainstorm e.

Start your research a. A simple way to keep track of information is to copy. Create a table in a word document and as you find good material.ASSIGNMENTS 2. Try this format. Use keywords and ideas from your Brainstorm and Wikipedia searches. paste and summarise. b. local and state library). copy and paste the materials. Click me to access the research notes template. journals/magazines. 15 . Search on-line newspapers. organisations and library services (school.

Once you see how your ideas fit together. use a linear plan to help put your points in a logical order MIND MAP MIND MAP 2 . Organise your ideas before you start. Plan your assignment Writing your assignment is easier if you have a ‘plan of attack’. You could use a Mind Map to do this. 4. Write your topic in the middle of your paper 2. differences and connections between ideas.ASSIGNMENTS 3. MIND MAPS Use Inspiration 8 on the school’s curriculum drive or just draw it up. Write each point you want to make in a bubble and link it to the topic question 3. Here’s how 1. Write 3 things around each bubble you could use to prove that point. Look for similarities.

Organise with a teacher to use a spare room at school during lunch breaks. Questions to ask before you start a study group 1. 4. between exams or on flex days. practicing your work and teaching others your new information. Who should be in it? People that share your interest in doing well academically (not necessarily friends). Where? A place where you can spread out and won’t get distracted. This is enough time to be productive. Study Groups Research from David Sousa’s “How the Brain Learns” (2006) suggests that you learn best when you are involved in discussion groups. Study groups are often useful during exam blocks or at the end of term. How long? 1. Time pressure can help you stay focused .ASSIGNMENTS 4.5 – 2 hours for seniors. How many people do I need? 4-6 people is ideal 2. 3.

. feelings)... Try to link your study information to things you already know (people. Try the journey or room method. Picture yourself walking through your house and each room represents different bits of information you need to remember. colours. This takes a long time and does not help you to understand the information. 1. Your brain likes to make links. 2.. 4. . Teachers create exams to test your Knowledge AND YOUR UNDERSTANDING.Step 5: Assessment Preparation Reading over your notes and rewriting them mindlessly is NOT an effective Assessment Preparation technique. smells. Imagination is what you use to make the links. Create frameworks so it is easy to ‘hang’ new information on these structures. Schedule in time for that English performance 4 days in advance (instead of the day before) to give your brain a good chance at remembering it.. Making humorous links to things will boost your memory retention. places. Try these MNEMONIC techniques to make study more efficient and effective. 6. Pick a location. shapes. Place this study information in a particular location so it doesn’t get mixed up with other work.maybe you can visualise some of the scientific elements sitting on your lounge for example? Some actors learn their lines by reading them 5-10 times a day over 4 days.it sounds weird but it works. positions. Imagine or visualise a situation for your study information. 5. 3.

. record them on your Ipod or phone and playback later.travel is a great time to catch up on some extra study. movement and space. Create new visual images.Be aware of your learning style.. Create a play.your brain likes this. Visual Learners like written notes. diagrams and pictures. ... do anything to turn your study information into a new format. dance or sports move to represent the information you need to remember. Try reading your notes out loud. structures. Kinaesthetic Learners like touch. Auditory Learners like to listen (and are often good speakers). use symbols.

12) Sensational Study Buddy (study guide and strategies) . 9. 10) Maroochydore State High School Study Planner (Year 11.Resources and Templates Brainiac still searching for more? Check out these great resources and good luck with your study! • • • Maroochydore State High School Study Planner (Year 8.