How to improve homework

Aiming for better grades. Just before the term begins, fill in an agenda with class time, term-paper and exam dates, team-practice time, work hours, and other commitments. Block out at least 2 hours a day for study- the same time each day if possible. Working within a time frame will keep your mind focused.

Concentration is essential to effective study. Choose a quiet, private place, whether at home or in the library. It should have a desk, a comfortable chair, and good light. If background noise is distracting, wear earplugs or listen to innocuous orchestral music through headphones.

Use the first 10 minutes to outline priorities. What’s due tomorrow? The day after? Break any big projects due in the next few weeks into small, manageable units. Save 10 minutes or so for organizing tasks, such as listing items needed for a science project. Jot down what you want to accomplish that day and how long it should take. Adjust your study time accordingly.

Reading to learn

When studying a new textbook chapter, don’t just read and underline; take notes. Write down the chapter’s title and subheads in your notebook, leaving space to fill in. Now read the chapter and write down the main ideas. You might write them in large letters, supporting ideas in smaller.

Write important names and dates in color. Note the review questions at the end, and write down your answers.

Finish by comparing your notes to the chapter. Are they an accurate and complete summary? Discuss concepts you are unsure about with your teacher or friends.