1. Education

Study Skills Assessment Tool

Discover Your Strengths and Weaknesses

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Good study skills can make a big difference in your school performance. Even if you find a particular subject difficult to understand, you will find that being organized and knowing how to tap in to your natural strengths can add valuable points to your scores.

Use the assessment tool below to determine your score. Mark each topic with a score from 1 to 5, with 5 meaning "strongly agree" and 1 meaning "strongly disagree."

1 (low) <-------------> (high) 5

1. I have a specific study space.

Score _____

Students are different. Some need a completely quiet room free from interruptions when they study, but others actually study better listening to quiet music in the background or taking several breaks. Either way, you should establish a regular time and place for studying. Take the time to assess your real needs and establish a clear routine.

2. I know my best learning style.

Score _____

Do you learn better by seeing, hearing, or acting out the information you receive? In other words, are you a mostly visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Actually, everybody learns by mixture of methods, but one method or type is usually dominant in each person. By determining your dominant learning style you can improve your memory and your grades.

3. I use a student planner.

Score _____

"The paper was due today?"

We've all been there at some point. Somehow, that assignment due date just slipped right up on us without our noticing. That is why organizational skills are so important to school performance. Who can afford to score a big fat "0" on a paper, just because we got lazy and didn't pay attention to the due date? By using a student planner, you can avoid costly mistakes like this!

4. I maintain healthy sleep habits.

Score _____

According to a study by sleep expert Mary Carskadon, PhD, teens should receive more than nine hours of sleep every night. That's a great thought, but is it possible? Think about it--do you ever sleep that long?

5. I always eat breakfast.

Score _____

If you're facing an important test, this might be a good time to change your eating habits. Studies have shown that eating a good breakfast can actually enhance your performance on a test. One study in particular shows that "Breakfast consumption has a short-term effect in improving selected learning skills, especially work memory."

6. I use color to stay organized.

Score _____

When you organize your homework, you can improve your study habits and your grades. One way to do this is to use color-coded supplies, like folders, highlighters, stickers, and flags of various colors. Simply assign a certain color for each specific class, and stick to the rules you establish!

7. I have a handle on procrastination.

Score _____

Do you procrastinate? Most of us put things off from time to time, like studying for a test or starting on lengthy research papers. But giving in to diversions can really hurt us in the long run. Do you recognize the signs of procrastination?

8. I remember my homework every day.

Score _____

I left my homework at home! How many times have you said this? It's a terrible feeling to know you're going to get a failing grade on homework after you actually did the work. It seems so unfair! There are ways to prevent this dilemma and others, but you must be willing to prepare ahead of time to save yourself from future headaches.

9. I study for every test.

Score _____

Believe it or not, some students never study before a test. Do you study effectively for every test? If you're looking for a good way to study, try this tip: Next time you're facing a big exam, try concentrating on essay topics. Essay questions are based on themes and overall ideas. Teachers like to use essay questions because they give students the opportunity to express everything they've learned over the weeks or months, using their own words. Essay test answers reveal more than the bare facts, though. When submitting essay answers, students are expected to cover lots of information in an organized, sensible manner.

10. I'm always prepared for test days.

Score _____

The key to battling test-day jitters is thorough preparation! But full preparation means more than knowing the test material. It's important to prepare your mind and body for the experience of working under pressure.

Now add up all your scores for a total. How did you do?

A total score of 30-50: You have very strong study skills. Congratulations! You know your strengths and use them! You also have great organization skills.

A total score of 20-29: You use some of your strengths, but you could improve your performance by sharpening some of your skills!

Below 20: You may not be performing up to your true potential! By learning to get organized, or by learning more about your personal learning style, you could improve your grades!

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