How does StudySpot coach students to improve their study skills?
Through weekly one-on-one support, our coaches help students develop the core study skills that are essential for success in school, and prepare the student for the future challenge of university. These skills are introduced within the context of a student’s current school workload, making the sessions productive in the short-term and long-term
Organization and time management skills
Students will be introduced to various strategies designed to help students develop their organizational skills so they can organize their lives and manage time more effectively. Concepts such as goal setting, task analysis and prioritizing are discussed along with the more practical organizational skills such as using an agenda, organizing a binder, and managing their personal schedule and study area. We will show students how to break down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks, and teach them strategies for completing the project on time. The goal is to demonstrate how students can take control of academic success by moving away from a reactive crisis management and toward a more proactive approach to school.
Reading comprehension strategies
We will show students the difference between active and passive reading. Strategies such as SQ4R will be presented to help students read textbook material more effectively. Helping students find main ideas using key transition words, and working on fluency, will improve their reading comprehension. Students will be exposed to the purpose of note taking and the qualities and benefits of effective notes, and they will be introduced to several different note-taking techniques. Students will try out these strategies in the context of their current school work and receive feedback from the coach.
Pre-writing strategies, brainstorming, thesis development and outlining form the foundation of planning. We will assist students through the editing and drafting stages by paying particular attention to the areas where many papers break down (e.g. wordiness, lack of coherence, common grammatical issues). Students may also be introduced to common methods of references and in-text citations depending on their age and level.
How to study for tests and exams
Students will be introduced to more effective strategies for test preparation. Shifting students away from passive study and review techniques and toward more active and meaningful approaches is the main goal. Students will also be shown specific ideas about creating and exam study schedule, test writing, and the important skill of test analysis (i.e. identifying what went wrong and what went right on a given test). Students will see how these techniques can be applied to their actual tests and examinations.
What do high school students struggle?
Academic underachievement is extremely complex, and for parents and students, extremely frustrating. It’s defined simply as a mismatch between ability and performance and involves an interplay of natural abilities, effort, and skills.
All students have their own unique profile of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their intellect. These natural abilities include memory, attention, processing speed, psychomotor functioning among others. They do have an impact on academic performance, but as the student grows older, their impact decreases and is less than most people appreciate.
Clearly, a positive attitude and a good work ethic is the great equalizer when it comes to differences in intellect. Students who can remain disciplined and persistent when confronted by difficulty, who can interpret failure in positive ways and learn from their mistakes, and who relish academic challenges are at a big advantage over those students who rely on intellect alone. However, as parents and teachers know all too well, it’s very difficult to ‘make’ someone work harder. Classic motivation theory tells us that work ethic and attitude come from within and are not easily influenced by others – at least not directly.
So, what’s the solution? At StudySpot, the solution lies in the third aspect of academic underachievement: Skills. Our view is that schools and traditional tutors spend far too much time on content and not nearly enough on skill development. Underachieving students need to learn, develop, and practice skills like reading comprehension, study techniques, and organizational and time management strategies. In the context of a positive and inspirational relationship with a coach or mentor, our students learn how to learn. They learn to draw connections between what they do and the result they get. They learn about controlling their lives and controlling their future by altering their approach to school and managing their lives more effectively.