A common question I get asked is “What are study skills?” Official answers vary from “approaches applied to learning,” “study skills are critical to success in school,” and “considered essential for acquiring good grades.”
Lovely responses but it doesn’t answer the question – what is study skills? And can they only be applied to learning?
We define study skills as ‘Strategies for Success.’ This is why it is the title of our most popular workshop for students.
These are our strategies for success.
- You don’t learn anything until you memorize it.
- You can’t memorize anything until you understand it.
- Then you can condense the work into manageable chunks.
- To consolidate the learning, you must review it.
It is difficult to ascribe improved exam results, but statements from students and teachers prove these strategies do work. I received an email just yesterday from a Headteacher saying “One of the main reasons the school is improving its results is down to Learning Performance.” Wow.
Results are important but these skills are so much more than “essential for acquiring good grades.” They are also relevant and fundamental to life beyond school.
A letter to the editor of The Times, from a Clinical Director in Bath, stated “candidates are incapable of remembering facts and instructions,” due to their dependence on Google. He emphasizes the importance of memory techniques, “the brain needs to learn how to remember facts and figures so that it can function at the coalface.”
He has a point – a policeman must remember and recall stolen vehicles’ number plates or complex victim statements. The nurse must learn complicated drug formula . The black cab driver must memorize the intricate maze of the capital. And an average office job requires the candidate to take clear notes and remember fine details. All this has to be done by the brain not a computer.
I use these skills daily. I deal with many schools every day, hundreds every month, but I remember the details of each booking and even the organizer’s name, so when they contact me I can recall their needs immediately.
It has now become quite natural and I even surprise myself sometimes with how far I can recall details. Without these skills I would work slowly, less efficiently and wouldn’t be able to provide the personal service our customers like and expect.
Perhaps study skills should be called life skills?!