Heathdale flower 24th April 2024

Effective Study Methods

Empower your child's academic success by discovering tailored learning strategies and the keys to independent revision, designed to support them at every stage of their educational journey.

Heathdale flower

One of the key capacities a successful student seeks to build is independent revision and study.

The motivation for this will come from their recognition of their own agency and role in learning. Learning is not something that is done “to” us, but is something we do “for” ourselves, with help from others.

Independent revision can be done in a plethora of ways, but not all methods are created equal. One of the techniques students often rely on is re-reading the textbook. This is of course better than no revision, but according to research is low in effectiveness compared to other methods.

Far better, in terms of memory retention, are more “active” methods of revision. One of the methods at the top of list for effectiveness is self-testing, in which the student undertakes timed, or untimed, practice questions/tasks that are comparable to the final assessment. In VCE, this often takes the form of completing previous or example exam papers. At younger year levels, teachers might provide a practice paper or series of smaller practice tasks that students can undertake independently.

Additionally, regular spaced practice has a higher success rate in terms of memory retention than one big study session the night before! That’s what regular homework tasks, especially in subjects such as language learning and mathematics, are designed to provide. But students can expand on this by setting aside time in their schedules each week for practicing skills or revising content knowledge from their week’s learning as the term goes along. Those that do will find themselves in a great position when they come to the final revision week prior to their exams.

For students to get the most out of their revision, they need to be active in trying to answer questions, rehearse responses and find the gaps in their own understanding so that they can seek out answers. The University of Melbourne offers helpful tips and tricks to boost Year 12 scores.

To support learning in learning study skills in the Secondary years, all year levels have at least one tailored study skills seminar with an organisation called Elevate Education annually.

Year 7 – August
Year 9
– March
Year 10
– May
Year 10
– July
Year 11
– June & September
Year 12
– September

Elevate Education provides practical research-informed instruction in study habits and learning skills. Topics include motivation, time management, growth mindset, exam strategy and overcoming stress. They also provide a host of free parent webinars over the year which we advertise through our newsletter and via email. Full of great advice for supporting your child, we highly recommend them.