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Start the Year Right

When starting a new school year, it pays to have a plan! In grammar school, the teacher is usually the person who provides the study plan, but when high school and college roll around, it's up to you to have your own plan. I've used a good one during my studies, and for the sake of your success, I've decided to share it with you! Here's how my plan works.

First, take your new text books in hand and look them over. Flip through and become acquainted with the index, the pictures, if any, the charts and graphs. Find out what - in general - is in the book. Then, take a sheaf of loose leaf notebook paper and fold each piece in half from top to bottom, so that, folded, the far edge doesn't overlap the holes punched in the near edge. On the left-hand side of the paper, begin with the first chapter and, using lots of space, create a rough outline of the book. You don't have to read every word of the book at this time (though, if you're a fast reader, it may be very helpful), but use the Index, the main headings and topic sentences to create this outline. Do at least the first six chapters.

Next, take a look at the bibliography and see what books the author used to write the book in your hand. See if you can find some of these books and resources, either at the library, in the bookstore, or even using the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon. Some of them may make certain concepts easier for you to understand than your present text, so use them to increase your understanding. Also, look for other books by the same author that may give some more insight into the subject.

Finally, find or start a study group that can meet on a regular basis, either in person or online. This is a great way to get and give support. If you have a group that can meet with an experienced tutor, so much the better! The tutor will have skills the instructor may not have in giving you ways to learn and study that pertain to your specific learning style and modality.

You can make a better grade if you begin early, and get aggressive with your education. It's a treasure that you are in charge of giving to yourself. Don't pass up the opportunity to become excellent!

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