Excellent study skills and information literacy are essential for the successful path of education in every student’s life. Nowadays, students face more challenges in their daily tasks and duty due to the accelerating progress of information, communication and technology. They have step their feet into the zone of competition among others to obtain outstanding achievements in each thing they perform. So, how are they going to ensure if they could acquire these meets and criteria to express themselves as great achievers?
Therefore, it is crucial for them to adapt and practice these study skills and information literacy in their life. Study skills are the abilities and approaches applied to learning. They are generally critical to success in school, are considered essential for acquiring good grades, and are useful for learning throughout one’s life. Besides, they are very basic techniques for learning relatively unsophisticated materials. Study skills can be developed to improve a learner’s capacity to learn.
If we learn how to study effectively, how to find information that we need, how to read and understand what we read, how to memorize things, and how to plan ahead for tests, then we will not only make better grades, but will also learn more easily. Good study skills can help us learn good discipline skills which will help us in our life after school as well. Without good study skills, a student cannot succeed. To succeed, students must be able to appropriately assimilate course content, digest it, reflect on it, and be able to articulate that information is in written or in oral form.
Many people feel the hours of study are the most important. However, students can study for hours and in the end retain very little. Besides, study skills are significant to promote a passion for what students wish to do. Passion is critical and leads to an intense interest, dedication, and commitment to achieve career, goals and objectives. They also feel comfortable and easy going when their time is managed properly. Essentially having well developed study skills will help them become more confident, effective, productive and intelligent in both of their personal and professional lives.
These skills are the sole foundation of a good education. Good study skills will save their time and by that token they tend to have more time to spend with friends or doing other activities such as sports or service projects. Moreover, these will result in less stress because given any topic they will know how to approach learning the material. Likewise, information literacy too plays an important role in student’s success in learning. Information literacy is the ability to evaluate the credibility of information and to use information properly.
We identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and share that information. It is the knowledge that commonly used in research techniques. Why information literacy is crucial? Information literacy is critically important because we are surrounded by a growing ocean of information in all formats. Not all information is created equal; some is authoritative, current, reliable, but some is biased, out of date, misleading and false.
The amount of information available is going to keep increasing. The types of technology used to access, manipulate, and create information will consequently expand. ‘People are information literate who know when they need information, and are then able to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively use the information to address and resolve personal, job-related or broad social issues and problems’, (adopted by the 2003 UNESCO meeting in Prague). Information literacy provides an opportunity for people to acquire knowledge and provides motivation to them to pursue learning throughout their lives.
Therefore, it is a mean of personal empowerment. In addition, in order to perform their roles and responsibilities, individuals need various types of information inputs. “Information is, in fact, our most precious resource. In such a world, education should empower everyone, not the few. But for information to become knowledge, and ultimately, one hopes, wisdom, it must be organized. In this new climate, the public interest challenge, beyond access and equity is sorting and selection” (Boyer, 1997, p. 140).
We are outfitting our schools, libraries, and homes with electronic technologies. But are we reparing students for the onslaught of information that is provided by these technologies. What happens when students get more information from the internet and than previously conveyed by their teachers or textbooks? What should a student do when faced with so many informational possibilities? This is where information literacy establishes it’s important thus, they need to understand and differentiate between types of information. They must define the need of the information and relating it to knowledge. These are all the implementation of information literacy which benefits students during their study time.
Furthermore, they will not be panic once get an abundant supply of information, because they are already exposed to the method on how to manage such information. Hence, they will solve the specific problem regarding that matter with a suitable solution without any distractions and pressure. To articulate more on our study skills’ topic, one of the most important skill is the time management. Time should be well managed, before, during and also after completing a task. Usually, before starting my task, I will divide it into several parts. This is to ensure that I do not feel bored or stressed.
For example, recently my English language teacher asked me to come up with a simple newsletter and the duration given to complete and submit this task is one week. So first, I selected the title. Then, I divided the newsletter into cover page, content, acknowledgement, introduction, essays, articles, ending, reflection and reference. I set my time to finish these things, such on the first day; I completed the cover page, acknowledgement and introduction. Next day, I took my initiative to find materials hence, finished the essays and the articles and so on for coming two days. After that, I did the last parts of the newsletter.
By taking these steps to complete it, I did benefit a lot because when I set a specific time to do it, that means I will put my full effort to find the materials, do the draft and type it by the day itself. These ensure that, the duty set to be finished does not get postponed. Besides, I would not undergo stress and face difficulties during doing it, because I have already divided the tasks so, each has it’s own time set to be done. Therefore, after finish one, the next day I do proceed to another, means the work pressure and burden are not felt that much, because it is not an overnight’s work.
Each second is precious, so we should not waste any of it, as the proverb says, ‘time is golden’. Time is the most valuable one because once it has passed then, we cannot bring it back, gone is gone that is it! Thence, each second and minute we should spend for good deeds as it could bring us splendid input! Other than managing my time for my studies, I too need to deal well with my time to be with my family, to socialize and to just be alone sometimes. In some case where I had a lot of stuffs to be done, and at the same time I we would plan for a family gathering party.
So, this is the point where I need to list my priority; of which comes first and must be settled. Family is also important, but compare to my study stuffs, I have to give them first priority, because almost all the time I can spend time with my family, but my assignments; there is time restriction for it. Therefore I need to adhere to the deadline given. Foremost, I have to handle time wisely, where before I turn on the television or go for a play, I will finish my homework first. I have developed a schedule for my daily routines to make sure I have time for everything I want do get done.
In fact, I choose specific time slots in a week to study the subjects, to validate that I do not blow them off. I would also fix some goals when managing my time. Instead, of ‘I will read this whole chapter this night’ I will set ‘I am going to read five at daytime and the rest five before bedtime’. This method will be a fine one and give my mind a break before I proceed to the next chapter. I always try to keep my schedule flexible. When unexpected events occur, I will adjust it according to the urge and revise it again. Then, I also add up and circle the total number of study hours I realistically plan to set aside daily.
Sometimes, I do reward myself for using study time effectively. This way will ensure that, I really occupy the time for studying, because I know once I am done with that, I will sure get my reward! This is also proven by researches, where people work better if they get an immediate gift for their effort. So in my schedule permits, I do set up a reward system. For example, I will allow myself to telephone my friend, watch my favorite movie or munch on little snacks. To guarantee that this system functions well, I do strictly follow my schedule honestly without cheating.
In addition, concentration in class is really very important to achieve well grades. Since, sometimes after I reach home I feel so tired and lazy to revise the book, so meanwhile the teacher is teaching, I always sit in front, seldom chit chat with my buddies, focus and pay attention to her. I do that because; I would remember the verbal and non verbal communication between us, the action and the questions that she asked me. Then I try to have a small flashback on what I learned on that day. I also be alert in the class, because anytime questions might arise and possibilities for myself to answer it may be high too.
All these scenes will be fresh in my mind even till the last hours when I am going to sit for my exams. Is it weird? Of course not, because when I am answering my exam questions I will come to an end where I am out of idea and do not know what else to answer to solve the question. So the alternate way is reflecting back to my times in the classroom, the conversation between me and my sir, the question did rose, my answers, the diagrams on the whiteboard and also the solving method; I am very sure these matters did helped me to answer because, somehow when reflecting all those things, I will come to an idea or solution for the questions.
That is why concentration in class is very much significant. From my experience, one of the major elements of study skills which contributed to my study’s success is the mind map. What is a mind map actually? It is the ‘whole- brain alternative to linear thinking and reaches out in all directions and catches thoughts from any angle’ by ( Michael Michalko, cracking creativity). Mind map is the ultimate organizational study tool. It is very effective for me, because by doing mind map, it is easy for me to put information into my brain which maps out my thoughts. It is very simple too.
Mind map gives an overview of a huge subject to me, besides enable me to gather together large amounts of data in one place. Moreover, it boosts problem solving by allowing me to see new creative pathways. Fore most, it is enjoyable to be seen, read, muse over and remember. Mind map had helped me a lot in my studies to learn faster and more efficiently, see the whole picture of the problem and also to remember better. These are because, mind maps use colours, curved lines, symbol, words and images according to a set of simple, basic , natural and brain- friendly rules.
Colour is the leading feature in a mind map. I would start it by putting in my favorite colours and make it to appear more interesting; as it also triggers my creative thinking processes. To add more, mind map includes each aspect of the left and right brains and is therefore a superb whole- brained thinking tool. This is because when I do mind maps, I do use words, logics, numbers, lists, images, dimensions, and colours too; mean it has occupied fully my brain and assists to come up with new ideas and problem solving methods.
If we do look deeply, everything is someway connects to everything else. This is very true because when I am given a complication to be solved in studies, first I would take a minute to think about the main topic I need to investigate and that will be the center part of my mind map. For example, it allows me to focus on the topic that will be titled “daily living”. Next I start to add sub- branches and they will be connected to the title as leisure, diet, work, study, exercise and ideal hours.
From each of the sub- branch, it will form new sub- branches. For instance, under diet, I would come up with ideas connected to it such as, vitamins, balanced meals and water; for the sub- branch of study there will form new branches namely, subjects, ways to study and needs to study. Beneath needs for study, I could write again well balanced meals and also vitamins. So these both diet and study branches; come to a point of sharing the same sub- branches.
At here it is clearly shown that mind map helped me to demonstrate the connection between isolated pieces of information while letting me to group and regroup concepts and encouraging comparison between them. Therefore I am trying to prove that, mind maps really worked for me and made me easy to remember facts which were useful for me when I answered questions that needed my biological knowledge. From the interconnected facts, I could concentrate more on the topic that serves to get information about it and transferred from short- term memory to a long term memory.