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Monday, March 16, 2015

Maximize Your Grades With Focus Rotation

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When you're working to study as efficiently as possible, you need to change the way you approach your study time. Theoretically, you could be studying all day. The average high school provides enough textbook pages to make it completely impossible to keep up in all the potential study material. There is no reason you couldn't be studying every free second you have but, of course, that's a complete waste of time when you could  score similar grades studying less than an hour every night.

If you've kept up on this blog then you'll know this by now. Studying longer usually just reduces the efficiency of your studying. By dramatically reducing your study time, you can usually get better results. Doing that introduces a few problems though. First of all, when you're taking 5 or 6 or more classes, how can you possibly study for all of them in a limited study period?

The answer includes two different things.  

From my experience, a portion of the classes you're taking will require almost no studying. (That is, assuming you've kept up with your previous courses and aren't in a particularly challenging program.) That instantly knocks away a portion of your required studying.

The next part of the solution is...


Focus Rotation


Focus rotation is absolutely fundamentally to getting this study routine to work. (Quite frankly, I think it's fundamental to just about anything in life but that's a whole different subject.)

Focus rotation is the strategy you use to decide which courses you're going to be putting your study time and focus into. If you're doing it well then you should be scoring high in virtually every class. If you're doing it poorly then you'll probably be falling behind massively in at least 1 class.

Focus rotation happens naturally in most cases. A student might see a test coming up the next day in one class and decide to study for that test. That being said, naturally (and haphazardly) hopping from study focus to study focus usually just causes more harm than good. Instead focus rotation should be a conscious and planned change between your potential focuses. By doing that, you can learn to actually maximize your results.

The Basics


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Focus rotation isn't all that complicated a subject but it can be tempting to leave it up to chance. You've got set up a focus rotation plan AND actually follow it. The effect this can have on your grade can be dramatic (if you're not naturally good at it.) If you're naturally good at focus rotation then you'll still usually see a small boost.

An example of a focus rotation plan might look like this:

Study for my lowest grade class 3 days a week. Study for my second lowest grade class 2 days a week. Study for my next two lowest grade classes 1 day a week each. Excluding the night before test days when I can study for the class with a test.

Simple. Right? Mostly at least. (I've personally used a study rotation strategy that took up a whole page. These strategies can get pretty complicated.) Notice the focus on lowest grade classes. That is not required but can work well (with a few challenges.) Everyone requires a different strategy. You'll need to play around a little to find yours.

I recommend you come up with your own basic outline for your current classes. Think about it like creating a flow chart for your required studying. Make it so you know which courses you're required to study for every night (or at least most of them.)

There is one important point you need to focus on with your study rotation. Do not make it subjective. If you say something like, “study the course I need to study,” or something up to ridiculous interpretation then you're wasting your time. The key is making only one potential option that leads to the right choice.  Objective factors would include class scores, homework scores, test scores, class difficulty (as rated by anything excluding your gut,) etc. The more objective your rotation, the more you're going to be able to adjust it for perfection.

The Hardest (And Easiest) Part


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The hardest part about setting up a study focus rotation is being honest with yourself.

In designing this plan, you have some incentive to lie to yourself about which classes you need to study for most. That's because, usually, when you don't do well in a class, you also don't really enjoy studying for it. While you're designing this plan, you may want to undercut the required time you'll need to study for the class.

The opposite incentive also exists. If you score well in a course then you probably enjoy studying it a little more. That means you might want to give yourself extra time studying it that you don't actually need.

These incentives can be difficult to ignore completely. People have a tendency to either fall for these incentives or, instead, study the hard classes excessively to make up for those incentives. Do you want to know the secret to dealing with that and balancing the classes study time? Yea... Me too. That's just about figuring out your tendencies.

The great part about that challenge is that when you figure out the solution, you never have to worry about it again.

Most students occasionally have hiccups in their unplanned focus rotations. They might not know which class they should study for. That can lead to five minutes of the student metaphorically (or physically) banging their head on their table trying to figure it out. When you have a focus rotation set in place, you don't need to waste time trying to balance your course load because the equation is already set.

Rebalancing


Oftentimes, this study rotation routine will suddenly not work. Sometimes, courses can introduce piles of extra required studying. To make up for that, you may have to adjust your study focus rotation. That being said, try to update the rotation to include a clause to help you deal with that extra required studying (so you, hopefully, don't have to change your plan again in the future.)

Over a few semesters, your study rotation should almost be set in stone.

Using your objective focus rotation you can maximize your grades in each and every class without wasting a significant among of your time studying things that you don't absolutely have to.

Do you want to know how to study for less than 15 minutes a night while scoring in the top of your class? That is what this blog is all about.  Be sure to follow it and check out the archives to get all the secrets. Also, check out the ebooks for some crash courses in the subject.


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