Melanie Ozuna

Pictured above are typical, and essential, study materials for after-school learning: a backpack, a pencil, notes and a caffeinated drink from Starbucks.

A Cavalier-to-Cavalier Guide on Successful Studying

September 9, 2019

Even after a full day at school, studying is a critical component of  scholarly success. However, in order to maintain your academics at an optimum level, you must first master the science of studying. In this side-by-side, prepare to be fascinated with several detailed tips and tricks that will tremendously improve your studying experience through a change in your habits. Whether you are tech-savvy, a nature-lover or if you would just prefer a relaxed studying atmosphere, there is surely something for you!

Smartphone Study Tips for School

Ana Capiro Here are some tips to remember when using your phone to study.

These days, it can be difficult for students to stay focused on schoolwork and be on top of their responsibilities. With the prominence of electronic devices, social media and video games, kids get distracted from their learning. On the bright side, however, these same devices that may have hindered some in the past can now be used to aid in studying. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of a cellphone in order to succeed in class:

Keeping Track of Assignments 

Sometimes students can be forgetful and are unable to remember the tasks that they need to complete; this can result in missed work and lower grades. To avoid this problem, there are a few different apps that can help students stay organized. As the teacher assigns the homework, pupils can use the notes app on their phones to jot everything down. In this app, users can create a folder to type in important information, like a makeshift agenda. That way, they can refer to what they heard and wrote directly, providing a simple method to verify what needs to be done. Class websites can also be extremely helpful.

Sites like Edmodo or Google Classroom are used by teachers to post links, homework assignments, class notes, and much more for students to view. Those who need to review the material can go back and see exactly what was covered or what was assigned for the following period.

“I use Google Classroom for Ms. Kiely’s class to keep myself updated. It is especially useful because it is connected to Gmail, so I can even get emails when something is posted,” junior Nicolas Cruz said.

Studying and Reviewing

When a big test is coming, it can be intimidating to students that don’t feel prepared. It can really come in handy to go over topics multiple times to make sure everything is fully comprehended. This is where an app such as Quizlet can be critical. With Quizlet, students can use someone else’s study guide, make their own or even share sets with classmates. This program provides virtual flashcards which can be enabled to test the student’s knowledge in various styles, according to the user’s preference. Kahoot is another website where students are asked questions and given options in a live game, where they are challenged against other classmates. The competition motivates students to do better and achieve the highest score, which leads to more involved practice. Both of these options are helpful because they allow repetition, which is essential for memorizing information. They also require mental effort in a way that stimulates the mind to make connections so that students get a better grasp of concepts.

“I like using my phone to study because it’s convenient and I always have it with me. I like Edmodo because it allows me to go back and review lectures and Quizlet lets me practice for tests,” freshman Isabel Donner said.

Virtual School Materials

Sometimes, certain materials are needed, like calculators or dictionaries, to complete assignments. However, students do not always enjoy using the physical models of these tools, so they turn to online versions. If a calculator cannot be found, there is always the calculator application on most smartphones. If one downloads Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster Dictionary or the Oxford Dictionary of English from the app store, then they have an easy, portable way to find definitions, synonyms and antonyms of words, along with grammar and spelling tips. These linguistic apps aid those who wish to step up their game in literary assignments.

One other helpful program on phones is the Books app. If students should ever find that they do not have their reading material or are not quite motivated to read themselves, they can download assigned literature to go on their electronic devices, or buy audio books to be read to them. These are practical applications to download because phones can be taken anywhere, unlike giant calculators and dictionaries. They can also be used during free time, even if a student does not have access to traditional supplies.

Online Explanations

There are often times when students miss a class or do not understand a lecture. Although it is important to ask teachers for help when confused, sometimes a different perspective can help. This is when online videos become an invaluable resource. If one downloads the YouTube app, there are countless instructional videos that explain scholastic concepts in a multitude of ways. When kids are unable to fully grasp an initial explanation by a teacher, YouTube provides tutorials or in-depth descriptions by other educational professionals and even other students. Another app that has insightful videos is Khan Academy, a program that is geared toward students and is chock-full of educational content, mostly tutorials on math or science lessons. What is special about both of these studying aids is that they provide visuals and engage various senses, which is very beneficial to students that may find it harder to follow a traditional in-class lecture.

Stressful Situations

It is well-known that school causes a lot of stress for students. With the large workloads from the eight classes Cavaliers take, it is not uncommon to feel anxious. The important thing is to stay focused, and sometimes it is crucial to take a break. Fortunately, rather than getting distracted by a phone and losing track of what needs to be done, there are ways to use a cellphone to get rid of some of the pressure. By downloading an application like Calm, which assists with breathing techniques and soothing sounds, kids can relieve some of their anguish. Teens can also install Headspace, which encourages meditation and mindfulness. Aura, which improves focus through music and coaching, is another example of a relaxation program that can really benefit tense students. If none of these work, there are so many alternative options for these specific apps that almost anyone can find something that will suit one’s needs.

All in all, it is always critical to maintain focus on school and stay concentrated. Since electronic devices are so popular these days and criticized for distracting high school students, it is nice to be able to use them to promote learning and scholastic efforts. Hopefully, these tips are able to help some Cavaliers improve their studying experience and become better learners inside and outside of the classroom environments.

About the Contributors
Photo of Sofia Cruz
Sofia Cruz, CavsConnect News Editor

Sofia Cruz is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program and is a second year staff member, returning to CavsConnect this year as News Editor....

Photo of Ana Capiro
Ana Capiro, Spanish, Student Life and Copy Editor

Ana Capiro is a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and can't wait to start her third year in CavsConnect as the site's Spanish, Student...

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Top Places to Study at in Miami

When looking for a place to study, a student wants a place to finish homework, read a good book and focus on what needs to get done. Every student’s study habits and preferences are unique; some enjoy a place that serves food or has a wide variety of books, while others seek the calmness of the outdoors. Most importantly, students look for a calm spot where they can gather their thoughts. Thankfully, students can find many suitable sites in Miami that are quiet and have a positive atmosphere that encourages productivity. Here are a few of the top relaxed studying sites near you:

The University of Miami

The University of Miami provides an adequate space for students to study and work on class assignments. Students are granted the opportunity to work in a college setting, where they are treated as responsible, young adults. The atmosphere is one that allows for deep thinking and focus with little noise and distractions. The library’s extensive collection of books that cover a plethora of topics are thoroughly categorized for the student’s benefit. This way, students can easily access their books and use reliable sources for research. 

“The Richter Library gives me the chance to see what it would be like to learn in a college atmosphere. The mix of high schoolers, college students and professors makes me feel like I am a part of something big. I like to visit a place that allows me to study after school and review what I learned in class,” junior Daniel Fernandez said.

Barnes and Noble

Among all of the different subjects students are exposed to, books are always necessary. In the Barnes & Noble bookstore, students can have access to an unlimited array of books and a café with tables to work on. The quietness of the establishment permits students to focus on their readings and retain valuable information. 

“Barnes & Noble is a quiet place where I choose to catch up on my school work. I can perform research on different subjects due to the large variety of books they carry. It is the perfect place for me to host effective study sessions,” sophomore Allison Hidalgo said.

David T. Kennedy Park

The outdoors may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but those that enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the outdoors might find a park a pleasant place to study. David T. Kennedy Park, not too far from school, is filled with green spaces and its proximity to the ocean allows there to always be a nice cooling breeze. Students can find a spot by a tree to study in complete tranquility or enjoy a frozen lemonade from AC’s Icees while reading at one of the picnic tables. Moreover, the park’s natural light permits students to feel calm and to remain focused. Students can experience the beauty of nature and listen to the soothing sounds of birds chirping and feel at peace, even when dealing with stressful assignments.

Pullquote Photo

When it comes to studying, I look for a place that is relatively calm and peaceful. Usually, it involves a quiet spot, allowing me a perfect place where I can think clearly. That way, I can focus on my homework assignments and get all of my work done.”

— junior Andres Diaz

Finding a good place to study, significantly improves a student’s academics. After a seemingly long day at school, students can enjoy time with themselves and reflect on what they have learned in class, and they will surely feel less distracted in a comfortable spot and notice a profound difference in their scholarly performance. Once a student determines what is suitable for them, they can undoubtedly establish a consistent and effective study routine.

About the Contributor
Photo of Melanie Ozuna
Melanie Ozuna, CavsTV Co-Editor-in-Chief

Melanie Ozuna is a rising senior currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program here at Coral Gables Senior High. Melanie first discovered...

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