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GED® Study Guide: Finding Time to Study

By Rex Nicholson, Educator

One of the biggest challenges for adult education students is finding time to study. This is especially true for students studying at home using free online resources. Maintaining a daily study routine can be difficult.

Students who attend regular classes for the GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test generally find that studying comes easier. Unlike studying alone, classes provide feedback. You learn, apply what you learn, and then take a practice test or quiz. Some of your answers are right. Some are wrong. The instructor gives you feedback. This cycle allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your study and spot areas in need of improvement.

Classes also provide the kind of structure that independent students find difficult to achieve. Students prepare for class, take practice tests, and complete homework assignments. They may also form small study groups and just meet together. In this kind of routine, study becomes a natural part of the process.

The downside is that high school equivalency (HSE) classes can leave students behind. Students who had trouble in school, for example, are likely to encounter difficulty. They might find that they still need help developing strong study habits. For someone who hasn't succeeded in classrooms, class learning can seem particularly tedious. This makes it all the more difficult to find motivation to study.

The Key to Owning New Knowledge

Many students have learned that the path to learning is memorization. This is wrong. Think about it. You could memorize a whole list of words and still have no idea what those words mean. If you can't USE knowledge, you don't own that knowledge. Memorization is about storage. Learning is about using.

The key to owning new knowledge is daily use. The more you try and succeed, or even try and fail, the more refined your skills become. Skills become automatic. Errors become easier to spot. Whether you're in a classroom or studying independently, daily study works.

So how do busy adults with lots of job and family obligations find time to study? Here are some ten-minute study tips proven successful by our Essential Education students!

10 Minute Study Tips

  1. First thing in the morning, spend ten minutes studying a problem, a book, or a newspaper. You can use a problem from a practice test, a section from a test guide, or a passage from a practice question. You might even choose a short passage from a newspaper article or editorial. Don't worry about finishing the problem or passage. Ten minutes of concentration will do the trick.
  2. During the day, spend ten minutes thinking about what you read or studied in the morning. If it's something you read, think about the words and the feelings those words create. Consider how the passage or words apply to something else. If you studied a math problem, try writing it down and working it different ways. Don't worry if you can't remember the problem or words exactly. The key is to use the new knowledge. Just spend ten minutes really thinking about what you studied.
  3. Late in the day, spend five minutes thinking about what you studied again. You should see and understand the knowledge more clearly. Make sure you spend a minute or two thinking about why the knowledge is clear. This is key!
  4. At the end of the day, spend five minutes reviewing or reworking what you studied. Determine what it is that you learned from your study activity. Tell yourself how smart you are and praise yourself for how much you've accomplished. Give yourself a reward.

You Can Do This!

At day's end, you've managed to study for thirty minutes. You did this despite a busy schedule and life's demands. More importantly, the time spent isn't just about the studying. It's about learning. You'll learn since using knowledge means owning knowing. And this is what it takes pass a high school equivalency test.

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GED® Study Guide: Finding Time to Study by Rex Nicholson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United Stated License, redistribution of this article is allowed under the following terms outlined here.

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