Becoming a more efficient VCE student

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The importance of efficiency in your studies

Whether you are studying the VCE, HSC or are studying in university – how efficient you are in your studies is very important for your long-term marks and overall success as a student. Throughout this article we will be defining efficiency and looking at helpful and practical ways in which you can increase your efficiency.

Why should I become more efficient as a VCE student?

Becoming an efficient student will save you a lot of time and allow you to make the most out of the time you have available. If you are an efficient student – you will be able to complete your work quickly, at a high focus level and with maximum effect. In contrast, an inefficient student will struggle to finish even the simple tasks because they become quickly distracted by surroundings, family/friends or because they are preoccupied with thoughts or daydreaming.

Students should work towards becoming for efficient in their learning because ultimately this will reduce the time in which they need to study, decrease procrastination and allow a better work/life balance for the individual.

Efficiency is the ability to focus on the most important task at hand and finishing it will full concentration without becoming distracted. Due to the high focus levels, the student is likely to finish the task in a short period of time. Efficiency however, is not to be confused with “racing” through your work – rather it is more similar to being “in the zone” where you are completely mindful your task. It is not about racing, rather understanding and therefore learning concepts in the smallest time possible.

How do I become more efficient VCE student ?

1) Be aware of your current level of efficiency.

You can begin investigating your current level of efficiency by answering the following questions. Please be honest! The only way you can improve is by understanding where you are at this stage in life and then working on your habits.

When you start doing homework, do you regularly get distracted?

When you start a task do you regularly start using you phone, Facebook, putting on the TV or finding ways to making the study more “entertaining”?

Does your mind begin to race about other things? For example friends, work, school.

Does your fear, stress or other emotions get in the way of your mental clarity?

Are you tired, over-worked or sleep deprived?

Do you find that when you read something, you need to re-read it regularly?

Does it take you a long time i.e. hours or days to get started on a project?

Do you regularly talk to your friends while doing your work or while you are meant to be studying privately?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is likely that you are not working at high efficiency. This means that you are not utilizing your time to the fullest potential.

2) Reflect on where you loose efficiency

Students are all individuals and it is hard to categorize where they loose efficiency because obviously everyone is unique. Therefore the next important step is to reflect about where you lose efficiency. Some ideas are listed below to give you some examples of losing efficiency, but of course make your own personal list if you find that there are others that are missing!

– Re-writing the question from the textbook

– Being too consumed about your goals/the future rather then focusing on your work/assignments

– Thinking about friends, family, events rather than focusing on the task

– Re-writing your notes

– Being distracted by TV, music, family members while studying

– SMS-ing, using Facebook, checking email while studying

– Being tired, hungry or in a hot/cold environment

– Eating a diet high in sugar, fried foods and/or caffeine

– Stressing too much about your future and ATAR score

– Doing only easy questions and avoiding more challenging questions.

– Being too stubborn while performing questions – refusing to ask for help until you answer a question by yourself

– Giving up too easily and asking the teacher how to do questions all the time.

If you actually list where you lose efficiency as a student, you will be able to take appropriate action to change the inefficiency.

(3) Taking the constructive actions to maximizing efficiency.

This is the tough one! This is when you finally take your bad habits and work towards eliminating them. It is easy to talk about doing something but harder to actually taking action and doing it. It happens to everyone – it is a human condition! However, by at least being aware of what makes you inefficient and being willing to correct yourself when you are wasting time – it is usually more than what most students are willing to do. If your aim is to become a little bit more efficient everyday then eventually you will improve. However, you need to have the determination to improve – without this, it is very unlikely that you will eliminate bad habits that waste your time.

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