Setting up good study habits for yourself has huge rewards, including:

  • You get good grades
  • You find sitting — and passing — exams much easier
  • You feel more confident about school — and life — in general
  • You are taking charge of your life
  • You are setting up exceptional habits and disciplines which will serve you well in your life after you’ve left school. They are as important in the workplace as they are in further/tertiary study.


Become aware of that little voice inside your head telling you that you haven’t done something or you haven’t done something well.

Your mind believes what you tell it. If you tell it you can’t do something, then you won’t be able to do it.

Remember: the first time you try to do something, you often can’t or you don’t do it very well. It takes practice to get good at doing something (like riding a bicycle – remember how long it took you to learn?).

So, be kind to yourself! Try to reframe any negative self-talk: turn “I can’t….” into “I’m doing my best…” or “I’m learning how to….”

Also remember, practice doesn’t make perfect….it just makes practised! (And people who are practised do things better than those who aren’t.)

Put it on the wall!

Try writing encouraging notes to yourself such as “I’m a great student”, “I always do my best”, “Learning is easy, magic and FUN!”, “I can do it!” and stick them up next to your Study Schedule. This way, they’re always there ready to remind you each time you look up.

When you find a quote from someone who’s really succeeded and whom you admire, stick that up too Use them as an example for yourself. Tip: when you’re quoting someone or something, always give your source.

Attitude Resources outlines four of the 7 habits:

Self-awareness – How well do you know yourself? What are some of the things you do which don’t always help you to be the best you can be?

Conscience – The inner voice asking you to hold yourself to a high standard

Imagination – If you can imagine something, you can do it/be it.

Willpower – The determination to complete whatever you started.

These are all great life skills as well.

You may want to talk with your parents about other positive attitudes you already have, and some that you may want to develop (persistence might be an example).

Make your memory work for you

Learn about how memory works. There are three type of memory – short, medium and long term. The aim of study is to get what you need to know into your long-term memory as soon as possible so you don’t have to spend ages learning stuff before exams.

When you learn in class it goes into your short-term memory. To get it into your mid-term memory you need to revise it again that night and a second time within a couple of days. If you keep revisiting it again and again, it’ll go into your long-term memory. The good thing about it is that each time you revise, you need to spend less and less time on it to remember all of it.

Think about how you learn the lyrics of a new song. When you first hear it you may remember a couple of lines or the chorus if it was repeated a few times during the song. As you hear it more and more you get to know more and more words until finally you’ve heard it so often and you’ve sung along to it so often that you can now remember all of it.