Better Learning Skills Means Better Grades

in Middle School, High School, College, and Life

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Parent and Teacher Feedback

Learning Tips for Students

Become a "super" student Become a "super" student

  1. Forget “memorizing” … Focus on “mastering” the material

  2. When you “cluster” information around the key topics that your teacher “signals” are important, it’s easier to predict what your teachers will ask you, and to recall what teachers want you to know. So ...

  3. Learn to read those signals (they’re right in your textbook)

  4. “B” students remember most of the “facts” … “A” students remember … and understand what those facts mean (i.e., how those facts fit together)

  5. When you focus on mastering instead of memorizing, you’ll amaze your teachers (and yourself) as you pull related information together to grasp the “big picture” — and “get it right” on tests 

  6. When you understand what your teachers and textbooks want to say to you, you’ll realize what to focus your attention on ...what to write down, what to study

  7. Reward yourself by taking breaks -- Set a "study progress goal." When you've reached a goal, reward yourself with a break ... do something you enjoy (small breaks for small tasks and larger rewards for larger goals).
  8. Pay attention to the instructor's lectures and handouts -- they focus on what s/he thinks is important.
  9. Listen for your instructor's transitions between points, repetition for emphasis, voice inflections, enumeration of points -- You must "decode the teacher's code"

    The information you're reading is important -- if you just "do it" without learning, you're wasting your time

    Understand material thoroughly before you try to memorize it

  10. Know how you learn -- best time of day, attention span, learning style. Adjust your study plan to fit your needs.
More Tips on the next "page" ... Follow the eBook link, below ...
Nearly 30 years ago, I taught Study Skills at the University of Maryland.

Since then, I have been refining my system, and have taught it to middle school students, high school students, college students, and returning adults.

You can get better grades as you "Learn How To Learn." By studying "smart" instead of "hard," you'll learn to "Master" material, instead of trying to "memorize" it to--
  •  Study more efficiently
  •  Learn more effectively, and
  •  Get better grades on quizzes, tests, and papers
This is not "tutoring" in the conventional sense (although I do "tutor" in English, Language, Literature and Composition).

This is one-on-one coaching to show your student how
  • To develop a learning system ... 
  • To adopt better study skills ... plus
  • An organizational approach to get assignments handed in on time ...
Together, we will develop systems that work for him/ and throughout her/his academic career.

Email me now to arrange personal "study coaching
" for you or your student -- available in person in the Sarasota area (limited availability by phone in selected other areas). Email me

Stephen Ellerin, Study Coach
Click here to email now


Reading, unlike sitting before a TV screen, is not a purely passive exercise. The ...student ... has nothing before him/her but the ... printed page. [S/he] must do the rest...
-- paraphrased from George F. Kennan
(b. 1904), U.S. diplomat


Also: Check out MIT's OpenCourseWare:
a free  resource for educators, students, and self-learners:
[“Foolishness is doing the same thing you did yesterday
and expecting better results.” – Unknown
So, if you’re not getting the grades you want, call or ...

click to email me now
 email me now.]

The Super-Student
Smart-Study System

I wanted to thank you for all your work with [our son]  over the past several months.  He really enjoyed working with you, and I think he has made significant progress in terms of developing organizational skills!  In fact, he mentioned tonight that he was named one of [his school]'s "students of the marking period" - which, no doubt, reflects the benefits of all your hard work.
-Mother of a coached student, Greenwich, CT

The work you did with [my son] last year had tremendous positive impact.  Your work helped him develop greater self-confidence and independence.  He’s continued to make progress over the summer.
- Father of coached student, Greenwich, CT


More Parent Comments:

We just got [my student]’s progress reports. He’s doing so much better. We’re so pleased. 
- Mother of coached student, Greenwich, CT
We’ve seen a real difference in (my student) this year. He has more confidence, he’s better organized, and his grades show the difference
- Father of coached student, Greenwich, CT


Teachers Say:

You've been a terrific help to [my student] this year.
- Mrs. A.C.,  Teacher of a coached student,
Greenwich, CT


[This student] is doing so much better thanks to you - we see a real attitude change: now, he is willing to try, and [able to] work through his assignments. Thanks for all your help.

- Ms. C.G., Teacher of a coached student,
Greenwich, CT

What Students Say:

BTW, these study skills are fantastic! I really appreciate you sharing them with me! 

 J.W. (a Mom who recently returned to college)

I’ve gone up two letter grades in every subject!

– S.R., Student

I resisted doing this at first. But, now that I’ve started using [your techniques], I’ve raised my grades in all my subjects. And I know I’m going to do better.

– A.S., Student


Outside the Sarasota area?

Click here to order my new eBook:

Study Tip / Learning Hint # 11: It takes less time to review material than to re-learn it. If you don’t review your key material tonight, you’ll have to re-learn it for the next test.