The first thing to do is to remember that you do have homework for at least four or five days a week.
Homework isn’t just specific tasks given to you by your teacher.
Complete all assignments given by the teacher. This seems obvious; however, sometimes students feel that if an assignment isn’t going to “count” toward their grade, they should skip it. Also, if it is only worth a small percentage, they think it isn’t worth doing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any additional rehearsal you do will strengthen your knowledge and retention and will improve grades on quizzes, tests, and exams! All learning is worth it.
Begin rough drafts of more major projects (do research, rough notes, etc.) When a large assignment is coming, you have more than one day’s worth of homework to prepare for it. Don’t forget to schedule times to do the proofreading and editing as well. Also, never underestimate the potential for something to go wrong. This will eat up more time. The better you schedule and the more often you are accessing your homework, the less likely these things will become major issues.
Review that day’s notes (be sure to take notes in class). Reviewing these notes briefly each night gives you the chance to rehearse the material, make corrections or clarifications, and practise the information one more time.
Preview what is coming the next day whenever possible. If you don’t have the text from class, there is no reason you can’t seek information online on the topic to give you a general overview before heading to class. Going in “warm” is better. You will understand more of the teacher’s lecture if you have a bit of background.
Give yourself some practice questions from your current courses and see if you can answer them.
Self-testing is a fantastic way to prepare for tests, but it is even more valuable for learning the information in the first place. Questions are often provided at the end of chapters or sections. If not, don’t forget that you can formulate questions from the headings, subheadings, or topic sentences of paragraphs (remember the SQ3R Reading Method).
Give yourself some math questions from a recent unit and a few from past units - and see if you can answer them correctly without looking. If you get the wrong answer, work backwards to figure out what went wrong. Show your steps for just this purpose. It makes it easier to find exactly where your method broke down. Of course, this works for any math heavy course such as physics and some science courses. The best way to prepare for math tests and exams is to DO questions. Simply staring at past work does very little.
Review the week’s notes. Just as you review each night, take some time at the end of the week to review all that week’s notes. This revolving review means that you have rehearsed the material at least three times before any quizzes or tests have arrived. You will review again before a quiz, test, or exam. The more you rehearse, the more you gain and retain.
Be sure to look at some of the older material to refresh your memory. A quick look back at previous units to ensure that you still remember them is a good idea. Also, try to network your knowledge. Tie in what you are learning currently with some of the previous lessons to keep everything as fresh as possible.
Try to schedule your homework times to be as consistent as possible - and then let nothing interrupt you. If you know that you are sitting down and engaging with your homework at specific times each day, you will be less likely to become distracted or procrastinate. Make it a good habit.
Give it a try. You’ve got this!