How to Motivate Yourself to Study

How to Motivate Yourself to Study

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Although American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores are not required for students to submit their scores for college consideration in every single state in America, there are, nevertheless, other important responsibilities for every student to sustain: In addition to receiving school instruction, students must learn how to self-study to acquire the skills that will prepare them for higher education and for the real world. Thus, teaching themselves literacy skills–reading, writing, speaking, and thinking–students will be able to function in school, in personal relationships, and in professional careers. The delineated list below transports studying strategies that will help students become individual-ready to face intellectual challenges in life.


Howard Gardner has identified eight different types of intelligences—linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal and nature. In schools, however, the focus is primarily on linguistic (study of language) and mathematics, and the other learning styles usually fall to the wayside.

By realizing this fact, students may introspectively determine the learning style that suits them best so that they may incorporate their learning with their innate abilities. Consider these two examples: If a particular student is a kinesthetic learner, he or she might prefer—at times—to study by standing up while listening to music to make physical gestures as he or she learns. An intrapersonal learner may prefer to write letters or poems or songs that deal with specific lessons that she or he can intertwine thoughts within the lessons.

A savvy teacher will often allow students to express themselves in their own way; on the other hand, students may ask the teacher if they may complete a lesson based on their feelings and personal experiences. Few teachers will refuse students with self-insight who wish to complete work.

While linguistics and mathematics are important learning styles, so are the other learning styles. With self-reflection, students can resolve to prepare themselves to learn in their own way and embrace the literacy skills they need to know in order to function successfully in this world.

Self-Learning of Alignment Goals 

Even though some students may not realize the importance of studying curriculum objectives, students should nevertheless continue the necessity of school learning that are aligned with state standards, as this idea extends the opportunity for students to keep within the pace of other students choosing to attend universities that indeed require ACT or SAT scores. Additionally, students may encounter competition with their contemporaries in the real world by needing to demonstrate intellectual concepts and obligatory skills that they should have learned early in school.

Not taking standardized tests should be viewed only as a relief for reducing test anxiety and not as an attitude “I don’t need to take the test. . .”  A school has a purpose, and that purpose is to teach students the required skills that they must know and to apply their learning by encountering unavoidable test constructions; therefore, students should continue to study the curriculum that are aligned with state standards in lieu of their taking the ACT or SAT.

Self-Studying of Learning Strategies

Of course, students need to study the periodic table, important events in history, and basic functions of math. Likewise, students need to understand how to acquire information without expecting teachers to instruct lessons on a continuous basis. Students may employ life-learning strategies to appreciate their independence for learning.

Three helpful learning strategies for students to employ for study-helpfulness are SQ3R, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Universal Intellectual Standards:

Francis Robinson, in his papers “Effective Study” (1946), introduced SQ3R, a method that consists of survey, question, read, recite, and review. This study method may be applied to school, work, and life.

Encountering any lesson or event for the first time, the smartest thing students can do is to survey. . . They should look over lessons, events, duties, [persons] to fully understand the ideas that are evident. By surveying the lessons first, students will understand the overall impression of how lessons are structured and how lessons should be approached before proceeding.

The next idea is for students to ask questions of the lesson: What do I need to understand? Where may I find answers? How should I approach this lesson for mastery? Any question asked of a lesson will help students elicit a direction in which they should proceed.

Next—Read: students should Read straight through the text with interval breaks. If dealing with a person, students should listen to him or her speak. This method is similar to reading a book: Learners are actually listening while reading.

While aiming to understand a topic may not come readily for some students, students will nevertheless understand lessons better when they apply the next step of reciting, for reciting is the time to say out loud what is important to be annotated or to be highlighted. This method of reciting will save time for students. They do not need to read the same lesson again; they only need to recite the parts they annotated as significant.

Lastly, Review: Learners should review the importance that are outlined or highlighted. If necessary, they should reread the portions of the book or they should ask more in-depth questions about the topic in order to prompt their own attention for further understanding.

The method SQ3R has been a major help cited by many scholars that have tested it overtime; similarly, Bloom’s Taxonomy, an advanced method of learning, is equally effective.

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and his associates published a framework for delineating educational goals, which include the lowest level, knowledge, the next lowest level, comprehension, and the average level application, and the critical level analysis, and the creative level synthesis, and, lastly, the highest-level evaluation.

Bloom’s Taxonomy allows students to repeat learning six different times and six different ways with each taxonomy presenting a higher level of thought. Because of the rigor of learning at high levels, students will recognize that Bloom’s method of learning helps facilitate the repeated rote method of 23 times for understanding concepts that researchers have long espoused. Bloom’s Taxonomy has facilitated student-learning for decades and is widely used in schools in America.

The other learning strategy, Universal Intellectual Standards, which include a learning process for students to master ‘excellence’ when they are completing projects, are ordered as clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, logic, significance, and fairness.

[To read in detail information about Universal Intellectual Standards, please Google its concept in order to appreciate its novelty and importance to education. The scope of this strategy is beyond the space-limit of this article.]

Students will be able to enhance their lives by employing the strategies of SQ3R, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Universal Intellectual Standards. While many other useful learning strategies are available, the ones mentioned herein are test proven strategies that can be used independently. The strategies are study-effective and are helpful for both personal and professional purposes.

Self-Studying of Leadership

A healthy mindset is for students to learn important lessons in life and to give their very best at nearly everything they aspire to accomplish in life. Thus, to be of a sound mind, students must maintain a healthy self-esteem and possess a good dose of self-confidence. One reason many students rarely fulfill their potential, according to science research, is that they lack fortitude about themselves. Luckily, self-esteem and self-confidence can be enhanced through leadership awareness.

A few helpful books to read and Cd’s to listen to may be obtained. Access any self-help book by, for examples, Myles Monroe, Michelle Obama, Stephen Covey, and many other notable, self-expert persons. Their inspiring words will help learners boost their self-awareness. Indeed, students will fare better in life if they take the driver’s seat in directing their studying habits. They may use self-study techniques as a road map to help facilitate their journey.


  1. Study to learn, not only to pass, ACT or SAT.
  2. Apply SQ3R to every part of life.
  3. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to demonstrate high-levels of reasoning.
  4. Use Universal Intellectual Standards to measure excellence.
  5. Look to leadership to enhance self-esteem and confidence.

Cynthia Mathews, Ed. D (2020)

Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction

Presenter of Professional Development

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Published by cynthiamathews

I'm an innovative spirit, one who seeks new and practical ways to learn about life. I enjoy exploring innovative styles to motivate people to persevere in a challenging world. Having a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Curriculum & Instruction, I am inspired to maintain a life long learning experience that will allow me to share my knowledge with others. My expertise includes detecting apathy in individuals and prescribing ways to motivate them to be their best. To initiate this endeavor, I create and conduct personal and professional development programs. I write briefs and pamphlets and instructional guides to inspire, and I speak--upon request--to those who need a reminder of their inner excellence. My blog's main focus is to document my research on motivation and curriculum instruction and to share with subscribers the understanding, the ideas, and the strategies that result from my research. I am a native of Alabama, a teacher, and an author. I look forward to learning with you.

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