It’s the holiday season. It’s the time for giving and getting and an extra excuse to remind those around you how much you care.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about students since starting this blog a few years ago is this:

Students care!

They care about themselves. They care about the people around them. And they care about the world.

Caring is a habit for most students.

This year we were thinking about the best ways to celebrate the season and it slapped us in the face like a raw fish. (Once that ended up on paper, I had to keep it.)

This is the season of giving.

The best way to celebrate it is by giving something back.

Our readers have been amazing this year. In fact, this is the first year this site didn’t cost me more money than it made. I was paying to keep it up and running before. Now I have some meager leftovers. BUT… I’ve been running this site at a loss a few years. What’s one more!? (I have a good career. Don’t worry about me.)

With your support, this year, we’re going to be giving away up to $250 and up to 500 study tips to Books For Africa.

In a May 2015 World Bank report (backed up by two previous reports,) the writers emphasized the importance of learning materials for students in Sub-Saharan Africa stating:

 

“No other input is likely to be more cost effective than making high-quality learning materials available to all students”

 

While something as simple as a textbook may seem unimportant to a student in the US, imagine how important it would become if you were forced to share a textbook with a classroom of other students. This makes learning a constant challenge for students.

Books For Africa is a charity that was founded in 1988 to help solve this problem. They use donations to collect, organize, and distribute textbooks to areas in Africa that are in need.

(CharityNavigator.org has rated Books For Africa a perfect 100 out of 100 with 99.1% of expenses going directly to supporting those in need.)

I want to encourage you good folks to help in these efforts. If you’re able, please support this organization in its efforts to change the world for the better.

And on that note, here is one thing you can do to help. Aaron (founder of Smart Student Secrets) has agreed to give 50 cents for every reader of this that shows their support of this charity with their comment on our special holiday post (up to $250.) Every reader can enter up to 3 comments. This offer will only last until Christmas 2018!

Here is how it’s going to work:

1. You post your study tip in the comments below.

It doesn’t have to be creative. It doesn’t have to be the best one in the world. Little lessons make a big difference.

For each comment & study tip, we’re going to be contributing $0.50 to Books For Africa (up to $250.)

Each user can submit up to 3 study tips.

2. You share this post on your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or text it to a friend or anywhere

With our audience alone, we may not be able to max out this list of study tips. We can use study tips from anyone of your friends or family members.

Spread this post around and we can make a big impact with it!

3. Optional: Consider contributing something to Books for Africa yourself.

This is a great cause and together we can make a BIG impact. If you have the resources to make a donation then please make one.

Our main goal here is to spread the message that this charity is making a big difference to the world.

4. Be on our email list for Christmas and we’ll send out our results (and a BIG thank you!)

Easy enough?

Then post a study tip in the comments below!

Do Your Part! Books For Africa (And Study Tips) 2018 Holiday Giving
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51 thoughts on “Do Your Part! Books For Africa (And Study Tips) 2018 Holiday Giving

  • December 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm
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    1) make your life easier & just set yourself 3 goals at a time . After you have finished those 3 you can move on to your next 3 goals.
    2)When you are lacking motivation, wrote a letter to your future self , futureme.com is a great website . This aim of this letter to really set you intonperspective : that this day does matter & Whatever work you put in today will affect you in the future
    3) Spaced repetition & active recall is the secret to life – trusss

    Reply
  • December 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm
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    1. Writing something while trying to memorize helps a lot!
    2. Never have too much caffeine, might help in short term but too much can ruin the sleep you need
    3. Try breaking your study topic into parts for a period of time (e.g. for the evening or for the next 2 hours) and making significant plans. Helps me a lot to accomplish and keep track of my daily studies more effectively

    Reply
  • December 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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    Start making summaries of your work for each section. This way you are putting concepts into your own words and making huge amount of information, managable and easier to remember. This is how I condensed a whole year’s work in order to pass my honours external exam.

    Have an awesome 2019! You got this…

    Reply
  • December 23, 2018 at 11:27 am
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    1. Make it a game – that’s literally all that’s been driving me my high school life. “How high can I get this?” “How many points can I raise my GPA?” “How good of a scholarship can I get with this SAT score?” Go to the MAX!

    2. Compete. Surround yourself with people who have around the same grades, scores, etc. as you and compete against them. Do fun dares like “whoever gets the lowest score in science has to go around telling people 50 science-related puns/” It makes you work yourself without feeling belittled.

    3. Get in the mood. It’s better to focus for 30 minutes than “study” while worrying about a million other things for 3 hours.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm
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    Don’t highlight stuff unless you’re committed to only highlighting the most important parts. If everything is highlighted then you’re highlighting too much!

    I love what you’re doing!

    Good luck!

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 12:34 pm
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    Try to figure out what’s really important to learn and spend most of your time on that.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm
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    Never stay up all night studying. It hurts more than it helps.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 8:47 am
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    Change how you focus based on the time you have. If you don’t have time then don’t try to read everything. Just skim it. If you have time then read it all.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 8:45 am
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    Answer questions as fully as you can. This can help when you don’t really know the exact answer. You can jsut write a lot. then the teacher might find the answer. If they don’t, you might be able to find the answer or something close to it after the test written in there. Then you can point it out to the teacher and they might agree.

    If you don’t write it then you can’t get any chance of points.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 8:42 am
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    Try to work with students that already passed the class. You can get a head start on most of the assignments

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  • December 22, 2018 at 8:41 am
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    Be curious about information in class. It will make learning it more fun.

    Reply
  • December 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm
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    1. Study with friends
    2. Repetition is the key
    3. For STEM subject, I usually only allow myself to read the textbook for maximum 30 mins then go on to practice with questions. Doing questions and solving them is the best way to study in STEM subject. You can’t possibly only read the textbook and memorise everything and write everything in a math test?
    4. Write flashcards for subjects and materials that need to be memorised.
    5. When you are outside, try to find anything that you can apply your subject knowledge on, for example, physics, why when the car stop, we tend to be ‘push forward’

    Reply
  • December 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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    Spaced repetition. Spaced repetition. Spaced repetition. Spaced repetition.

    Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm
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    Employ active learning strategies and try to minimise those that are passive

    Do:
    -questions from past papers
    -write out what you know in your own words
    -actively ask yourself the question +answer it aloud
    -recall don’t review information

    Don’t:
    -read a textbook to review
    -pretend to study for long periods -take a short break to clear your mind instead

    Happy holidays friends!
    -review

    Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm
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    Its studying long hours that makes studying difficult.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm
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    I love what you’re doing here!

    Mat his always easier when you take your time on it and don’t make any mistakes. Doing it the second time takes a lot longer than doing it the first time.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 5:33 pm
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    Try to understand the information before you try to remember it. If you understand something then you can figure it out without habing to memorize it first.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm
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    Always think about hooks when you’re trying to remember something. What makes it memorable. Does it sound funny?? Or does the word look a certain way??

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm
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    I know you’re going to think this totally isn’t important but I promise you it’s a huge time saver.

    Learn to type well. It’s a lot easier to finish work when you can fill out the answers faster. It’s amazing how big a difference 5 minutes here and there ends up making. I just get to write the worsts just about as fast as I can think and that makes essays a breeze because it’s just like talking.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 4:09 pm
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    If you don’t know an answer on test, try to answer something close.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm
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    As you go through your notes, try to catch everything you understood wrong when you first wrote the notes.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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    Regularly summarize your notes into less and less space so it’s easier and easier to study. Plus, copying your notes will help you memorize them while focusing on only the stuff that’s actually important.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 4:01 pm
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    Notes aren’t a collectors item.

    When a note isn’t valuable, get rid of it.

    You only have so much memory. Anything extra on your notes is a distraction.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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    I revise in morning because it ‘s easy when I had lots of sleep.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm
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    Stay sane by keeping it all small in your mind.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 7:46 am
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    Don’t try to memorize a ton. Memorize small bits at a time. Once you get the small bit you can add more information to the list.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 7:46 am
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    Understanding stuff can make it easier to memorze it.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 7:45 am
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    You don’t need to memorize everything for class. A lot of it isn’t going to be brought up ever again so just learn the essentials to not waste time.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm
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    Drinking water and a good sleep helps the brain to gather information faster and easily. Keeping all distractions blocked and listening to some study music is another tip to help study.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:40 am
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    Repeating what people might get you points but it misses the point.

    You should focus on learning the methods of thinking and questioning. Skepticism is a good thing. Doubt the stuff people tell you. Ask questions and try to prove them wrong. If you can’t then you can start taking it seriously. If you can then you’re learning something way more important.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:39 am
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    Don’t just answer questions. Think about them.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:37 am
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    Mistakes are a sign you’re going in the right direction.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:31 am
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    Most of grading is an opinion. Try to improve them but don’t take a bad one as if it’s the end of the world.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:28 am
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    Teachers lectures will point you where you need to go but it’s up to you to explore the area.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:26 am
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    True success depends on how you treat the classes you hate most of all.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:25 am
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    Not all work is equally important. Don’t do unimportant stuff. Always do the important stuff.

    I’m super excited for the chance to help! Good luck Aaron! I hope you go totally broke helping them. 🙂

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    Learning is hard and complicated but it feels really good.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:22 am
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    My favorite study tip: Focus is more important than anything else. Sitting and daydreaming won’t get you anywhere even if you do it all day long. 10 minutes of good focus will take you far.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:21 am
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    You can’t control everything.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:19 am
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    I love what you’re doing!

    Grades are based on your skills or intelligence. They’re based on your method and motivation.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:17 am
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    3. Benevolent means a good thing no matter how much I think it sounds evil. 😛

    Reply
    • December 10, 2018 at 11:29 am
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      Yea… I think that every time I see it too! 🙂

      Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:16 am
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    2. Test the results of everything you do. If the results are good, keep doing it.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:16 am
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    I’ve got three tips for you:
    1. Don’t trust advice without trying it.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:15 am
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    School is kind of like sports. It’s not the score at the end that matters but the score certainly has its benefits.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:12 am
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    I learned this one from here.

    Don’t study a second more than you have to in order to learn something. Massaging stuff you already know is self-indulgent and a complete time drain. Learn it. Stop learning it. Learn something else.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:12 am
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    Your success depends on you. There are bad schools, bad teachers, and bad histories but there are also those that overcome all of those to succeed. I know you can do it because I did. I was about as much of a long shot and you could get but I’m now at an Ivy League.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:10 am
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    Stay positive about your grades because that will help you learn better.

    If you don’t want study then you won’t do good.

    If you want to study then you’ll do bette.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:07 am
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    The greatest teacher is yourself.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:05 am
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    I’m going to be sharing this everywhere! I’m excited we’re doing this! 🙂

    To start us off:

    Don’t study for abstract stuff like your “future” or “fulfillment” or “being smart.” Sure… that stuff is important but you can’t focus on something abstract like that.

    Think about clear near-term future benefits like:

    – Impressing x
    – Scoring higher than last semester
    – You enjoy doing it

    Specific goals are easier to get motivated with than abstract goals that are hard to even imagine.

    If you are thinking about long-term goals: get specific. You don’t want “a better future.” You want a fancy new Lexus with a leather interior. Imagine it like you’re legs are burning on the seat on a warm summer day. Turn abstract goals into visceral goals.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:00 am
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    This is where you share your study tips.

    Thank you so much for participating!

    -Aaron


    Reply

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