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Zip Through Your Homework
by Ron Kurtus (revised 16 January 2017)
Some students seem to spend more time on their homework than they would like to. For them, it seems like it never ends. They feel that homework is a drag and takes much more time from life than it should.
Your attitude should be that you want to zip through your homework, so you can go out and have fun but still learn the material and get good grades. There are some special skills you need in order to do that.
Questions you may have include:
- Why don't many students zip through their homework?
- What attitudes do you need?
- Are there any special skills needed?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Many don't zip
Most students would like to spend less time on their homework but very few actually look into methods that can cut the time spent on it.
What some students do
Some simply skip their homework and pay the consequences of poor grades and not learning things. Others are so worried about doing well, that they devote their lives to homework instead of finishing it quickly and being able to go out and have some fun.
Some students have problems simply getting started with their homework.
Andrea had a problem with procrastination. When it was time to do her homework, she would find something trivial that she “had to do” before starting her assignments.
By the time she finally got started, it was late in the evening, so she didn't have time to finish or do a good job.
Be effective and efficient
You don't want to spend more time than is necessary on homework unless it is something you truly enjoy doing. You want to get through the material in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Think of getting the job done
How fast you go through your homework has much to do with your attitude and priorities. You should think in terms of getting the work done, even before you start. The choice is yours whether to spend the whole evening on homework or to do a good job done as quickly as possible.
Focus on allotted time
If your goal is to get through with your homework as soon as possible, because you have other things you want to do, then you must set your mind to that goal and focus at completing the task in an allotted time period.
How much time should you spend?
Teachers usually have an idea of how long the homework assignments they give should take you. Some say you should spend one hour per class hour, while other teachers require less time.
Find out what their estimate is. If you are taking much longer than the teacher expects, then it is possible that you are ineffective in your study habits.
Time how long it takes you to do the homework in each subject. By measuring the approximate time it takes, you can tell if you are spending more time than you should on a specific subject.
Use special homework skills
Once you have set your mind to how you are going to do your homework, you get down to the actual task. Homework usually consists of reading material in your textbook and doing written assignments. Sometimes you must do outside research on a subject.
You want to be able to read the material rapidly, understand what you read and remember important points. Then you must answer questions, solve problems or write out reports. You want to go through each area quickly and efficiently. In some areas there are skills to increase your effectiveness.
(Check out the lessons on Special Homework Skills and Reading Faster for detailed tips and methods).
Get it done
You want to get your homework done as fast as possible. Who wants to spend excess time on homework, when there are other things to do?
The way to do get it done is to manage your time, don't get sidetracked, keep focused and switch subjects when saturated.
Jose was involved in many activities at school, so he needed to zip through his homework and still get good grades. He set his mind to doing his work effectively and efficiently. The self-discipline really helped him.
(See Get Your Homework Done for more information.)
You can zip through your homework if you have the proper mind-set, use some simple techniques such as reading faster and improving your memory, and focus on finishing your homework.
Examine how you do things
Resources and references
Ron Kurtus' Credentials
How To Do Homework FAST - 2 Steps to Speed (Without Anxiety)
Get Your Homework Done Fast - WikiHow
5 tips for getting homework done without a fight - Advice for parents
How can you do your homework more efficiently? - WikiAnswers
Homeworkhelp.com - Provides some free lessons but also charges for better information
Homework Helper - Lists of homework webistes for all levels from CollegeScholarships.org
Good Grades Resources
Top-rated books on Studying
Questions and comments
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How to do homework fast: 10 helpful tips
Even though many students dislike homework, teachers still assign it. Many students have homework every single night. When students are busy with after-school jobs, caring for family members, or attending athletic practices, they do not always have enough time to complete their homework assignments. In order to complete assignments and still have time to fit everything in, here are 10 helpful tips:
- Use your computer. If your teacher gives you a handout to complete, answer the questions on your computer. Most people type faster than they write, so you will be able to answer the questions faster.
- Find a spot where you can work. Distractions, like mobile phones, televisions, and other people, can get in the way of completing homework quickly. Finding a distraction-free area is one step to finishing faster.
- Start your work at school. Many teachers give students some free time at the end of class. Instead of talking to students or lining up at the door, spend that time starting on your homework. Those extra five minutes can make a big difference, especially if you have five extra minutes six times each day.
- Turn off your mobile. Phones are extremely distracting. If you do not need it for your homework, then turn it off and leave it somewhere else in your home. Whatever texts pop up when you are working can wait until you are finished.
- Have your materials handy. Your workspace should be stocked with paper, pens, a calculator, and other necessary items. You do not need to waste time if everything you need is in arm’s reach.
- Dedicate time each day. Even if you do not have any homework, you can still dedicate some time to improving your learning. Read a book or write in a journal, but do something each day so you build a routine for each day.
- Know who can help. If you know your dad is better at math, then do not go to you mom for math help. If your dad cannot spell, do not waste your time asking him how to spell.
- Record your assignments. It does not matter if you use a mobile phone or a paper planner, do not try to memorize your assignments. If you record them in your calendar, you can easily access them at home and you do not have to waste time calling someone for the assignment.
- Hire someone to complete your work. If you do this, you will not need to do any of your homework. You might need a job to be able to pay for all of those assignments, but they will get done.
- Time yourself. Use a timer to see how long it takes you to complete your homework. Then, the next night, give yourself a minute less to get your work done. Continue dropping a minute or another interval each night and see how much faster you get.