How to do homework faster and more efficiently? That’s probably the question in every student’s mind. Homework is a responsibility that every high school student has to do, but ultimately learns to hate with a passion.
Why is this so? For one, rather than go home and get some much-needed rest and sleep after a hard day’s work of learning in school, you need to write an essay, solve a head-splitting batch of math problems, or read a new chapter from your textbook.
There’s also the matter that homework prevents you from hanging out with friends.
Let’s face it.
You’d rather play basketball or soccer or watch a movie with your friends than get stuck at home doing homework.
The Purposes of Homework
If you’re one of those students who has developed an intense hatred for homework, unfortunately for you, it is not an “unnecessary evil”.
Learning how to do homework serves a number of key purposes. These purposes are constantly being observed by your teachers to ensure that you are getting the most out of your learning, as well as develop helpful skills.
These key purposes of homework are the following:
1) Results in the development of meaningful learning in the student
2) Deepens the student’s understanding of the subject content
3) Promotes the development of independence and proficiency in the performance of certain skills and tasks
4) Promotes the development and practice of new skills so that the student can perform these skills faster and with greater proficiency
5) Identify problem areas in their learning and provide the necessary correction and guidance through effective teacher-student communication.
Of these key purposes, you should focus in particular on points Nos. 3 and 4. If learning is intended for you to develop and practice a new skill, what better skill to learn than knowing how to finish your homework faster?
Without further ado, let me give you important tips on how to do homework faster and yet still retain high quality so that you will get good grades.
Important Tips on How to Do Homework Faster
1) Always check your daily school schedule.
Much ado has been made by certain education sites about how Theodore Roosevelt was such an over-achiever in school. However, the key to Teddy’s academic success lies in his being able to manage his daily school schedule.
Before turning in for the night or upon waking up in the morning, always make it a point to check your daily school schedule. You will soon notice that your sked is not as packed as you thought at first. There may be days wherein you can have as much as thirty minutes to an hour for studying in school, and this includes doing your homework.
2) Record all sample problems presented by your teacher.
If you notice, teachers may ask you and your classmates questions which they expect you to answer. Jot down immediately these questions and their corresponding answer, including the explanations that they will give. It is highly likely that the homework that will be assigned to you will focus on these specific points mentioned in class.
Math problems are an entirely different matter. You may have seen your teacher cover the whiteboard with a series of long equations and then erase them before you can copy them all. In these cases, simplify by just writing down the math problem and its answer. You may be surprised that there are other ways by which you can arrive at the same answer.
3) Do most of your homework while still in school.
As much as possible, get all or most of your homework done while still in school. It will be easier for you to do your homework in between classes because the subject matter is still fresh in your mind. There’s also the simple matter that you have access to the library and other learning resources in school to help supplement your studies.
4) Learn to prioritize which homework to do first.
Obviously, you should finish homework that needs to be turned in the following day. However, for essays, research papers, and other homework that you need to submit after a week or more, squeeze in a few minutes to do parts of them a day at a time.
For example, if your History teacher wants you to write a 15-page paper on the effects of the colonization of Australia. So how to do homework? You can divide your paper into sections. During the first day, you can write the introduction. The next day, write the first paragraph of the body of your paper, and so on and so forth. This way, you can also avoid the last-minute scrambling that comes with procrastination.
5) Allot finishing times to specific homework tasks.
For this tip, a clock or a timer will be of great help to you. Always keep in mind that students need eight hours of sleep at night in order to refresh the brain for the following day. Not including dinner, you may have three to four hours to do your homework and study for the next day.
List down your homework and allot time to complete them. For example, your math homework may take you 25-30 minutes to do. Science homework may take another 15-20 minutes. If you are assigned chapters to read in three subjects, divide your hour so that you can finish all your reading.
I still believe in the necessity of a full night’s sleep, so I recommend doing homework for not more than three hours every night. If it can be accomplished, you can allot only two hours for homework.
6) Always start with the difficult homework.
You may have been taught that you should start with the easy problems and skip the difficult ones and return to them later when taking tests. When doing your homework, it’s the reverse. You should begin with the hard homework.
The reason for this is to allow your brain to switch smoothly between focused to diffused thinking. When you are concentrated on a difficult homework, you are practicing focused thinking. However, focused thinking can exhaust your mind so that you are unable to do your homework even if the answer is right in front of you.
When this happens, switch to working on the easier homework. This switches your brain from focused to diffused thinking, allowing your mind to wander and to refresh itself. Diffused thinking also opens up your mind to other thoughts and insights which will help you to solve the harder homework when you go back to it later.
7) Take short breaks in between homework.
You may think that taking short breaks between homework will only lengthen the time it takes for you to finish. These short breaks of five to ten minutes, however, help to keep your energy up and/or reinvigorate you for the next homework to be done.
8) When you finish your homework, reward yourself.
Give yourself an incentive to finish your homework. Whether you finish on time or ahead of your estimated schedule, reward yourself with a treat. It could be something as simple as a yummy sandwich and a glass of milk or watching the latest episode of your favorite show or movie on Netflix.
Now that you know how to do homework in a quicker and more efficient way, you’ll be on your way finishing your homework in no time, leaving you extra time to relax.