Effective Study: A Resource for Parents

This resource page for parents is based on the content of another resource page for students. 

Clearly, parents and guardians have an important role to play in providing a suitable environment within which students may study and learn. However, with increasing age the responsibility to direct their own studies will fall more and more on students themselves. The role of parents will tend more towards encouraging, facilitating and supporting good study habits and routines, and will be less directive.  
The student resource sheet includes a number of underlying assumptions, such that students will:
  • be self-directing and will have made some progress in their studies
  • aspire to what effective and efficient students do in their studies
  • consult important people in their lives when in need of help and encouragement
  • have access to a competent guidance counsellor
Some students find it easy to study effectively. They are the fortunate ones. They have found ways of learning more in the limited time available. 
Other students, however, don’t reach their full potential when studying. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes the reasons are quite complicated and students will need the help of parents to seek solutions. 
Listed below are issues that can help, or hinder, effective study. The lists are presented as a quick reference guide to help you and your young person to think about study and to encourage them to deal with any of the issues that might arise. 
It is suggested that, if problems with study still exist after trying and discussing some of the listed items, the student’s guidance counsellor be consulted.  
For convenience, the issues listed in the student resource sheet at are grouped under the following categories: 
When to ask for help?
Having spoken to your young person about the issues listed above, you might find that they wish to improve the way they study or:
  • Some of the ideas have been tried and don’t seem to work
  • They are confused by the number of possible things that can go wrong
  • They need further information about any of the ideas
  • They need help in making a start
  • They need someone to check that what they’re doing is effective.
These are the kind of issues that many students face and the guidance counsellor can help to sort out. Having spoken to their subject teacher, students can make an appointment to speak to their guidance counsellor who is there to help those who, having tried to study effectively, wish for encouragement, guidance and help in seeking improvement. 
What you have read above is a summary of ideas about study. Guidance counsellors will be familiar with the many resources available not only about study, but also about topics such as reading, memory, note-taking and healthy living. If you are interested in learning more about anything in this outline, you will find it on websites, such as https://www.wikihow.com/Study,  https://www.how-to-study.com/ and on the Student Resources section of http://careersnews.ie/. 
NCGE acknowledges the contribution of Colum Layton in the development of this resource page.