Study Hacks: Guildford author says online distraction the main struggle for high schoolers

Study Hacks author Jane Genovese. Picture: Emily Wilson
Study Hacks author Jane Genovese. Picture: Emily Wilson

A GUILDFORD author, who has launched a book on study hacks, says online distraction is the main struggle for high school students.

Jane Genovese’s Study Hacks: Your Survival Guide for High School features practical strategies students aged 12 to 17 years of age can use to stop procrastinating and cut their study time in half.

Dr Geneovese, who runs a company called Learning Fundamentals and lectures at Murdoch University, worked with her artist brother Stephen to create the book.

She also formed an online program, The Study Hacks Masterclass, which has more than 50 easy-to-understand videos covering key study strategies and quizzes.

Dr Genovese said her book came about after a phone call from the deputy principal of John Curtin College of the Arts, who wanted her to write a book to prepare students for high school.

“It basically just pulls together all the strategies that really help me with my studies because it was not always easy for me,” she said.

“I pretty much bombed out of my first test at university, got one out of 20, was really close to dropping out.

“But, I was just lucky that a law professor suggested I try mind-mapping and it made all the difference.”

Dr Genovese said she wanted to launch the book and online program across Australia.

“The first section is really looking at the importance of cultivating good sleep, hygiene, exercise and looking at your mindset,” she said.

“I think the number one thing students struggle with that I see, in my experience of working in schools, is online distractions – Facebook, Instagram.

“Give your phone to your parents, put it in another room, install an internet block application; if you can really manage those distractions it is going to make a huge difference.”

She said when high school students face challenges, they would jump to the conclusion that they were not good at a particular subject.

“I want students to feel a sense of confidence when it comes to their studies,” she said.

“I want them to just strive intellectually, emotionally, physically because I know when I was a student, it was very difficult.”

Dr Genovese is currently working on another book and online program based on exam hacks and presenting her strategies at schools.

Study Hacks is out now and available from

Dr Jane Genovese’s top study tips

1. Deal with distractions from the outset: know what things are likely to distract you so you can avoid getting derailed when you study
2. Aim to be a ‘completionist’ (not a perfectionist). Done is better than perfect!
3. Avoid using highlighter pens. Highlighting gives you a false sense of confidence.
4. Work in eight minute bursts.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is critical to the learning process.
6. Start doodling. Studies have found students who draw pictures to capture the information they need to learn retain 30 per cent more information than students who don’t draw pictures.

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