High school students may juggle six or seven classes at a time, and it can be challenging to retain and truly understand all of the information being shared in those classes. Not to mention, you likely struggle to coordinate big assignments, important tests, and daily homework assignments with other responsibilities, like your part-time job or extracurriculars. However, fitting study time into your life doesn’t have to be a burden. Here are the top five high school study tips to keep you succeeding in class without sacrificing hours of your time.
Take effective notes
You should be taking notes both in class and while completing reading assignments. Rather than just highlighting text, find a note-taking method that requires you to be active in your learning, such as writing down concepts in your own words. You may understand and recall concepts best when using the Cornell note-taking system, while your friend may benefit from mind maps. In a similar vein, consider taking notes using paper and pencil rather than using a laptop. Studies indicate that writing down concepts may boost memory and recall. The longer it takes for you to summarize the information on the page, the more time you spend reflecting on that information. Plus, taking notes does not have to feel like a laborious process; develop a shorthand method that you feel comfortable using to help speed up the note-taking process.
Read ahead in your syllabus
When you read ahead, you arrive at your class already primed to discuss the topic at hand. Thus, having more context in class can improve your overall understanding of the material. Also, reading ahead when you have extra time is a time management strategy that can help you later, when you’re overwhelmed and unable to complete a reading assignment.
Form a study group
If you have heard the expression that there is strength in numbers, this also applies to studying—there are many benefits of group study. Identify a few of your like-minded and motivated peers and form a weekly study group. Studying may feel like less of a chore if it is done in a group. Plus, you may also develop new friendships and bond with your classmates. Study groups allow students to bounce questions off each other and summarize information in different ways, rather than just reading or writing notes on your own. In addition, making a commitment to your peers to meet each week may help keep you accountable for studying consistently.
Don’t cram when studying
You will have no need to cram at the last minute if you utilize effective time management. One option may be using a detailed planner or calendar that notes your long-term projects, upcoming tests, and homework assignments, along with personal and extracurricular appointments. After reviewing your weekly schedule, schedule time for studying. Give yourself an hour or two each day that you dedicate to homework and studying, but be realistic in your goals. If you study consistently and well in advance, you won’t need to pull all-nighter study sessions before a big test.
Ask questions when reviewing for a test
When in doubt, ask questions! If you find yourself confused or lost when reading your textbook, reviewing notes, or listening to the lecture, schedule an appointment with your teacher, send an email, or raise your hand and ask for clarification. The longer you allow yourself to remain confused, the more likely it is that you will be confused by additional concepts. Your teachers are there to ensure you understand the material, so don’t be afraid to ask questions when needed. You likely aren’t the only confused student, and you’ll be doing the class a favor by asking for clarification.
These are the top five high school study tips, but there are many more strategies and techniques that may ease your stress or increase your understanding of the material. Experiment with different methods until you find a routine that works for you. Whatever study tips you follow, if you practice them consistently, you will likely see an improvement in your grades and in your confidence.
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