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High School Study Tips for Students

Updated on November 5, 2012
Know What to Study
Know What to Study | Source

How to Study

High school can be really tough. You are taking so many different classes, plus extracurricular activities, maybe a job, and of course a social life. How do you find time to do it all, and do it all well? It's hard to figure out how to study with all that going on in your life.

There are just a few tips that can change the way you study. Try these and you will see more success, better grades, and have MORE free time! There are three important things to know to succeed in your classes:

  • What do you need to know?
  • When do you need to know it?
  • How will you be expected to prove it?

If you can answer these three questions, you've got it made!

What to Study?

What information do you need to know?

This is a question to ask yourself when you first find out about a test or quiz, or even a paper or project. What information is important to your success?

Even if you think you know the answer, it always helps to ask your teacher. You will be amazed at what you learn when you ask the teacher what, specifically, will be required. If you get a vague answer, such as "chapters 2 and 3," ask more questions as you review the chapters in class. It is also really helpful to ask your teacher for tips on how to study for his or her class. Your classmates will thank you!

In order to be prepared and study effectively, you need to know exactly what information you need to know. This will also prevent you from spending time studying things you don't need to know. That time can be better spent doing something else!

Plan your studying
Plan your studying | Source

Make a Study Schedule

When do you need to know the information?

The most important thing you can do to study effectively is to plan ahead. With just a little planning, you can make studying a lot easier and have more time for the things you enjoy!

When you first find out about an upcoming test or quiz, make a note of it in your calendar. Then, count back from the date of the test and figure out how long you have to study and what you should do each day. Here is an example:

Let's say you have three weeks until your Biology test. The test will cover three chapters, or 90 pages. To spread the studying out over the three weeks, you will need to study 30 pages each week. That may sound like a lot, but it's a lot better than studying 90 pages in one day! You will still want to review the chapters in the few days before the test, but by then you will already know the information. Below is a sample schedule for the first week before the Biology test.

Sample Study Schedule

Monday, Week 1
Review pages 1-10. Make note of any questions.
15 minutes
Tuesday, Week 1
Ask questions in class. Review pages 10-20.
15 minutes
Wednesday, Week 1
Ask questions in class. Review pages 20-30.
15 minutes
Thursday, Week 1
Ask questions in class. Quickly skim pages 1-30.
10 minutes
Friday, Week 1
Day off!

Repeat this schedule for the next three weeks, finishing off with a review of the entire pages, and you'll find you know the information very well. By learning it a little at a time, it isn't so overwhelming and it's easier to understand in small pieces.

What is the most difficult subject to study in high school?

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Know the Information

How will you be expected to prove what you know?

Now that you know what to study and when to study, it's time to make sure you know how you will need to prove that you know the information. Make sure you understand fully how the test will be structured - is it multiple choice? Essay? Short answer? Or something else?

If you are writing a paper, make sure you have all of the requirements for what the paper should contain. This is more than just a topic and number of need to know how the teacher will grade the paper. Is he or she looking for creativity, or is there a specific structure you are expected to follow?

If you can answer this question along with the first two, you can apply them and achieve success!

Study Skills and Tips

So now that you have the answers to the three key questions, how do you learn the information? Here are some tips:

  • If you have a lot of text to read, try the repetitive reading method - you will cover more information in less time and remember it better!
  • Use mnemonic devices to remember information. Make up a song or a rhyme that is funny and memorable.
  • For math classes, it takes practice. Change the numbers in some of your homework problems and work them again. Or, ask your teacher to provide some practice problems similar to the ones that will be on the test.
  • Use your learning style to find new techniques to remember things. This will make your life SO much easier, and your studying so much faster!


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    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Kittyjj - please feel free to share, and let me know if it helps your kids!

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you for sharing these helpful and practical tips for students. I think my kids should also read these useful tips.

      Voted up and useful!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Super timely tips here! One thing that dramatically changed my study habits was to rewrite my class notes. Somehow, writing them over again reinforced what I had heard in class and cemented it in my mind.

      Voted up and up!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Adjkp25 - I hope this helps! Time management is definitely an issue in high school. There is so much else going on that it's hard for kids to set priorities. That's why I advocate efficient studying, so you don't have to spend as much time doing it. Thanks for the votes!

    • adjkp25 profile image


      6 years ago from Northern California

      I'm going to have our high school sophomore son read this because he is always complaining about not having enough time to do things; the problem is he usually makes this complaint when he is sitting on the floor watching TV.

      Voted up and useful


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