Studying can be extremely frustrating. You have to start by forcing yourself to study in the first place, and then once you do start studying it’s difficult to know how long to study for, how to stay productive while studying, and what grade all your hard work will amount to in the end. This is why we’ve spoken with high school teachers, teaching assistants, and university professors across North America to compile a list of the top 6 study tips for all students. If a certified teacher said it, it must be true - right?
Tip #1: Review early
We hear teachers in every class say a week before an essay is due, “I assume all of you have started working on your assignments,” to which a few students typically laugh and roll their eyes. Procrastination is common and it’s understandable some of the time, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. Start reviewing at least one week in advance of a test. This way, you can take it day-by-day and won’t be stressed if things just aren’t sticking on one particular day. Divide your time into tiny chunks - studying for 30 minutes per day for seven days is nothing, whereas studying for over 3 hours in one night is a bit daunting.
Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is one tip that all educators unanimously agreed on. Whenever a teacher asks the class if anyone has any questions, they rarely see a student raise their hand. Don’t be afraid to speak with your teacher. If you’re not comfortable in class, then speak with them after class or in their office. Alternatively, there are several amazing (and affordable) tutoring resources out there. Several teachers said the majority of their students would benefit from a tutor but unfortunately the students are unaware of the tutoring resources available to them. GradeSlam is one option that offers two weeks of free tutoring to all students. It’s online and tutors are available 24/7 available to help students of all ages in any subject (from math to science to languages).
Tip #3: Use technology
The teachers we spoke with want to clear up the misconception that teachers are anti-technology. No, they don’t want their students texting during class, but they are well aware of the amazing inventions in the ed-tech world. One university professor highly recommended Evernote as a way to keep your lecture notes organized, while a high school math teacher recommended StudyBlue, Mathway, Quizlet, and even YouTube!
Tip #4: Be competitive
A little bit of healthy competition between students serves as excellent motivation. A feeling of competition in the classroom is a great way to engage students and incentivize them to study harder and get the best grade possible. We know it’s not in everyone’s nature to be competitive, so if you’re not the competitive type, then don’t think of it as a competition against your fellow classmates, think of it as a competition against yourself. Set goals for yourself in each of your classes and strive to achieve them with each assignment. For example, maybe you want to get 5% better on your next math test, or take on a leadership role in your next group project.
Tip #5: Take breaks
Teachers see so many of their students burnt out from studying too much. Yes, studying is important, but it’s all about a healthy balance. Taking study breaks is essential. Perhaps even devote one day a week where you don’t do any studying at all. In order to be the most productive you can be, you need to be relaxed.
Tip #6: Find your academic passion
This may be a little bit more difficult in high school, but if you can, find a subject you’re passionate about. Being interested in what you’re learning is essential in succeeding in a class, and will make it much easier when it comes time to study for a final exam. If you find a certain week’s lecture interesting, do some outside research on it to learn more (even if it’s just Wikipedia). Especially in university when you have several electives, it’s important to take classes you are excited about, rather than classes that look easy or fit into your schedule.