High School Survival Guide: The 10 Best Study Tips and Skills for Succeeding in High School

Daniela is a 15 year old from Miami, FL.  She loves writing, helping others, and her favorite subject is psychology because she wants to major in psychology one day. 

What you do in high school can determine how your future is going to be and everyone wants to find ways to make this time in their lives easier. Studying is one part of high school that many people seem to have some sort of difficulty with. Studying seems never ending. High school students need to study for a variety of course tests, graduation exams, and of course the famous SAT and ACT exams. It can be very stressful for everyone but if you use these tips wisely you are guaranteed to develop better study skills and do better on those dreaded test.



1. Actually listen in class! Seems simple right? But most students don’t do it. If you are actively listening in class and you actually learn the material during class you won’t need to go home and learn the material by yourself, making studying easier. Your BFFs daily gossip in Biology can wait.

2. Don’t procrastinate! If your History teacher tells you that there is a test next friday on the last few chapters that you studied, don’t wait until Thursday night to start studying because you won’t remember anything. Instead, spread out your studying. Meaning, study thirty minutes a day until Friday. It doesn’t seem like much, but your brain will remember more and you’ll be less stressed out.

3. Have a place that you can study in peace. Don’t study in the kitchen where your mom is singing to the Beatles while cooking dinner or don’t study in your room while on all of your social networking sites and texting your friends. Find a place where you can study without distractions; a place that you can call your own.

4. Be organized! You’re probably asking, what does cleaning my room have to do with studying for my math exam? Well, if you are organized it’ll make finding things that you need easier and will help you stress out less in the long run.

5. Use YouTube to your advantage! Sometimes after reading textbooks for a long period of time we can easily start to feel frustrated and need a visual way to “see” what we are reading. Believe it or not YouTube is for more than just music lyrics and comedy to pass time. There is a lot of school material on YouTube. Lets say your studying Algebraic Functions and you need help. If you search on YouTube “Algebraic Functions”, a plethora of different videos will come up with people just like you and teachers giving you a visual representation of the material.

6. Reward yourself! Give yourself something to look forward to, if you finish studying. Thursday is the day that Jersey Shore comes on at 10 PM, so you can make a “deal” with yourself that if you study for your math exam from 8 to 9 PM than you can watch Jersey Shore at 10 PM

7. Make studying a habit! It takes 21 days to form a habit. So, if everyday for about a month you come home and study than it will become a habit and you’ll feel “weird” not studying after school.

8. Summarize! When studying for College test such as the SAT/ACT or any other test that you may need, it is best to make a summery of what you just read in your head before turning the page. For example, let’s say you read a page on math skills you may need. Before you turn to the other page, think about what you just read and try to summarize it. If you can’t it, it means you haven’t learned it. Read it again!

9. No more all night cramming sessions! Everyone has experienced those at one time or another. Try not to study when you’re tired or sleepy because you’ll remember and memorize less than you would when you are wide awake and you’ll just waste your time and fall asleep on your test the next day.

10. The most important study tip of all: The key to memorizing something for a test is to store it in the “long term” memorization section of your brain instead of the “short term”. How can you do that you ask? Well, things that are stored in the “long term memorization section” are things that you WANT to learn or think are necessary to learn. So during class, repeatedly tell yourself (in your mind of course) “this is important, I need to learn this” and you’ll train your mind to remember that in the “long-term memorization section”



Photo By: scui3asteveo from Flickr           

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