As you begin your high school career, all of a sudden, grades become very important. Not only do they show your mastery of a subject and bring you pride; they have direct bearing on your opportunities to attend prestigious colleges and universities.
College may still seem like it’s a long way off, but students who learn how to study and earn good grades early in their high school careers will have an easier time achieving the successes they want later. Not only will they gain entrance to the best post-secondary institutions; they will also have learned the discipline and focus necessary to success in many walks of life.
You, too, can be one of the successful students whose report card features lots of As. It won’t come easily, but the rewards will follow you throughout your life. It’s not a function of being the smartest kid on the block; you’ll get results from being one of the most dedicated.
Here are some useful tips to put you on the right track to learning and studying success.
Study Strategies – Class Time:
- Choose With Care: As you select your high school classes, be sure to include lots of the three core subjects that will help you later in life: English, math and computer science. The skills taught in these courses are building blocks for future success, so take as much math as possible; learn grammar, spelling and essay writing; and understand both basic programming and computer usage skills.
- Pick Your Spot: Sit near the front of the class; it’s where the action is. Sitting near the teacher makes it necessary for you to remain alert and take part in the discussion. You’ll get more from the classroom experience if you’re involved.
- Take Notes: It has been shown that taking notes helps students to retain the information better, and handwritten notes have the edge over online notes as a learning tool, oddly enough.
- Be Present: Don’t miss classes. During each class, the teacher discusses topics he or she believes it’s important for you to learn. By being there, you’ll be aware of the most critical information – the ideas that will resurface on your tests. It’s not something your reading assignments will tell you.
Effective Study Skills – Studying Properly:
- Take Time: Successful students set aside time each weekday for studying and homework and they stick to it. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule about choosing a study time; the key is to select a time when your mind is alert. If that’s early in the morning before breakfast, that’s great. If your mind is more receptive late at night, that’s okay, too.
- Claim Your Space: Try to find a space that you don’t use for any other purpose than studying. Once you sit down there, it’s a signal that it’s time to focus and get serious. This space could be anywhere: a desk in your bedroom or a carrel in the public library.
- Pens at the Ready: Make sure you always have the necessary supplies at hand so that you don’t waste time each day searching around for paper and pens for note-taking. Even if you don’t have a permanent place to study or must leave home to do so, have a compartment or two in your backpack organized with the study essentials.
- Homework Helps: Homework isn’t simply the teachers’ attempt to torture you. They want to give you assignments that reinforce the lessons from class, get you excited about the subject and expand your knowledge of the topic. Doing your homework will ensure that you are prepared in class and understand the subject.
- Notes Now: It’s never too early to begin preparing for an eventual exam. Get a head start on studying by regularly reviewing the day’s notes from class. The material will begin to stick and you’ll find the subject more meaningful.
- Exceed Expectations: Challenge yourself and absorb more of the subject matter by going above and beyond the assigned work. If your teacher assigns five math problems, do 10. If the reading assignment calls for 20 pages, read 30. You may get caught up in the joys of the subject material in the process.
- Study Sessions: Find or create a study group of like-minded classmates for a weekly meeting. A group of students working together brings a variety of perspectives and ideas together for solving problems or reviewing materials, and it also has social benefits.
If you follow these suggestions, you’re sure to have success in high school. The good habits you develop now will also serve you well as you move on to university, college and the working world.