Establishing good study habits can take time and practice, but the sooner you start focusing on forming good practices, the easier it will be to succeed in high school. With every passing year of school, students’ workload gets heavier and more challenging. Students should have a plan to tackle the increasing schoolwork and effective study habits should be an important aspect of that plan.
It's important to remember that habits are easier to keep than they are to form so if you start off early when your workload is lighter, you’ll have an easier time getting good habits to stick. Here are some tips and tricks to stay on top of your work.
Review long-term projects every time you sit down to do homework
All students should have a planner, either physical or digital, where they log all homework, quizzes, projects or tests. A lot of students fall into the trap of just looking at tasks due the next day or that week, and put off dealing with more long-term projects. Take a couple minutes each time you complete homework in that subject, to review long-term projects or final semester tests. It's a great way to remind yourself of these projects and encourage you to start working on them sooner. College courses will frequently have end of semester papers or projects that require consistent work throughout the semester, so this is a great habit to get into before starting college.
Break-up test topics into categories that allow you to focus your efforts efficiently
A lot of students break up test material by chapter or by topic which is a very simple and quick way to group topics, but there are other ways that could be more helpful. For example, try categorizing by how well you know the information based on your recollection of the class discussion. Then focus more on the topics that you are weaker on so that you use your time more efficiently.
Alternatively, you could categorize according to the time it takes to answer a test question. Separate material that is factual and likely to be covered in the test using multiple-choice questions, from the broader more complex information that could warrant a discussion or essay-style question. Once you have done this, you can focus more on the material that involves a longer response and therefore a larger proportion of the total test score over the multiple-choice questions that make up a small proportion of the score.
Find a note-taking and studying method that suits your individual learning style
The way you like to organize information as you take notes can differ greatly from your peers. Some students are more visual and need charts and diagrams; others use color coding to differentiate material; and others prefer to write everything down and then go back and reorganize the information after class. Tactile learners might prefer to write things out on a whiteboard to study, whereas auditory learners might prefer to re-listen to recordings of lectures. The method you use is most likely your preferred method because it's suited to your learning style; so stick to it and avoid deviating from it too much. Pairing your note-taking and study habits with your learning style will always be the best method for success.
Forming good study habits takes time and dedication (it is believed it takes 6 weeks of regular repetition to make a behavior a habit) but it is definitely worth it - it will set you up for success in high school and prepare you for college. Schedule a free initial consultation with our team to learn how our dedicated college counselors can help you form great study habits.