Megan Williams
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Jun, 23

How to Study Better in High School

High school is an important period in young people’s lives, since doing well and getting high marks can help them get into the college of their dreams and qualify for prestigious scholarships, which in turn can set them on the fast track to a successful career. This can understandably create a lot of stress for high school students and affect their academic performance negatively, especially if they are overachievers by nature. Moreover, students who are not academically inclined can become discouraged and prematurely give up on their pursuits. This is why it’s important to stress that any student can get good grades if they are dedicated and by using some simple but effective studying tips that will be explained in this article.

                   Good organization

Being organized is a crucial factor for academic success that serves as a basis for everything else. Creating a schedule and sticking to it as much as possible will help build good study habits, improve focus and bolster mental endurance. A common mistake is to only do the schoolwork necessary for the following day, but students should always review notes and assigned reading of the subjects that were taught in class on the same day after school, which ensures that the lessons will be remembered better since the information is still fresh and won’t fade away. This way, all of the studying done for the following day will be for the purpose of revision rather than learning for the first time. This way, studying for an exam will become significantly easier. Regular breaks of fifteen to twenty minutes should be included to avoid mental exhaustion, but it’s very important to avoid the temptation of extending them, as at that point they become counterproductive. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include periods of physical activity in the schedule to benefit students’ health and boost their mood. This can be anything from playing team sports to a simple walk in the park.

Comprehensive study materials

Another common mistake is to only use the textbook for studying while ignoring notes and additional recommended reading materials. The textbook should always be complemented by detailed notes taken during class and any assigned reading should be completed to increase understanding of the subject matter. Taking comprehensive notes should be a top priority as they contain the lecturer’s explanations and insights and can help students who are struggling with a particular subject. For subjects included in the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) this is even more important, and students can swap SACE notes to ensure they have the best possible study materials in case their own notes are incomplete or unsatisfactory. Additional reading often tends to get dismissed as unnecessary for the high school level of academics, but they usually contain useful information and a fresh perspective, so they should be skimmed over at the very least. However, if the subject in question is important for a student’s future career of choice, any and all additional materials should be read in detail.

Staying motivated

Sometimes staying motivated over a long period of time can be difficult for high school students, so it can be useful to take a step back once in a while and consider the larger picture, what their goals are and what they have to do to achieve them. For those whose priority is to attend a prestigious university, which means tough competition for admission and probably a higher price of tuition, they have to work extra hard not only to get in, but also to secure scholarships to reduce the financial load on their family. For a lot of careers these days, success is determined long before a person starts their first job – by their academic prowess and extracurricular activities, participation in charitable projects and personal as well as professional connections made during high school and college. Stress and pressure can lead to exhaustion, which is perfectly normal and not a mark of weakness or failure. Taking a weekend off for relaxation or travelling is good for recharging students’ batteries and allows them to commit to their studies with renewed motivation and energy.

Final considerations

As important as it is to succeed academically, it should always be remembered that high school is also a place for making friends and having fun. Focusing solely on their studies will leave students socially inept, which will be detrimental for both their professional and personal well-being. So, if you are a high school student, always allow yourself to have a bit of fun and socialize every day, and if you are a parent, let your kids be kids as long as possible because it’s these times that you will remember most fondly when they are all grown up.

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