10 August 2021 (updated)

13 After-School Study Tips for Students

Which student doesn't want to get better grades and have an overall easier time through school? The following study tips will help you maximize your study time so that you can stay organized and sane all year long!

Study Tips: How Do You Decide What to Study?

Prioritizing your assignments and determining what to practice first is no easy task, especially if you're a high school student. On the one hand, you probably have the pressure of college, or at least graduation, looming in the distance. On the other hand, you also want to enjoy your teenage years and just be a kid!

The following study tips will help you boost your learning and understanding of your subjects. They might even save you time and effort, plus help you improve your exam scores, too!

Study Tips to Be Productive After School

You're not going to ace any exam if you come home and play video games all day! One of the best ways for high school students and others to be productive after school is to make a plan. This plan can include exercise and physical activity to get your endorphins going, or you might want to jump straight in and start practice assignments.

If you allow yourself to have some leisure time after school, limit yourself to a set amount of time, like one TV show or 30 minutes on social media before you get to work. You might even want to keep screens and electronic devices off-limits before you get your work done. The learning process is so much more difficult when you have too many distractions, and none of these study tips will be that effective if you're glued to a screen!

A solid study schedule will help you organize your time and will make high school so much easier!

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Study Tips: Back to Basics

As funny as it seems, you need to learn how to learn and study how to study. While any student can take a class in study skills, the vast majority of studying involves knowing what's expected of you and doing it. Here are a few tips:

1. Read Your Student Assignments and Understand the Expectations.

It's so easy to make mistakes when you don't know what's expected of you. So make sure you bring the right textbook home with you if you have a big test coming up.

2. Plan Ahead.

Most of the time, teachers will give you a lot of advance notice for larger assignments, and they don't expect you to write a 5-page essay or study for a year-long exam at the last minute. Instead, they want you to break down each assignment little by little. So when you look through your nightly assignments, be sure to put aside a little bit of time for longer-term projects.

3. Pick a Studying Method that Works Best for You.

On the whole, we tend to fall into two different categories. Some of us like to start with the hard stuff first, so we tackle the hardest things when our brain is fresh. That way, we can breeze through studying easier things. Others prefer to start with easier subjects so they can cross more things off the list before tackling more challenging material. You can be successful with either method. So find a way that works for you, and stick with it. You might even want to switch between the two study styles depending on which mood.

4. Know Your Specific Learning Style.

A few years ago, there was a popular notion in academia that some students are visual learners, others auditory, and others kinesthetic (aka hands-on learners). While these principles generally make sense, there really isn't a ton of evidence behind this philosophy. Instead, the best way to improve your learning potential is to figure out which study techniques work best for you. We all will have different styles of time management, but knowing your learning style is a good way to start the process.

How Do You Plan How to Study? Strategic Study Tips

The following tips will help you study smart, so you can have enough time to squeeze in all the important information you'll need. Sometimes you can go it alone, but at other times you'll benefit from a little help from friends.

5. Find a Special Study Spot.

This place could be your high school library or student center, a coffee shop, your bedroom, or really anywhere you can be alone and focus on your own study plan. Some of us like to work in total silence, so a secluded corner in your high school might be the ideal study space. Others of us like to be around people and white noise, so your study strategies might include working in a busier location. It doesn't matter where you end up studying. Just have that place where you can focus.

6. Take Good Notes in Class.

Good study habits begin in class. In many classes for high school and college students, your teachers will emphasize the important topics for test day during daily classes. So if you listen well in class and pay attention, studying will be infinitely easier!

7. Find a Good Study Buddy or Create a Study Group.

This person doesn't necessarily have to be a good friend, and sometimes you're better off studying with someone you won't be tempted to talk to about things that don't relate to your classes. You'll be better off just talking about the topics in your textbook or from class notes that will definitely be on the exam!

8. If You're Really Struggling with the Material, Find a Good Tutor.

Sometimes it's hard to pay attention in class, or studying with friends creates too much distraction. If you really struggle with the material in certain classes, get outside help from a tutor. They can help you break down the material that you need to, and might even have new information that promotes your personal learning.

9. Talk to Your Teacher.

Make sure you really understand the material and the expectations. Just knowing those basic details can go a long way towards improving your grades and achieving academic success. Your teacher can be your greatest advocate. So make sure you keep the communication lines open.

What's the Best Way to Study for a Test?

Here are a few test preparation tips so you don't have to cram or memorize everything at the last minute!

10. Review Your Old Homework, Quizzes, Exams, and Class Work Assignments.

The vast majority of the tools you need will be in the material you've already covered. Your teacher wants you to succeed and will often give you clues in class as to the exam materials. Pay attention! Different teachers will emphasize different components of the material-- some generate their tests primarily from class discussions. Others really care about the reading and homework. Listen carefully. You might also want to talk with other students who have taken the same class to see if they could offer any test tips.

11. Use Flashcards.

They can really help you memorize the more difficult concepts and are especially useful for new vocabulary or math facts. If you're the type of student who passionately hates flashcards and rote memorization, find another system that can help you go through this type of material. Some people love making mindmaps, sample quizzes, or writing explanations to help them. Online programs like Anki and Quizlet can help students generate virtual flashcards and quizzes.

12. Talk to Students Who Took the Same Class Last Year.

Take this tip to heart, especially if you have an essay test. Sometimes there will be similar themes or exam questions from year to year, so they can help guide you in the right studying direction. They might also help you know whether it's more beneficial to study your in-class notes, old homework, reading assignments, or all of the above.

13. Set Up a Study Session with Other People in Your Class.

Add students to your study session who have similar academic goals and will help you focus. They might even introduce new study methods into your life, so you get the best exam grades in your life. Study sessions can be especially helpful if you have oral exams for a foreign language since you can practice having conversations with others. Keep in mind; your best friends are not necessarily your best study partners.

Study Tips for Life

While we all want to ace the final exam, often the effort we put into our homework, or smaller assignments is what really makes the difference in the end. Rather than focusing on the big outcomes, make small decisions to improve your study habits. Your higher exam results are sure to follow!

What are your favorite study tips? Is there anything we missed? Let us know below in the comments, or strategize your study strategy on your favorite family app!



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