Top 10 Study Skills for High School Students

Learn helpful study tips to use in high school and beyond.

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Have you ever heard someone say that high school grades don’t matter? It’s true that your college professor won’t care about the grade you got in 10th grade geometry, but he will be interested in the study skills you learned along the way.

High school is an important time to learn good study habits and improve your studying techniques. Here are 10 study skills for high school students to help you succeed in college.

Writing and note taking are important study skills for high school students transitioning into college.

1. Manage Your Time Wisely

Get used to keeping track of your time in high school and it will pay off for you in college. You might take as few as three or four classes per semester in college, which is only about 15 hours per week actually spent in class. While you may not sit in class for as many hours as you did in high school, your reading assignments in college will be doubled. Managing your free time is as important as managing your “busy” time.

2. Organize!

Keep a weekly or monthly planner or use a journal. If planners aren’t your thing, try making “to do” lists, or using your phone calendar to keep track of assignments and important dates and events. Relying on “just remembering” can be difficult when your obligations and assignments start to pile on.

3. Identify How You Learn

Find out what works for you. Are you a flash card girl? Maybe you’re a guy who writes down vocabulary words 20 times each to learn them. Experiment with new things, but stick to the tried-and-true study skills that have worked for you in the past.

4. Is There a Better Way to Study?

A lot of people cram for tests by studying into the wee hours the night before. Take an honest look at your study habits. Repeated, short sessions of studying are much more effective than a six-hour cram session the night before a final.

5. Catch Some Zzz’s

Don’t stay up until 4 a.m. studying for a test! It won’t work now and it won’t work in college. Sleep has been scientifically documented to be a significant factor on your GPA as well as how well you perform on other tasks.

6. Attend Class

While high school attendance is a strict business, it’s good practice for college. Most college classes will only meet once or twice per week, so they will count that much more. Many professors only allow two to three absences for the entire semester. Miss more than that and you’re grade sinks – or worse.

7. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help! They aren’t there to scare you; they’re a valuable resource. Students in your class are another great source of information and support. Be sure to exchange phone numbers and email addresses with them during your first few weeks of class. They will not only help with schoolwork, but some of them may even turn into long-time friends.

8. Make Study Groups

Studying with other students and working on assignments together can be helpful too. You can clarify points you may not understand, and help others by explaining the parts they find hard. Teaching others may even help you grasp a better understanding of the information as well.

9. Hone Those Writing Skills

Learn the fine art of the college essay and also be sure to take notes in class. Writing and note taking are important study skills for high school students transitioning into college. Don’t write everything your teacher says, but be sure to highlight the important points. You can also compare notes in with other students to review parts of the lecture you found difficult or may have missed.

10. Study Outside

Don’t just study in the library. Choosing multiple places to study will keep your boredom level low and may even help you perform better on tests.

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Basic High School Graduation Requirements vs. College Preparation
AP Classes: An Introduction
What’s an International Baccalaureate?
Taking College-Level Classes Outside Your High School
Taking Vocational Courses in High School

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