Studying for tests isn’t something most teens like to do, but it’s an important and unavoidable part of being successful in high school. Since schools don’t show kids how to study, teaching your teen effective study tips can make a world of difference.
Go over notes night before
Studying more often than just the night before a test is important, but that night-before time is important too. By reviewing your notes, you can make sure you’ve got the points memorized, and that last look can prove helpful when the test comes.
Take short breaks often
According to JIEB online, studies have shown that the most effective study period is only 45 minutes long. This might seem like a short time, but you will be getting more “bang for your buck” while your memory and concentration are at their peaks.
Give yourself a reward
Rewards work even when we give them to ourselves. Reward yourself not only with a short break after 45 minutes, but throw something else in too. Treat yourself to a handful of chocolate or to 15 minutes of something you’d rather be doing, like playing video games.
Find a comfortable, quiet place
Make sure you’re comfortable when studying. This will help in maintaining your concentration, as you won’t constantly be shifting and moving to get more comfortable, which can make concentrating difficult.
Use good lighting
If you’re going to be reading a lot or trying to memorize key points, make sure you’re not straining your eyes. You don’t want the room to be too dark (which could put you in danger of falling asleep), and you don’t want the lights to be so bright you can’t read.
Learn concepts first, then the specifics
If you’re working on a math or science topic, make sure you understand the concept first, and then worry about the specifics. Focus on the equation or the steps you have to take. Once you’ve mastered that, you’ll be able to solve any problem, no matter what the variables are.
Put your phone in another room, turn off the television, and reduce the noise level. Not only will this help your concentration and focus, but you can then reward yourself by checking your phone at break time.
Set a schedule
If you have a test coming up, set up a schedule of study times. Yes, “times” with an “s,” because you don’t want to rely on only one study period the day before the exam. Having multiple 45-minute sessions over a week or two can help your brain memorize and understand concepts more clearly.
Break your studying into chunks
Let’s say you’re studying Canadian history, and the overall topic seems overwhelming. Break your study sessions into smaller chunks. One day of the week, look at the Maritime Provinces. Next, focus on the Territories. After that, the Prairies, and so forth. This will help make studying more manageable, and you will still be covering all the points.
Tailor your studying to the subject
Different subjects call for different study methods, so take that into consideration to get the most out of your study time. For languages, history or geographical studies, focus on the facts, and memorize them. It will take more than one go to set those facts into your brain, so go over them again and again. When studying math or science, learning the concepts will be your friend. Once you understand those, the most effective way to study for these subjects is by working out practice questions so you can use different variables and numbers.