Study Strategies for High School
When your child transitions to high school they will need to add better study techniques to their regimen. The study load is going to be more intense. Afterall, not only will they need to be prepared for high school level work, they will have the additional burden of ensuring their future success by studying for the SAT or ACT. This will require quality studying! They will need to find time to review old information as a refresher and hone their newly acquired skills. This will require dedication to study and therefore a serious time investment. Learning to study well starts in the classroom with good listening and good organization of that information that can then be taken home in a properly prepared fashion for review and/or practice.
Learning & Studying
What is your teen’s learning style?
There are numerous online surveys that will help your teen determine the way they learn best. Once your teen identifies their strengths and weaknesses it will go a long way in teaching them how they should best approach an assignment.
Many teachers will begin their first class by letting kids know what the expectations are by giving specific requirements, and the teacher may even offer up some study suggestions. Urge your teen to ask for clarification as soon as possible if there is anything they don’t understand.
Additionally, if your teen has ADD or any learning disability they need to find out if and how any assignments can be modified to ensure their chance of success.
During class instruction, your teen should start each page of notes by a listing a topic title and date at the top of the page. Encourage your teen to employ the BROIL system: B (board): anything the teacher writes on the board; R (repeats): anything the teacher repeats; O (on): anything the teacher mentions will be on the next test; I (important): anything the teacher says is important; L (list): pay close attention to all information presented in a list format.
As your teen takes notes they should circle items that need clarification. Make certain they jot down anything that could be a valuable resource like books or websites that can be used as references.
While information is fresh, encourage your teen to do a review of their notes the same day they take them as soon as they are able. They should highlight key phrases. If their note taking is done on the computer or moved to a computer or iPad there is a good graphic organizer computer program called “Inspiration” that will organize and outline their notes. It even has an essay function which helps students expand note-taking concepts. If your teen is friends with other good students they might be willing to help each other by comparing notes. Even the best student might occassionally leave something out because they couldn’t notate it fast enough. Some students may even be eligible for a 504 accommodation to get a note-taker to supplement the notes they take in class.
How to review
Before you try to take notes on info found in books check out the index, captions, appendix page for charts, glossary, and reference pages. Use large sticky notes to summarize pages in books. After taking notes, go back and reduce them, eradicating all non-essential words so that only the pure important idea remains.
Take advantage of tech
Utilize voice-to-text programs to expand on the concepts in your books or during lectures. Evernote, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Mac voice-to-text features are some well respected options. Your teacher may even offer great online resources to supplement your teen’s textbook, if not, encourage they google their way to some exta help. That search should start by finding which sources are well respected in academia. Then your teen can feel confident they can trust the resource for accurate information. If allowed, they should also snap a pic of the lecture notes or assignments on the board with their smartphone before they leave class.
Did You Know?
According to many studies on average retaining information breaks down in the following ways:
lectures: 5% effective
reading: 10% effective
audiovisual: 20% effective
demonstrations: 30% effective
discussion: 50% effective
practice by doing: 75% effective
teaching to others: 90% effective (This is the best way to retain info, so find a classmate or “teach” the material to and then switch roles.)
Make a plan
Before your teen tackles a complicated assignment, report, or project they need to come up with a planning strategy. Break the assignment down into sections and create goal dates for each section’s completion. Remember that if your teen has other responsabilities and activities scheduled near the projects’ real due date your teen’s final goal date should be taking that into account so that they will have no difficulty finishing and checking over the finalized assignment.
If your teen hits a tech road block
School and public librarians are a great project resource. Often they have a lot of experience helping students with projects over the years. When it comes to the library, the early bird gets the worm, so don’t wait until the books you desperately need have been checked out already by another student.
Teens should create incentives to sustain their motivation (After I finish this I can do this fun thing).
Sometimes you just need to increase the blood flow to the brain with some exercise. If your teen just needs 15 minutes to clear their mind, suggest a run or walk.
Your teen needs encouragement sometimes. They should make themselves accountable to friends and family who can check in on their progress and/or offer encouragement.
Get Extra Help
Sometimes it really helps to attempt to go over the learning material with other people. Have your teen try to:
- Join an after-school study program.
- Find a study buddy or study group.
- Ask the teacher for extra credit work.
- Use a tutor or tutoring service. When in-person tutoring is out of the question there are often Zoom sessions available. Also check out how-to video demonstrations available in a diverse array of subject areas.
TEST TIME TIPS
- Assemble all notes, handouts, quizzes, and assignments to study.
- Buddy up or use a study group and quiz each other.
- After the test is handed out, write down formulas and key information that you might forget on a blank piece of paper.
- Scan the whole test, and plan your time and strategy for completion.
- Write something for every essay question, even if you are unsure. You may get partial credit. #
Courtesy of Nemours