5 Helpful Study Techniques for High School Students
Every year, students must take a number of tests – both professor-designed and standardized. And their performance on these tests is a determining factor when it comes to graduating and going onto the university of their choice. With that in mind, we want to present 5 helpful study techniques for high school students. That way, they’ll perform better in the classroom and have more opportunities in the future.
Many students struggle to do well in school, and it’s not fair to assume they don’t pay attention in class or are disorganized. There are other factors that we must also consider, which include how they go about studying. For example, what time they start studying, where they study, and what possible distractions there are in the environment. Things like other people, music, the internet, and cell phones can all make studying less productive…
A study involving 67 students conducted by Ramón Bedolla of the Autonomous University of Guerrero (Spain) invites us to reflect on the following:
“The importance of students applying these techniques resides in obtaining a global and specific vision of what they want to learn, applying a variety of tools that facilitate comprehension.”
– R. Bedolla –
Education in the 21st century proposes new challenges in the face of the new social situation we’re currently experiencing. Due to the interruption of the internet in our daily lives and of ICT in the classroom, educators must adapt their teaching methodologies. In order to do so, they need to offer students new content and techniques to capture their attention. But, what can we do to improve their study habits?
What do we mean when we talk about helpful study techniques for high school students?
Study techniques are a series of skills and activities oriented toward making the most of the time we spend studying. We acquire them through daily practice, which means that consistency is essential. Their goal, therefore, is to help students internalize knowledge without needing to rely on simple memorization of content.
These learning strategies should follow a logical order that enables students to decide which techniques best apply to each study session. On occasion, academic failure is the result of an unawareness of these techniques. And, as a result, students view and experience studying as a tedious and boring activity which they perform out of obligation.
5 helpful study techniques for high school students
When we talk about a study session, we’re referring to the time students spend studying each subject outside of school. We’re also referring to the activities that students utilize during the process of acquiring and assimilating the concepts within a given unit.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince) –
- Reading. It’s vital for students to read in order to see what content they’ll be tackling. In fact, they should read over the material twice. First, in order to obtain a global vision of the content. In other words, comprehensive reading. Then, students should go back and read the material more carefully to pick out the key points.
- Underlining. Here, students will highlight the keywords that reflect the main ideas they picked out during their second reading. It’s important to avoid underlining complete sentences. Simply underlining words creates a greater visual impact and makes the keywords easier to identify at a glance. This technique doesn’t replace summarizing, but it saves time if you’re in a hurry.
- Concept maps or mental maps. These help students synthesize the information they underlined. Making concept maps involves organizing and interrelating content by creating a network of data. As a result, students develop a reflexive and personalized analysis of content.
- Summary cards. This strategy is especially useful when students need to condense a lot of information regarding a specific theme. Here, they’ll synthesize and organize all of the data on half-sheets of paper of large index cards, according to the type of information. Of course, it’s important to number the cards. Also, students can use the backside to write down questions or doubts.
- Margin notes. It’s always important to jot down any helpful phrases or examples that students discover while studying or taking notes in class. These will come in handy later when they need to prepare for a test. They can write them down in the margins of their notes or on separate notecards.
Other helpful study techniques for high school students
There are many other techniques that can assist high school students and allow them o make the must of their study sessions. Above, we’ve mentioned those we believe to be the most useful and relevant. What’s more, there are several that students can use new technology to apply.
Any strategy is valid as long as it helps students and motivates them to learn. So, with that in mind, we can also mention mnemonic devices, summaries, diagrams, timelines, overview tables, comparative tables, schemes, and more…
“Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things.”
– L. Vygotsky –