Best Study Tips For Middle and High School Students
When you’ve got teenagers, odds are high you think about their future. Because you want the best for them you want them to do well at school, no matter what their future employment holds. And that is exactly why they need to know the best study tips.
Poovanesh is a former English teacher turned blogger. At Family Growth Life, she provides tips to parent teenagers positively and also encourages those who live with chronic illnesses with hacks to thrive. In the same vein, she’s here visiting Abrazo and Coze to share some of the best study tips with you so you can help your child excel.
Improve Your Teen’s Study Methods With The Best Study Tips
It’s common knowledge that kids who ace every test use the best study tips.
Are you anxious about your teen’s poor grades? As a result, you perhaps feel their study methods are the cause of their poor results.
Above all, what you need to do is avoid making major parenting mistakes in communicating with your teenager.
Most importantly, do not nag them about poor grades or to study harder. You court rebellion if you do so.
Offer love and support any way you can. For instance, a late night snack or hot drink will always be welcome.
Here are a few things that you can do to support your teen better their performance at school.
- Ensure that your teen has a healthy diet
- Keeps to a sleep schedule
- Takes time for daily exercise
- Unwinds with friends
The rest of this post are tips for you to share with your teenager. Read it over and after that encourage them to apply these study methods.
For Your Teens
Does your teen want to be one of the cool kids who crush every exam? It’s perfectly doable. They just need to become an expert at studying.
To clarify, effective study methods involve much more than sitting at a desk for long hours trying to digest chunks of subject matter.
This post is an all in one guide to the best study tips so your teens are better able to get consistent good grades.
15 Best Study Tips For Success
These 15 best study tips work together to create a recipe to excel at school.
1. Study Area
The route to academic success starts with a designated study area. It should:
- be a special space some distance from the daily distractions of the living room
- have a desk and chair
- house all the supplies necessary for active learning – planner/diary, a calendar, whiteboard, pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, writing pads, and sticky notes
- study material – textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets
2. Positive Mindset
A positive mindset is also a vital ingredient in the recipe for success at school. This is clear from the Stanford University School of Medicine’s research:
Scientists have identified the brain pathway that links a positive attitude toward math to achievement in the subject.
Therefore, a mindset shift is essential. Teens need to accept that studying is an important part of middle and high school. So help them embrace rather than resist it by motivating themself with a vision board of the golden career opportunities it will give them later in life.
Find out the specifics of how to create a vision board by checking out worthy.com’s post, How to Create Your Vision Board In 7 Steps.
After that, to discover even more reasons to embrace studying, watch this YouTube video:
3. The Studying Process
Studying is an ongoing daily active process.
To be clear, simply sitting at a desk with an open book in front of them is not studying.
Their study methods should instead include reading and making notes. Moreover, they should use bullets, mindmaps, arrows, and lots of color to help to understand the material that needs to be learned.
Ensure that the TV is not on and cell phone is switched off, for instance, to put them in the right frame of mind to study.
4. A Study Timetable
Help your teen make a study timetable and stick to it. It should take into account and exclude:
- The time spent at school
- All after school activities
Take the time available to study and allocate the subjects to study. Here is an example which has four study sessions per day.
Have your teen create a study plan to meet their needs. There is a study package in the Tickle Trunk that includes a blank schedule. Sign up for the newsletter to get the key to open the Tickle Trunk. Note: The Tickle Trunk is currently undergoing maintenance. Thanks for your patience in receiving access to all the treasures inside.
|4:00 – 5:00|
|15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break|
|5:16 – 6:15|
|7.15 – 8:15|
|15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break||15 minute break|
|8:31 – 9:30|
In addition, if your teenager is having difficulty finding a time to study, consider adding it as part of the family morning routine.
5. Study Goals
Every study session needs to have a SMART goal. More on this later.
A good way to set up study goals is to break down everything to study into bite sized easy to learn chunks.
For instance, if the study topic was on STRESS, you’d chunk it down like this:
- What is stress
- Causes of stress
- Signs and symptoms of stress
- How to destress
Follow the SMART formula for all your study goals.
S – SPECIFIC
M – MEASURABLE
A – ACHIEVABLE
R – RELEVANT
T – TIME BOUND
Using the STRESS example again, you can see the difference between a poor goal and a SMART goal.
I want to study Stress for the test tomorrow:
- Lacking direction
- Study time limit is missing
- No result
I want to study the sub-section Signs and Symptoms of Stress in 20 minutes and be able to score an A in this section when I retake the test tomorrow.
Can you see the difference?
In short, the beauty of setting a goal for every study session is that their studying becomes more disciplined and focussed.
Moreover, you can use SMART goals, too, in other areas of family life to model the strategy to your teen when you:
- are trying to save money on groceries and need to set yourself some realistic financial goals.
- have decided to improve your pelvic floor muscles because you need a bit of help sticking to your plan.
- want to foster your relationship with your partner, for instance.
In the Tickle Trunk, there is a study package where you’ll find monthly and weekly goal planners to print out so your teen can make the best use of their study time. Get the key to the Tickle Trunk when you subscribe to the Abrazo and Coze newsletter. Note: The Tickle Trunk is currently undergoing maintenance. Thanks for your patience in receiving access to all the treasures inside.
6. The Pomodoro Method
This is one of the best time management techniques to master.
A pomodoro is a period of 20-25 minutes. Break up each one hour study slot into two pomodoros. Set a timer for 20-25 minutes.
Subsequently, at the end of that period, your teen should take a 5 minute break – take a walk in the garden, do some deep breathing, or have a snack.
The change of activity to something totally unrelated to studying helps refresh and renew energy to continue.
It is also a good way for your teenager to check how much work they can cover in 20-25 minutes and to find an effective study method to optimize their time.
Further, if your teen schedules more than four pomodoros per study session, they should schedule a longer break of ten minutes after the fourth pomodoro before getting back to studying.
Tomato Timer is a free online timer with all the pomodoro times preset so it’s easy to use.
7. The SQ3R Study Method
One of the best study methods to embrace is SQ3R. This is an acronym for SURVEY, QUESTION, READ, RECITE, REVIEW.
Check out this YouTube video on how to use SQ3R for effective studying.
This technique can be used to study anything in any subject – a poem, novel, biology, or history.
Regular practice of this study skill is important because it will ensure consistent good grades.
Acronyms are a fun way to learn complex terms.
To create an acronym, firstly, take the first letter of every word in a list of items to be remembered. Secondly, make a real or pronouncable word to remind you of the items in that list. Here are a few examples:
BEDMAS (Brackets Exponents Division Multiplication Addition Subtraction – the order of mathematical operations) BEDMAS isn’t a real word, but it is pronouncable.
Roy G. Biv (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet – the order of colors within the light spectrum)
KISS (Keep It Simple Silly – a reminder to not overly complicate things)
HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior – the names of the Great Lakes)
Similarly, make phrases using the initials of the facts that need to be recalled, like in these examples.
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge Always (EGBDFA – the notes on the lines of the treble clef)
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune – the order of planet from the sun outward)
Flashcards are a simple study method that works.
Write out concepts that need to be remembered.
Subsequently, as your teen studies, they divide those concepts into three groups and write them onto color coded cue cards.
EASY – You know and understand these terms.
MEDIUM – You don’t know this as well as you should.
HARD – You find these terms hard to recall.
As a result, when they return to studying these concepts, they know better how toz divide their study time accordingly.
EASY – A quick read and recall.
MEDIUM – Spend extra time to master the terms.
HARD – Spend twice the time to fully understand these terms.
Quizlet gives people the ability to create flashcards, or use cards made by other users. StudyBlue also allows you to create flashcards, which can be customized with pictures and audio.
10. Teach Back
This is another effective study method that works wonders. Once they’ve mastered a section, they teach it back to themself.
If they use only their flashcards, and actually pretend they’re teaching a lesson to a class, the fluency of their delivery will tell them how well they know and understand the subject matter.
Furthermore, they could also make a video of their teach back. When they play it back and compare it to their study notes, they will subsequently be able to gauge the success of their studying.
11. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is another excellent study method to master.
A mind map is a note taking method that imitates brain activity, utilizing both left and right sides of the brain.
How to create a mind map:
- Identify the topic being studied. Put it in the center of the page.
- Use arrows from this to all the headings of the topic. Personalize it with color and shapes.
- From the headings, draw further branches to other subheadings.
- Then draw further branches to key points under each subheading.
To clarify this idea, have a look at this example of Lucidchart’s mind map on The Nervous System. It has a proper structure of topic, headings, subheadings, and key points.
I suggest mind mapping the old fashioned way – get creative – use colored pens and paper, highlighters and markers and sticky notes.
If your teen isn’t interested in doing it themself, however, there is a blank mind map in the Study Package in the Tickle Trunk they can use instead. To get the key to unlock the Tickle Trunk, subscribe to the newsletter. Note: The Tickle Trunk is currently undergoing maintenance. Thanks for your patience in receiving access to all the treasures inside.
If you or your teen wants to learn more about mind mapping, Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind mapping, has a free online learning program.
12. Self Test
There is certainly no point in studying if your teen does not test the effectiveness of their study methods.
One way is for them to set up a quiz on sections or subjects they’ve studied. They could additionally work through a past year exam paper, retake a test they took at school, or find a test online. Likewise, if they used the Quizlet or StudyBlue app to make flashcards, those both include a feature for self-assessment.
Quizlet allows users to test their knowledge in write mode or race against the clock in a matching game. StudyBlue similarly enables users to quiz themself and track their progress, as well as set study reminders.
They can thereby assess the success of their learning from the score they get.
As with the flashcards, your teen should allocate extra study time according to their performance on the quiz so they can maximize their time and effort.
Jessica Shields in How To Remember What You Study (In Only 15 Minutes) says
To remember what you study you need spaced repetition, which is simply saying you need to revisit the material many times.
To summarize, Jessica advises setting aside 15 minutes a day to recall work done at school that day. Ideally, this work should be at the same time every day to grow the habit of daily revision.
Your teenager could do a similar set of 15 minutes to recall and reinforce subject matter they’ve completed studying.
It might seem like an extra leisure activity, however, it’s important to ease the stress of studying with daily exercise. Your teen could do a simple yoga routine, take the dogs for a walk, or go for a jog. Moreover, to potentially more it more appealing, you could make it a family habit.
Furthermore, the release of endorphins invigorates a person and they will be able to do intense study thereafter.
15. Adequate Nutrition
A healthy diet allows people to function at optimal levels. However, if your family is lacking in adequate nutrition, the subsequent lack of energy and focus will hamper attempts to study effectively.
According to Brain Food: What to Eat When Revising on topuniversities.com, the following foods should be in your meals to help your teenager study better.
- Oily fish
- Dark leafy greens
- Peanut butter
- Green tea
- Fresh fruit
Diligence and Dedication
There you have it. The 15 best study tips for academic success. You’ll find a study checklist in the Tickle Trunk (subscribe to get the key to unlock) so you have them on hand to help you and your teen keep these tips in mind.
Diligence, discipline, and dedication in applying these study tips will have your teenager getting straight A’s in no time.
What are your best study tips? Share them in the comments below.