Do you Know How to Study?

To survive at Magnet, there’s no option but to study.

Do you Know How to Study?

Dear Freshmen, and maybe Sophomores too if you haven’t figured this out yet: you HAVE to study. There’s absolutely no way (unless you’re a crazy prodigy) that you can get by without studying. We all know that AMHS requires constant attention to schoolwork, so we might as well do our best if we’re going to do it at all.

Like many of you, I was a good student in middle school. When I studied, it was usually right before the test or quiz… and I still got good grades! I remember standing outside of our Latin classroom/trailer with Julia Camp (12), quizzing each other on conjugations.

Those days are no more, and I can no longer get away with that. Through my years at Magnet, I have faced trials and tribulations regarding my grades. I am the type of student who is never consistent- I go from a 95 to a 76 back to a 87 back down to 83, sometimes all in a week! But one thing I have learned how to do: is study.

My first experience with failure at AMHS was in Mr. McCormick’s bio class- he would have us take these one or five-question quizzes, and I never remember getting a 100. They were so hard. His tests were hard too! So I decided that I needed to figure out a better way to study.

Study with a pen and paper!

Here are my tips:

Methods

(1) REWRITE YOUR NOTES! I cannot stress this enough. This is pretty much the best way to study, in my opinion. It has been proven that writing helps our brains remember things better, so do it with a pen and paper rather than on your computer. Also, don’t copy your notes word for word. This is an immense waste of time. Instead, write them in a way that makes more sense to you, in your own words. Maybe draw arrows to and from sections to cross-reference. Use different colored pens, if you like that sort of thing. (This might just be me, but I think that writing with marker helps better than with pens). Draw pictures, make little tables, do whatever you need to help you remember them. Just like you would do practice problems to study for a math test, rewrite your notes for a history test. Listen, yes this does take a lot of time. But it is worth it. You will know the information so much better. Maybe do it 2 nights before the test, then try another method the night before.

Don’t copy your notes word for word. This is an immense waste of time.”

(2) GET SOMEONE TO QUIZ YOU! This method is very helpful when you’re just starting off studying because you find out what you do and don’t know, and what you need to focus on. Also, if you study with someone in your class, you can talk about the information, which will help too, instead of just reciting facts. On the flip side, if you ask a parent or sibling to quiz you, they probably don’t remember what you’re learning about. You can explain it to them in depth for a more valuable study session.

(3) PRACTICE PROBLEMS! This is mainly for math, and you all probably know this already, but do those practice sheets that your teacher gives you. Nine times out of ten they will be the sort of problems on the quiz/test. If you’re in an AP math, do the AP practice problems.

(4) QUIZLET! I have a love/hate relationship with Quizlet. It’s great for foreign language or vocabulary studying because you only need to know definitions. Also, I greatly enjoy playing Quizlet Live before French quizzes (thank you Mr. Jent). But once you get any further than that, it’s very frustrating! How am I supposed to remember those long definitions word for word?!?!? Also, it does not help you apply your knowledge. Another Quizlet con is the fact that when there’s pictures, you associate the word with the picture instead of the definition. Not good, considering there probably won’t be a picture of a man next to the word “homme” on your French quiz.

quizlet…

Habits

(1) QUIET! Be in your room, or a quiet part of the house. Don’t leave the TV on in the background. Make sure you can focus. Now, some people like music when they study. I find that the only issue with this is when you’re listening to a banger of a playlist and you just want to sing along to every song. There is no way you’re getting your homework done then. Maybe listen to something you haven’t heard before, or something instrumental. Personally, I stick with my Beatles playlist, which relaxes me.

(2) SNACKS! You definitely will need fuel for a study session. But don’t eat something weird like a giant bowl of chili at your desk. Choose something like cheese and crackers, apple slices, or maybe some M&Ms. Now that we have all this Halloween candy, this is a good time to eat it. As for drinks: don’t get addicted to those energy drinks. Unpopular opinion: they’re not that good. Just drink water. If y0u get tired, just go to bed. Although it seems frowned upon at Magnet, you SHOULD prioritize your health and rest over your schoolwork. You can always ask for an extension, or finish it the next morning, or just let it go. I’m not telling you not to do your homework, but it’s really not the end of the world if you don’t.

you SHOULD prioritize your health and rest over schoolwork”

(3) COMFORT! Sit somewhere you enjoy being. Maybe on your bed so you can be cozy. At your desk, if you can focus better there. I like stretching out on the floor of my room and laying all my papers around me. Furthermore, don’t wear something uncomfortable. You’re at home, for god’s sake. My little sister has this issue. She wears going-out clothes at home….? Just put on your pj’s.

So these are my tips for studying. Remember, it’s ok if you don’t get an A on everything. They’re hard to get at Magnet, and the only thing that matters is that you try your best. I hope these tips will help you at least a little bit : )