When reading each chapter of your textbook and other scholarly articles for papers, make sure to read the introduction to the chapter or article first. Find a statement that captures the author’s main point or thesis in the introduction. Then, after you have grasped the overall argument, or the author’s predominant stand point of the article, read the rest of the chapter looking for the concepts that explain the main point of the reading. Underline or highlight all terms that are in bold, or are italicized. Then, look for any words that are defined or are connected to a greater meaning, theme, or process explained in the chapter that are not in bold and are not italicized. Underline or highlight any key terms that you find that identify the main points in each paragraph.
Look for a central argument or theme within each paragraph and ask yourself questions about the overall meaning of each paragraph to annotate the article or chapter with questions you have of the material or comments about the meaning in the margins. Ask yourself questions depending on the subject matter. You can ask how does the author explain processes and prove their theories? Are their ideas feasible based on the evidence? What type of evidence do they give? Look for ways to connect their ideas and evidence together within the chapter and others as the term progresses to retain the information for tests, quizzes, and other assignments. Are there ideas, themes, patterns, and processes that connect
together throughout each paragraph? Why is this important when defining the author’s main idea or concept they are discussing? Ask yourself, what is the overall goal the author is trying to achieve based on
the central theme, pattern, or argument they are making depending on the subject matter you are reading? After you have annotated the readings in the margins with your questions, answer your
questions with the material you have read, or find outside scholarly material to help you answer your questions or elaborate more in detail on your comments about the main points in the chapter in another notebook or journal.
In order to make sure you can retain the information in each chapter, after you finish reading each section within the chapter, close your book and summarize the main ideas in each section in your own words. Write this out on a separate sheet of paper. After doing this for each section of the chapter, check your work with the textbook. Also, after completing homework, review the homework questions by summarizing your answers to make sure you have retained the information you learned from doing the homework. When it gets time to take tests, summarize the main ideas in the readings and test yourself with questions that you made while annotating. When listening to in class lectures, look for the pages your teacher is getting the information from and make note of it while writing notes in class. Underline the ideas in the text your teacher discusses when you have time, but more importantly write down what they are going over in class, and then when you get home underline the terms and ideas they went over in the book to review.
About JulieJulie is a tutor and featured blogger with Academic Advantage Online Tutoring who enjoys Reading, Writing, Studying the arts, humanities, and sciences.
When you study, understanding how to retain the information once you have read the material is often difficult. A good way to recall facts, ideas, opionions, processess, definitions, and terms is to use note cards. The use of note cards as strategy to help you learn the information is often more effective in many ways, as they can be used for almost any of the subjects you study. You can use note cards when reading books and literature to make note of the definitions of key words, in order to remember the information you read. Focus on the diction used in the work, the setting, plot and roles fo the characters. Write down meaningful quotes, as well as the roles, definintions of central ideas in literary works as you implement the strategy of using note cards to recall information.
When you are studying history, you can make note cards with key terms and facts and the definitions of those terms, along with short answer questions based on the questions in the reading and your own insight into the reading on the back of the card. As you begin studying the sciences, you can write out processes, terms, facts, statistics, definitions, any way to connect processes or similar ideas together, and short answer questions on the back of the card. You can also ask yourself questions with the answers on the back in different forms, whether it be fill in the blank format, word banks, writing out the answer, true/false, and multiple choice format, etc.
You can use the note cards for alsomost any subject including the Social Studies, English, Foreign Languages and Science. You can organize your note cards by subject matter. Write down the page number of your textbook to indicate where you got the information, as well as the page number in your notes (notebook) where you got the information. Use notecards with spiral rings to keep with the cards or buy a clasp to hold your note cards. Use a whole punch and put them in a notebook. You can also use them when you write a research paper to write down specific quotes and pages to support the main ideas in the paper. Make sure to use both your note from class and your textbook to make these cards. Also, include information from worksheets and handouts in your study guides when you writed down the answers on your cards to review. You can even organize the colored note cards to help you recall certain groups of information or facts in the same category.
By using note cards, you will be able to view the answer and you can write down the answer on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure to review the note cards weekly, if not daily. Work on them periodically throughout the week. If you choose not to use note cards, make sure to follow these same ideas on notes that you can type or write out in a notebook or journal. Make sure to be able to cover up the information that you must recall and then write out the answer to review. Once you have mastered that material, continue to think of new ideas that might be on the tests or quizzes until the day of the test, if you have time.
Julie is a tutor and featured blogger with Academic Advantage Online Tutoring who enjoys Reading, Writing, Studying the arts, humanities, and sciences.
When you are preparing for exams, start early. Make sure throughout the semester to organize your notes. Read through your notes from class every week, in order to retain the information for the long term. Make sure to find all of your old tests, quizzes, your own study guides and notes that you made while studying, as well as your homework assignments. Make sure to keep your binders organized with all of this information divided and in folders. Start with re-reading the chapters in accordance with your notes from class. Make sure to have a list of all of the main terms and the most important facts and details in each section of the chapter written down in your notes. You can write questions, or use flash cards to review all of the main idea in the chapters. It is best that you write your own study guides throughout the semester and then compile them together to make one final study guide. When you make your study guides, combine your notes from class with the section of the textbook. Go back through your notes and highlight the main terms as well as the main points to review. You can even cover over the term or the information and test yourself to see how much information you can remember. It is a good idea to always make your own study guides with this information to test yourself because you will be able to combine information from the book and the notes to have a better understanding of the material.
The goal is for you to retain as much of the textbook and the notes from class as possible. In order to do that, re-read the chapters as many times as you can be focusing in on the main points from the lectures. Once you have read the chapters and the notes enough times, review by writing down what you can remember section by section. Use old tests and quizzes, as well as homework assignments to test yourself after you are confident you have retained as much information as possible and use it to refresh your memory before you start studying. The goal is for you to remember the information and so you must start at least two or three weeks before exams to retain the information. Do not wait until the night before or a few days before to study because you will not remember the information.
Julie is a tutor and featured blogger with Academic Advantage Online Tutoring who enjoys Reading, Writing, Studying the arts, humanities, and sciences.
In high school, you have to learn to manage your time wisely. You have countless tests, quizzes, papers, and projects.It is important to learn time management skills in high school so that when you get to college you will be able to succeed. College classes require you to spend hours each day per class to prepare and complete the work assigned. You will have to spend hours one day on one or two class and the other day the next one or two classes. In high school, you have numerous classes and you have to manage your time to complete all work on time. Make sure to use a planner and write down all of your assignments each day in them. Then use another calendar to write down when you need to complete your assignments. If you have a test, plan to start studying about two weeks ahead of time. If you have a quiz, give yourself a week to prepare. If you have a research paper, start working about three to four weeks ahead of time. Make sure to save the most time to study for your tests and complete homework. Give yourself 30 minute breaks in between. Study an hour a day for tests and give yourself 2-3 hours to do homework. Give yourself 30-40 minutes to work on homework for each class. Take a ten-fifteen minute break in between. Make sure to work on whatever is due first or what test or quiz you will have first and finish with the work that is due later. Study by quizzing yourself after you read each chapter.
Write down whatever you can remember and compare it to the book. You can study by making flash cards with the main terms. Also, write down questions about all of the main points on each page and put the answer on another page. Test yourself about everything you can remember by asking your own short answer questions and fill in the blank questions. If you have essay questions to memorize in subjects like history, write the essay well in advance and re-read it until you have memorized it. Take in sections. Once you get one line or two memorized go to the next. Memorize paragraph by paragraph working on it some every day. Memorize a paragraph every day until you have the answer memorized. Write down the essay from memory three or four days before the test to make sure you can remember it. Review paragraphs you memorized the previous day the next to make sure you retained the information. Re-answer homework questions to quiz yourself for tests. These are all helpful strategies to help you succeed. It depends on how you study, what study methods work for you. If you are better at memorizing certain chapters quiz yourself by writing down whatever you can remember. If you need help recalling information write down questions of your own like a test and quiz yourself. Remember to always keep up with your notes from class and always work on revising them before the test day.
When you are beginning the school year, begin thinking about how you can plan ahead. Consider your major tests, papers, and projects beforehand. When assigned a book report or a test on a book you have read, begin by annotating the text. Look for important lines that define the plot and characters. Analyze their roles as either the protagonist, antagonist, flat character, or round character. Define their role in the story and how they move the plot forward. Look for key elements such as setting, the main event in the story, and literary themes, literary devices, or motifs. How does the books compare or contrast to others you have read that are similar and in the same genre?Research the author’s contemporaries and tell how this book stands out from others in the genre. Research the genre and found out more about it and what the genre was like during the time it was written. Focus on one of these elements to write about. When taking a test, make sure to write key quotes, the author’s biographical information, when it was written, famous lines made by the characters and their qualities, as well as literary devices, such as metaphors, and symbolism. Look for key elements that are symbolic in the story. Prepare for other projects by working on an annotated bibliography early. Make sure to document all sources in MLA format and write about the purpose of the article or chapter in the book you are using. Keep these sources on notecards and the annotations, as well. Put the number at the top in alphabetical order, in order to use the information to cite in your paper or project. Use purdue owl and night cite websites to help you document your sources. Remember to always use a .gov, .edu, or a .org site. Do not use Wikipedia. Make sure that the .org site is credible. Only use the most pertinent information that summarizes the author’s purpose and your stance. Answer why you used that particular quote to explain your stance or purpose. All annotations should be a paragraph and can include a quote or two that defines the thesis of the text you are reading. Keep track of all of your sources, as well as outlines, and drafts, in order to prepare you for the final research project. Make sure to research your topic thoroughly, especially if it is scientific. Only use the most recent sources for all scientific topics. Try to uses sources within the last twenty years for other papers, as well. Only use credible articles for an academic audience online or periodicals from the public library. Ask a librarian for assistance and they will help you find periodicals online. Prepare well in advance and do not wait until the last minute.
It’s back to school time! You’ve had the summer off. You’ve had time to relax, you more than likely have read some books for school or those you are interested in, you’ve taken a vacation or two, spent time with friends and family, and now you begin to feel the anxiety of having to get back into the same routine again. Try not to begin the school year with too much stress and anxiety as you have to get used to waking up early, being in school all day, and then coming home to do homework and extracurricular activities to help you get a scholarship or get into a good college.
Try to make a planner to organizer your timely properly. This will allow you to fit in some time to take off and rest and give you a time frame to accomplish your studies and other extracurricular activities. Make sure to not take on too many extracurricular activities if you cannot do your homework, study, and do the activities. Try to find the right balance between work and play. If you are interested in sports, playing an instrument, dance, cheerleading, dance team, debate team,or other activities that show you are well rounded and have leadership skills choose the ones that interest you the most and that you can find time in your schedule for. Wait until you have some idea about the academic expectations for the year before you make too many commitments. It is best to choose two or three activities and probably not more than that unless you know you can multitask and get everything done.
If you are a slow worker, make sure to allot enough time to work through your papers, projects, and study time in you schedule. If you are a fast worker, take on a few more extracurricular activities as these may help you get a scholarship. Remember that your schools work comes first and that it is more important to do your best in school, but you need to find the right balance so that you do not overstress. When a test is approaching, do not panic and wait until the last minute. Make sure you have scheduled enough time a few weeks ahead to study. Review your notes, retype your notes, re-read the chapters, and you will do fine. Make sure to have a positive attitude knowing that you are capable of doing your best and plan for the school year appropriately.
Summer reading often is not on the top of a student’s to-do list. Usually, over the break students use their time to hang out with their friends, enjoy the weather, and do activities outside. Kids don’t want to “waste” their time reading. (Of course, there are students who enjoy reading for
fun, but this blog post is not intended to convince those who already enjoy reading to read). To those students who groan at the very sight of a book during summer vacation, this blog post is for you. “Why should I read over the summer?” you ask yourself and every adult within earshot. If contemplating reading a dusty, ancient, library book seems like a chore, then you should listen up.
Reading fluency is essential for those high SAT scores that you want. During the summer months, when you will primarily read buzz feed articles and personality quizzes, play video games, and go outside to swim, hike, or play sports, you are not wasting your time.
Relaxation is absolutely important to one’s happiness, and you should continue to do that. But you should also make some time for reading, because the few hours you spend a week on a book, either for fun or for school, will increase your SAT/ACT verbal scores tremendously.
It’s pretty obvious that reading over the summer will have this effect. If you spend some time on reading a book, your ability in understanding the reading passages on the tests will increase. You may learn new words naturally, and recognize them on the exam more easily. You will be able to comprehend passages faster and more clearly. You will have practiced patience for reading through a dense text with a lot of information. You will naturally go back and search for answers in the text, and will remember where to find the answers more readily. With more experience with reading, the easier it becomes, and the more you will enjoy the experience and the faster you will get. If you enjoy it more, you will be less nervous when test day comes around, and you’ll score higher because you will not make as many mistakes.
Blog Post by Rachel S. Stuart a Tutor and Featured Blogger for Academic Advantage Tutoring
I have always been a proud “nerd.” When I could, I always helped my friends with their homework because I just loved to teach them how to think about the world differently. In particular, history and writing have always been my specialties. When I was a little girl, my aspiration was to one day be a history professor! I hope to begin Master’s classes in the field of education and continue to be fascinated by changing technology in the classroom and different ways of engaging my students’ creativity!
Honors and awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in History Honors Program at Emory, Recipient of
the Theodore H. Jack Award, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Dean’s List at Emory.
When you are too busy due to all of your after school activities and other events outside of school, you may not remember when your next test or quiz is coming up which leads to a poor academic performance and issues at home. To avoid this from occurring, it is best to use an academic planner even if the school you attend does not require you to buy one and use or use one on a regular basis. Instead of just using a planner when you think your schedule is the busiest as some people do, it is best to use an academic calendar even when you are not as busy to keep from forgetting when your next assignments are due. It is easy to forget doing homework even when your schedule is not as full due to the numerous of assignments given per week.
It is best to either use an academic calendar that gives you enough space to write in detail what you need to have done that week and what is due in the near future as well as when to accomplish your goals. You may need to type a written calendar on your computer and save it to the desk top which will allow you to write out the details you need to remember in order to succeed. You may need to use your cell phone calendar and save events on it to keep from forgetting when your assignments are due. The typed calendar should have specific details about what the assignment is and when you will begin working on it as well as when you plan to have it finished by. If you do not finish the assignment as fast as you had planned keep track of the issue and reorganize your calendar by estimating how many hours you think it will take to complete it based on how many days you have left before it is due.
It is best to begin working on major projects at least a month or so before the project is due to make sure you don’t wait until the last minute. It is too easy to forget what the teacher assigned in the first place if it is a paper or presentation and you do not plan ahead. You will more than likely not do the assignment as well because it takes time to brain storm ideas and put them together in a cohesive way that follows the instructions. You may end up losing the assignment sheet or notes that you took with the details about the assignment if you wait until a few days before it is due. It is best to keep your papers and notes written about your assignments in separate folders. Keep your homework papers in one folder or section of your notebook, your tests and quizzes in another section or folder, and papers your teacher gives you providing you with details about your future assignments in another section or folder. If you don’t start trying to work on your study skills in high school you more than likely will not do well in your college courses due to the many other distractions you will have in college that will keep you from completing your goals if you let it. Do not be like the other students that let the distractions keep them from completing your goals by being intelligently planning ahead. Learning to have good study skills in high school will help you succeed in the future.
As it gets closer to the holidays, you will be anticipating finals. Do not wait until the last minute to start your review and study sessions. Start reviewing at least three weeks ahead of time to make sure that you are well prepared. If you wait until the last few days before the exam and cram, you will more than likely not be able to remember the information because it will not be stored in your long term memory. Instead, during the first week of review begin by reviewing over your notes. It is best that you review your notes throughout the semester. As you start reviewing your notes, highlight the important ideas and add in more information that you have learned from your reading. In other words, fill in any missing information from your notes as you probably were in a hurry writing everything down. Make sure to take thorough notes so that you are able to remember the main ideas the teacher has discussed because more than likely they are going to use mostly information from what they have talked about in class, along with adding details regarding this information from the book on the exam. They expect you to have done all the reading so that you know the details in correspondence with the main ideas and concepts they have focused on in class. Once you have added in any missing information from your notes and added details from the text based on the main ideas written in your notes, type out the new notes on your computer. Use bullet points to emphasize the main ideas and make sure to add plenty of details combining your notes with the text. You can color code your notes to organize the main ideas. You can also make flash cards with the information you have gathered from your notes and the book to review for exams, and this way you will be able to make sure you have mastered the materials. Read and re-read your notes.
During the last week or two before your finals re-read the chapters focusing on the main ideas the teacher has discussed in class. Annotate your text with notes from class and review your text. Make sure to focus on the dark print terms in the text and the information under the pictures in your text book. Anything is fair game on the final. Do not just focus on the main terms, but all of the main ideas as a whole in the chapter. Read the notes at the end of the chapter if there are any and review your homework questions. The homework questions could reappear in the exam because the teacher has let you know that they are significant. Also, if you have your tests from the semester, make sure to review them because the teacher may use material from old test questions in a different context or the exact ones. Once you have studied your revised notes and the book, write down everything you can remember and check what you know about the terms and the ideas with your notes and the book. Fill in any missing information or change information that you missed. Re-read over the revisions and repeat this pattern until you can remember most everything. This will prove that the information you have studied is in your long term memory. You should not get test anxiety or go blank because you know the material and you can recall the information. You can also use creative techniques to recall information and terms using rhymes or connecting one term to the next in a way that you can remember. You can use diagrams, charts, webs, or graphs to help you connect information and remember it for recall purposes. Teach the material to someone else to make sure you have the information down. Hold a study group and write down any questions you have and compare and contrast answers with your friends. Write down questions based on the terms that you think might be on the test and cover over the answer when you are reviewing. These are all great studying techniques to make sure you have mastered the materials. Once you get to the exam, you will be confident that you know the information by following these strategies.
In high school, you typically are very busy with after school activities and may not have enough time to put into your studies. Nonetheless, you can still find time to set aside for your studies and work on improving your overall GPA by using your time wisely. Do not quit one of your activities if you can. Instead work to plan strategies that will provide you with more time to study by changing with your schedule. Add a study hall to your schedule to give yourself more time to study during the day, or make sure to use the time you have before your extracurricular activities begin to study. During your lunch break, use the time to study if you have an upcoming test or quiz. It is better to get your work done earlier than later because you will be less likely to focus at night and you won’t do your best. Do not wait until late at night to study because you will not retain the information you need to succeed and do not cram the night before. Make sure when you study on the weekends to take a short break every hour, because you can only focus for a certain amount of time. Your short term memory cannot remember what it needs to and process loads of new information if you wait until the night before an examination to study. You should make sure to study for a test at least two to three weeks in advance to remember the information.
You should go through your notes from class and power points. Use these notes as a guide when you go through your book. Re-write or type your notes by combining the notes from class and adding the corresponding information from the text to study. You can write questions for yourself on flash cards or make a chart out of the information with the answer on the other side to review. If you make a chart, you can fold the paper or cover the answer over so that you can look at the question and write it out and then check your answer on the other side of the page afterward. Make sure to re-read the chapters at least two to three times. When you read the chapters, make sure to annotate your text with notes and highlight important definitions, words, or phrases that you think are important and that were discussed in class. You can also create a mnemonic device as code to remember information. If you don’t re-read the chapters and write a set of review notes or highlight important information, you will not retain the material as well. You must learn to take good notes in high school if you want to succeed in college. Do not sit in the class and not take down as many notes as you can. You will not get the information you need out of the course and at the end of the semester; you won’t remember everything the teacher said in class. Organize your notes and save all of your papers to study for an exam study guide.
Try these strategies, and find a study plan that works best for you. You can also create a study group and compare notes to make sure that you wrote down all of the most pertinent information from the lecture. You do need to focus on more than just your grades if you want to get into college as they look for the best leaders. Whether you sign up for the debate team, dance team, mathletes, cheerleading, band, foreign language club, forensics, social studies club, joining the band, doing ballet, gymnastics, playing a sport, or playing other musical instruments you must show that you are dedicated to becoming a well-rounded scholar that will contribute to their campus. These activities improve your ability to think and reason critically on a much higher level, which will help you succeed in your studies. You can also use these activities as a guide to choose a major. If you succeed at activities that use the right side of your brain you should choose a major that is artistic, while if you excel at activities that use the left side of your brain you should choose a major that is scientific. Thus, to do your best make sure to manage your time wisely, continue to do extracurricular activities, and you will begin improving your scholarship in high school.