Teen Study Tips, Work Smarter, Not Harder

In Education, Family by Guest WriterLeave a Comment

Surprisingly, I was once in high school, where I had to grind for my June exams. Right now, I study at Art School, a place notoriously known for giving minimal tests. However, that doesn’t mean I never study. Like your child may be, I am somewhat of a slacker. Sure, I care about doing well, but I also don’t like to put in hard-to-extreme effort in order to get my grades. This is where my mantra comes in: Work Smarter, Not Harder. Here are some incredible Teen Study Tips that I have learned along the way.
Teen Study Tips, Work Smarter, Not Harder
Here are my top tips for the study-avoiding child, teen, young adult, and mature student:

Teen Study Tips: Prioritize

Not going to lie, sometimes you have ten assignments that are due in the same week, a commitment to your friend, AND heavy hours at your job on top of that, and it feels like the world is crumbling down all around you. This is the best time to decide what to take an “L” (Loss) on. For me, school and work are always my top priority, so it may be time to tell your friend that you can’t make it, and offer to change plans to the next week.

As for school, I always like to make a calendar of my week, and write down what is due, and how many hours I will anticipate working on my assignment in order to complete it. From then, I divide my days into hours, and dedicate 3 or so hours to working on each assignment. Dividing your working periods of three hours helps give each piece of work equal priority, as well, diversifying your workload during the day is more exciting (if studying can be) than if you dedicated the day to one assignment. Basically, what I’m trying to say, diversifying your workload keeps you interested.

Active Information is key!

My biggest obstacle when I sat down to read my information for my test was actually sitting down to reading the information. I tried studying by reading, and reading, and reading, for years. This wasn’t working for me, and probably not for you either, because I became so bored that I wasn’t able to internalize any of my information, and I would continue reading and reading aimlessly. This is when I realized that by reading my information, I was only studying it “passively,” instead of using the information “actively.” When I realized that in order to internalize and learn information for my courses that I had to actually “do” something with the information, my whole world opened up.

For me, “doing” something with the information helped make studying more exciting, and kept me interested. When I activated my memory with “active” information, studying became a game to me. These are my examples of active studying:

  • Writing flashcards/condensed study notes
  • Quizlet! A quiz making website. I use their quiz format to study for all my tests! (this isn’t sponsored but I wish it was)
  • Having a responsible and trusted friend test you/vice versa.
  • Making a mind map/chart
  • Making a timeline
  • Drawing a picture based on the information
Take Care of Yourself with These Teen Study Tips

Avoid the temptation of procrastinating and then pulling an all nighter! Ultimately, you will learn better if you take care of yourself first. That means, NO all nighters. If you are cramming to study for a test, go to sleep when you’re tired, and set an alarm for 5 or 6 a.m. You will be more motivated to work if you are well rested, and you will be able to write your exam in a more logical state of mind. In fact, writing an exam while exhausted is similar to writing it drunk, and you’d NEVER write an exam drunk (hopefully).

For the studiers, the non-studiers, and the somewhere-in-betweeners, good luck on exam season. I hope these teen study tips serve you well!

This post was contributed by Hailey Kobrin @hailokitty. Currently, Hailey is a multidisciplinary artist writer working towards her BFA in curatorial practice.

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