Tips for Academic Success
Daily Studying Tips
- Talk to your teacher. Ask questions during class or meet with your teacher before or after school if you need additional assistance.
- Budget your time carefully - leave yourself plenty of quality time to complete your homework.
- Read every night. The reading homework can quickly become unmanageable if you don't keep up with the schedule.
- Take notes as you read. Be an active reader and note-taker. Ask questions, annotate as you go, and review when you are finished.
- Review your notes/what you learned in class today. Do you understand the terms used? Can you summarize what you learned? Do you really understand, or are you just regurgitating what the teacher said?
- Questioning: Did you ask clarifying questions? What questions do you have for the teacher the next day? Make note of them and get them answered.
- Study with a partner, this will help you realize what information you really don't understand.
- Prepare for tests appropriately. If you are in the habit of "cramming" the night before a test, you will likely be disappointed with your results in this class. Be persistent, and read and review each night - there is just too much to cram.
- Be an active learner. Studying for a test does not mean reading your notes or reviewing your textbook multiple times. Active study means organizing your notes and/or readings by making a Table of Contents Sheet, Study Sheets and/or Flash Cards and then reciting the information out loud. You must do more than just read over your notes to insure retention. When you simply read over notes, you are only using your eyes. When you recite out loud, you are using your eyes, ears and voice. This is triple strength learning.
- Schedule daily and weekly review sessions. With periodic reviews, you will forget less, remember more, and no doubt, do better on tests.
- If you are absent, take the time to learn what you missed. Check in with your teacher upon your return to class.
Spaced Practice: Space Out Your Studying Over Time
Retrieval Practice: Practice Bringing Info to Mind
Elaboration: Explain & Describe Ideas With Many Details
Interleaving: Switch Between Ideas While You Study
Concrete Examples: Use Specific Examples to Understand Abstract Ideas
Dual Coding: Combine Words and Visuals
General Note Taking Tips
- Be Brief: Make your notes as short as possible. Don't take down every word the teacher/book says. Instead, decide what is most important.
- Generate abbreviations for common words. (ex. Gov't = Government)
- Sometimes with your book it helps to read a whole section before writing anything down. This helps you put the information in your
own words and makes sure that you do not write too much.
- Organize: Have a system for organizing your notes. One recommended system is Cornell Notes System.
- Think: Be actively involved in the information, not just a sponge soaking it up. Ask questions if you are confused or make a note to yourself to look it up later.
- Review: Go over your notes sometime after you took them (ideally within 24 hours). This will help you understand and remember the information.
- Study Buddy: Your classmates may have picked up on something you did not. You may want to get a study buddy to compare notes with and review with before class. This will also help you retain information as it will encourage you to read the material a second time in that important 24-hour period.
Keep your materials/assignments all semester and develop an organizational system that works for you. For example:
- maintain a separate three ring binder for each class
- maintain a table of contents for each binder
- use tabs to organize major sections in your binder (ask your teacher for suggestions)
- hole punch and put everything in its section (not in the front pocket of the binder)
- use a daily planner to keep track of assignments
National Honor Society (NHS) Tutors
There are NHS members who are taking on the task of organizing volunteer NHS tutors for WHS students. The way the system works is that a student sends an email to email@example.com. The email should state the students name, the subjects and levels they wish to be tutored in and an e-mail address or phone number to contact the student. Our coordinators will then contact one of our NHS members and give them the information. Our NHS member will contact the student. It does take several days after the email is received to get all of this up and running, so please be patient.
District Tutor List
Keep in mind that many textbooks have online resources available. The University of St. Thomas maintains an extensive website with resources on time management, test taking and note taking. Check out www.how-to-study.com.
Specific Math Resources
- algebasics™ Algebra Tutorials
- Discovery Education WebMATH
- Math.com: The World of Math Online
- The Math Page
Specific Writing Resources
Minnetonka HS offers a wonderful list of links to web resources that help students with their writing. These resources include:
Resources that specifically address finding sources and avoiding plagiarism include:
- The Purdue OWL's MLA Reference (for citing sources)
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (evaluating web sources)
What Smart Students Know by Adam Robinson
This website was compiled with resources from various staff members at WHS with a special thanks to the Wayzata Academy Civics Study Group and the 9th Grade Academy Study Group.