By, Phoenix Robertson
Greetings, Heritage High! I know many of you are taking AP exams right now and are also trying to balance class work and studying for end of year exams. First off I’d like to say, good job. You’ve made it past the 75% mark and now you are in the final stretch. Some of you will be graduating next month and the rest of you will be preparing for another school year. I know that there have been times this year where I wished summer would hurry up and arrive so that I could finally relax. At last that time has almost arrived. Soon the summer sun will be beaming upon us like a laser during a LASIK eye surgery! Before we can get there together and wholeheartedly embrace summer vacation, we need to finish the school year strong. In an attempt to lessen the burdens of my fellow students, I’ve decided to share a few of my tips for studying, and school in general, so that we may all complete the school year with as little stress as possible.
Start Sooner Rather Than Later.
AP exams are already happening, so this tip is coming a bit on the late side, but it is always better to start studying as soon as you possibly can. For cumulative exams for year long classes I recommend doubling the amount of time you would spend studying for an exam for a semester long class. It is important to base the amount of time you plan to spend studying off of the amount of content, class difficulty level, and the time it takes you to retain and learn information. For me I usually spend 30 to 40 minutes a day studying for a difficult exam, while an exam for a class that I find easier may only spend 15 to 25 minutes a day. For yearlong class exams I allot around 2 weeks to study, but a semester long class exam usually takes me around a week to study for. The amount of time you spend studying ultimately depends on you and your schedule. Be realistic with your goals and with the time you have to achieve them.
Talk to Your Teachers.
Sometimes this is very difficult and not the most fun thing to do, but it is absolutely worth your while. Talk. To. Your. Teachers. They know you, how you work, and can probably give you a pretty good idea of what you need to do to finish out the year strong. Now is definitely the time to start asking questions about class content, exam formatting, and anything else that you will need to know about to be successful in the final weeks of the school year. My one plea to the student body concerning talking to your teachers and asking questions is to please not be a grade grubber. Don’t slack off the entire year and then expect special treatment at the end of the year because you keep trying to nudge your grades on assignments upwards by arguing. If you are unhappy with your grades, then let that motivate you to work harder. Don’t take your poor performance out on your teachers.
Studying and school in general can easily get overwhelming, especially near the end of the school year when most people are already feeling burnt out. This makes school work seem harder and the days seem twice as long–I’ll let you all in on a secret, I zoned out at least twice while writing this paragraph alone. Taking study breaks can help you to feel less exhausted and combat burn out. It is important to stop working when you feel burnt out and to listen to yourself. Grades are important, but so is being happy. Prioritize yourself and your feelings, instead of only situationally important variables like GPAs and test scores. Also, there is a huge difference between studying productively and studying unproductively. Not all studying and study methods are equal. Find a method that helps you get the most out of your study methods to reduce the time you will have to spend studying.
Finding Your Reason.
I’ll be completely honest. School can feel totally pointless. The everyday grind of waking up, going to school, doing your homework, and then going back to sleep, only to wake up and do it over again can feel draining and unrewarding. Set your own goals for things you are looking forward to and make that your reason for striving for success. It can be a concert, graduation, watching your favorite TV show, or anything else that motivates you to do what needs to be done. Whenever I start to get the feeling that school has suddenly become optional and when homework feels like something that can happen “tomorrow” –all of my fellow students know that tomorrow means never– I look at my dog and remember that the quicker I can get my work done, the more time I’ll have to spend with him. Find your reason why and get your work done!
Thank you for reading this article and I hope that at least one of these tips has helped to lessen your academic burdens. Comment down below if you have any tips for finishing out the year that you feel would be valuable to share! We got this, Huskies, let’s finish out strong!