Study Skills


Robert Taylor, Managing Editor

Starting a new school year can be daunting, whether you’re a froshy or a Senior, you’ll need to work harder – and smarter – than you have before. With that in mind, the RHS Ram has created this short guide to studying in high school. The guide is divided into two sections: study methods and curriculum-specific studying. 


The first study method that I suggest is using note cards for key terms and definitions. While it is time consuming to write note cards, making and studying them will certainly help any students remember key concepts and terms.


If you cannot use note cards, then the second study method I suggest is making Quizlets for key concepts and terms. Making Quizlets has many of the same benefits of making note cards, but Quizlets, unlike note cards, can be shared among your peers thus encouraging studying which in turn means that if you are confused, you can turn to your peers for extra help.


If making note cards and Quizlets is not your thing, then you may be interested in typing up your notes or writing a short list of important topics. While this method of studying is time consuming and certainly not for everyone, I can vouch for its effectiveness. By typing your notes or writing a short list of topics you are forced to consider all possible topics that may appear on a test or a quiz.


Even though the three above methods can be effectively used in almost every class, there are certain class-specific methods of studying that produce much better results than the generic methods listed above. 


While making a list of concepts may work for math, there is no substitute for practice. I suggest that you spend an hour or two each week practicing problems from the topics that will appear on your next test or quiz. I also suggest spending extra time a night or two before an assessment to make sure that you know, and are proficient in, the areas that will be covered on the assessment.


In regards to science, any of the generic methods of studying is effective. However, the method that is most effective will depend on the type of assessment that you are studying for. Flashcards and Quizlets are best when studying for vocabulary quizzes while typing up your notes and writing a list of important topics is essential when studying for PAs.


When studying a foreign language, make sure to learn your vocabulary words by using flashcards when studying. Also, before an assessment, write down any major grammar rules you will be assessed on to ensure you have memorized them.


Typically, English has few assessments. Most of them are reading checks or grammar quizzes. For reading checks, thoroughly read and annotate what you were told to read and look through to ensure that you have an accurate understanding of events. Before taking a grammar quiz, make sure to practice whatever grammar rule you will be quizzed on. 


When studying for history, the generic methods of studying work for any unit. Just remember to write down and memorize key events/terms as well as historical trends and figures.


If you need someone to peer revise an English or history paper, I wholeheartedly suggest visiting the Writing Center, which is on the second floor directly above the lecture hall. There is an English teacher stationed there during most periods, but for best results, go during lunch. While no teacher there will write your papers for you, they will certainly give advice or let you bounce ideas off of them. 


If you ever have questions about math, ask your math teacher for extra help. They will often have time set aside for such requests. When going to extra help with a teacher, always make sure to have specific questions or examples ready so as to not waste the teacher’s time.