Once in high school, regular study becomes more important. Study time is completely different to doing set homework.
Students in high school should regularly review work covered in class, summarise key ideas and do additional reading and research on topics, as well as practise tasks such as essays and maths problems.
Suggestions for effective studies
There is no one ‘best’ way to study. Students often find different methods and times to study to suit themselves. The key is regular study, not cramming before a test or exam.
Some suggestions for effective study time include:
no mobile device use – no social media, messaging or calls during study time
finish any homework for the day before starting study – remember they are separate
focus on one topic at a time
highlight class notes or handouts
prepare summaries in your own words to revise concepts and skills learnt in class
draw diagrams, mind maps or brainstorms to show the main ideas and links between them
explain a topic or key concept to someone else
prepare glossaries of technical language for the topic or course, include examples of appropriate use
memorise short quotes
read summaries aloud – you can record yourself and play them back while travelling
write key concepts on flash cards with an explanation on the back to use for quick recall testing
read widely about topics being studied – add any new information or quotes to your summary (remember, when you use words or passages from a source such as a book, article or website you must reference them and use quotation marks).
The best study is active study – not just reading pages and pages of notes. Try creating summaries and lists, drawing mind maps, practising answering questions, teaching someone else about a topic and so on. Active study helps move content from short-term to long-term memory. When reading over notes, try to read them aloud.
A study timetable can be useful to help high school students plan time each week revising work covered in class.
Fill in regular activities such as school, sport, part-time jobs and so on. Don’t forget to include meal times and time to travel to activities.
Students should discuss how much time to spend studying with their teachers. Older students will be spending 1 to 2 hours on each subject each week. This will increase as they get closer to the HSC.
Think about the best time to study. Some kids prefer to get straight into it after the after-school snack, to get it out of the way. Others like to chill before dinner and get into their school work in the evening. Identify the most effective time.
Block out chunks of time on the Study timetable to study at the identified most effective times. Some subjects will require more time than others – use the advice of the class teacher. Don’t forget to consider the school timetable when you are creating a study timetable – it might be a bit much to do 2 hours of physics on the same day as a double period. Don’t forget any subjects – even the ‘easiest’ will require revision in Years 11 and 12.
Colour code the chunks of time for different subjects.
Allow a break of at least 5 to 10 minutes each hour.
Trial the study timetable for a fortnight and see if it is realistic. There’s no point having a study timetable that isn’t followed.
Be realistic, some days there will be a pile of homework or family events which means a day off study. If your child can stick to their study timetable 70 to 80% of the time, they are on their way to success.