Essential Study Skills for High School Students

High school is an important period in a student’s academic journey. It is a time when students are preparing for college and developing the skills they will need to succeed in higher education and beyond. One critical set of skills that students need to develop in high school is study skills. Good study skills are essential for success in high school, college, and beyond. In this article, we will discuss study skills for high school students.

  1. Time management. Time management is a critical skill for high school students. It is essential to plan and manage time effectively to balance academic work, extracurricular activities, and social life. High school students should develop a study schedule and prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines. A study schedule can help students stay on track and avoid procrastination. Additionally, students should learn to estimate the time needed to complete each task and plan accordingly (Tuckman, 2011).
  2. Goal setting. Goal setting is an important aspect of study skills. High school students should set academic goals for each semester, such as achieving a certain GPA, improving a specific subject area, or completing a particular project. Students should also break down their goals into smaller, manageable tasks and set deadlines for each task. This will help students stay motivated and focused (Locke & Latham, 2012).
  3. Active reading. Active reading is a skill that involves actively engaging with the text to better understand the material. High school students should learn to preview the text, highlight important information, take notes, and ask questions. Additionally, students should learn to summarize and paraphrase the material in their own words to reinforce their understanding (Schraw & Dennison, 1994).
  4. Note-taking. Note-taking is a critical study skill that helps students organize and retain information. High school students should learn to take effective notes during lectures, class discussions, and reading assignments. This includes using abbreviations, symbols, and diagrams to capture key points and concepts. Students should also review and revise their notes regularly to reinforce their understanding (Kiewra, 1985).
  5. Test-taking strategies. Test-taking is an essential skill for high school students. Students should learn effective test-taking strategies, such as reading the directions carefully, pacing themselves, and answering the easiest questions first. Additionally, students should learn to manage test anxiety by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and visualization (Kearns, 2015).
  6. Memory techniques. Memory techniques are useful tools for high school students to help them remember important information. These techniques include mnemonics, acronyms, and visualization. Students should also practice retrieval techniques, such as self-quizzing and review games, to reinforce their memory (Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013).
  7. Study groups. Study groups can be a valuable resource for high school students. Working with peers allows students to share ideas, ask questions, and receive feedback. Students can also benefit from different perspectives and learning styles. However, it is important to choose study partners wisely and avoid distractions (Gillies & Boyle, 2010).
  8. Use of technology. Technology can be a powerful tool for high school students to enhance their study skills. There are many apps and tools available that can help students organize their study schedule, take notes, and create flashcards. Additionally, students can use online resources, such as videos and tutorials, to reinforce their understanding of difficult concepts (Van den Berg & Watkins, 2017).
  9. Communication skills. Effective communication is an essential skill for high school students. It includes listening, speaking, and writing. High school students should learn to actively listen to their teachers and peers, ask questions, and contribute to class discussions. Additionally, students should practice effective writing skills, such as organizing their ideas and using proper grammar and punctuation (Vandell & Corasaniti, 1990).
  10. Self-care. Self-care is an important aspect of study skills. High school students should take care of their physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Additionally, students should practice stress management techniques, such as meditation and relaxation exercises, to reduce anxiety and improve focus (Gallup-Black, 2005).

Study skills are essential for success in high school and beyond. Developing good study habits in high school can help students achieve their academic goals and prepare them for college and their future careers. By following these ten best practices, high school students can improve their time management, goal setting, active reading, note-taking, test-taking, memory techniques, study groups, use of technology, communication skills, and self-care. However, it is important to remember that study skills are not one-size-fits-all. Each student has their own unique learning style and needs.

Therefore, it is important for students to experiment with different strategies and techniques to find what works best for them. Additionally, students should seek help and support from their teachers, counselors, and parents if they are struggling with their academic work. With effort and dedication, high school students can develop the study skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

With effort and dedication, high school students can develop the study skills they need to succeed in school and in life.


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Gallup-Black, A. (2005). The relationship between self-care and academic achievement in African American undergraduate college students. Journal of College Student Development, 46(1), 3-10.

Gillies, R. M., & Boyle, M. (2010). Online collaborative learning: Enhancing students’ engagement, enjoyment and achievement. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), 791-806.

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Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2012). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist, 67(9), 705-717.

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