Making the Most of Your Study Session

For many teens, academic success can seem daunting. However, acing the test and getting good grades is not hard to do with a bit of time management and some other useful skills.

Start at the beginning. Good notes equal good study. Creating a good study habit starts the moment you enter the classroom. Taking good notes in class will help you tremendously when you sit down to start prepping for the test!

Some tips on note-taking:

  • Jot down facts when the teacher mentions them or writes them on the board.
  • If you miss something, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher to repeat it.
  • Visit with your teacher after class if you need help understanding something.
  • Keep your notes organized by subject.
  • Make sure you write clearly so you can read it later.

Use your time wisely. Waiting until the last minute may seem like the thing to do when you’d rather hang out with friends, but studying ahead of time can help build confidence and reduce test-day stress.

Try studying in small chunks of time or reviewing different subjects on certain days of the week. If it’s math you’re studying, make sure to complete plenty of practice problems well before test day.

Organize, Organize, Organize! If you can’t find last week’s algebra assignment or that writing prompt was shoved to the bottom of your backpack, get things straightened out! If you can find it, you’ll be more likely to use it.

Follow these guidelines to stay organized:

  • Take notes on index cards and keep them separated by subject.
  • Use a wall calendar to mark and plan for test days.
  • Keep your syllabi together in one place for easy access to class information and schedules.
  • Use a different notebook for every subject or class.

Getting ready for the SAT or ACT? Use your resources. You might be surprised by the wealth of resources you can find at your own high school. Visit student affairs or your guidance counselor to see what free publications are available. You school should have copies of Taking the SAT, which features test-taking tips and a sample test, the answers, an answer sheet and instructions for scoring. For more in-depth preparation, try signing up for a practice SAT or buying a test-prep study guide from your local bookstore.

Creating a plan for how you study can help you in the long run and can even free up more time for you to do the things you love—like play soccer or hang out with your friends.

For more ideas about setting goals and achieving them, check out LiveFree! We are a community-focused organization that is dedicated to educating people about and ending substance abuse.


Study Skills for Teens (National Center for Learning Disabilities)

Studying for Tests (

Preparing for the SAT/ACT (FastWeb)

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