Featured Image

Top Study Tips for Every High School Subject

These tips are organized by English, History, Science, and Math, so you can improve your study habits in each area before you head off to college.

We all know that studying is the worst part about school. We also know that it’s one of the main keys to success, especially in college. As a senior, I’ve developed lots of tips and tricks throughout my high school career that have helped me do better in every subject. Here’s what you should do in each core class to improve your study habits before you head off to college.


English may be the most daunting of all subjects, but with a few tips, you’ll be able to conquer it.

Learn to take good notes

While reading a book for class, whether it’s a textbook or novel, it is very important to take notes. Though more time consuming, this can be helpful because you are more likely to pay attention to specific details. (This is the key to success in every subject.)

Don’t rely on internet summaries

One of the biggest misconceptions students have is that they can just read a summary online before taking a test instead of reading the whole book. Websites like Sparknotes and Cliff Notes only give a brief summary and aren’t very detailed. Also, some English teachers read Sparknotes before making their tests.

Participate in classroom discussion

I find that group discussion is one of the best ways to comprehend written material. Talking it out with other students and hearing different opinions is a great way to get a better understanding. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questions fuel the conversation and show the teacher that you are willing to learn.


History lectures, in my opinion, are the hardest classes to sit through, and to take notes on lectures is even more frustrating. This year it took me three times to actually get an A on my history test. With these tips, you can pass any lecture class.

Write in your own words

Try to write what the teacher is saying in your own words. By doing this, it’s almost like you’re reciting the information as you take notes.

Rewrite your notes

Usually during lectures, you tend to write fast and your notes can get really messy—and no one wants to study from messy notes. I suggest that you take the extra time to rewrite your notes neatly and organized. Also, have fun with it. You can experiment with different paper, fonts, and colors to avoid getting bored.


My least favorite subject. Usually people think of math as something you either comprehend or you don’t. Fortunately for my senior year, I have put these tips to use.

Practice makes perfect

I have heard several students say, “You can’t study math,” and I’m here to tell you that statement is false. Reworking homework problems and truly understanding the steps to solving the problem is the best way to learn math. The key is repetition—it increases your memory.

Take notes!

A lot of people like to listen and watch the teacher work the math on the board, but I strongly suggest students take thorough notes during class. That way you can look back on your notes when doing homework.

YouTube is your best friend

When I don’t understand something in class, whether how to input something into the calculator or the concept itself, there is a good chance there is a YouTube video to explain it better.


Science can be very challenging, especially biology. With these tips, you’ll be able to survive any science class.

Take advantage of your resources

Most science teachers use PowerPoint presentations for their lectures. If your teacher uses slides, you can easily ask for them to save to your drive or print out. That way you don’t have to worry about missing anything and you can pay closer attention in class and jot down extra notes.

Use your textbook

There are times in science class when you just don’t understand what the teacher is saying. This is when you should consult your textbook. Referring to the chapter can help you better understand what is going on. If you still don’t get it, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher to explain it to you again.

General tips for college-bound seniors

Get a planner and use it

When given an assignment, write it down immediately and plan to study at least two days prior to your test—or more depending on how much material you have.

Make use of study apps

Apps like Quizlet and Khan Academy are free and offer easy ways to study on the computer at home or with your phone on the go.

Find more study tips here on CollegeXpress.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

core subjects English high school academics high school classes history math science study tips taking notes

About Meilyn Woods

Meilyn Woods is from Lettsworth, Louisiana. She is 18 years old and is a senior at Avoyelles Public Charter School in Mansura, Louisiana. She serves as member of her school's cheerleading team and plans on attending NSU in the fall.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Joseph Johnsly

Joseph Johnsly

High School Class of 2021

It's an honor for me to be writing to share a little about my experience with CollegeXpress. I've been using CollegeXpress for about a year now, and the reason why I chose it is because it provides astonishing scholarships for every student around the globe. Besides that, this organization dispenses all the information necessary to help students get to college. CollegeXpress has helped me have an easier experience with applying to colleges and choosing the best fit for myself.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Heather McCarty

Heather McCarty

High School Class of 2020

CollegeXpress has helped me with the college application process. The tips and tricks for important essays were so helpful. I also gained useful knowledge about college life. Even though I’m fully online, CollegeXpress has helped me develop a sense of how college is in person. The experiences from college students that were featured on their Instagram page have shown the good, the bad, and the “secret” life on campus from a reliable perspective. Not to mention, they relieved my feelings of anxiety about the workload. I can now understand how it can be stressful, but it takes self-control and willpower to get assignments completed on time and with quality.

Yuhlani Patterson

Yuhlani Patterson


CollegeXpress has helped me find so many scholarships that fit me. They match me to colleges I have specific interest in to make searching for colleges way easier and more efficient. CollegeXpress refers me to schools that have my major of interest and backup schools if I want to change my mind. CollegeXpress also gives out their own scholarships, so you have even more of a chance at gaining multiple scholarships. This website has helped me de-stress from the pressure of not being able to afford college, [of finding] what schools are right for me, and how to find easy access to scholarships that most people never knew existed.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

College Matches