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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.

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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.


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