Organization & Study Tips

  • Recognize your talents and abilities and stretch yourself to reach your full potential. Here are some tips to help:




    Stay organized and have what you need, when you need it.


    • Use an assignment book or agenda which includes the entire school year (September through June) to keep track of all homework assignments, projects, due dates, tests, after-school activities, early dismissal days, and other important information.

    • Plan ahead. Write a "to-do" list every day to prioritize the most important tasks you need to keep track of so you will be ready for school. Cross tasks off the list as you complete them.

    • Use three-ring binders or notebooks with divided sections for class notes. Since some teachers have specific requirements for note taking and homework, check with them before purchasing binders or notebooks.

    • Use folders for schoolwork or handouts.

    • Ask for home and cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses from at least three classmates in each subject so that you can contact them if you are absent or have questions about the class.

    • Keep your locker and backpack neat.

    • Get organized before you go to bed.

    • At the end of every marking period, clean out binders or folders that you carry to school. Keep all tests and notes in a folder at home (one for each subject) to review for your mid-term, final exam, or other future projects.



    Time Management

    With good time management you will have time for the things you have to do and still have time for the things you want to do.  Use class time, if available, to start on your homework and ask questions.


    • Create your own study plan by determining how much time you have available each day, including the amount of homework you have. Estimate how long it will take you to complete each homework assignment, particularly for long-term assignments such as multi-page essays and research projects. Keep track of how long it actually takes to complete them so you can more accurately estimate the next time. Allow enough time to study for upcoming exams.

    • Set realistic expectations. If a project is due in 2 weeks, start ahead of time instead of doing it the night before.

    • Use HAP blocks effectively to start homework, do research in the Media Center, or ask questions of subject teachers (hall pass required).

    • Consider going to the Homework Help Center after school for help with homework or to ask questions.



    Note Taking

    Take good notes to help you prepare for tests and projects and to stay focused in class.  Be an attentive listener - look at the teacher as much as possible and really listen to what they are saying.


    • Take notes to help you pay attention. Try not to doodle.

    • Get the speaker's MAIN points, don't write down every word you hear.

    • Organize as you write. Listen for CUES and repetition of key ideas or facts.

    • Take notes that are neat and easy to read.

    • Ask questions as you go. If you are confused it is better to ask while the material is fresh in your mind.

    • In addition to key ideas and facts, add important vocabulary words, dates, and formulas to your notes.

    • Write the date on the top of each page and number each page of notes.

    • Leave at least a one inch margin on the left side of the paper and at the bottom of the page so you have space to add other notes later in the class or at home.

    • Skip lines between new ideas so that you can easily read through your notes to find key concepts.

    • Use a highlighter or "**" to easily locate the most important notes.

    • Use abbreviations and symbols to save time for frequently used words such as the following: betw = between, b/c = because, min = minimum, max = maximum, gov't = government, w/ = with, w/i = within, w/o = without, yr = year, @ = at, dept = department, # = number, info = information, org = organization.



    Test Taking

    When you feel prepared you will have more confidence going in to take the test.  Preparation for taking tests includes reviewing assignments and notes, completing your homework, and reading the textbook or other materials on a daily basis.


    • Budget your study time. Don't cram the night before the test and expect to remember everything.

    • Ask your teacher to specify the areas that will be emphasized on the test.

    • Reduce test anxiety:

      • Get a good nights rest before test day.

      • Eat a healthy breakfast.

      • Take a few deep breaths to relax yourself prior to the test.

      • Reinforce positive affirmations such as, "I have studied and will do my best".

      • Focus on the question at hand. Don't let your mind wander.

      • If you have difficulty answering a question, skip it and go on to another question. Come back to the question if you have time at the end of the test.

      • Don't be concerned if some students finish the test before you. Use all of the available time.



    Group Projects

    Work together as a team to ensure a successful outcome for your project.


    • Ask the teacher questions if you don't understand the project requirements.

    • Every team member should have the phone number and e-mail address of each team member.

    • Discuss the skills that each team member has (such as who is creative, who likes to do research, who enjoys writing).

    • Assign tasks fairly. Each team member should have about the same amount of work.

    • Make sure that all team members agree on the project tasks and the due dates to ensure a successful project outcome.

    • Try to work out problems as a group before contacting the teacher for help.



    Tips for Parents

    Your children need you to be interested and involved in their academic progress. Your children must, however, be responsible for their own work, attendance, and behavior.


    • Be interested - Make sure that your child knows that his/her academic progress is important to you. Know when each marking period ends and make sure that you see all progress reports and report cards as soon as they come out. In addition, periodically log on to Family Connect / Power School to review grades online. Allow a reasonable amount of time for the posting of grades. Do not assume that someone will call you if there is a problem.

    • Show up - Attend Back-to-School Night to meet each classroom teacher and understand course requirements and teacher expectations. Attend Parent/Teacher conferences to discuss your child's progress.

    • Discuss each class and set goals - Sit down with your son or daughter and help them set realistic academic goals for each quarter. Throughout the quarter recognize effort and improvement. Acknowledge each academic success, including each good grade on a quiz or homework assignment.

    • Help out - Be available to help with homework but don't give more help than the student wants or needs. Keep in mind it is your child's responsibility to be organized, to get their homework done, and to prepare for tests.

    • Listen - Talk to your child about what's happening in school and be a good listener.

    • Encourage involvement - Students who are involved in school-related activities enjoy school more and generally enjoy greater academic success.

    • Monitor activities and jobs - Make sure that your child is not spending too much time watching TV, playing computer games, texting, or talking on the phone. Also, make sure that your child is not spending too many hours doing homework, working too late at a job, or staying up too late on a school night.

    • Work with the school - Know that teachers, counselors, and administrators are there to help your child get the best education possible. If extenuating circumstances arise in your family, call the school and tell them what is going on. If you have a question or concern that relates to a specific teacher or class, call the teacher or send them an e-mail. For other questions and concerns, call your child's counselor.

    • Track it - Use a "school year" calendar which begins in July and ends the following July instead of a January to December calendar. Write all school-related dates for the entire year in the calendar as soon as you receive them. Include days off, early dismissal days, parent / teacher conferences, schedules for evening parent presentations, back to school night, etc. This will keep you organized all year and you won't miss any important dates or deadlines.