How to study for exams in high school

Updated: May 1

You have attended classes upon classes, completed one chapter or assignment only to start with another one, written and studied your notes for those tests that at times made it impossible for a fun weekend.


With all of what has happened so far, you still have the exams to write. For things to be much easier, check out these tips on how to study for exams in high school.


1. Set goals


Identify and set goals for the exam period. They can be tailored in ways that suit your medium and long-term academic goals and consequently your career plan.


For example, if you want to be accepted for a law degree, your English marks should be above 65%. Keeping this in mind will be some form of motivation.


If you decide to not study further after matric, your school report also speaks a lot about the type of person you are to potential employers. Your exam results contribute significantly to this report.


In instances that it’s hard to set and stick to your goals, speak to a teacher or your tutor. JoziTutors has tutors who are well equipped with goal-setting skills and will help you in every step of the way to reach your target.

Writing down your goals is a good idea. Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

2. Prioritise your time


Cut out activities that are consuming the time you could be using to study. This may be easier said than done, but it will be worth it.


You could start by postponing chilling time with friends or outings for the period after the exams and allocating certain family tasks to your siblings.


If your parents can afford to sent you to the school’s boarding house for a couple of months to prepare for the exam, ensure that you capitalise on this opportunity because you will have less disturbance and focus more on your studies.

You can purchase a number of things in life, but time is one of the few, important component of life that cannot be sold. Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels.

3. Remember the essentials: sleep, drinking liquid, exercising and mental wellbeing


You are not a machine! So, don’t treat your body like it’s made up of iron. Remember the essentials elements to a balanced lifestyle even when you’re preparing to write your exams.


Firstly, get enough sleep to allow for your mind and body to function well the following day. Secondly, drink as much liquid, juice and especially water, as needed to keep you hydrated.


Furthermore, try to keep active by exercising for a couple of minutes. If you are a religious person, seek the comfort of your religion by going to the mosque, church, or the like.


Lastly, you need to give yourself some well-deserved off-time of at least one full day a week. This will help you to recharge and prevent you from burning out.

Bother your parents to keep some of them for you. Photo by Pixabay Stock Photos from Pexels.

4. Obtain and break down the workload


Before you begin to study, it is advisable to ensure that you have all the prescribed readings, past question papers, etc. Your tutor can be the first starting point as he/she knows what is required for you to ace the exams.


The trick behind having all the content at hand is to design a plan of what needs to be studied, revised or simply scanned through.


This plan will be a result of the breaking down of the work into themes, topics, chapters, etc. Basically, how the information is categorised in your respective subject.


5. Use the outcomes


Every subject has a major focus or primary lesson to be learnt, but within this major lesson, there are sub-lessons which are found in the individual classes or chapters making up the subject.


Go through the subject outline, identify them and speak to your teacher and tutor if you are not understanding what is expected of you.


Once it is done, you’ll discover that there are areas of focus requiring more of your attention and others that simply need a quick read for a broad perspective of the concepts or procedures.

The primary aim of going to school is to learn and you may notice this result when you have understood the focus areas outlined in the subject’s outcomes. Photo by Pixabay Stock Photos from Pexels

6. Have a study schedule


Once you’ve obtained all the content, broken it down into their categories, used the outcomes as the areas to reach, you then need to make a study schedule based on the available time left until the first paper.


It is best to it down with a second party like your tutor and divide the work further according to this schedule. The schedule should outline what subject you will look at on a day to day basis and the goals of every day.

Have a calendar nearby when you are scheduling your study timetable. Photo by Pixabay Stock Photos from Pexels.

7. 25 minutes study, 5 minutes break


An ideal way to study daily is in intervals of 25 minutes with 5 minutes breaks. This allows for your brain to pause for a while and then regain the energy needed for absorbing and revising the information at hand.


After four to five consecutive sessions, you need to stand up, take a walk and then return to the game with a rejuvenated mind that is ready to continue.

Take note of the importance of time when studying and develop the tendency of appreciating it because it will be there during the exams. Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels.

8. Make use of your school’s teaching staff


Consult the teachers for clarity on anything you didn’t understand during the terms. Remember that they are remunerated to ensure you pass with the highest marks that you can obtain.


But they can only do so if you consult. So, you should approach them for assistance on any of the school work that is troubling you.

Visit your teachers at times just to check them out and have a chat about school as well as life in general. Photo by Nappy from Pexels.

9. Consider being part of a study group


Join a study group, for focus, assistance and continuous motivation. This could be an online group. Your class mates are likely to be the right people to form such group with.


As online communities become more convenient, one can also consider being a part of a WhatsApp group that has accounting students discussing material dealt with in class. JTs

Group studying can be helpful, especially when dealing with concepts that you are finding hard to understand by yourself. Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels.

This article is a modified version of the article title HOW TO Study For Exam, published by The Open Journal. Writing by Gaby Ndongo. Editing by Amber Richardson. Feature image courtesy to Pixel.

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