Study tips to get you ready for 2nd semester

With the second term just getting started, some students may need help getting prepared for the upcoming school work.


Photo by Kaydence Christopher

A student’s text book and note book open as they take notes and study.

Getting students motivated to do their assignments is something that’s on a lot of teachers’ minds. Your teachers want you to succeed in life and be the best version of yourself.  

However, for many students, it’s hard to pick up an assignment and do it. Everything else going on around them outside of class such as work, sports, family responsibilities and other personal issues make this harder.  

As the 1st semester comes to an end, students should strive to do their best this upcoming 2nd semester. However, that can be difficult for some students who don’t have their study habits in order. Well, fear not: Here’s a compiled list of good study habits and tips that were gathered from interviews with your experienced peers. 

1. Find somewhere you can focus.  

If you spend all your free time in your room on your bed, it’s not an innovative idea to do your studying and homework there as well.  

Most people tend to associate their bed with comfort and relaxation. Even if you manage to get yourself focused, it won’t last long — your brain will start to deviate, becoming lazy and think that you’re going to be sleeping soon.  

That said, you should also limit distractions as best as possible. If you have a quieter house, doing your homework at a kitchen counter (with stools) or a kitchen table is an effective way to separate yourself from your bed to do homework and study.  

The public library is also a quiet place with space for you to get your studying done. Or in class when you have spare time outside of your lessons, your mind is already ready to learn since it associates your classroom with gaining knowledge already. 

One student, Victoria Vo, even says, “I study in my car. My house is always loud and there’s never really much quiet space for me to do my homework.”  

The moral of the story is that you need to find the place where your brain works best. 

2. Make a list, keep goals.  

Making a daily agenda, or a list of all your assignments to do can help a ton. It’s extremely easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work being thrown at you, and sometimes you may feel like you have an overload of things and not enough time to do it.

Even making a simple word doc with a chart can be extremely helpful. You can also hand write this on paper. Everyone has different techniques that work for them. 

An example of a chart you can make to help keep your brain organized: 

Class Name   Grade in Class  Assignments (with due dates)  Important notes/ dates to remember 
Class #1  C 
  • Worksheet 1 (2/4/23) 
  • Worksheet 2 (2/5/23) 
  • Test on 2/5/23!! 
Class #2  C 
  • Essay (2/5/23) 
  • Turn in your packet!!  

Keeping yourself motivated by giving yourself goals to fulfill is also extremely helpful. They can be small goals like “get this assignment for English done by the end of the day” or bigger ones like “I need to do these assignments to raise my grade to a B,” anything to keep you motivated to keep going! 

 3. Don’t procrastinate. 

Yes, procrastination gets the best of us, however that doesn’t mean you can’t aim to combat this habit. Leaving everything for the last minute is rarely effective and will often lead to a subpar final result. Giving yourself plenty of time to plan an assignment, evaluate a rubric and put out your best work is the most effective use of your time.  

Especially with upcoming AP exams, yes, they’re still a few months out, but that just means more time to prepare! If you wait till the week before the exam to study for it, you’ll just cause yourself more stress overall.  

The same goes for assignments as well, you don’t want to be cramming to get every assignment ever handed to you done before the end of a grading period. That just leads to unnecessary stress on yourself.  

“I’m gonna be honest, I’m a big procrastinator and it never seems to work for me that way,” Vo said.  

4. Don’t forget to take breaks and reward yourself.  

A big reason students don’t take priority in their schooling is because they think it’s boring, or that they have much better things to be doing. These excuses seem to be a big scapegoat for students. The truth is, you must make homework and studying interesting for you. Don’t spend hours on end doing work with no breaks or spare moments to yourself. 

If you’re someone who struggles to convince yourself to do work because you’d rather play video games or scroll through social media you can give yourself time frames, such as “I’ll spend 30 minutes doing my homework and after that I can have 20 minutes of free time” repeat that process till you get your work done! A small reward for all your demanding work.  

Do your homework while sipping on a drink of your choice, or eating a favorite snack make sure you give yourself time to breathe and pamper yourself as well. You deserve it! 

 5.Don’t be scared to ask your teachers or fellow classmates for help. 

Teachers are here to teach you, as mentioned before, they want you to succeed. That’s why teachers want you to ask for help when you need it. If you’re struggling in their class, or even don’t understand an assignment or math equation, teachers are always a good person to ask for help. They are the ones that gave you the assignment after all.  

Your peers are also a reliable source of help, you might feel more comfortable talking to someone your age rather than a teacher, and that’s okay! As long as you’re getting the help you need.