Study Tips to Survive Second Semester


Emily Chang, Staff Writer

As almost any high schooler can confirm, high school is hard. With AP World infringing on our sleep schedules and coffee pumping through our veins, it sometimes feels like there isn’t any time to breathe. In addition to regular school work, there are things like extracurriculars, time with family, and sleep that we need to juggle as well. Thus, I’ve compiled a list of my most helpful study tips that help maximize any study session to give more overall efficiency and time management.


  1. Get out of your room
    Being trapped inside your room all evening pouring over your notes can make studying far less efficient because of the lack of stimulation. Try and switch up the scenery by going to a local coffee shop or even just to a different room in the house.  
  2. Water, not caffeine
    While it may be hypocritical to say, considering I just suggested studying at a coffee shop, it is always better to hydrate before you caffeinate. Drinking water will bring clarity and a sharper memory without the “crash” that comes with caffeine. While coffee might make you momentarily feel more alert, in the long run, the dehydration that follows isn’t worth the slight perk. However, if you are desperate for a bit of caffeine, opt for a tea (my favorites are green or chai) that will give you more sustained energy throughout the day. 
  3. Music
    Although this may not be everyone’s favorite thing to hear, listening to Ariana Grande on loop is only dampening the study quality. Music with vocals in the background essentially competes with your brain trying to process words visually, thereby resulting in you reading the same paragraph over and over again until you finally process it. Instead, instrumental music is always a better option. My personal favorites are Lofi music or the Harry Potter Soundtrack.  
  4. Determine what kind of learner you are
    Simply put, everyone learns differently. Simple quizzes online or even internal observation can help you distinguish what type of learner you are, whether that be visual or kinesthetic (physical). Then, studying becomes far easier because you are essentially studying “smarter” not “harder.” As a visual learner, highlighters and thorough notes are my bread and butter. But as an auditory learner, these methods might be useless. It all comes down to being aware of what works best for you.  
  5. Take breaks
    Essentially, your brain cannot sustain intense concentration for longer than about an hour at a time. Thus, my favorite way to study is with a modified version of the Pomodoro Technique: 50 minutes of intense studying with a 10 minute break. They key here, though, is to actually get up and walk around during this break. Play with your dog, grab a snack, or even go out for a walk. Just staying in your seat and mindlessly scrolling the internet will not leave you feeling refreshed and has the potential of distracting you further.  

These five study tips are extremely helpful in maximizing each study session so that every after-school schedule becomes more manageable. With these tips, you can easily conquer even the busiest of schedules and get enough sleep each night too.