I feel like this is a very important topic, and I have a VERY intensive approach to schoolwork than other people. I’m currently a junior in high school taking really difficult courses and this method has continued to hold up. I’m currently taking: AP US History, Precalculus, AP Composition and Literature, Honors Chemistry, Street Law (its just a super easy and fun elective; no school work really), and AP Biology. This method of studying really morphs into a lifestyle and kind of takes over your life. That being said, it is VERY time consuming. This may not work for everyone but I thought I would share my method…..take what you will from this post and feel free to message me feedback!
NOTE TAKING/CLASS WORK
For in class, I carry around ONE notebook everyday that I take notes in plain black pen or pencil for Precalculus, AP Bio, and Honors Chem (I have all these courses in the same day). Just a cheap $1 notebook from Staples. During class, rather than focus on pretty colors or highlights and neat handwriting, I just like to scribble notes and try and listen as much as possible. During class, I also sometimes get handouts with notes on them from my teachers so I’ll annotate those as well.
When I get home everyday, I use a three subject notebook (one for every subject; Precalc, AP Bio, and Honors Chem) and use a combination of the notes, classwork, textbook, and handouts to re-write my notes. I do this first when I get home so I can review what I learned that day before beginning my homework. Being home gives me more time and materials to be able to write my notes more neatly. This comes in super handy as memorization as well for future reference.
For APUSH, we are required to take notes on a chapter a week. In this class, we don’t really do much formal notetaking; more discussions and activities. I take the notes for the week the weekend before, and if I get additional important information during class I will annotate my notes by adding post-its and writing in the margins. I also like to do a list of the key terms and if I have time make flashcards.
For AP Comp, I have a notebook and folder that I bring to class everyday. The notebook is kind of a catch-all; we write a lot of essays and do exercise. I use the folder for handouts. Since the class is taught through reading and writing essays, we don’t have much note taking.
I like to do my homework after I finish re-doing my notes. It helps me to review and re-learn everything.
I am a crazy planner lady. I use a Lilly Pulitzer large planner, and I have since my freshman year of high school. I use one color for every subject and a color for all my extra curriculars. I use red to draw attention to tests. The planner includes a monthly overview, where I write down big due-dates and test dates for a better overview of the month. The planner then has a weekly overview that is divided up into days (below). Here I put day-to-day assignments as well as big dates. After I’ve completed a task I highlight it with yellow highlighter.
STUDYING FOR TESTS AND QUIZZES
I’m going to break this up into subjects because studying completely changes depending on what subject.
For history I like to re-read my notes, make flashcards, and annotate chapter outlines. The textbook I use for APUSH has online chapter outlines that I’ll annotate with my own personal notes and stick into a huge binder full of annotated chapter outlines. I also always use my crash course (its my bible). Additionally, John Green has a bunch of great history videos on youtube that are super easy to watch.
For science classes I always make a digital study guide. This makes it easy to find good diagrams and pictures. If its a math-ish test (like Chemistry) then I’ll do practice problems. I also like to make flashcards if I need to recognize certain molecules, concepts, or terms that I have trouble with. I also really love my crash courses.
For math, I like to make a practice test that I make and do over and over again until I get 100%. I also like re-read my notes. For math, practice problems are the best.
I don’t really have english tests but we do have in class essays. For in class essays, having a thesis and taking time to plan is really important.
Khan Academy Videos
Crash Course Videos By John Green
Best Essay Formula EVER: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2013/05/how-to-write-a-great-essay-about-anything/
30/30 App: It sets timers that you can set to go off and assign a certain task to. Best app ever, hands down.
Crashcourse Books; buying books at Barnes and Noble or Amazon, can be a bit expensive but buying books that can be written in are very helpful. I would definitely go look at the books before blindly buying them off amazon though.
Please feel free to message me and I hope this helps! Also would this be helpful in video form? Please let me know if you want a specific post/video on one particular topic!