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High School Study Tips: Acing your Final Exams

written by: Keren Perles • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 9/11/2012

Don’t you wish that someone had some study tips for high school final exams? We do. Read on for some great ideas that will help you succeed on this year’s finals.

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    Make a Schedule

    This is perhaps one of the most important study tips for high school final exams. Make a schedule that is feasible, and stick to it. To do this, figure out how many days you have available to study for your final exams (and make sure that you start as far in advance as possible). Mark down when each of your exams will be, and then estimate how much time you will need to study for each one. For example, if your final history exam will be on ten chapters in your textbook, you might decide that it will take you about an hour to study a chapter until you know it perfectly. That would mean that you’ll need eleven hours to study for your history final exam – ten plus one to review all that you’ve studied.

    After you’ve done this for each of your exams, decide how much time you have to study each day. For example, you might decide that you have three hours to study on weeknights (taking into account after-school activities, dinner, some relaxation or social time, and normal schoolwork demands), and seven hours to study over the weekends. Then make a schedule in which you include three hours worth of studying on weeknights and seven hours over the weekend, using the estimated number of hours you’ll need to master each subject. Make sure to include some review time for each subject the night before that subject’s final exam. Then stick to your schedule as much as possible!

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    Leave the Best for Last

    On any one night, you may want to leave the best for last – or at least the easiest. For example, if you enjoy science class but can’t stand math, try scheduling in your hour of math studying at the beginning of the night, and your science review at the end of the night. That way you’ll be focusing on the hardest subjects while your mind is still fresh and you have plenty of energy.

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    The Best Study Method

    What is the best study method you can use for most subjects? The 3R (or Read-Recite-Review) Method has been proven to be exceptionally effective. Whether you’re studying from a textbook or from your notes, just reading through a section passively won’t necessarily help you remember it. Instead, you should read through the section once, then look away from it and summarize the section in your own words (either orally or in writing), and then read through the section again to see if you left anything out. This ensures that you’re actually understanding and working with the information that you’re studying, and it will help you remember the information for the test.

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    Make a Sample Final

    If you have extra time after you’ve gone through all of the information and reviewed it, consider making up your own sample final. This will force you to think about the types of questions that your teacher might ask, as well as which topics your teacher will think are most important. If you can, swap your “sample final" with a friend and see how well you do. You can also use this time to review the questions from previous tests, which probably focus on some of the same information that the final will focus on.

    These study tips for high school final exams will help you ace your finals this year – and will give you the skills you’ll need to succeed later on in your schooling as well.

Study Tips and Strategies

Not sure how to improve your study habits? Searching for study strategies that will work for you? This series includes study tips and strategies that can work for students from middle school through college and beyond.
  1. Study Strategies You Can Use
  2. Five Ways to Improve Your Study Habits
  3. Top 5 Test Taking Strategies: Making Test Taking Simple
  4. High School Study Tips: Acing your Final Exams
  5. Using Summary Graphic Organizers: Visually Summarizing a Text