Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    How to Ace Your Tests and Have More Free Time

    Posted March 14, 2016, 1:00 pm by Nicolaus Jannasch
    How to Ace Your Tests and Have More Free Time

    Even though it’s not fun to sit around studying all day you probably want to do well in school. In high school, it sometimes seems like everyone is having more fun than you and this can make putting time aside to work even more challenging!

    Unfortunately, you do need to spend time studying in order to do well. I remember that up until eighth grade I hardly needed to open my textbooks, but in high school that all changed. (And it only got worse in college!)

    Most people waste a lot of time studying in the wrong way or studying at the wrong time. They get bad grades and sometimes need to retake classes. Staying in on Friday nights to study, however, is also a bad option because you probably want to have fun as well!

    So here are a few tips to help you do well in class while also keeping your schedule open enough to have fun with friends.

    1. Schedule ‘no distraction’ time.

    When you block out an hour for studying, are you really getting an hour’s worth of knowledge downloaded into your brain? The truth is, probably not!

    Most likely you’re on Snapchat and Twitter at the same time. You’re probably talking with two or three other friends, chatting with your girlfriend, and looking up the details of the next Pretty Lights concert in your area.

    This is killing your productivity! When you keep getting distracted it can take you up to 10 times as long to learn a subject. Sometimes you’ll really get distracted and not learn anything at all. Turn off the cell phone and log out of Facebook if you need to, and set aside blocks of time for distraction-free studying.

    2. Skim the chapter before your teacher talks about it.

    You might be used to always “catching up” on information your teacher brings up in class. Maybe you never read anything until a few days before the test. This is a really inefficient way to learn, and it actually forces you to spend more time studying.

    The best use of your time is to spend just five minutes skimming over the next chapter before your teacher discusses it in class. Your brain won’t understand everything, but it will pick up on small details here and there. When your teacher goes over the subject in class, your brain then has a much easier time putting those pieces together!

    3. After you’re done studying, do something cool!

    You want to study efficiently so that you have more free time. You can use this time to get an internship, volunteer in your community, or hang out with friends. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something memorable.

    If you’re going to spend time with friends, don’t just bum around the mall. Get outside, find a museum, play a new sport, discover a free concert! Doing something unique that you can look back on makes all the time you put in studying worth it.

    [Want more tips from the TeenLife experts? Try our 3 ways to push through a senior slump!]

    Sign up for Free Tips and Guides direct to Your Inbox
    Nicolaus Jannasch

    Nicolaus Jannasch

    Are you curious about earning money while traveling? If you want to connect with Nico, ask questions, and learn more about his experience you can find his latest blog posts at NicoJannasch.com, say hello on Twitter, or ‘Like’ his Facebook page