Help Your Head Out: Study tips that work for all students


Photo by: Angelina Lam

Senior Madeline Lynner working in class on Sep. 28, 2022

Getting back into the habit of doing homework and studying after a long, relaxing summer can be stressful. Use some of these study tips to get your mindset in the best place possible.

Have you ever waited until the night before a project was due to start working on it? Do you find yourself drifting off during class? Have you noticed your friend’s way of studying doesn’t work for you? Do your grades reflect your understanding of a subject, or the lack of effort you’ve put into your assignments? Many students are struggling to balance homework and after school activities. This list of studying tips can help students with organization and getting work done on time. 

In class and before class

 If students struggle with school they should try their best to pay attention during class. Put your phone in your backpack, take notes if necessary, and keep your eyes on the board. Make an effort to stop drifting off during class and complete all work before the bells rings. Completing classwork before you’ve left class and ultimately forgotten what you’ve learned is essential. If your trouble focusing stems from anxiety, fidget toys can help. However if students still don’t understand the material, there are tutors and teachers available to help. Many students struggle with math, thus the math lab is open for all students during study hall. The teachers at Potomac Falls want their students to succeed, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Set yourself up for success! Be sure to eat before school and drink lots of water during the day to help with concentration. Before you fall asleep and start a new day, avoid screen time and activities that could potentially overwhelm your brain. A solid sleep schedule does a body good. 

Battling procrastination 

Have you ever promised yourself you would start studying at 7:00 only to realize it’s 7:30 and end up not studying at all? Don’t feel guilty! Students procrastinate not because of laziness or lack of understanding, but rather a fear of overwhelming themselves. So take things slow, study one chapter a night for a week, instead of cramming all seven chapters in one night. To keep yourself from procrastinating, hide your phone or potential distractions from yourself. If you feel an uncontrollable urge to play the next level of your video game, place your controller on a high shelf to symbolize your self restraint. A helpful trick to prevent procrastination is the five minute timer trick. Set a timer for five minutes and tell yourself you’ll only study for five minutes. By the time you’ve gotten in the grove of your work, you’ll want to keep studying until you’ve finished your to-do list. Another great way to keep on top of things is to have friends to study with. You’re less likely to get bored while studying if your classmates are working hard with you. Making friends in your classes can be a great help! Holding yourself and your classmates accountable for your work will greatly improve your productivity and participation inside and outside of the classroom. Everyone learns differently, finding creative ways to study can be extremely helpful. Personalize your study habits! Many students find flashcards helpful for memorization. Many online websites exist to help students, the most popular being If online websites don’t help you, physical flashcards can help as well. Scientific studies have proven that writing something down repeatedly will help with memorization. 


Do you often forget when your tests and assignments are due? Well, a calendar and agenda can help with a lack of organization skills. Organization skills are called skills because they are learned behaviors, high school is the perfect time to grow organizational skills. Make sure to check daily agendas frequently and write down deadlines and due dates for all your assignments. Being specific in schedules is extremely important, writing “study for math” isn’t specific and doesn’t sound important enough to be a priority. Instead, try “review unit 2 math notes, then take a practice test.” Be smart about studying for multiple classes. If you have a test for Spanish tomorrow and a sciein clnce project due in two weeks, completing your Spanish review would be most beneficial. 

 Mental health reminders 

There’s an old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” meaning it takes time to create good work. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get one bad grade. Just regroup, rethink, and retake the test when you’re ready. Keeping a healthy mindset when it comes to school is extremely important. Make sure to engage with your favorite hobbies to destress from school. Taking a quick walk after school to destress can be very helpful. Pace yourself and remember school is supposed to be fun.