Stress: a hallmark of the AP® student. Each student tackles stress differently; one is either knocked down by it, slumps and suggests a schedule change, or at worse, a name change, or, with the help of coffee, “figures it out.”
AP® students are jugglers, handling the content of an advanced class, navigating inflexible deadlines, they are the acrobats asked to lead the morning announcements, join Varsity choir, and stream a TED Talk in between class. Survive as a Chosen One with haunted bags under your eyes, or thrive by learning to strike balance.
This list is the roadway to Ztudent Zen.
Every AP® student I have ever talked to was stressed out. What sets students apart is just how stressed they are. As an AP® student, not only are you grappling with complicated concepts and tight deadlines, but you are also probably involved in 89482937839479837 other activities. It can be exhausting and utterly overwhelming if you aren’t sure how to manage it all.
I get asked all the time about how to overcome this stress, so I made a huge list of strategies that you can use to start kicking ass in your AP® classes.
Before we get into it, I want to introduce you quickly to a psychologist named Anders Ericsson because he has a theory that will change how you look at your schoolwork. He has an entire book on this idea, but the tl:dr version:
There is no such thing as natural talent or prodigies. What makes people great at anything is whether or not they utilize the “right sort of practice”.
In other words, you know that student that is getting straight As and seems to be sailing through life doing all the right things? They weren’t just born “smart” or with some kind of natural ability to do well. They figured out systems that work for them and they are studying purposefully.
You are this student: tap into that potential. Unlock the skills you know belong in your starter kit.
You can be that student too. Actually, this theory applies to literally any skill you want. You can be the ultimate piano player or the greatest politician or a groundbreaking doctor. For real.
Find what works: the first step to conquering your goal is finding the solutions that work for you from this list.
You’ll just need to find solutions that work for you/ and that consistently push you towards that goal.
You ready to create the habits that will rule the world?You ready to break your habits and rule the world?
How To Use This Article:
Read through all of the strategies.
Choose 4-5 to experiment with this week.
Test them out to see if you like the effort it takes + the results you get.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are a rockstar.
1. Be Clear On Your Motivation. Laser Focus.
You need to get to your *why.* Return to your why to keep stress at bay. Students who perform exceptionally well have a significant goal they are trying to reach and this keeps them motivated. Think further ahead, then just this week, or this year, or even the next 5 years. Think about the college you want to go to, how you will get there, how you will pay for it, what career you want to go into, and why you want to work in that field. The further down the line you can get in your motivations the better. It’s a lot easier to get x assignments completed when you know you need to pass this exam in May so you can earn college credit, afford tuition at Harvard, and become a biologist to save the bees, thus saving the planet. ???? Get to your why.
2. Keep Your Why Visible.
Become your own billboard for the life you want. It’s one thing to define what motivates you, but now you need to keep yourself focused on your goal. Write a goal on a Post-It Note and hang it on your mirror or some other place you will easily see every single day. You can even make a background for your lock screen so every time you unlock your phone, you see it. Keep yourself reminded of your goals because every day won’t be easy, but it will be worth it if it gets you one step closer.
3. Read Sample Essays.
College Board publishes the essay prompts from every exam, every year. They also post sample essays and different levels of scoring. You can see what a terrible essay looked like that year and what a perfect-scoring essay read like. Use these resources to help you identify what to do and what not to do.
4. Focus On Key Terms.
There are a bunch of concepts and skills you need to understand to do well on these exams, but if you focus your attention every week on key terms, you’ll be on track to pass. Every exam has must-know vocabulary and you should memorize as many of these terms as you can. Practice them often, use them every week, and everything will get easier.
5. Read An Article Every Day.
If you ask any super successful person how they learned what they know, they will all tell you that they read a lot. It can be tough to read extra books throughout the school year because you are already so busy with assignments, but try to read one article every day. Just one. It can be an article on literally anything and you can find them by following blogs, news sites, Twitter, or even our own Fiveable library! Reading will build your vocabulary and will make it easier to make connections.
6. Turn The Captions On For Youtube Videos.
If you spend lots of time watching Crash Course or Khan Academy or Fiveable videos, turn the captions on. This is a super simple hack that can increase your comprehension because you’ll see the words and not just hear them.
7. Learn The Top 5 Concepts In A Subject.
This is useful over the summer or before you even start a class. Become familiar with the most frequent topics that you’ll need to know.
8. Surf Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is the most useful and extensive free resource that has probably ever existed. When it comes to factual information, it is incredibly reliable. Start on any page and just keep reading and clicking on topics that you want to learn more about. If you did this for 10 minutes every day, you could easily become a trivia champ. You can also try playing this as a game. [These folks](https://www.thewikigame.com/) identify two topics and you have to try and get from one to the other in the fewest clicks. Try it.
Click the link to see why college professors like Wikipedia!
On your notes, instead of just explaining concepts with words, add doodles! This might be something you like doing anyway, so you can use this strategy to help commit facts to memory. Take notes on the American Revolution and then draw a little picture of it, for example.
10. Teach A Concept To Someone Else.
One of the best ways to learn is to teach. You can team up with a buddy in your class and teach each other a few terms every week. Or bribe your younger sibling/cousin and teach things to them! It’s just about taking a concept and explaining it to someone so they understand. It really forces you to understand it first and will help you on your exams.
Click here to show the benefits of going into teacher mode.
11. Take a course on Udemy.
In the last few years, there has been a sort of revolution of online courses about nearly every topic you can imagine. On Udemy, experts have put together courses that will unpack a skill through videos, articles, and sometimes audio. Some are free, some cost $10-20. It’s worth looking into if you want to boost a skill.
One of the most frustrating things for teachers is when we mark up your essay or test with suggestions for improvement and as soon as we pass them back, you throw them out or never look at them again. Look through our notes! We’re telling you how to get better. Take it a step further and rewrite your essay or response or ask for a blank exam to try it again. Not for a grade, but because you want to learn from your mistakes.
13. Review Your Notes Before Starting An Assignment.
Before you work on any assignment for class, take a few minutes to review your most recent book or class notes. You’ll probably be able to complete the assignment faster if you review your notes right before. Plus, the more you look over your notes, the more you will commit to memory.
Choose one time that you can commit to starting your homework every day and stick to that habit. It will get a lot easier to keep the habit steady throughout the year and you’ll train your brain to be ready to work at that same time every day.
Click the link to see the benefits of habit building.
15. Fake It Til You Make It!
Here’s a reality check – no one knows what they are doing, we are all making it up as we go. I know it sounds a bit shocking, but I’m dead serious. All of the adults in your life are making things work as they go and getting better at their own systems over time. Face the day with a ton of confidence and that will take you further than any other strategy on this list. Charge things head on, even if you aren’t quite sure how to get it done. You’ll figure it out as you go.
16. Constantly Reflect.
Part of what it takes to develop a system that works for you is to consistently reflect and update what you are doing. The only way to make it is to keep updating what you are doing because not every week is the same, not every class is the same, and not every assessment is the same. You need systems that work for you, but in order to find that, you need to identify what is not working and why. Every time you get a grade back, think or write about what you did that worked and what could be improved. Keep adjusting things until you have a 4.0!
Whether it be students or teachers, it is very important to reflect every now and then! Click here to see why self-reflections matter.
17. Split Your Screen To Get Things Done Faster
This is a quick hack, but if you have a Mac, download a free app called Magnet. Apple has this feature built in, but this app is way better. It lets push screens to half the screen right or left just by clicking cmd+shift+arrow. When you need to look at two things, for example, a video/text and your notes, this will save you time and allow you to absorb more information. You can also do this the old school way of just moving windows until they fit, but it’s 2018 and there’s an app for that. If you know of any apps on Windows or other Mac apps to make your screen more efficient, comment below!
Jail break your phone – or break free from the iOS cell. Do you remember what Grandma looks like? When’s the last time you saw a bird? Put the screens down – long enough to stave off eye strain and social media vertigo. And hey – your phone might have juice left over for later.
We love our phones because they beep and zip and zoom- they can also make your study goals go BOOM! Add apps that help keep that brain fresh for Bio in the morning! Flex those neuro-pathways and study!
21. Get Sound-Canceling Headphones.
Ever been on a bus? Where are the anthropological studies on that slice of American life? Let’s face it – sometimes we need to focus and our environment is less than stellar. Life is loud and an AP® student needs to limit distractions.
Check out this pair of noise canceling headphones.
22. Use An Ambient Sounds Playlist.
The AUX audio cord is a responsibility; nothing exposes your soul more than the music you play. Take a breath by finding refuge in music that keeps the brain moving without distracting you from your Chem lab. Life is noisy! Find some zen using a pair of earbuds. Sometimes our minds just need something on in the background to help us focus. Spotify has your back: an instrumental playlist will help you focus and unwind. There are mediation playlists for when you need a break and concentration playlists for when it is time to work. Plugin and let the music do its thing!
Practice makes perfect: this strategy makes sure of that. Read it 10x, say it out loud 10x, and write it 2x. The information will stick to your ribs like Grandma’s casserole.
28. Understand The Cost Of College.
Have you ever had to budget a week’s worth of food? Do know how much to step aside for toothpaste and laundry detergent? If the answer is “nah,” then it is probably safe to guess you have no clue what college is going to really cost. Don’t walk into debt blind – educate yourself about how to collegiately educate yourself.
When is the last time you fell into a Youtube rabbit hole? The internet is one big, wonderful universe of a mess. Put on your explorer cap and find out about towns of cannibals on Wikipedia. It will make you more interesting (and arm you with anecdotes for your literary responses).
Teachers are… different. And as a high school student, you are navigating more than one, all equipped with their own ideas about how to manage a classroom, what constitutes as engagement… it is almost like your teachers are flesh and blood, cognizant people. In order to stay on top of your workload, make sure you understand the structure of the class from the person who set the stage.
31. Use Trello To Organize Your Week.
No one expects you to know off the top of your head everything you have to do. Thanks to the invention of high speed internet and smartphones, you have no excuse to not organize your week. Visuals help everyone, so use Trello to design a board for your week.
Plan on joining the American workforce? Get familiar with Google office now – it is pretty much a requirement for Adult America. Your future college self will love you for it.
Click here to learn more about how to use Google Drive like a pro!
33. Use A Spreadsheet To Help Prioritize.
One thing that will lead to you crashing before semester is not tackling projects as they come in. Spreadsheets are sterile, crisp documents that will show you exactly what is due and when – you’ll be able to line up your ducks before they become dragons.
Click here to learn about how to use spreadsheets.
34. Organize Your Notes On Evernote.
Limit the panic of wondering what might be covered in this week’s quizzes by keeping up with your notes. Review is the path to a 5 – there is no benefit in notes that are taken and forgotten the next day. Using Evernote will keep your high school scholastic musings pert for the benefit of your aging collegiate brain.
Click here to learn how to use Evernote as a student!
35. Organize Your Things Before You Go To Bed.
It just makes sense – 5 minutes of planning before bed will eliminate the heart attack you suffer when your third alarm goes off in the morning. Everyone has one of those mornings at least once a week (or has those mornings Monday – Friday). Planning the night before will help you make the most of the time when you are struggling to wake up. Lay out your clothes like your Mom has been telling you to do for years; put your cell phone, wallet, anything you might need in your backpack in the same place each night and be amazed when you aren’t tripping over your shoelaces as you leave the house.
Click here to learn other things really organized people do!
36. Take Notes.
Our brains are like the puppy you had growing up. They want you to play with them and give them a reason to run around. Puppies need to move – your brain needs you to engage it. Stick to the standard paper and pencil if you’ll become distracted on a device, and get to writing down as you listen. Active listening means active thinking.
37. Chunk Readings.
“Anna Karenina” is over 800 pages long; reading it might not fly as fast as when you re-read “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” From the group chat you missed last night to the 3 chapters your French teacher assigned you in the morning, breaking up what you read gives your brain a break. Assigned reading isn’t everyone’s first choice as a leisurely active, so skim what you read and divide to conquer!
38. Use Highlighters.
Have you ever seen a highlighter in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to use one? The page has all but 4 words highlighted, repurposing the page in neon yellow but with no scholastic benefit to using a highlighter. Highlighters are meant to… highlight, as in, put a spotlight on key terms and key ideas. A good highlighter is used sparsely. And effectively.
Click here to learn what to avoid when using highlighters.
39. Use Post-It Notes.
Teachers go nuts for Post-It Notes. Ever been in a Target for Back to School shopping sales? All those red bins of supplies and teachers make nose dives for the Post-Its, walking away with stacks in different colors, sizes and shapes. Flags, full size sheets, lined and unlined – Post-It Notes are the path to ZEN. Get in the habit!
40. Read Out Loud (And Read What You Write Out Loud).
There’s a reason the first teachers that taught you to read constantly had Read Alouds. Hearing and seeing text will engage more of your brain. If your eyes start drooping, use this strategy to understand more of you to read. And there is no better way to edit your writing than to read it outloud to someone else. You can set your laptop to read your musings via the Text to Speech feature: hearing your words through another voice will help for an objective reading. Man, people love to multi-task. If only there was a way to dance around to Lil Xan and get your reading done at the same time… Well, there is! Look no more than to Google Translate. It isn’t just for Spanish homework: you can use Google Translate to read pretty much anything. So, while Google reads to read, you can spend some much needed time cleaning up your room. Man, people love to multi-task. If only there was a way to dance around to Lil Xan and get your reading done at the same time… Well, there is! Look no more than to Google Translate. It isn’t just for Spanish homework: you can use Google Translate to read pretty much anything. So, while Google reads to read, you can spend some much needed time cleaning up your room.
Click here to see here to see why hearing what you read helps!
41. Practice Prompts.
There’s this test you have to take in May, you might have heard of it. Did you know that released questions from previous tests are the BEST way to get comfortable with the test? Your teachers will put a lot of these practice prompts in front of your scholastic eyes – and you should get in hustle mode and get your Google on and find even more practice prompts. Unpack the questions and get really good at knowing what is asked. And while becoming familiar with prompts is great, actually timing yourself and practicing answering those prompts will get you on track for a 5! Minimize stress: show that test you are the best!
42. Code Your Notes.
AP® classes are intense. Note taking is a given, but not all note takers are created equally. Teachers can sometimes sound like auctioneers when they are giving content, so identify a way to sort and label your notes so that they make the most sense to you. Pinterest is awash with bullet journaling tips – from marking your work with flags and flourishes, find a way to add piazza to your notes.
Without a thesis statement, your paper might as well not have been turned in. This sentence is THE sentence of your paper – no pressure, right? Keep it concise. Use this formula to craft a to-the-point-and-nothing-else thesis. Select one word as your topic and then a short phrase that is true about that one word. For example “love” and “is confusing.” Put them together and you have a barebones thesis that you can use to craft an essay around.
44. Memorize Rubrics.
“I didn’t know I was suppose to do THAT!” Ah, the state of confusion that clouds the AP® student unsure about what’s what in an assignment. Teachers that use rubrics deserve hand delivered Starbucks – study the rubric and let that confusion go! Rubrics offer zero room for ambiguity, so thank your lucky stars and read them (read them twice!) and get to work!
45. Understand The Flow Of Your Textbook Chapter.
When’s the last time you opened that heavy tome required by your AP® teachers? If the spine on your textbooks isn’t looking like an elephant’s ankles, you’re doing it wrong. Publishers pay experts (teachers) the big bucks to take everything you need in a course and package it in a transportable wonder called a “book.” You never need rely on “it wasn’t on the syllabus,” because it was probably coded and labeled in the introduction, index and glossary of the textbook collecting dust in your locker. Textbooks are stuffed with reviews and graphics meant to make this whole educational experience easier for YOU, the student, all organized to follow the timeline of your teacher’s lectures. Crack one open and get to work!
Chances are you didn’t write the book of “recognized literary merit” that you’re reading in preparation for the AP® exam. Notes are the lifeline (along with remembering to sleep) to doing well in college. Two-column notes are quick and easy: fold a paper in half and have at it. Keep questions and major topics on the left side and answers and analysis on the right. If you want gold star notes, draw a line when you are done and write a 3-5 summary so you can find what you need in a pinch.
47. Turn Headings Into Questions.
Textbook companies are no joke – they spend millions of dollars to produce books to educate you. By hiring educators, the book is aligned with what it is you need to know come May. When you get assigned a chapter or ten by your teacher, get in the habit of turning the heading into a question. You will become better at thinking like a test and knowing how to form a question will help you do the good stuff, like answer a question and answer it well.
48. Use An Online Citation Creator.
MLA, APA, IEEE… save yourself some TIME and let the internet help make it perfect. Citing your sources is a given – no one wants to be accused of being lazy, or worse, plagiarism. As you get in genius mode and write your papers, get in organized mode with the help of an online citation machine. In fact, google Online Citation Machine. Input the data and boom – a perfectly cited paper.
Click here to visit CiteThisForMe or here for EasyBib.
49. Always Take Notes In Class (Even If You Are Not Told To).
Okay – taking notes just makes sense. Add this immediately to your Scholastic Success kit. You want to be a star student? Act like one – taking notes will keep you engaged. School days are long and the pace of the class is set by the teacher and not you. By taking notes, you remain an active participant and this will also show your teacher that you value your time in class. Getting on the teacher’s good side is always a good idea – take note!
Click here to see why taking notes makes you more productive.
50. Stay Updated On Current Events.
The open prompt on the AP® exam is your chance to pull a current event rabbit out of your hat. Connecting the global and bigger picture shows a sophisticated understanding of the content. History is always happening. Add a news podcast and keep yourself in the know. Your teachers are already in the habit of keeping up with what’s going on in the world – help yourself understand their references.
Click here to to see why you need to keep up to date with current events!
51. Follow Experts On Twitter.
No one is asking you to unfollow all those meme accounts. But diversify your Twitter profile and add some academic heft to your feed. Experts will drop all kinds of goodies in their links and they can often be counted on to answer your questions. Twitter is the place to follow the pulse of due dates and test reminders. Get connected to the career and college you’re eyeing – make yourself someone in the know via Twitter.
52. Search Your Class On Twitter.
Again, Twitter is always on! There are millions of students, just like you, who are a mention away from helping you make the grade in class. Teachers often have their own class twitter handles, where you can find resources to help you keep up with what’s happening in your class. Find your AP® tribe on Twitter.
53. Use Reddit Forums To Ask Questions.
Bounce ideas back and forth for some seasoned conversation. Reddit forums help because they are more moderated than Twitter; with less trolls, you can get a real conversation flowing. Use Reddit to dive into the specialized subjects and get the help you need to make sense of some serious concepts.
How many times are you going to listen to your Sophomore year playlist on Spotify? Podcasts are crafted to keep the attention centered and are an easy way to enhance your learning. There are millions of podcasts, specialized and tailored for your listening joy. Having trouble with writing? Listening to podcasts will expose you to the polished voices of experts and help you craft your own. Download an app like Overcast and explore.
Facebook at least looks more formal than other brands of social media. By joining a Facebook group, you have a face (get it!) to what is being shared. By joining groups related to your classes, you’ll also be more connected for a post-grad life.
56. Watch Documentaries.
Sometimes the lecture doesn’t cut it. Netflix and Youtube are here to help! If there is a particular lesson you need to spend more time on, look for a documentary that will help it sink in. There are millions of other professors on Youtube who leave the comment section on in their videos. Watch a doc and ask a question in the comments for clarity. The high production value of Netflix documentaries will keep the brain and learning on.
Click here for a list of documentaries to check out!
57. Look At The Description Of Youtube Videos.
There is gold in the Youtube description. Youtubers link to other videos and resources that you don’t want to ignore. And, maybe the title isn’t as revealing as you need it to be. Is the video worth your time? Read the description before sitting through a twenty minute video you didn’t need to watch.
Prep books are written by people who have more time to study the test than you. Let the people who get paid the big bucks comb through the data so you can spend the time preparing for the test. Practice makes perfect; the reviews in prep books are there to elevate your understanding. Find a prep book and you will have your hands on a tutor that is just a page turn away!
59. Get A Prep App!
Hey, you should be studying! But are you really carrying your books and notes with you at all times? Probably not – but a your cell phone? With a study app, you can make use of the wait time while waiting in line for your latte. They are called “smartphones” after all, so use yours to make the most of your downtime!
60. Create A Class Group Chat.
Studying by yourself can get monotonous – make it a social event. A group chat will the other students offers you a safe space to ask questions you didn’t ask in class. A class chat will allow you the perfect place to destress and focus. Be there for your Stats crew for the highs and lows!
Click here to learn more about how to have an effective group chat!
61. Create A Class Hangout On Weekends Or Snow Days.
Now, now, I get it. You do want to have fun, but some responsible behavior will help you in the long run. The exams are happening in May whether you are ready or not, so use a hangout to touch base with your peers and get that extra review when you can. Get in the habit of consistent study rather than cramming sessions – you’ll thank yourself come testing day!
Click here to learn how to lead an effective Google Hangout!
62. Work With A Tutor.
The classes you are taking are tough. No one expects you to go it alone. A tutor can help you by providing individual help. With a tutor, you have someone that can work with you to accomplish your scholarly goals at your pace. If you have specific questions, a tutor will be there to offer guided practice and a more relaxed environment. Find out when tutoring is offered on your campus, or branch out and find a tutor to work with you directly.
63. Join A Discord Channel!
Students all have their own study style. With Discord, you can find your study tribe and create group chats and decide to keep it open membership or closed. Discord has options for voicechat or videochat, so you and your classmates have plenty of options for study sessions.
64. Use Snapchat To Stay Informed.
Streaks! If you want to increase your streaks, use Snapchat to keep up with your assignments. Come on: how many of your friends are on Snapchat? A quick (and temporary) way to stay connected with your friends and keep things light. Use the app to unwind – and to remember what’s due this week in Euro!
We are living in globalized world – get connected or get stuck out! With a news app, you will be able to keep up with the hyper pace of the 24 hour news cycle. The discussions you are having in class are already referencing global news events. With a news app, you will be able to be a part of the conversation!
Don’t get handed a tool without figuring it out. Understanding the tricks of the graphing calculator trade will make that expensive piece of technology invaluable. Find a video on YouTube that will offer you the tricks of the calculator trade. You had to buy it for class: get the most out of it!
Let’s face it: do not pass go until the teacher says so. Your educator is there to help you make the grade. Take the time to be polite – building a good relationship with your teacher will set a solid foundation for the professional that you will one day become. You and all the other college hopefuls in your class are going to need references soon – build those today!
Click here to get more tips on how to build a relationship with your teachers!
68. Follow Experts On Instagram.
Instagram: it isn’t just for makeup influencers. College recruiters are interested in you as a whole person. Find out who you are by connecting with other students and educators to see what it is that makes you, you. Instagram is constantly rolling out features that become standard on other apps, so use the search and find those expert influencers!
Click here to find some Instagram accounts to up your creativity!
69. Talk To Students Who Have Taken The Class Before.
Teens understand teens. If you want someone to level with you and actually let you know what it is that you need to have a successful school year, talk to soldiers that have made it back from the front. Talking to students have been there will let you know what it takes to stand on the other side – they can let know just what exactly you can expect from your classes. They might still have their notes from the previous year: reach out!
Not all answers are created equal. Quora gives you the opportunity to find out what answer ranks supreme. Ever been stumped on how to start a paper or whether the topic at hand has something you haven’t had a chance to think about? Use Quora and see your thinking and writing get elevated! Hey- your answer might become on of the highest rated too – what are you waiting for?
Put the “self” into “self care.” Yes, your grades are important. Your mental state is even more important. Take the time to write about your day. Putting pen to paper will help you make sense of your worries and once they are on paper, you will rest easier. Your voice is unique; consider starting a blog! Colleges and prospective employers like requesting writing samples; this is a great way to practice writing and building a habit that will help for years to come.
Trouble sleeping? There’s an app for that – in fact, there are several. Sleep apps can help you measure the quality of the sleep you are already getting, as well as offering tips to guarantee a better night’s sleep. You’re still a teenager: sleep matters!
One day, your high school career will be over. Yes, your grades are a priority. Yes, your classes are challenging. Learning to take care of yourself is the most important thing you can do. Self-care is not always bath bombs and face masks; it is doing something kind to yourself to remind you that you are not a robot. Put on your favorite movie, lounge in your jammies, say no to a night out: carve out time for you. Your mental health matters.
We all want to spend the day with Cheetos and pizza, but is that really the best thing for our bodies? What’s the last vegetable you had… that wasn’t deep fried? Mix it up by adding one healthy meal: feed the mind body connection.
Click here to learn about the importance of eating healthy for students.
75. Study And Walk At The Same Time.
Your day is packed. Finding time to exercise is possible and it can help your mind focus. The next time you have to crack open the books, try walking. This is a low impact way to make sure you get some needed movement into your day. How many hours do you spend seated in class? Try to spend part of your study sessions on your feet.
Click here to learn more ways to enhance your learning.
76. Form A Study Group.
No one expects you to manage your classes all on your own. Forming a study group will give you a chance to connect to the other people in your tough classes. This is a great way to get help on your assignments and stay on top of important dates, but without the stress of being alone.
We all need that one person willing to cut us down to size. With an accountability partner, you will have someone that will celebrate your successes… and check your failures. No one wants to have their mistakes pointed out to them; an accountability partner is there to keep you on track to have more wins than losses. Trust is a powerful thing: with an accountability partner, you get to build trust for your partner and yourself.
Click here the top 10 reasons why you should have an accountablity partner!
78. Create Note Cards.
There is no point in taking notes and never looking at them. If you want to actively study the notes you take in class and make use of the index cards at the bottom of your locket, make note card. They are easier to carry around than a binder and by summarizing your original notes, you will be able to focus on the “meat” of the lesson. Note cards make it easier to study with a partner – open up some index cards!
79. Search Images Of Key Terms.
Want to really make it stick? Look at the something in a completely different way. If you’ve been given a list of key terms, get to Google and help yourself see it. You can use the images you find to enhance your notes. Make Frayer models – with pictures, you will have given yourself a new way to view the material.
Click here to see the benefits of visual learning!
80. Make A Year Long Schedule Of Youtube Videos To Watch.
Schedule in your study sessions. YouTube has plenty of videos to help you stay on top of your classes. Take out the syllabus you got at the start of the year for your class or use the chapter layout in your textbook. Create a playlist that will help you navigate the course for your school year. It is an easy way to review before you even feel you need to!
81. Create Maps.
Cross curricular skills will get your brain going. Get creative with your class content. How can you use bar graphs and pie graphs to remix your notes? The more ways your brain can access information, the more creative you can get with your answers to thought provoking questions.
Click here to see why creating your own maps will help!
82. Design Infographics On Canva.
Our brains love variety; find your creative center and put those tech skills to use on Canva. Maybe you are seeing in circles rather than the linear way – these notes are here to help you. Own them!
Writing isn’t natural for everyone. Instead of using a traditional outline, give mind maps a try. You will be able to track your ideas back to your starting concept. With a mind map, you will be able to follow a direct line to your source idea.
Picture books work because they limit language and focus on saying what matters. Find your inner Doctor Seuss and create a picture book. This will help you summarize the content to what you really need to focus on, and it will help you see things in a new way.
Click here to see why writing a picture book helps you learn!
85. Use Quizlet Every Day.
There are so many reviews on Quizlet – what are you waiting for? Quizlet gives you plenty of different ways to study. If note cards are your thing, they have that. What about games? The site offers you different games to play to give your brain a break.
Click here to learn the best ways to study using Quizlet!
86. Draw Diagrams.
Visuals take our idea from point A to point B and back. Textbooks use diagrams because they help you learn the content. Drawing your own diagrams will give you an advantage of thinking about why we use diagrams. You will encounter diagrams on your exams – get comfortable with them.
88. Use AP® Student Groups On Reddit To Find Other Students
You aren’t the only student – no one is an island. Find your AP® tribe. With Reddit, you will be able to create and search for help where you need it most. Make those contacts – maybe they have notes you can use!
You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce. The difference between her and you? She’s got her schedule and she sticks to it. Determine what needs to be done and what needs to be done right NOW. Due dates can get overwhelming if you wait until the last minute – so don’t!
Paper and pen – who has time? Google rules the internet – use all of its features. With Google calendar, you’ll be able to share your day with the people that need to be in the know. It will provide you a concrete and spaced-out way to focus.
Results will happen if you make the plan to make them happen. The more steady you are with your activities, the more certain you can be of the results. Stick to what you want to do and in the end, you’ll be who you want to become.
Click here to learn about how to be consistent with new habits.
92. Use The Scrum Model.
You are going to be assigned group work. And even if you aren’t, finding a way to navigate a team will make sure everyone is accountable and the job gets done. Be open with every step and give everyone a role. When everyone has a role, everyone knows their role and worth. They will be able to buy in and get the work done.
You are busy. And you are probably on your phone all day. Have stuff on your list that is time sensitive and need to do it more than once? Create an alarm on your phone or smart watch. This will hold you accountable and won’t give you an opportunity to forget about it.
You’ll end up cramming if you don’t plan out your studying. You can find a 15 minute window – use 15 minutes and dedicate it to your lessons. By studying a little each day, you will be less stressed when the test and “real” study time comes. You’ve made it a priority early on and it will benefit you in the long run!
95. Start Reviewing For The Exam At The Beginning Of The Year.
Released tests are there and you can find them… so have at it! The more comfortable you become with the exam, the more confident you will be when you actually have to take it. Exams have their own language and fit their own genre: understand it now!
Click here for 5 reasons you shouldn’t cram for an exam.
96. Be On Time.
Punctuality matters. If you can get to where you need to be when you need to be there, you’ve put yourself on the right path. Success is often attribute to showing up; when you show up matters.
You’ve got some big goals. Start putting yourself on the right path by planning as far as you can. You can do anything – but you have to be realistic. With Todoist, your list can live on your phone and you can update it in real time.
Click here to see how Todoist can help you as a student.
98. Set Small And Specific Goals.
“Get good grades” sounds great. “Study with Roxie after class, print out Quizlet review, create notes over periods 1 – 3:” that sounds better. We get overwhelmed when we have goals and don’t know how to manage them. Start small and have a clear task that will show you that you have had it done.
Click here to see how daily goal setting can make you more successful.
99. Find Windows In Your Day To Study.
Do you really need to spend the last minutes of the day watching old Vines that left the graveyard for YouTube? If you’ve got a free period, use it to study. Finding pockets of time to devote to your studies should take center stage. Teachers are great about letting you know far in advance that something is due. Take the time to figure out how you will best use your time to make sure that the assignment gets done. By planning, you will feed your project and have plenty of time to feed yourself!