With the end of the school year approaching, many students feel the pressure to improve their grades. If this applies to you, here are some scientifically proven studying techniques (verified by AISB Learning Support Leader Sean Whitney) you could use for a final boost on your report card.

1: Review Notes Frequently

This might seem obvious, but a report from Chadron State College found that “a student who does not review material can forget 80% of what has been learned in only two weeks.” In other words, most students will forget what they learned in class in less than a month unless they take notes and revisit the information.

The key here is consistency; don’t get into the habit of studying only the night before a test. It might help you quickly put out the small fire, but you’ll likely not remember anything for the end-of-the-year exam.

2: Plan Ahead

Use a planner to set clear deadlines for yourself. When there’s lots of homework and assessments coming in at once, we tend to lose track of which work must be prioritized. Making a list of goals for each day will help you distribute your tasks and reflect on your progress.

You can purchase notebook-form planners at Carturesti, Typo, and Amazon. If you prefer a digital version over paper, try apps like SaiSuke 2, TimeTree, and My Study Life – available on both Androids and iOS.

3: Use Text Structures to Extend Knowledge

Transferring information into visual representations using the five text structures (image above) will help you remember and organize the key ideas more easily. When taking notes, start by identifying the big topic and breaking it into subtopics. Use drawings, colors, and even arrows to consolidate your memory. If you need to learn vocabulary, Quizlet is a great resource.

4: Get Enough Sleep

The importance of sleep is reemphasized over and over, and for good reason. According to the National Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep can “limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems.” Only 15% of teens get the recommended amount of sleep, which is 8-10 hours. Students often think that they can catch up by taking naps during the weekend, but this only interrupts our biological clocks and quality of sleep.

Don’t have time to sleep? Check out our article on 5 ways to catch more sleep during exam season. There are also apps like Pillow, Calm, or SleepTown to assist you in improving your sleeping patterns.

5: Remove Distractions and Take Breaks

We all do it: finding out what kind of pizza we are on Buzzfeed or falling asleep when we should be studying. To avoid getting off track, allow yourself to take small breaks, but without going on any electronic devices. Try having a five-minute mindful meditation session, going for a short walk, or washing your face. According to research by Texas A&M University, students should take a break after each 40 minute stretch of studying. Bear in mind that the average attention span of a teen is just around an hour.

You can download Forest as a Chrome extension or an app to stop you from opening irrelevant tabs, or the website Brain.fm to improve your focus during study sessions.

Do you have any tips that weren’t mentioned? Share by commenting below!