My teenage daughter is starting to take some college CLEP tests this past year to earn college credit while completing high school classes. She has had to tweak her study habits to ensure she is ready for the college level exams. She can no longer rely on mom to spoon feed the content and answers to her!

She shares with us in this post about the study habits she has implemented and has successfully established to help her pass the CLEP tests and other exams she has to take.

We’ve all had to study some time or another in our lives.  The question is, are we doing it effectively? Here are five tips for great, effective and successful study habits for students young and old.

Create Your Own Study Area

This may be one of the most important things when it comes to studying.  In order to actually learn what you are studying, you have to do it quietly, privately, and alone.  With noise in the background and your phone constantly ringing, you can’t focus.  So find a place that you can designate as your study area.  Make sure it is silent and away from noise, clean (no clutter), and comfortable to you.

Create Your Own Study Area

Take Good Notes

Taking good notes is another very important thing when it comes to studying.  Unless you have super memory powers, you won’t be able to learn everything you just read from your textbook.  But what are good notes? Signs that you should be taking note of things are easy to spot: anything in bold, italic, or underlined is a great place to start.

Write It Down

Yes, write by hand! It has been proven time and time again that writing things with your hand helps drill whatever you’re learning deeper into your head.  And to get an even better study session, after you write down your notes type them up onto a laptop.  There are many reasons why this is necessary: 1) It gets it even deeper into your memory, and 2) Your handwriting may be sloppy.

Write it Down

Use Flashcards

Flashcards are an amazing study tool (I speak from experience).  You can use index cards (where you write the term on the front side then on the back write the definition), possibly even buy a set pre-made, or create your own digital deck (which I do).  If you’re using physical cards (such as index cards), go through them by yourself and have a family member or friend test you with them.  There are plenty of ways to use these valuable study tools to your advantage.

Make Flash Cards

Use Spaced Repetition

What is spaced repetition? Spaced repetition means you study, take a break, and then study again but at specific timing.  I said earlier that I use a digital deck for my flashcards.  I use an app called Anki, which is a flashcard system based on spaced repetition.  Whether you are learning a language or studying a subject for school, Anki can work for you.

Nevertheless, even if you have your own physical flashcards, make sure you don’t study too much for too long.  First of all, make a stack of your right and wrong cards.  Review your wrong cards the most (say in five hours) and your right cards the least (say one day).

Take Breaks

Don’t constantly study.  This will make you overwhelmed, tired and you won’t learn anything no matter how much time you’ve put into it.  Why? Because you’re just too tired.  Study for one hour maybe, and take a fifteen minute break.  Study for two hours, take a thirty minute break.

Take Breaks

Get Good Sleep

It is said that everyone should try and get at least eight hours of sleep a night.  If you are a student, this especially goes for you.  Don’t stay up until midnight studying.  Instead, go to bed around nine o’clock and wake up early to study.

The key: wake up early, don’t stay up late.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my insights and that these tips help you and your studies.


What are some good study habits your teen uses?



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