Best study habits for freshmen

Students at Central use a variety of study habits that can help freshmen prepare for this upcoming school year. With finals less than three months away, now is the time freshmen can learn from the upperclassmen. 

Known for its rigor, Central has some classes that must curve the grading system to match the difficulty of the course. For example, in Chemistry Honors, an A is any percentage above 80 percent, according to Gabrielle Backa, sophomore.

Additionally, Central has switched from quarterly grades to semester grades, providing more time and opportunity to improve grades. 

Memorization is a form of learning used for vocabulary, math problems, etc. Quizlet, an online study application, and flashcards are popular tools used by students for recall questions. According to Killian Hughes, sophomore, redoing practice problems, or homework is also recommended.

Another tested concept is comprehension. Comprehension requires analysis skills in order to think about a subject in depth. Students usually reread the textbook and utilize resources such as handouts and slide shows to help conceptualize the material. It is also important that students are able to ask themselves questions about the topic to comprehend and analyse in depth.

Student mentality directly influences the method and sufficiency to which students study. In middle school, it can be easier to achieve a good grade without reviewing, thus the psychological transition from middle school to high school is significant in improving study habits.

“[Incoming freshmen] have a false sense of how good of a student you are,” said Christopher Freiler, history and philosophy teacher.

Studying almost always will vary between subjects, as the number of resources, handouts, or slideshows, will always differ.

“[Studying] ranges from nonexistent to reading notes and doing practice problems for math and chemistry,” Hughes said.

To avoid bad study habits, such as procrastination and passive studying, students say you need to avoid distractions

“[I get distracted by] outer activities that I commit to, other assignments and lack of focus because I am tired,” said Siya Sahgal, freshman.

It is arguable that the most difficult aspect of effectively studying is not the content itself, rather, it is the distractions that prohibit students from studying. The Internet and social media are causes of insufficient studying, as they provide instant access to distractions including sport scores, television, communication, etc, making it very tempting to give into a distracting environment.

“Most students want to be distracted,” Freiler said. “We hope our friends text us.”

There are ways, however, to overcome these challenges. Hughes, for example, puts his phone downstairs. Many students also create a study schedule beforehand. The Hinsdale Central assignment notebook can help with creating an organized routine to reviewing.

Finals arrive quicker than they are expected. It is important to incorporate all forms, (memorization, comprehension), techniques (flashcards), and resources (AP classroom, Learning Central) when studying. It is ideal to begin studying a minimum of two weeks before finals to obtain a deeper knowledge of the overall content and course.