Study Skills

Effective study habits can make a big impact on school performance.  Establishing strong study habits early in your schooling will have a positive, lasting impact throughout junior high and high school, and those habits will carry over into college and your career. 

Part 1: Effective Study Habits

The following study habits are adapted from and

  1. Find a location -- Find a study space that works for you.  For some, that is a quiet desk in their room.  For others, it is the kitchen table where they can ask a parent for help.  

  2. Set a routine -- Plan to study every day.  Consider your other commitments outside of school and find a consistent time each day to dedicate to studying.  Students who study sporadically usually do not perform as well as students who set a routine.  

  3. Study a little everyday -- Cramming the night before the test is not an effective way to learn the information long-term.  Remember -- you’ll need to retain all of the information for the semester test. It’s more effective to study in short sessions every day than in one long session.  Don’t have homework in a specific subject tonight? Read through your notes or practice your vocabulary terms so that you review each subject for a few minutes each day.

  4. Create a distraction-free zone -- We are all distracted by something.  What are your main distractors? Your phone? TV?  Trying to multitask or refocus after an interruption can lead to ineffective studying.  Identify your main distractions and remove them from your set study time. They can be a well-earned reward once you finish your study session.  

  5. Break it down -- Don’t become overwhelmed by a larger assignment.  Start small, identify manageable steps, and work on those steps a little each day.

  6. Use class time wisely -- Ten minutes left before the bell rings? Get busy on your assignment. You may be amazed at how much homework you can accomplish during the school day if you use your time in class wisely.  

  7. Create an organization system -- Find a way of organizing that works for you.  For some, it may be color coded folders and notebooks for each class.  For others, it may be a single accordian style folder with a slot for each class.  Whatever you choose, keep it simple and maintain it. Clean out your locker for 2-3 minutes every day.

  8. Get your zzz’s -- The National Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 hours of sleep per night for school-age children (ages 6-13) and 8-10 hours of sleep per night for teenagers (ages 14-17).  

Part 2: Gehlen Catholic Resources for All Students

Gehlen Catholic has specific tools to increase your studying success:

  • Infinite Campus (IC) -- Gehlen’s student information system is a great tool to help you keep track of grades and assignments.  Both students and parents can have an account. If you need help setting up or accessing your account, please contact Mrs. Christina Kellen ([email protected]) or Mr. Matt Schilling ([email protected]). 

  • Planner -- Gehlen provides each student in grades 7-12 with a planner at the beginning of the school year.  Use your planner daily to list assignments, plan ahead to midterm and quarter, keep track of extra-curricular activities and school breaks, and stay organized.  If you have misplaced your free planner, talk to Mrs. Christina Kellen or Mrs. Hausmann for a possible replacement.

  • Just About Your Success (JAYS) -- JAYS is a 20-minute class period built into the school day for students in grades 7-12 to focus on specific classes and assignments in which they need additional help.  Use your JAYS time effectively each day by doing your most difficult homework or studying so that you can ask teachers or peers if you need assistance. Put off socializing during these 20 valuable minutes. 

  • Supportive Teachers --  Your teachers want you to be successful and can be your greatest resource!  Reach out to your teachers if you have questions about homework and how to best study for their tests.  It’s important to be proactive -- talk to them as soon as you have a question. 

Part 3: Additional Resources

Interested in additional information?  Use these online resources and tools to get specific information.

  • Study Skills Checklist -- Use this online checklist/quiz to evaluate your study habits, identify areas for improvement, and find strategies.

Once you’ve completed the checklist, match your results with these links for study suggestions:



Listening & Note taking

Reading Comprehension


Reading Textbooks

Writing Skills 

  • Test Taking Strategies

    • Test Taking Guides -- A variety of articles with general test taking strategies, as well as how to effectively approach each type of exam question (multiple choice, essay, short answer, etc.)

    • Tips for Beating Test Anxiety -- Study strategies and coping skills that can transform attitudes

  • Learning Styles -- Take this quiz to find out how you learn best and find study tips that work with your strengths.

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