If you are stressed or your grades aren't where you think they should be, it's time to reach out for help.
The best source of help is always your classroom teacher, so ask him or her if there is time that you can meet to ask some questions. Many teachers can arrange a time to see you before school, after school, or during Academic Prep period. Another great way to get help is to find a tutor.
At Central York High School, we have both peer tutors (other students who help during Flex period) and after school teacher tutors. Peer Tutoring is available for all students during Flex period. You can sign up to work with any tutor on any day -- and you can choose to meet only once or you can come back as often as you like.
If you'd like to work with a teacher after school, just ask Mr. Hamme in the Discipline Office to set up after school tutoring for you. He will let you know all of the important details.
If it's almost time for final exams and you're trying to determine what you need on the final exam to pass a class, try this calculation tool created by Mr. Tyson, our AP Statistics teacher: What_s My Grade If.xlsx
- Peer Tutoring
- Organize Your Life
- Manage Your Time
- Get Motivated
- Use Your Class Time Wisely
- Use Your Strengths to Learn Better
- Test Taking
- Managing Stress
Peer tutoring occurs daily during Flex time in the Library. Peer tutoring is provided by CYHS students for CYHS students as a generous service. Please remember that peer tutors are NOT teachers and should not be expected to fully be experts in the content area. Peer tutoring is an excellent supplement to teacher assistance and is not meant to be used instead of getting help from the classroom teacher.
Learners sign up for peer tutoring by completing the online form at tinyurl.com/cyhstutoring OR by emailing Mrs. Utter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current CYHS students who would like to become peer tutors should complete the application at tinyurl.com/be-a-peer-tutor.
Organization is one of the most important skills for a student to have. It helps you keep track of assignments, finish projects on time and study efficiently.
Also, being organized actually gives you free time, since you won't have to spend time looking for lost supplies or cramming for tests if you're prepared and organized!
Here are some recommendations to get you organized and ready for success:
- Get a different notebook (or section of your binder) for each class and make sure that papers are always put in the section for the right class.
- Write your name and date on EVERY paper you have.
- Never "stuff" papers into your books or notebooks. When you get a paper, put it in the right section of your notebook, always putting the newest papers BEHIND older papers.
- After you take a test in one of your classes, use a paper clip to bind together all of the papers in your notebook that were covered on that test. This way, you'll know that all of the new papers you put in are covering information for the NEXT test!
- Every night, go through your binders and make sure all papers are organized. While you're there, take the time to read over all of the papers that you've put in the notebook since the last test in each class. This nightly review will save you TONS of time later in studying!
- Create a study space at home that is quiet, well-lit, stocked with needed supplies, and free from distractions.
- Keep your locker, book bag, and study space neat by always putting things where they belong. Once a week, clear out any clutter that has piled up in these spaces, and make sure you have your supplies well stocked!
Ever feel overwhelmed by the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and you have so much to get done?
Figuring out how to juggle your time well NOW will pay off in better grades, less stress and, ultimately, more time to socialize (after your work is done)!
Here are a few tips...
- If you don't already, start using a daily planner. Write down everything that you need to do AND how much time it will likely take to get it done.
- Plan a specific time to study each night. Devote that time to doing homework, writing papers, reading and studying for tests. Make sure others know that this is YOUR time to study and ask them to not interrupt unless absolutely necessary.
- When it is time to begin studying, look at your list of assignments and set priorities. The MOST difficult assignments should be done first, then lesser challenging assignments should be done.
- AFTER you finish your homework each night, spend a few extra minutes going through your notes for each class. Make sure papers for each class are all together and in order, then read over all papers since the last test! This daily studying will save you TONS of time the night before the test -- and will definitely pay off in better test grades!
- When you're all done with schoolwork, pack up your bag for the next day!
You need to be motivated to learn and work hard, whether or not you like a specific subject or teacher. Self-motivation can be extremely important when you aren't particularly excited about a class. If you must, view it as an obstacle you must overcome. Then, set your mind to it and do it -- no excuses. Success is up to you!
If you find that you lack the motivation to study, welcome to the club. Just about every student experiences this problem at one time or another.
Motivation is important for good studying. When you are motivated, you will find it easy to stay focused over a period of time. When you are not motivated, you will not only find it difficult to stay focused, but you will find it difficult to get started in the first place.
Here are some ways to increase your motivation to study.
- Reward yourself for studying. For example, after a successful study session, have a treat like a nice big ice cream cone. Go crazy and add some cherries and nuts.
- Study with your friends. Don't make it party time, but you can have fun as you do this.
- Remind yourself of your long-term goals. Achievement of your goals likely requires educational success. Educational success requires studying.
- Eliminate distractions. If you are surrounded by things you would rather do than study, you will probably do those things instead of studying.
- Develop interest in what you have to study. This will make studying more enjoyable.
- Take breaks. When you feel that you need to take a break, try to stop at a point where you are at something that is easy for you. This will make it easier for you to resume studying after your break.
- Establish a comfortable environment. You will be more inclined to study if you feel comfortable.
- Establish reasonable goals for a study session. You probably won't get very far if you look at your study session as "mission impossible."
- Use a motivational poster. Place the poster where you can see it as you study. The poster should include positive words and a picture depicting success. You can buy one or even make your own. You can also read inspirational stories about real people who have achieved success through effort.
- Just do it. Once you do, you will feel a lot better than if you are worried about getting it done.
Finally, if these suggestions don't do it for you, just think about the consequences of not studying.
If you feel like you're not understanding what's going on OR if there seems to be too much to do, it may be that you're not using your class time as well as you could. To be successful, make sure that you:
- Always arrive prepared for class, and try to miss class as LITTLE as possible!
- Complete ALL assignments completely and on time.
- Listen to the teacher and stay focused. If you have trouble concentrating, consider these ideas:
- Keep your eyes glued to the teacher
- Participate in class discussions
- Sit near the teacher, if you have a choice
- Tell your friends ahead of time that you can't talk during class time
- Ask questions if you don't fully understand the lesson that is being taught.
- Take notes on what the teacher is saying!
- When taking notes, remember to write down only the IMPORTANT points. To know what is important:
- Listen for word signals like "first", "the four causes were" and "to sum up" to spot main ideas
- Watch the teacher for gestures and facial expressions which emphasize important points
- Listen for any point that is repeated (it must be important!)
- Write down anything that the teacher writes on the board
- As you take notes, organize facts as you go along in an outline or similar format, grouping together related information and underlining key terms
- To write quickly as you take notes, use abbreviations and symbols that work for you. Here are a few you might try:
|>||Increased/greater than/more than|
|<||Decreased/less than/fewer than|
|??||I don't understand/I need to find out more about this|
|**||This is important|
A person's learning style is the way they process and remember information. We all learn by seeing (visual learning), hearing (auditory learning) and doing (tactile learning), but we also tend to learn BEST in just one of these styles.
To find out which learning style is YOUR strength, take the Learning Styles Quiz.
Visual Learners like pictures and diagrams, reading maps and charts, creating pictures in their minds when they read, bright colors, and watching demonstrations.
Ways to Study:
- Watch videos that help you understand concepts. Khan Academy is a good resources, and sometimes YouTube can have helpful videos too (just don't get distracted).
- Use highlighters and underlining, color coding if you can, while reviewing your notes.
- Create flashcards.
- Replace words and concepts with symbols and pictures that help you remember the words.
- Draw pictures and doodle in the margins of your notes.
- Rewrite your notes or the answers to questions on your study guides.
- Post sticky notes with key terms and concepts in places you will see them frequently.
- Reread parts of the textbook.
- Pay attention to headings, subheadings, pictures, etc.
- Study in a quiet place.
- Create timelines.
auditory Learners tend to remember conversations well, have a great memory for music and lyrics, enjoy discussion and debates, enjoy listening or singing to refer to talk over write, and may read slowly.
Ways to Study:
- Listen to videos that help you understand the concepts. Khan Academy is a great resource, and YouTube is helpful too, as long as you don't get distracted.
- Use pneumonic devices and repeat them.
- Participate in discussions.
- Avoid distractions.
- Talk yourself through concepts.
- Quiz friends and have them quiz you.
- Put facts to music.
- Listen to lectures, then read text.
- Try to hear the words as you study your notes. Imagine someone reading them.
- Summarize your reading and your notes aloud, to someone else or yourself.
Kinesthetic Learners are good with their hands, they enjoy manipulating and building things, they are good at remembering things they have done, they enjoy active learning at school. They might enjoy sports and adventure books/movies, and they cannot sit still well.
Ways to Study:
- Create flashcards.
- Study in blocks of time. Take breaks as needed. Study small amounts of information at a time.
- Try to find and come up with examples as much as possible.
- Study with partners and groups.
- Do something while you study, such as walk around, tap your pencil, squeeze a stress ball, etc.
- Listen to music if it helps.
- Trace over words or write information in the air.
- Stand and move throughout your study session.
- Type your notes out.
- Use a dry erase or chalkboard to rewrite key information.
- Go places to study, such as the library or the park.
- Don't study in your bed. Your bed is for sleeping, and it signals to your brain its time to relax, not learn.
- Use cool pens and supplies that make you excited about using them. If green is your favorite color, use green.
- If music does not truly help you focus, turn it off.
- Avoid multitasking as much as possible. Set your phone aside, turn off the tv, turn off the computer, and find a space that works for you.
- Don't cram it all in one sitting, but DO give it the time it deserves.
- Simply "read over your notes" is not effective.
- Plan ahead. Plan to study with others. Plan time to study. Plan a place to study. PLAN.
- Knowing "how" to study doesn't happen overnight. Different strategies work for each person, but if you must try a few ways of studying before you know what works best for you.
In high school and college (in addition to many jobs), tests are unavoidable. Learning proper study and test-taking strategies is vital for scoring successfully on tests. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Have a positive attitude - Believe in yourself and your ability to pass this test!
- Make a study plan. When you hear about the test, find out what will be on it. Is it from the textbook only? Class notes? If you've been absent, talk to friends about material you may have missed. List the most important topics to be covered and make a study sheet of all of the information you'll need to know on the test.
- Study a little each night! Your brain can only absorb so much at one time! Make sure you study in YOUR learning style (see websites above) and use these tips for memorizing information. The strategy for preparing for each type of test (multiple-choice, essay, short answer, etc.) is very different. For specific guidance for each question type, check out the websites at this link.
- The night before, review and go to bed early! No need to cram now, since you've been studying each night for several days now.
- Eat a good breakfast that morning and try to get to school early to do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up.
- As the test begins, be your own "coach" and remind yourself that you're going to do great! Getting nervous now will only get in your way of remembering the important facts for the test. Take a deep breath and just do your best! For more ideas about reducing test anxiety, click here.
- During the test, Read each question CAREFULLY. Misreading a word can change the entire meaning of the question.
- Manage your time. Scan through the test quickly before starting. Answering the easy questions first can be a time saver and a confidence builder. Plus, it saves more time in the end for you to focus on the hard stuff.
- If you get stuck on a question, don't get worried or frustrated. Reread the question to make sure you understand it, and then try to solve it the best way you know how. If you're still stuck, circle it and move on. You can come back to it later. What if you have no idea about the answer? Review your options and make the best guess you can.
- For multiple-choice questions, start by crossing off the answers that just couldn't be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer.
- Keep it neat! If your 4s look like 9s, it could be a problem. Be sure that your writing is legible and that you erase your mistakes. For scantron tests, fill in the spaces carefully.
- When you complete the last item on the test, go back to review your answers, making sure that you didn't make any careless mistakes (such as putting the right answer in the wrong place or skipping a question). Don't change any of your answers unless you're certain that it's wrong. Often, your first instinct is the best! Spend the last remaining minutes going over the hardest problems before you turn in your test.
- Check out this site to learn more helpful test-taking strategies: http://ericae.net/edo/ed302558.htm
Tips for True/False Questions:
- Some true/false questions can be tricky. For a question to be true, it must be entirely true. If any part of the statement is false, then mark it false!
- Look for these words as clues for a false statement: all, always, none, every, only, never.
- A statement is usually true if it uses one of these words: many, most, some, few, usually, often, sometimes, less.
- Answer every question. You have a 50% chance of getting it right!
- Write clearly. Be sure the teacher can tell the difference between your "F" and your "T".
- For more ideas, check out these sites:
- Use a process of elimination to answer the questions.
- Do the ones you know first and cross them off.
- Then do the best you can with the ones that are left.
- For more ideas, check out this site:
- Read questions carefully.
- Before looking at the possible answers, try to form the answer in your mind.
- If you don't know the answer after reading the choices, cross off the choices you are wrong. Pick the sensible one that remains.
- If you have no idea, guess! You have some chance of getting it right, so try!
- For more ideas, check out these sites:
- If you do not know the exact answer, but do know some related material, write down what you do know. You may get partial credit.
- If you don't know the answer, guess (unless your teacher tells you not to).
- Use the other words in the sentences to determine what word or words go in the blank. Try to make a reasonable guess.
- For more ideas, check this out:
- Answer the easy questions first and then write an answer for every question.
- Check the amount of time allowed and be sure to allow enough time for each essay question.
- Essay questions have clue words. You will do better if you know what these words are asking:
- Compare - Show how things are alike. Emphasize similarities.
- Contrast - show how two things are different.
- Define - Give the meaning of an idea. Be clear and concise.
- Describe - Write detailed information, usually in narrative form.
- Discuss - Give details of an idea and explain the good and bad of each.
- Explain - Tell the "how" and "why" about a topic.
- Illustrate - Explain by giving examples.
- List - Write things down and number them.
- Outline - A brief, organized description of the main ideas.
- State - Describe the main points as clearly as possible.
- Summarize - Give a short list and explanation of the main ideas.
- Before you start the essay, organize your thoughts on scrap paper:
- Jot down all of the main points/ideas that answer the question.
- Put main points/ideas in order of importance…then begin!
As you write:
- Restate the question as your opening sentence.
- Use transitional sentences to connect ideas. Use connecting words such as like, first, second, next, in addition to, therefore, etc.
- Support your answer with specific examples and details.
- Write a concluding sentence or paragraph to summarize your ideas.
For more ideas, check this out: http://www.geosoc.org/schools/pass/tsttak4.htm
We all feel stressed out sometimes - that's part of being alive. Stress management is the ability to keep calm when situations, people, and events make excessive demands on us.
To manage your stress and test anxiety, try making your own Stress Reduction Toolbox. Just read over the strategies below and copy to your toolbox the ones that you think will work for you!
- Set realistic goals for yourself. Reduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the circuit overload.
- Don't overwhelm yourself by worrying about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of rest just aggravates stress.
- Avoid self-medication or escape. Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help deal with the problems.
- Plan your time well, so that you'll have enough time to get things done AND relax.
- Laugh! Keep a box filled with things that make you happy (pictures, kind notes, a favorite childhood toy, a list of all of the things that you love) - and open it when you need a boost!
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Friends, family, teachers, pastors, others who have been through similar experiences - even pets! - are all great resources. Spend time with those who listen fully and give only gentle advice. Avoid people who "push your buttons" or sap your energy.
- Try to be positive. Give yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be. "Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe. Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory."
During a test, if you find yourself tensing and getting anxious,
- Relax; remind yourself that you are in control. Take breaths like you are blowing bubbles: slow and steady.
- Don't think about the fear. Pause, think about the next step and keep on task, step by step.
- Remind yourself that you are doing your best and are working hard!
- If you go blank, skip the question and go on.
- If you're taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind.
- Don't panic when students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for being the first done!
- Expect some anxiety. It's a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide you energy!
When your stress is on overload:
- Repeat calming statements to yourself like "I can handle this," "I'm doing my best in the situation that I have," "I am only responsible for me. Others are responsible for their feelings and their reactions," "I can bear just about anything for a short while," "In the long run, who will remember or even care about this?" and " I will get through this."
- Pretend you are a snowman. You have a head, a body, two arms sticking out and you stand on sturdy legs. The sun is shining and you can feel its warmth. You realize that you are melting. First your head melts, then one arm melts, then the other. Gradually, little by little, your body begins to melt. Now only your feet are left and they, too, are melting. Soon you are just a puddle lying comfortably on the ground.
- Use your imagination. Close your eyes and picture yourself somewhere peaceful, like a beach or in a park. Imagine you can feel the warmth of the sun and a soft breeze; imagine the sounds you would hear and the smells you would experience.
- Exercise. Play sports, lift weights or take a walk (or run) and let your mind think things over.
Remember: If stress is interfering with your schoolwork or your happiness, see your school counselor for help!