Summer school has a different rhythm than the rest of the school year. As you dive into your new summer routine, it’s just as important as ever that you strategize how and when you’ll study.

A May 2017 research study out of Stanford University found that a strategic approach to studying can even boost your test grades—by one third of a letter grade on average! Here are eight ways you can study smarter this summer.

Summer school classes

1. Set some summer goals.

In the Stanford experiment, students first reflected on their goals for an upcoming exam. Try doing the same for your summer class. Why are you taking this course, and what do you want to get out of it?

2. Prepare to take great notes.

Summer classes operate on a compressed schedule, which means you’ll cover a lot more material per class session. Good note-taking skills are key for keeping track of all the information you’re covering each day. 

3. Retaking a class? Don't start from square one. 

This is a terrific opportunity to reflect on the areas or topics you previously had trouble with. Do you freeze during in-class essays? Was cell biology a blur? Take steps to work with a summer tutor or your teacher on skills and topics you need to master. Revisiting the course material will also show you how much you already know!

Read More: Get Math Help Now

4. Sync your school calendar with your social calendar.

Summer classes have an accelerated pace, so read your syllabus carefully. Mark test dates and deadlines for major assignments on a calendar and work backwards. Don't forget to include work shifts, concerts, and other fun stuff, so you have a clear picture of what you truly have going on. Devote a chunk of time each night to preparing for what's coming up next.

5. Form a new study crew.

Summer school is great way to meet people you wouldn’t normally run into. And since summer classes usually have fewer students in them, you might feel more comfortable asking to borrow notes from a classmate or forming an impromptu study group. Of course, our tutors are also on standby to help you all summer long.

6. Visualize your upcoming test.

Before a big test, think about what you can expect. What topics and chapters will the test cover? Can you guess any of the questions based on your homework assignments and classwork?

7. Take advantage of all your resources.

A big component of the Stanford study was asking students to identify all the available class resources they would use to study effectively. Consider everything that's available to you, like:

  • Class notes
  • Textbook readings
  • Handouts
  • Practice questions
  • Outside review with your teacher
  • Summer tutoring

Once you have a personal list, write down why each resource will be useful and how you will use it. Bingo! You’ve got a study plan.

8. Take plenty of brain breaks

FOMO can be intense during the summer, especially if your friends have different plans than you. You’ll be more productive and motivated if give yourself a break. Go for a run, catch a movie, or even take a power nap to recharge. 


Stuck on summer homework?

Try an online tutoring session with one of our experts, and get homework help in 40+ subjects.

Try a Free Session