Study Skills

Middle school is a crucial period in a student's academic development. It is the time where fundamental skills are being developed to be applied in high school and beyond. Schoolwork is also becoming more challenging and more abstract in nature. Students are being asked to use their brains analytically and intuitively. As a result, it is necessary to establish strong study habits and a method of learning in order to gain the optimum amount of skills and information.

By considering the following factors, you can develop the skills needed to absorb, understand and apply information in middle school.

  • Create an appropriate study environment
  • Develop a calm attitude
  • Understand your learning style
  • Know how to cope with and overcome a challenge
  • Actively participate in class
  • Take good notes
  • Interact with your notes to make sure you understand what you have written
  • Ask good questions when you are unsure
  • Use your homework as practice
  • Use good time management strategies and meet all deadlines for assignments
  • Use active, task-oriented study strategies
  • Focus on the areas that need the most attention
  • Work with others


Not all strategies work for all students. These tips are meant to be suggestions to try.

1. Organize your locker shelves

  • Put the materials from the first 2-3 hours of the day on your top shelf of locker shelf.
  • Put the other materials from the other classes on the bottom shelf
  • Put miscellaneous materials (ones you don’t use every day) on top shelf of locker.
  • Put a shoebox on the bottom of locker for extra supplies

2. Create a list of materials for each class

  • Post a list in your locker, identifying the basic materials you need to bring to each class. Use it as a reference on days you are feeling scattered.

3. Organize materials

  • For each core subject area, use a small binder that is organized with the following tasks:

o Homework/Completed Assignments

o Notes

o Returned/Corrected Assignments and Quizzes

o Syllabus/Study Guides/Reviews

o Other

  • Separate each tab by units to keep material organized.

4. Color Code your materials

  • Have a matching folder or binder, notebook, and textbook cover for each subject, so it is easy to access the right materials.

5. Use one expandable binder that has individual file slots for each subject

  • instead of individual folders, try an expandable file system.
  • Be sure to file papers in the correct slot for each subject. Take time to organize each night.

6. Carry a pencil bag for all of your smaller materials

·(pencils, pens, highlighters, calculator, etc.)

7. Carry your Assignment Notebook to every class, and write it in at the end of every class

  • Tape your schedule to the inside cover.
  • Be certain your name is on it.
  • Bring it home every night, and refer to it as you do homework.

8. Color code your assignment notebook

  • Green = daily homework assignments
  • Red = Due dates for tests and quizzes.
  • Purple = Long term assignments – break them down into smaller tasks over multiple days
  • Blue = Tasks that need to be done to prepare for the Red tasks (tests, quizzes). Go backwards 2-3 days from any Red task and identify what you will do to prepare. (ie. Review flashcards, rewrite notes, etc.)

9. Pack as you go

  • After each class, identify the materials you will need for homework that night and put those materials directly in your backpack. At the end of the day, you can be certain you will not forget anything.

10. Establish a homework routine

  • Include a minimum of 45 minutes of HW time per day.
  • Follow the same routine every day.

11. Look at Infinite Campus at least twice a week, if not daily

  • Note current grade
  • Note any missing assignments, and make a plan as to how to get caught up
  • Communicate plan with your teacher

12. Redline completed tasks

  • When you finish an assignment or task, mark a red line through what you have completed in your Assignment Notebook so you know it is done.
  • Place the finished assignment in a designated spot (left side of your folder, special tab in your binder, inside pocket of a binder, etc.).

13. Pack your backpack at night so it is ready to go in the morning


For a list of study strategies by learning style, click here:

List of Study Strategies