Study Tips for Science Classes

By Elena and Lily

Studying is something we’re expected to know how to do, but it’s very rare we ever get taught how to study. There’s so many different ways to study, some of which are productive, whereas others are not. Every class is different, so the way you study for each class will probably be different, so this month, we’re putting together some study tips you can use for your science classes.

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on Pexels.com

Formulas

Science is full of math. This might not be true for every science class, as the math is usually only really introduced in high school science classes, but I guarantee you, the math is there, and the math is important.

To study the formulas, we have a couple of recommendations.

Practice

Our first recommendation is to practice. If your teacher gives you practice problems, then great! Use those. If not, go online and find some. Do them until you understand every single formula.

Practicing will help you for when you have to use the formulas. Don’t just assume you can do them, prove to yourself you can.

This will build confidence for when you have to use them for an assignment or for a test. You won’t feel half as confident going into a test if you haven’t proved to yourself that you know what to do.

Understand Them

Don’t study formulas by memorizing them, but study them by understanding them. Our second tip for formulas is to spend some time staring at them. Think about the different relationships between each variable in the formula. Stare at the formulas and think. Why are you finding a sum or a difference? Why are you multiplying or dividing? Where does a variable come from?

Learning why a formula works will make you actually learn the material. Sure, you can memorize the formulas to find velocity, but unless you understand every variable in those formulas and why they are there, you don’t actually know how to find velocity. You only know the formulas, but in science, it’s more important to know the why than the how. If you know the why, you can easily remember the how.

Videos

We live in an age of the internet. Use it!

There are thousands of videos out there explaining scientific concepts, and if you’re stuck or don’t understand something the way your teacher taught it, look online at some videos. 

What can really help more, is if you put looking at videos with practicing. Watch a video, and after the video walks you through a step, pause and practice a problem until you get stuck, then continue watching the video to make sure you did everything right and to know what comes next.

Study Tools

The internet also has a lot of useful study tools and websites. Some of the ones we use most often are Quizlet and Khan Academy.

There’s also a lot of websites out there with study tools for almost every subject. Websites teachers might make with tools for their students, articles about something you’re learning about. 

Use these to your advantage; they’re going to help you. 

Textbooks

If your teacher gives you a textbook, READ IT! I guarantee you there’s something useful in there, like an explanation you might’ve not known you needed but you did, practice problems, breakdowns of formulas, etc. 

You might even want to stay a little bit ahead, if you can. If you know what you’re going to learn the next day in class, read it in your textbook first so you can have an idea of what’s going on before you get to class. 

If your teacher doesn’t give you a textbook, you can either ask them for one, or buy one online.

Prep Books

For AP science classes, always get a prep book. You don’t need a prep book for every AP class, but for a science class, you’re going to want one. 

This isn’t as necessary for a non AP class, but you still might want to consider it.

Prep books are a lot like textbooks, except they pack the most important things you need to know, at least for an AP test, and give different ways to approach different concepts that might be easier.

They’re all around very helpful, and you should especially use them to study for AP tests.

Teach Someone

You never truly understand something until you can explain it to someone else. If your friend is struggling, offer to help them out to help them grasp a concept. Explaining what you know to someone else will make you understand the concept on a different level, making you more likely to understand the concept.

Having to teach someone something allows us to make different connections and forces us to really think about what it is you’re doing. You have to consider how to make this other person understand what you understand, which often means explaining something in a bit of a different way.

Explaining something in a different way that the way you understand something will make another connection in your mind about how to understand something. It might even be a better way to understand, and thus you taught yourself at the same time that you taught someone else.

Study Groups

Especially for harder science classes, make a study group or at least an online group chat.

Make a point to study together so you understand together. By forming a group, you increase the chances of everyone knowing the material. Chances are, at least one person understands what’s going on and can talk everyone else through it.

Study groups can increase your understanding, and make it easier to find time to study. A lot of the time, you might say “I’ll study tonight” but then you forget or never get to it. Making plans with other people will force you to actually study together.

Group Chats

If you can’t make a study group, at least make a group chat. You can ask each other questions, send each other explanations, and create an environment where you learn together, at least over the internet.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make it clear to everyone asking questions is ok and necessary, and that you want to learn. 

Group chats are also good study tools because if someone makes a quizlet or other study tool, they’re going to share it with the group chat, and now you’ve gotten another study tool.

Actually Study

Don’t skip out on studying, especially when you have a test coming up. The harder your science class is, the more you’re going to want to study for it so you can actually understand what it is that you’re doing and what it is that you’re learning.

Teachers can’t always cover absolutely everything in class. Often, they’ll give you extra things you can do, or post some extra information on an online platform that you should use.

If you don’t understand something after you spend time studying and trying to figure it out yourself, make an appointment with your teacher or come to their office hours. Make a point to actually study and understand the material, because it’s going to make it easier to understand in the long run.

Thank you so much for reading today’s article! If you have a specific subject you’d like for us to write some tips for next month, leave a comment down below and let us know! If you think these tips are good and you enjoyed the article, leave a like so we know what kind of articles you’d like for us to write next month. We’re starting to formulate our upload schedule for next month, so please let us know if you have any suggestions. If you enjoy our content, please follow our blog and subscribe to our rss feed, and if you’d like more content, follow us on social media and join our patreon which will be linked down below. As always, stay safe and keep on overachieving!

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