By Lydia ’26
Hi! My name is Lydia, and I am a Student Ambassador here at Harvard-Westlake. Today, I will be talking about study skills. Before we get started, what are study skills?
Study skills are an array of skills that tackle the process of organizing and taking in new information, retaining information, or dealing with assessments. To thrive at Harvard-Westlake, there are a few skills that you must learn to master. Take efficient and straight point notes that encompass the main ideas and details, learn to annotate important themes in the text along with your own thoughts and analysis. Make sure you can read fluidly to understand the text at hand. Simple study skills like these can help with many different life skills. I will be focusing on the 3 most important study skills to learn for Harvard-Westlake: note-taking, annotations, and time management.
One way to improve your study skills is to take notes on paper. Taking notes is one of the most important skills to have. Having good note-taking skills will help you create study guides easily and retain information. When taking notes in class, I find it easier to abbreviate (govt., &, etc.). It helps me get through the information a lot easier. When I am creating study guides, I can write out the word if necessary. Try to create helpful study guides and outlines that will make sure you study for what’ll be on the test.
One specific study skill that I cannot emphasize enough is annotating. Annotations in English are the key to succeeding in this class. It helps you connect to the book and will help you write descriptive, well-sourced analytical paragraphs and essays.
The last study skill is time management. Time management should be a priority to manage your time efficiently and get your work done. I recommend if you have a free period, use it on your homework. One thing that you should get to manage your time is a planner. Planners will help you organize your day and plan your work. In my opinion, some great places to manage your time at school are the Senior Garden, the Munger Library, or the Learning Center. I asked Finn Slootweg, an 8th grader, who has used the Senior Garden before. “I enjoy the serenity that the Senior Garden provides with the noises of birds and water in the background of my study sessions. I also love the greenery surrounding me as I study allowing for fewer distractions.”
I love to go to the Learning Center. Located in the Munger Library, the Learning Center is a lovely place to go and manage your time. Our two learning specialists, Ms. Gabrail and Mr. Cha are wonderful people to get to know.
When I got on campus this year, I realized that all the rumors on how hard the tests, quizzes, and homework will be were not true. Don’t stress. As long as you have good study skills, you should be all good to go! Prospective 7th and 9th graders, good luck!