☰ Menu

@JesuitDallas on InstagramLike Jesuit Dallas on FacebookJoin the Alumni Group on LinkedInTweet @JesuitDallasWatch videos from Jesuit Dallasjesuitdallas on Snapchat!

Student Life / Counseling / Freshman

Freshman Academic Guidance

Jesuit Keys to Success: Study & Homework

Jesuit is a homework high school. The key to success at Jesuit is the completion of homework assignments. Jesuit is not like other schools where tests are the only determinant for grades, therefore you cannot depend on series of tests at the end of the quarter to "bring up" your grade for a class. There are no TAAS tests, SRA tests, or other types of test series that are utilized to determine your grade in a class. It is especially important to complete all homework assignments accurately and promptly as most teachers at Jesuit do not give extra credit work. The bottom line is that you must be PREPARED, TIMELY, and WELL ORGANIZED to succeed.

Homework, especially in the freshman year, is the main factor in academic success. You can not make-up missed assignments through "acing" a test at the end of the grading period. It is extremely important that you do not fall behind. Make sure that you complete your daily homework assignments and that you follow the directions for homework as assigned by your teacher. Submit assignments properly (via Moodle, Dropbox, etc.)

It is a good idea to stay well organized, utilizing the aid of your iCal or other app. When you are in study hall, make sure that you are using that time wisely and that you do not fall behind in a subject area. Avoid playing "catch-up". It is a good idea to do your hardest assignments first while you are still alert and awake.

Rule of Thumb: You will have 20-30 minutes of homework/study per class per day.

Another important item to remember is absence from school. You need to fully understand the Jesuit policy on absences and make-up work as outlined in the student handbook. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get and complete the missed assignments. These assignments should be completed in a timely fashion. Remember that the teacher will not come to you after an absence and prompt you to make-up an assignment.

It is important to realize that study is an action. The more active you are in your study habits, the more success you will achieve. Take notes, ask questions, make outlines, use flashcards and study in small chunks rather than cramming. You can quiz yourself and even make up questions that are pertinent to that subject area. Highlight main points and summarize long reading assignments. Without action there is no real study accomplished.

How to Prepare for Exams

First, it is important to avoid "cramming." Don't try – or expect – to do well on an exam when your preparation for it is a last minute, late-night attempt to memorize. The key to good test results is consistent, steady work.

Use an effective planning process. When is the exam schedules? How much preparation can you do on which days? Spread out your preparation rather than attempting to do it all the night before.

Prepare an overall outline or skeleton of the material the test will cover. What are the main points? What concepts must you understand? Then, start to fill in the details. What detail do you need under which main point? How can you apply the concept in working problems?

Try to determine what kind of exam you'll be taking, and prepare for it. In math or science, what kind of problems? Make sure you can work those problems by actually doing several of every kind you will encounter. If you expect an essay test, try to guess what topics the essays will cover, and actually outline a few possible essays.

Go over possible exam questions with your study group. Test each other; help each other prepare. This is where a study group can be especially helpful.

Prepare physically for the exam. Be well rested (don't stay up all night "cramming"). Be on time. Be prepared with all necessary supplies. Go into the exam confident of your abilities.

Note Taking Skills

Listen actively - if possible think before you write - but don't get behind.

Raise questions if appropriate.

Develop and use a standard method of note-taking.

Keep notes organized and clearly labeled.

Do not try to take down everything that the lecturer says. Spend more time listening and attempt to take down the main points.

Listen for cues as to important points, transition from one point to the next, repetition of points for emphasis, changes in voice inflections, enumeration of a series of points, etc.

Many lecturers attempt to present a few major points and several minor points in a lecture. The rest is explanatory material and samples. Be alert to cues about what the teacher thinks is important.

If writing, make your original notes legible enough for your own reading, but use abbreviations of your own invention when possible. The effort required to recopy notes can be better spent in rereading them and thinking about them.

Record everything on the board, regardless. You may not be able to integrate what is on the board into your lecture notes, but if you record it, it may serve as a useful clue for you later.

Sit as close to the front of the class, there are fewer distractions and it is easier to hear, see, and attend to important material.

Get assignments and suggestions precisely - ask questions if you're not sure.

Organizational Skills

At School...

At the end of the school day, take out your calendar (and check Moodle) and look at your assignments for the day. Take any books that you might need out of your locker. Double-check your homework list to make sure you have all the supplies you need.

At Home...

The best place to study is generally at a desk that is free from everything except what you need to do your assignments.

Some students need a quiet environment to study. Other students can study with music or the TV playing in the background. Be aware of what works best for you. If you choose to play music in the background, it should be at a quiet volume. Some research indicates that rock and pop music interferes with study, while classical music helps students to learn easily and retain material permanently. Close apps that are distracting (i.e. Facebook, games, etc.).

Study Schedule...

You should prepare a study schedule and follow it each night. Your schedule should include the start and end times of your studying so that all other "free time" activities can be planned accordingly. You should schedule sufficient amounts of time in your schedule to cover all subjects thoroughly and begin preparations for upcoming tests that you have later in the week. Avoid "cramming" for a test the night before.

How and What to Study...

Study the hardest subject first while you are still alert and awake.
Make written work (hand-written & electronic)a priority, but only after you have read the necessary pages to complete the assignment.

If you can't concentrate for long periods of time, try working in 15-20 minute short study periods, taking a 5-minute break in between. When you take a break, it is important to stay in your room, stand up, move away from where you are studying, and do some physical movement or exercise.

Make sure that you take a break at least once every 45 minutes to an hour.

Do not wait until the night before to starting studying for a test. Make sure to allow enough time to study all the material and review the material later that night to see what you do and do not know. Study the most difficult or newest material first to allow for extra review time. It is important to know what topics are most important for a test and it is a good idea to anticipate what information a teacher may ask for on a test.

Review your notes every day to assist you with preparing for the next class meeting.

Start studying subjects that you do not like first, as these will be more difficult for you. Try to stay focused on the positive side of the subject by saying to yourself "I may not like this subject, but I want to learn it".

Make sure that you understand the assignment completely so that once you begin to study at home, you will clearly understand what is expected from you. Your teacher is here to facilitate success, therefore ask your teacher to clarify any confusion that you may have about an assignment. If you do not understand an assignment while you are working at home, contact a reliable classmate to help clarify the assignment.