With school almost over (or already over for some students), summer can be a great time to decompress and regenerate to be ready for the next school year. But students can also take this time to get ahead of their schoolwork for next year. Putting in a little bit of effort over the summer (it does not have to be a lot) can really help with the following year’s work. Just being familiar with a topic that the teacher is teaching can have a very positive effect.

Now, how do you figure out which courses to study more? This can be a tricky question to answer. There are generally three options: the ones you love, the ones you hate, or everything. Studying the courses you love can be more of a hobby you can do to increase your understanding (and maybe impress your teacher). Since you like the material, it can be a fun way to spend some time during the summer (especially when it is too hot to do anything but sit by your air conditioner). Studying the courses you dislike or are less comfortable with can also be a good use of your time, though it might take a bit more effort to make yourself do the work. Just spending a little bit of time trying to understand the material that is presented during the summer can make it that much easier when the school year starts. Having some knowledge (it doesn’t have to be a lot) can help make the teacher’s lessons make sense earlier. Lastly, studying both the courses you like and dislike can be a nice compromise. Spending some time with both of them can help your next school year get off to a great start. 

Helpful Hint

If you get stuck with some material, you can go online and try to find the answer, or make a note of it somewhere and ask the teacher when you get to that section in the material.

If you know which textbook you will be using next year, you know approximately what you will need to study (keep in mind that not all chapters of a textbook will likely be used). Often, you can find textbooks in your public library, or you might even be able to ask your school librarian whether you can borrow the textbook over the summer. Just even reading the textbook can be a quick and easy way to prepare for next year. Having some familiarity with the material can be a big help when you have a lot of other courses/extracurriculars to juggle. If you do not know which textbook you are going to use, your job becomes a little bit more difficult. Here, you have a few options: you can ask your teacher (or guidance counsellor)/students who are a year older than you (if you know any of them or feel comfortable asking) or just looking up the topics that are covered by your government’s curriculum. We would say the last option is more reserved for students who choose to get ahead with the courses they love over the summer. This is mostly due to trying to figure information you are not comfortable with in a very haphazard way can confuse students even more. If you’re really intent on getting ahead, do some of the questions the textbook has at the end of the chapter. Just make sure to do them again when the teacher assigns them so you can refresh your memory before the test.

Sometimes, teachers will assign reading over the summer to be able to start the next school year with students having already read the book. This method saves time when the teacher can start teaching right away. For this, we would recommend reading the book or books later in the summer, as the teacher may expect you to remember small details that you might forget if you read it near the start of summer. Actually doing the reading and taking notes about possible topics you would like to write about or present (depending on what course you have the assigned reading) can be a great way to help yourself in the future.

Spending a little bit of time over the summer can be a great way to help yourself in the future by absorbing some material before you absolutely have to. Whether studying the courses you like/dislike/both, with or without the book, just don’t forget to take a breath and enjoy summer vacation!


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