We recently designed unique workshops to help high school students increase their academic success. Based on empirical evidence, we hit the key skills that successful students typically engage in. We have identified evidence-based strategies that are effective in helping students study. To learn more about implementing these strategies, you may register for our workshops.


Capable students may experience difficulty in school, not because they lack ability, but because they lack good study skills. Overwhelmed teachers struggle with getting through course content and have very little time to teach students these important skills. Some students develop study skills independently, but many students go through school without receiving proper instruction on how to most effectively maximize their time and energy. Consequently, school work is overwhelming for many parents and students. The lack of strategic study skills often leaves students feeling stressed out with little time for relaxation and socialization. With teenage depression and anxiety rates at an all time high, both parents and youth would benefit immensely from acquiring these much needed skills. Students need time for self-care. These skills will help students become more effective with their time. Consequently, they will have more opportunity to focus on other activities. 

Even normally achieving students may go through school without having acquired effective approaches for studying. In order to help as many students and parents as possible, we have decided to share a valuable insight with you today. We will discuss the difference between studying for short term and long term learning. Knowing the difference will help students study smarter instead of harder.


All students can relate to sitting and going over over and over study content until it seeps into the brain. Students often spend endless hours repeating and rehearsing things like dates, words, names, etc. Most recently, teacher training programs have instructed teachers to take a step back from these strategies. These Rehearsal or Repeating Study Strategies, often called “Drill and Kill” strategies, were more popular in the past.

The Common Core Standards call for a different way to teach students. For example, students no longer memorize their multiplication facts at a certain grade level. Instead, they are to be able to explain several ways to get the product of a multiplication problem. This focuses on understanding the mathematical concepts. Mathematical reasoning and the development of number sense are the teaching goals now. Instead of just memorizing facts that may mean absolutely nothing to them, students are focusing on conceptual development. However, it is important to note that Rehearsal Strategies still have their use and students should use them during study time for specific situations. 

When learning a list of items for the short term, students can appropriately use Repeating Strategies. Therefore, these are appropriate if students need to memorize a list of dates, spelling words, number sequences, foreign language vocabulary, etc. We recommend incorporating the use of mnemonic devices when using these strategies. Since Rehearsal Strategies are ineffective for long-term learning, incorporating mnemonic devices ensure deeper processing. Another way to promote deeper processing is the use of mental imagery with this strategy. These additions can promote deeper processing to be able to remember some of the items for longer. For example, when learning a list of vocabulary words, students may attach a visual to help them remember the word and meaning. Here is a common example to remember the names of the planets. The mnemonic is “My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos.”


Long-term learning strategies are more appropriate for students when it comes to information they will need to remember for the duration of the semester and beyond. These strategies, referred to as Cognitive-Based Study Skills, are ineffective for factual recall and are better used for inferencing and applying the content. Some skills that a student may need to learn will be used in application and therefore the student must learn it beyond the surface level. In order to truly learn something, a learner needs to be able to learn a concept from different perspectives and as applied to various situations. Lastly, the learner will be able to adapt and apply the concept to various situations.

We highly recommend the use of mapping and graphic organizers for long-term study. In order to activate students’ background knowledge prior to the study of a topic, educators use a tool called Semantic Mapping. It can also be used to connect new ideas to existing ones. Mapping connects prior concepts and knowledge to new knowledge, and develops new schemata when necessary to integrate content to be learned. Students are often exposed to the use of semantic mapping in the classroom. However, they often fail to incorporate the use of them during their own study time.

Most education programs instruct teachers to teach using the following method: show or model a tool or concept to their students, then help them use it correctly (scaffold), and lastly expect them to use it independently. This method is referred to as “I do, We do, You do.” Teachers often skip the scaffolding part and the independent practice part due to limited time. Therefore, it would be smart for parents to remind their children to use this tool while studying important concepts for the long-term. 


This is only the beginning of understanding the purpose of breaking things down and understanding Study Skills. We have so much more to share with you. During our workshops students participate in the full circle of the “I do, We do, You do” process. This ensures true ownership and application of the study skill. In addition, we teach different tricks and strategies to use for short-term and long-term purposes. Importantly, students have opportunities to apply and practice these skills. We would love to be part of your journey. STUDY SMARTER NOT HARDER with Mundo Academy as your guide. Contact us to be a part of your success.

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