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The Communicator

Leveling The Academic Playing Field

Students need to be taught better study methods as part of the class curriculum
Payton Sly
Amelia Sandstrom studying for her Algebra 2 final.

CHS teachers are a major figure along a student’s academic journey and they are always willing to lend a helping hand. However, many students still struggle with knowing how to study tailored to their specific course.

Ever since sixth grade, I have had a lot of anxiety surrounding tests. I remember once in my freshman year, I had spent countless minutes studying for a science test. When the paper was put down in front of me, it felt like my mind went blank. Deep down, I knew that I deserved an A and that I had studied for this test.

Every course offers different material to take in and I’ve found that each, in turn, requires a different pattern of thinking, especially when it comes to studying for an assessment. Some teachers hand out study guides, though for some students this is not the best way to study. For example, kinesthetic learners, or students who learn best by doing, don’t benefit from study guides as much as reading/writing learners. This provides an unfair advantage to certain students, even if they’re unaware of it.

A UCLA graduate, Hilary Phan, wrote an essay published by UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools that estimates between 40-60% of high school students are negatively affected by test anxiety. This type of performance anxiety may already lead to students performing under their ability, so placing the burden of seeking out the most efficient study methods on the students is unreasonable and can be detrimental to their mental health.

Balancing homework, extracurricular activities, stress surrounding social life, and others is demanding enough. Creating another stressful task for students that could be addressed in class is impractical.

An obvious solution is to incorporate such study tools into the class curriculum, requiring students to be educated about it so they can perform to the best of their ability while matching a study method to themselves.

Community High School’s teachers provide anything and everything the students may need. This includes tips on how to study for their tests. This is a big step in the right direction. Access to the correct study tools shouldn’t be treated as a privilege granted upon request, but as an essential tool that students need to succeed in the class.

To make sure the academic field is level, it is imperative to accommodate students’ diverse ways of learning and how they absorb information. Integrating study methods tailored to that specific course fosters a more welcoming class environment and may even provide some students with the feeling of belonging among their peers.

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About the Contributor
Payton Sly, Journalist
Payton is a sophomore at Community. This is her first semester on staff. She enjoys traveling to new places. China is one of her favorite destinations, where she loves experiencing the culture, language, and food. Payton has studied Mandarin Chinese since 4th grade. In her free time, Payton can be found reading and listening to music.

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