I originally wrote this article for Seton Magazine back in August 2017, and it was published by the Bayley Bulletin in January

Weeks behind in school?  And just don’t know what to do to catch up? Here are seven of my tips for catching up when you’re really behind in high school!

For several reasons, I didn’t have access to my online Earth Science course until late October 2016.

I’m Australian, and the school year starts in early February and ends in early December, so you can see there wasn’t much of a chance I could complete the course in the one and a half months we had left of the school year.

I did what I could then, but didn’t get far with it.

So, last year, I resolved to finish it as soon as I could, and I am happy to say I have since then completed the course! I hope that at least some these tips will help you to catch up!

1. Do one subject until you’ve caught up.

This won’t work for everyone, but I have found that focusing on the one subject until I’ve caught up is much easier than doing little bits here and there and not accomplishing the work you were hoping to get done.

For example, with the Science course, I ended up putting all my other work aside for about 2 weeks and worked on that until I finished it; it was exhausting, but definitely worth it!

However, if doing only one subject causes you to fall behind on all your others substantially, then try to do one subject by itself for a week, even if you don’t catch up by then, you’ll have some out of the way.

2. Read the whole chapter in one day.

I can’t emphasize how much this helps! Instead of taking the assigned week (or however long it’s supposed to take), you simply read the whole chapter; take notes do the review questions, etc., all in one day.

First, this saves time (which is what you want!), and second, I found it helped me to remember the material better. Hand-writing out the review questions and any other notes is something I would recommend. I mean, yes, you get a sore hand by the time you’re done, but it’s supposed to be more beneficial for memory retention than typing all the answers up on a computer. I would say it makes it totally worth it!

Also, use note cards! They’ve helped me so much when trying to remember different concepts and other things for tests!

Finally, the next day, take the test and repeat the process!

Now, this method may not necessarily work for say History, as an example, as there is far more material to learn per chapter and so much more to remember for tests.

However, I’m sure you could still read the chapter and do the review in one day, but then perhaps take an extra day or two to review for the test. It might not work for you, but give it a try!

3. Find a quiet place to study with minimal distractions.

I know quite a few people would recommend going to your local library, or even a university library (which I’m sure are great suggestions!). But if you’re like me, neither of those are an option because we don’t have a library in our town, or a university! So, if you can find a quiet place to study in, such as a quiet spare room/area, or even somewhere in your backyard, then, by all means, take advantage of it!

I recently had the chance to move my desk into our study, and I’ve found if I’m studying for tests that it’s a great to do it in quiet. Because even if you have just two younger siblings, I can guarantee they provide noise and distraction at least some of the time.

4. If you are taking an online course, print out the chapter!

This is one of my favorite tips. If you’re like me, I find it can be difficult to read large amounts of text off a computer screen, especially when it’s for school work! Another benefit in printing the chapter out is you can highlight sections (which I do a lot).

Just copy the lesson into a Word document, and adjust the font, the size, and any pictures. However, remember to change the setting to booklet form before printing!

5. Say the student’s prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas!

This is a great prayer to say before you begin school for the day!

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

6. Try not to stress if you’re really behind.

Sometimes if you keep looking at the big picture, and how much school work you have to catch up on, it can get to be overwhelming. So, while you need to know roughly how much school you must get done, try to set a reasonable time frame for completing it.

I mean I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but to finish the said Science course I ended up doing 17 weeks’ worth in 7 days! Yes, it was intense, but the feeling of accomplishment when you’re finally done is something that no one can give you, and it feels amazing! 😉

My grades were also pretty reasonable, so if your grades start to slip because of doing so much at once, consider slowing down a little and doing some extra review on the chapters before taking the tests.

7. Reward yourself.

Once you’ve met your goals or finished that course, take the next day off (as long as your parents are fine with that) to give yourself a break and relax. When you come back to more school, you’ll be refreshed and ready to go!

Now, what are you waiting for? Try out some of these tips and good luck with catching up on your work!

Feel free to comment down below! Do you have any other tips that you would like to add to this? Would you like to see more posts like this?