The Hargrave Summer Experience Starts July 6. Secure Your Spot Today!

Cadets in classroom in desks.

How to Study

For over thirty years, the Hargrave How to Study Program has instilled the behaviors and actions necessary for academic success. The How to Study Program is woven into the fabric of the academic experience at Hargrave. All students participate in How to Study every day. Developed and continually revised by the Hargrave faculty, the How to Study Program can mean the difference between academic success and continued academic frustration. The program covers ten topics that Hargrave has deemed vital to academic success.

Getting Organized

Students are taught proper room and desk arrangement, clearing away clutter, time management, and eliminating procrastination.

Student’s Role and Responsibilities

No one can make a student successful if they are unwilling to put effort into the program. A positive attitude is the most important ingredient in the success formula. Correct attitudes are the foundation on which all the other study tips must be built. Students are encouraged to set personal goals to raise their self-esteem and build their confidence.

The Student Planner

Every Hargrave student receives a daily planning book and is required to write all assignments, test schedules, and other pertinent academic information in the planner. Students are instructed in its use as an organizational and planning tool and are expected to utilize it daily. Constant checks are made by classroom faculty and by evening study hall supervisors to ensure compliance.

Note-Taking Skills

Most students know little about how to take notes, organize and expand their notes, or how to review daily class notes. Hargrave teaches specific ways to improve note-taking and review of classroom notes for quizzes, tests, and exams.

Time Management — A Study Budget

Creating a study budget helps make studying a “habit.” Students become accustomed to studying a certain subject at a certain time. This aids in concentration and the student is not easily distracted, leading to personal satisfaction and pride from a job well done.


SQ3R is a method of study that helps a student to improve their school work. The system teaches the student to approach the overall learning process using S-survey, Q-question, 3R-Read, Recite, and Review. Using the SQ3R technique, students are shown the best method of attacking various reading assignments for each subject. The SQ3R method has been used successfully for over 20 years at Hargrave and should result in higher achievement in all academic areas.

Listening Skills

Students are made to realize the importance of proper listening skills. They learn to recognize teacher cues and begin to improve note-taking and test preparation through increased awareness.

Test Taking Skills

Students learn to understand preparation for the various kinds of tests: matching, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and essay.

Memory Skills

Techniques for remembering lists, key facts, names, and places, are taught. Utilizing mnemonics, sentencing, and other memorization techniques improves performance on major tests.

Reinforcement in The Classroom

Teachers reinforce the strategies taught through the How to Study Program in their classes during the year. Below are just some ways teachers apply the program in their classrooms. 

  • Signing planners each class period
  • Notebook checks
  • Reading textbooks using the SQ3R method
  • Prior notice for tests/exams
  • Note-taking or note-checks
  • Binder Checks
  • Using signal words and phrases (“this is important,” “you need to remember this,” etc.)
  • Changing seating to minimize distractions
  • Interactive notes to promote note-taking strategies
  • Training in selective note-taking
  • Study guides/review for quizzes and tests