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Long IslandEducationGraduations

Study tips from Long Island valedictorians

They're the "top of the class," the "cream of the crop," and while they may be young, Long Island's high school valedictorians know a few things about what it takes to succeed. Newsday surveyed Long Island valedictorians from the Class of 2015, asking them a host of questions including the study strategies that worked for them. Here are their tips for acing a test.

Don't overdo it

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"Don't try to learn too much at once; you'll just overload your brain and do more harm than good." - Emily Linko, Hauppauge High School

Head to the web

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"Use the Internet; it is a vast and informative resource... if you're using it right, that is!" -Brian Frost-LaPlante, Lawrence Woodmere Academy

Do homework, even if the teacher didn't assign any

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"Always do 20 minutes of each of your subjects every day, even if you don't have real homework in the class. This will keep you on top of the material." - Georgia Bennett, East Hampton High School

Don't be a quitter

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"Never give up [on] a problem especially in a subject like math or physics. You can learn so much by determining the answer on your own and you will never forget the difficult problem and how you figured out the solution." - Jennifer McDermott, William Floyd High School

Ask for help

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"Don't be afraid to ask your teachers for extra help or other guidance like practice worksheets or review books. Teachers love students that take the initiative in asking for help and are almost always more than happy to assist you in any way possible." - Hailey Wagner, Bellport High School

Don't close the book yet

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"If you think you've done enough, read it over one more time." -Brian Faller

You won't always have the answers

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"When in doubt, circle C." - Brian Righter, Smithtown High School East

Schedule a date with your books

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"Don't just assume you're going to study, actually set a time in the day where you put on your timer for an hour. You'll feel less stressed if you plan ahead and make time for it." - Rebecca Cheng, Smithtown High School West

Confront challenges with confidence

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"Never think that the subject is too hard for you. If you want to know it, you WILL know it. And never hope that the questions will be easy. Be prepared enough to answer hard questions." - Adam Livi, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County

Allow yourself to rest

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"Get a lot of sleep instead of studying until dawn, and give yourself periodic breaks while studying." - Peter Goralski, Chaminade High School

Keep it together

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"Stay organized. It's a lot easier to study when your notes are neat and in order." - Krysten Garcia, Division Avenue High School

Write it out

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"Everyone has different studying techniques but for me it helps to write. I often make intense review sheets in tiny (handwritten) print fitting the equivalent of 20 pages of notes onto one sheet of paper." -Yiela Saperstein, Stella K Abraham High School

Get your face away from Facebook

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"It is, in fact, possible to convince your parents that you're studying by looking at Facebook on your laptop. But that doesn't actually count as studying." - Rose Bender, Half Hollow Hills West High School

Be unsocial when studying

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"Thirty minutes of studying by yourself, without any electronic distractions, can be much more effective than two hours of studying with a group of friends or while on the computer. Even though it may be tedious and boring to study like this, it is a habit that will significantly reduce the amount of time you need to study and improve the quality of your memory of the material." - Joseph Wetzel, Northport High School

Focus on what you don't know

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"Don't try to study everything (only study what you don't know), and don't stress out: it's not the end of the world." - Mohankumar Chintarlapalli, Babylon High School

Learn, don't just memorize

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"Try to understand the concepts you are learning, not just the quickest way to get to an answer." - Meagan Loyst, Sachem High School North

Don't do this. Just don't

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"Don't stay up all night to do homework or study. It is never, ever worth it. Sleep is fundamental for maintaining all aspects of your health." - Kacie Candela, H. Frank Carey High School

Remain calm

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"Study calmly. If you're too stressed, it will be harder to learn and understand the material." - Steven Crescenti, Connetquot High School

Study your tests

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"Always study using possible test questions or old test questions, because many times they may reappear on your test in similar form." -Vincent Coghill, Massapequa High School

Say 'No' to cramming

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"Always spread out the study load. Cramming is a nightmare." - Scott Massa, Commack High School

Be efficient

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"Study smart, not long. Studying Spanish for five hours will do you no good if you are not focusing and being attentive. Shorter study periods more often will be the most successful." -Joshua Sarlo, Lynbrook High School

Have a higher purpose

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"Study to learn, to grow, and to excel, rather than to just get a good grade on a test." - Harshil Garg, Bethpage High School

Take advantage of online tools


"Use all the resources you can: the internet is a strange and wonderful place, and there's probably a wealth of resources -- videos, flashcards, PowerPoints, review packets, practice questions, you name it -- on whatever you're studying." - Hannah Lawrence, Comsewogue High School

It's not about being No. 1

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"Do your best and that's all that counts. Who cares if you are or are not No. 1 of your class? At least you tried, and that makes you great in my eyes." - Radiyyah Hussein, Central Islip High School


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