School Vocabulary about Studying

studyingPreparing for an exam is stressful enough without any confusion over academic terminology. So concentrate on your coursework and let this custom-made entry be your guide to school vocabulary about studying.

to scan – to read, without close attention, for general themes

  • Headlines help you to scan a newspaper quickly and still get an idea of the day’s major stories.

to skim – to read lightly for main ideas but not specific detail

  • I didn’t have a lot of time to study last night so I just skimmed the finally chapter. I hope the test doesn’t ask too many questions from that section of the book!

Note: A closely related expression, “to get the gist,” is what results from skimming something: a general, if not detailed, idea about a situation.

to read aloud – to say the words while reading them so that others can

  • Students sometimes take turns reading aloud while in class.

Note: This expression is also written (and said) as read out loud.

to read silently – to read without speaking

  • During Study Hall students often read silently prepare for other classes.

to pour over – to read closely

  • Jane is pouring over her notes in preparation for the upcoming exam.

to hit the books – to study hard

  • Thank goodness the exam is on a Monday; I can use the weekend to really hit the books.

to learn by heart – to memorize

  • When I was in 8th grade I had to learn Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” by heart for my Language Arts class.

Note: Another expression with the same meaning that is used in the UK is to learn by rote although this is almost unheard of in the US.

to pull an all-nighter – to stay up all night studying

  • Alex pulled an all-nighter last night and is completely exhausted today.

to push through – to overcome an obstacle (be it mental or physical) in order to accomplish a task

  • Alex needed three cups of coffee to help him push through and finish all of his classes today.

Study up on this and other school vocabulary by visiting our dedicated home page!

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