Many honors courses require students to start their homework before they even get to the classroom. For a literature class this usually means reading several books and understanding them well enough to have a conversation in class on the first day. This can be a lot of extra work for students who may also be working on test preparation or looking at colleges. In some cases it may be a disadvantage for students to read books far in advance, without making the appropriate notes, because essential information may start to fade by the time they get to midterms and finals.

Take detailed notes

Students who prep for their literature class over the summer are encouraged to take their time with each chapter as well as to make detailed notes. Some important things to remember include writing a brief summary after each chapter, making note of crucial plot points and character descriptions, writing down what page and paragraph this information can be found on, and highlighting important information throughout the book. 

Work with an expert

Preparing for an honors level course can feel daunting, especially if it’s the student’s first advanced course. One of the best things students can do is work with a tutor who specializes in literature as well as honors courses in general. Tutors are a great resource for organization and preparing for what a specific course will demand of the student once the term starts. They can also keep students on track and make sure they are completing enough academic tasks in order to finish by the end of the summer.

Form a study group

It’s a great idea for students to find a few motivated friends they can study with on a regular basis during the summer. Working with other students who are in the same situation can help lower stress and boost confidence when they are tackling challenging material. Study groups who meet regularly are more likely to be successful because they can hold each other accountable for material and make sure that everybody is progressing at a good pace. It’s also a great idea for students to maintain their study groups once the semester starts, so they continue to encourage each other throughout the year.

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