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Thank you for listening.

Congratulations for making it. Now it’s time to start having fun!

School can suck. Summer learning loss can make it worse.

You have to wake up early. You have to show up to class. There is plenty of schoolwork you need to get done. You have to listen to boring lectures. At the end of the day, you need to go back home and do even more work for class.

Summer break can be a relief. You get to take a break from the regular grind.

Here is something most students don’t think about:

The way you spend you summer defines your next semester.

Since most students don’t think about this, you can win big from it.

Don’t believe me? I’ll show you exactly what I mean.

Then I’ll show you how to make summer a relief and a chance to get ahead in class.

Summer Learning Loss

You can forget a lot over only a few little months.

Have you ever noticed how the first month or two of a class in a new semester is review?

Your teacher goes over stuff that you went over the year before. It’s stuff everyone has already learned but the teacher is reintroducing the students to it.

I imagine you might have heard of summer learning loss before.

Summer learning loss is one of the most widely studied topics on education. The studies have repeatedly shown that students forget 2-3 months of what they learned the year before during summer break in the United States.

This is because your memory isn’t just a place you store information. It’s a place that you actively have to manage. It’s kind of like your bedroom. You live in it. You throw all kinds of stuff everywhere around the room. Then, a couple months later, you may not remember exactly where you left what you need but you know it’s in that bedroom somewhere.

You need to constantly adjust the position of things to know where everything is.

During summer, students stop using the tools they learned during class. That means they tend to forget them.

In high school, I would have thought:

Screw remembering this stuff! It’s summer! Why do I care?!

Here is why I now care…


Three Month Head Start

Remember how I mentioned teachers spend the first months of a class reviewing stuff from the previous semester?

Imagine you didn’t need the review. Imagine you remembered all the information your teacher taught you the previous semester.

It would be pretty boring, right? But… it would also be super easy. While every other student in the class is struggling to regrasp the concept, you’ll know it. That means you’re going to score high on the early assignments and tests. That means you’re going to end up with a higher final score.

You’d have a head start.

You would be months ahead of every other student. Your score will get a major boost compared to the other students. You’re school year starting won’t be as painful a process because you’re going to be ahead of the game.

What if I told you that you could enjoy summer without screwing up your grades?

But I Still Don’t Want My Summer To Suck!

I know what you’re thinking…

Why ruin a perfectly good summer because you want an extra 5 points on your final score next year? Well… at least some of you are thinking that. I used to think like that but I was missing an important point.

You don’t need to ruin your summer to prevent most of the summer slide. You just need to spend a few minutes each day.

You know those times when you’re sitting around thinking, “I’m boooooooooored…” If you only used those times to study then you’d end up way ahead of the average student. Just pull out a set of old flashcards or Anki and review some stuff. You don’t even have to learn anything new. Just keep moving stuff in your brain around a little.

Aaron recommends you use the 15MSS all summer. It’s only 15 minutes of studying a day. The most important advantage of that strategy is that you never lose your habits developed during the school year.

The reality is: You barely need to spend anytime working on school stuff to prevent summer learning loss. Just a couple minutes of thinking a day will prevent most of it. Then, next semester, you’ll gain a bunch of free points from easy assignments. And you won’t even have to learn much until a couple months in.

How To Prevent The Summer Slide In Less Than 10 Hours

Class will be starting before you know it. When you’re crushing it your first few months you’ll appreciate your work.

You don’t need to study as hard to remember something as you do to learn it. Remembering stuff is relatively easy. Science has been looking into it for decades. It’s just a matter of using active recall on a regular basis.

By studying less than 10 hours over summer break, you can prevent the vast majority of the summer slide. There are just a few things you need to do:

  • Study daily (at least) a tiny amount of time

You don’t need to study long to remember stuff but you do need to study it regularly. You can’t cram for 10 hours one day and expect to remember everything. The key is spreading it throughout your whole summer. Keeping it short makes that easier.

  • Use flashcards (or any form of active recall.)

Most of what you’ll need to remember is stuff that you already understand. That makes it the perfect information to remember with active recall. Look at the information, look away from it, and then remember it. It’s just like using flashcards.

Keep in mind – this is super easy if you use flash cards through the semester because you can just use the same flashcards.

  • Use practice when possible. (Do math problems.)

Practice is even better than active recall but it’s just harder to use for most things. Remember stuff from your math class by doing just one or two problems whenever you plan on studying it. You may not use every tool you learned but by picking challenging problems, you’ll be forced to figure out which tools to use. Remembering how to do that is huge.

  • Do fun stuff WAY more than you study!

Seriously… it’s summer freaking break! Do something fun.

The choice isn’t between whether or not you’re going to enjoy summer break or get good grades. You don’t have to make that choice. It’s not that hard to do both but there is a choice you need to make before that. The choice you need to make is this…

Do you want to live your life to the fullest?

When you answer yes to this question, you can’t sit around bored for hours. You can’t veg out to movies you don’t actually want to watch. You can’t sleep in late because you have nothing better to do.

You don’t have to live your life to the fullest. Over this summer, you’re going to have plenty of chances to decide that.

Make the right choice.

Image Sources: Isabelle Bruce, Icez, FallingAngel, UFV, Timothy Krause, US Military, Unsplash

What You Need To Know This Summer

Maybe She Won’t Notice

D’s eyes were watering at the score on the screen.

He was thinking, “Is this what I am now?”

The score was low. Lower than he liked to think about – and way lower than he used to get.

He was just hoping that his mother wouldn’t ask. He always hated telling her and it killed him worse to lie about it. It’s his mother… she wants what’s best for him and he knew he was screwing it up.

Staring at the score it hit him…

This has to change. On the next test, coming up in 3 weeks, he was going to make up for it. He was going to score high.

So… he studied. He studied for hours that night. He studied until his eyes were closing involuntarily.

The next day… he studied for hours.

And the day after that… he did it again.

But the day after that – his best friend was going through a bit of a crisis. So… he took the day off studying. I mean, no one needs to study hundreds of hours for a test, and he was doing well so far.

But the next day… he was exhausted. And, you know, exhausted studying doesn’t work. So he missed that day to.

The day after, he squeezed in some studying.

And… I think you know how this story goes…

The night before the test, he’s staring down at his study guide and cursing to himself.

It happened… again…


That night he buckled down and studied almost all night. (Until he virtually crashed at 3 am.) Every time he started dozing off earlier he’d get a snack or drink and keep on plugging. He worked. And he worked hard.

He even had moments where it felt like he was running better than ever. He felt like he was going to pull it off.

The test was the next afternoon.

And I’d like to say he knocked it out of the park and D saved himself with his last ditch effort to save his grade but…

I can’t say that.

Sure… D didn’t bomb completely.

But when he was staring down at his score… he was tearing up again. And he still was hoping that his mother wouldn’t ask him about it…

It’s not a number on a piece of paper.

I know… it can help reduce your stress to think that way, and there is a place for that.

But your future, your position in the world, is partially decided by these numbers on these papers. We all know it.

We all want to put ourselves in the best position possible – and these scores can do that for us.

And D knew it.

If you know it then join us.

– Aaron


D is kicking butt it this semester – more importantly, he’s doing it without procrastination rearing its ugly head.

If you’re ready to take your academic game to the next level – if you want to see it for yourself.

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4 thoughts on “What You Need To Know This Summer

  • November 20, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Realized a lot. Surprisingly easy to fully grasp. Nice one for sharing with us 🙂

  • June 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    This is a good point. I just graduated and now I’m thinking I should get into preparing for college. Do you have any ideas?

    • June 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      It can be a tough transition because different schools can vary dramatically in expectations.

      I’m thinking your best bet is to prepare yourself as if it’s another semester in high school. Review the stuff you learned senior year. Odds are, that will get you ahead of most students. That being said, if you’re going to a dramatically harder college then it might be worth trying to push to learn a few extra things in the process.

      Maintaining your habits are one of the most valuable things you can do. I’d focus on that.


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