If you’re looking to improve your grades this year, here are some tips that are bound to lead to a fridge-material report card.
#1 Learn how to take detailed notes
Shorthand is popular. Many students create their own mini-language that allows them to quickly jot down what the teacher is saying without missing that obscure date or confusing formula on exam day.
#2 Go back and fill in the blanks
Go over your notes when a class is still fresh in your mind; you can add details that you may have missed earlier on, and organize your notes into an easy-to-read study guide. Skim over your notes and highlight important information that you can study in-depth later.
#3 Be organized
Even if you’re convinced you have an elephant’s memory, an agenda will help you balance your time so you don’t end up doing assignments the night before they’re due. Also, organizing your homework into manageable chunks will ensure you have plenty of time to get through it all.
#4 Do your homework as soon as you get home
Think about it! By getting your homework out of the way right when you get home, when the material is still fresh in your mind, you’ll have the rest of the night to spend with family or friends. Some students insist they work best in the wee hours of the night, or at the crack of dawn. If there’s a time that works best for you, stick to it. However, make sure those late-night or early-morning homework sessions don’t interfere with your sleep!
#5 Make studying fun!
An A-student once told me that when she studies, she imagines a class full of students in front of her. She uses this technique to test herself on her knowledge, by seeing if she can properly explain a concept/ story/theory, out loud, to her “class.” Find a study technique that works for you. If you work best with a tutor, in group study sessions or even by writing a song about the material, do it! Studying is mandatory. You might as well get some fun out of it!
#6 Connect with your teachers
Remember that teachers aren’t just there to give you detention and burden you with mountains of reading. They are there to help you grow though learning about the world around you. I’m not talking about becoming the new teacher’s pet; I’m saying that it’s important to let your teacher know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so they can help you improve.
#7 Get involved
While many people volunteer or join extracurricular activities to impress university recruiters, getting involved in school or the community can be a way to expand your interests and meet new people. There’s something for everyone— from the sporty basketball team to the globally-aware student debate team. Instead of spending wasted hours in front of the television, why not use that time effectively?
Surround yourself with people who have qualities you admire and make sure to keep those friendships. Your friends are a support group, people you can talk to when you need an ear, or laugh with when you need to smile.
#9 Take time for yourself
Don’t wear yourself thin by constantly stressing over a looming essay. Make sure to take a long soothing bath or read a book if that helps you relax. One classmate of mine always took Friday nights off to go out and have fun. Though she put on the reading glasses again the next day, Friday nights were her time to unleash with friends at the movies, go shopping or meet new people at a party.
#10 Stay healthy
Getting a proper amount of sleep, eating healthy and exercising at least three times a week can be daunting when you’ve got a packed schedule— believe me, I can completely sympathize! But with a couple jogs here and an apple or two there, you should feel more energized and alert. Also, studies have proven that by getting the proper amount of sleep (eight to nine for teens) you can improve your grades. So, catch your Z’s—it’s an easy way to roll in the A’s!
Some Bonus Words of Wisdom
Having a balanced and overall good year outside of the classroom can be just as vital to your grades as studying
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way because mistakes will help you grow as a student!