If you were to ask someone of schooling age what their main goals for the school year is, chances are good that you’d get a lot of answers about getting straight A’s. Like this:
I mean, it’s a tempting thought. Good grades aren’t everything, but it can often feel as though they are, since they serve as a portal to everything from college admissions, approval from your parents, and that pizza party your school throws for people with perfect GPAs at the end of every year. Even at this point in the school year–when, you know, it’s basically over–wishing for good grades to suddenly materialize on your report card probably isn’t the most uncommon wish. And the good news is that it isn’t entirely impossible. I mean, sure, your grades aren’t going to do a total one-eighty, but there are definitely some things you can do to bring them up a little bit. (Or, at the very least, start doing to make sure you have good grades next year.) So, check out these easy ways to become a straight-A student:
1. Make sure you keep participating in class:
Basically, just don’t give up on your participation grade. It won’t make or break your overall grade, but raising your hand and participating in class discussions can help add a little boost. (Plus, being more engaged in class will help you remember more in general.)
2. Don’t cram:
Even if you have a big exam coming up. It’s better to study for about an hour every day for the week leading up to the exam than it is to try and pull a seven-hour study sesh the night before. This way, you’ll actually learn the material and have a better grasp on it than if you try and force-feed it to yourself.
3. But do make your classes a priority:
If you have to pick between hanging out with friends and studying, choose studying. Normally, it’s important to have more of a balance, but at this point in the semester, if you want all A’s, it’s a necessity. (Plus, there are only a few weeks left before summer–you can totally stick it out.)
4. Talk to your teachers:
If your teachers have office hours or after-school study sessions, go to them. Talking with your teachers about concepts you’re struggling with will help you understand the material better, first of all, and your teacher will probably feel more inclined to grade you kindly since you’ve made the extra effort.
5. Sit in the front of the class:
Usually think of yourself as a back row lurker? Try and sit in the front of the class instead. You’ll be forced to absorb more of the material, and you won’t feel like your mind is wandering as much as it does when you sit in the back.
6. Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule:
Obviously, this isn’t always going to be possible. But if you commit to a certain bedtime, and really make sure you stick with it, you’ll be more efficient when you do your work throughout the day. Plus, not getting enough sleep really messes with your focusing skills–you’ll do better by getting a decent amount of sleep than you will staying up all night, every night trying to make everything perfect.
7. Test out a new study method:
Like any of the ones above! Switching up your studying technique can help make the act of studying feel a little less boring than it might usually. Plus, trying new things might help you find a perfect studying method for you.
8. Don’t aimlessly highlight:
Highlighting makes you feel like you’re doing a lot but as a study technique, it’s basically useless. Instead, make flashcards or a study guide.
9. Do whatever extra credit you can:
Have an opportunity for a bonus grade? Take it! Even if it’s just a few points here or there, it literally can’t hurt your grade. And, if your teacher doesn’t technically offer extra credit, try asking them anyway. The worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say no and, chances are, they’ll be able to give you something to do if they think you deserve it.
10. Record yourself reading your notes and listen to them when you’re out and about:
Once you get past the awkwardness of listening to your own voice (which, yes: is very, very awkward) it’s a great way to “study” without feeling like you’re doing much.
11. Pretend you’re the teacher:
When you’re studying something, one of the best ways to learn it is by trying to teach it. (It doesn’t have to be to anyone in particular–all you have to do is act like you’re teaching someone.) This way, you can pick up on things that you’ve missed and re-learn them effectively.
12. Use a planner:
If you don’t remember when your assignments are due, chances are good that you aren’t going to get the best grade. Use a planner–whether it’s a standard planner, a bullet journal, or a digital calendar–and make sure you check it every day. You’ll be surprised by just how much the act of writing things down can help with your grades as a whole.
13. Don’t abuse yourself over this:
Yes, grades are important, and yes, you need to work hard to get the results you want. But if you aren’t sleeping, aren’t eating, and are basically only focusing on school for a long period of time, it isn’t going to end well for you, on both an academic and personal level. Burn-out is a real thing, so if you’re killing yourself over assignments that, in the long run, aren’t that important, you probably aren’t going to get the results you want.
So–work hard, but remember to give yourself a break every now and then.
How are your grades looking right now? Are you going to use any of these tips? Let us know in the comments!