Secrets To Getting Better grades Pt. 1
Today, I’m going to share six secrets to getting better grades. I’m not going to sugarcoat this, school is hard. Sometimes you feel like you’re trying everything, and yet you’re getting nowhere. I thought it would be fun to share a few tips and tricks that I have learned along the way to give your grades a boost. Here are are six secrets to getting better grades! (And maybe, just maybe, you’ll actually start to , you know, learn something from those eight hours you have to spend in school!)
1) Get Organized
- Seriously though, I am going to write a whole post about this soon, but for now we’ll start with the basics. Gather all the stuff you need to complete your homework before you actually sit down to do it. (Pens, pencils, paper, calculator, note cards, notes/notebooks, etc.) Take your syllabus and grab your favorite planner and jot down EVERY SINGLE ASSIGNMENT!! This way you can see everything that’s going to be due, and plan accordingly. Right now, go ahead and stick a notebook and three pencils into your backpack. (If you’re anything like me, you are forever losing pencils. That, and hair ties.)
2) Figure out your learning style and USE IT!
- Everyone learns differently. Just because a teacher teaches the entire class the same way, doesn’t mean you have to study that way. I highly recommend taking an online quiz (source link here) to identify your learning style. Some people learn best by reading, some by listening, some by watching others, and some by doing. Figure out how you learn best, and then whenever you can, try to learn that way. So if you regularly have to read for class, but learn better by listening, see if you can find an audio version of the text or have someone read it to you. (If all else fails, use Google translate. I am struggling, trying to study my driving booklet, and I learn best by having someone explain it to me. Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole lot of people (or anyone, for that matter) willing to read and explain every concept to me, so I have Google translate read it to me. Hey, you have to do what you have to do.) This is one of the most effective of all the secrets to getting better grades!
3) Teach someone else ( This is scientifically proven effective!)
- I know you’ve probably heard this before, but did you know that your retention rate is 90% when you are teaching someone else? (Google “learning pyramid” if you don’t believe me.) Compare that to the 10% retention rate of reading. So, if you’re not good at math, (like me) I’ll break it down. You retain NINE TIMES as much information teaching someone else than you do by just reading the text. And you can teach anyone–your little brother or sister, your parents, your friends, your cat, the stuffed animal you claim you don’t still sleep with, the kid you have locked in your attic, you get the idea.
4) Make a schedule/to do list.
- First of all, if you are not doing all the homework, your grades are going to suffer. And let’s face it, teachers give a lot of homework. So instead of just staring at a huge pile of daunting books and papers, why not make a to do list to get it all done? Humans are very visually stimulated creatures (why do you think Pinterest has more net worth that Dominoes, JC Penney, Six Flags, and Pandora?) And I find so much satisfaction in checking things off a to do list, and seeing myself get closer and closer to my goal. Before you start your homework, make a list of all the assignments you have to complete that night, and check off each one as you go. You will be able to visually see how much you’ve accomplished and how close you are to finally being done! (For the day at least.) Try it tonight, and see how it goes! This is definitely important to keep in mind of your “toolbox” of secrets to getting better grades.
5) Get an accountability partner.
- Find someone and tell them everything. (I’m talking academics, not gaming/the newest Kylie Jenner trend/drama with your boyfriend.) You can tell a friend, but I recommend telling an adult, so that you are more likely to stick with it. Tell them about the homework you have due that night. Tell them about how you are DETERMINED to get an A in that chemistry class. Ask them to check in with you frequently to ask how it’s going. Tell them that you want them to hold you accountable. People will live up to exactly what you expect of them and nothing less. (Remember how in the play “The Miracle Worker” Helen Keller was spoiled and wouldn’t listen to her mother or father, yet behaved almost completely for Annie Sullivan within two weeks? That was because Annie expected it of her and her parents didn’t.) So get someone to hold you accountable, and then get to work!
6) Study 45/10/45.
- If you try to study for four hours straight, you are going to fry your brain and probably retain almost none of what you studied. You need to give your brain breaks in between studying. Try studying for 45 minutes, then taking a quick break for 10, and then studying for another 45. Just make sure you don’t get distracted watching TV/checking Snapchat during those 10 minutes that you aren’t studying! You can try checking your phone, walking around, or grabbing a glass of water. Then get back to work! Need more time management tips? Check out this post, on my favorite time saving hacks!
Okay, I think that’s it! I know it’s a lot of information, so what I would suggest is to try applying one tip one week at a time. I hope that you find these tips useful, and that with hard work and dedication your grades improve! Also, don’t forget that this is the first part of a two part post, so be on the lookout for the second part soon!
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