Are you a student hoping to get good grades in school this year? In this post, I am going to let you in my best tips for maintaining straight A’s. These are study hacks that I’ve used throughout middle school, high school, and college to get consistent straight A’s. I promise you that no matter what grade you are, these tips will greatly help you achieve the grade you want. Striving for A’s in each class can be intimidating, but if you work hard towards your academics, it is highly likely that you will see positive results.
Here is the ultimate guide on how to get good grades in school this year:
1) Show Up to Class and Take Notes
This tip is a no brainer. However, as the semester or quarter rolls on, it can be tempting to skip class, especially in college where attendance is not taken. Resist the temptation to do so! Being present in class allows you to know the material that your teacher will likely test you on. Be sure to take notes, which will be important when you start to study for tests.
2) Sit Near the Front of the Class
If you have a choice, sit near the front of the class. This will decrease the chances of being distracted by other people or your phone since you’ll be closer to the teacher. No one likes getting caught talking or being on their phone by the teacher! The less distractions there are, the more attentive you will be in class.
3) Make a Friend in a Class. Form a Study Group.
Make sure to have at least one person’s contact info in each class so that if you are absent or have any questions, you can ask them. Forming a study group before a test is also a great idea as long as those people are not distracting. Aside from the academic part of this tip, talking to people in class is a great way to make friends. Some of my classmates who I initially talked to only about class eventually became my closest friends.
4) Talk to Your Teacher and ask questions
Don’t be afraid to talk to your teachers and ask them questions. This is probably one of the most crucial pieces of advice I can give. Knowing for sure what the teacher expects from you will increase your chances of scoring higher on a test or paper if you prepare the way they suggested. For example, I would stay after my writing class to ask my teacher to read over certain parts of my draft, give me feedback, and answer specific questions that I had. Incorporating my teacher’s suggestions payed off in the end. Most teachers aren’t out there to get you. They want to help you and see you succeed.
5) Do your homework on time
Homework helps reinforce what you learned in class. I admit that some teachers assign homework that can be considered as just “busy work.” However, for classes such as math or chemistry, doing the homework will give you the practice you need to master the concept. Nail the problems that you struggle with because in my experience, a lot of what teachers test are covered in the homework.
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6) Read and take notes from the textbook before class
Note: this tip is only necessary if your teacher requires extra reading for the test and/or if it will help you understand the material more.
Make sure to read the textbook material that will be covered in the next class because you will get a clearer sense of what your teacher’s lecture is about. Also, the lecture will just reinforce what you already learned from the textbook. If the reading is a lot, give yourself some time and split the amount of pages to read per day. For instance, last quarter, my chemistry teacher would lecture one chapter per week, and each chapter would be about 35 pages. Thus, I would read 7 pages everyday for 5 days, which is not bad! Take notes while you’re reading, but don’t feel the need to write down every single detail.
7) Be as organized as possible
Organization is such an important skill to have as a student. Invest in a planner so that you can write down deadlines and homework assignments. Buy separate notebooks for each class and have separate folders and/or binders to put your homework and handouts in. Keeping track of your things will make it easier when finals comes around and you need to look back at past assignments.
8) Avoid Procrastination
Give yourself time to complete homework before the due date, and start studying for your test a couple days before. Avoiding procrastination will leave you less stressed! What I like to do is at the start of my week, I’ll look at all of my deadlines and then divide the amount of work I have per day until the end of the week.
9) Figure out what kind of environment your work best in
Can you concentrate with music playing or while others are around you? You know yourself best. Work where you can focus without any distractions. Personally, I like to study in the library. If I’m doing math or chemistry problems, I’ll listen to music. However, music distracts me when I’m writing essays. What works best for you?
10) Start your day off right with good sleep and breakfast
When you’re super tired, you’re not going to be as productive for the rest of the day. Start your day right with breakfast and plenty of sleep. It will also help you focus in your classes throughout the day.
11) Know your limit
There is so much more to life than school. Even though this post is about getting good grades, you have to remember that your grades do not define you! Don’t overwork yourself to the point that you’re burnt out early on in the school year and you’re not able to finish strong. Give yourself breaks, and don’t be so hard on yourself. If you don’t get the grade you want, it’s not the end of the world.
12) Avoid Cheating
Copying someone else’s homework or cheating on a test may seem like the easy route, but it will affect you in the long run. When you copy, you’re not learning the material on your own, and this can be problematic when it’s time for a test or finals. Instead of already knowing the concept and just reviewing it, you will have to spend extra time learning it right before the test. Also don’t forget that getting caught cheating in college will forever be on your transcript. That’s like an automatic rejection from med schools, grad schools, and potentially jobs.
Related: How to Survive High School
13) Use additional resources to your advantage
There are so many helpful additional resources online that you can refer to. In addition, if your school offers tutoring, take advantage of that! Some of the websites that I used for homework and studying help in high school and college are:
- Sparknotes: provides chapter summaries and analysis for nearly all the books that you will read in high school. For some Shakespeare plays, you can read the original play along with a modern translation.
- Shmoop: This website also provides chapter summaries that are outlined and more detailed.
- Easybib: This website generates citations for you. It comes in handy when writing essays that have a lot of sources!
- Purdue Owl: If you ever have questions about how to write an essay in MLA or APA format, this website provides a lot of information.
- Slader: Slader gives you the explanations to answers that are in your homework. I used Slader to check my math homework in high school and see if I was doing the problems correctly.
- Patrick JMT: Whenever I was unsure of how to do a math problem, I would often search tutorials on Youtube. Patrick JMT’s channel helped me a lot!
- Symbolab: This website is a calculator that will solve complex math problems and provide a step by step guide to the solution.
- Desmos: If you don’t have a graphing calculator, use Desmos to plot multiple equations on one plane.
- Crash Course: This channel was created by Hank and John Green. They have fun and informative videos for science subjects such as chemistry and biology. They also have videos for other subjects such as history. I like their videos because they have great visuals and are fast-paced.
- Bozeman Science: Bozeman Science saved me during AP Biology!
- The Organic Chemistry Tutor: This is a great channel for chemistry help.
- Tyler DeWitt: Another channel I used while taking chemistry. As you can tell, I needed a lot of help in chemistry lol.
MORE HELPFUL RESOURCES
- Google Drive: As a student, I rely on Google Drive. If you don’t have an account, I highly recommend you to create one! Google Drive allows you to create documents, powerpoints or slides, and spreadsheets for free. The reason why I like it so much is because you can access it online, which is convenient when you don’t have your own computer with you. Let’s say I need to print an essay but don’t have my laptop with me. If it is on my Google Drive, I can still print it using another computer since it is online. If I was using Microsoft Word, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
- Quizlet: I’ve been using Quizlet since middle school. It’s a website that you can create online flashcards with. You can also search through flashcards that other people have made, which is very useful while studying.
- Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a free online classroom. There are videos to teach you concepts for math, science, coding, etc. Then, you can apply what you learned through practice problems that they set up for you. It’s super cool! Instead of paying for a class, I used Khan Academy to prepare for my SAT exams.
I hope all of these tips helped! Please know that everything in this post is not a sure guarantee that you will get good grades in class. There are many factors outside of your control when it comes to grades such as the difficulty level of your professor and the work that you put in. However, these tips will make you a good student, and with hard work, your chances of getting good grades will increase. Let me know if this helped and if there is something that you do to study or take notes that I missed! Thank you for reading!