Welcome back! You have Part 1 of “10 Days To Better Grades” behind you. You’ve embarked on a commendable academic path of organization, communication, and figuring out which classes need your attention the most. Congrats! That’s a great start. Now, keep in mind that changing the way we do things always takes a little getting used to.
It can feel awkward and strange at first. In fact, they say that it can take up to 300 times of doing something a different way before it becomes habit. But you’re young! You’re committed to improving your grades! So we have a hunch that it will only take a matter of weeks before you feel like a whole new student.
Day 6 – Invest in an academic planner. Or – dig out the one you stuffed under your bed after the first day of school. It’s your responsibility to write down every detail of your weekly schedule on the calendar. Most teachers write the schedule on the board, or display it somewhere visible in the classroom. Choose different colors of ink for different subjects. That way it’s easy to see which subjects have the heaviest workload. Have any tests or upcoming quizzes? Papers due? Group projects? What can your tutor help you with? You and your parent, a family member, or study buddy, can look at a week at a time and help you prioritize your study time.
Day 7 – Check in with your teachers regarding missing assignments/extra credit – especially in those more difficult subjects you highlighted last week. As mentioned in Part 1, missing work is usually the main culprit when it comes to getting poor grades. It doesn’t take many zeros to have a major impact on your overall class grade. Make up anything that teachers will let you – even partial credit is better than no credit. Always do any extra credit that is offered. Every single point counts.
Day 8 – Work with your tutor to create a study schedule. Your tutor will be very impressed when he/she takes a look at your organized subject folders and your updated planner. If you aren’t able to hire a professional tutor, there are many free resources available. Libraries often have great study programs run by volunteers. You can use friends, study groups, siblings and yes, even your parents! Remember that many companies, such as The Premier Tutors, offer free sessions to get you started.
Day 9 – Learn how to study. Everyone needs a different type of studying environment, and studying style, in order for new information to stick. Do you need absolute quiet to avoid distraction? Then start hitting up the library for homework time. Do you like to have a little sound around you? Use your headphones to play music (usually music without lyrics is best…) in the background. Are you a visual learner? Make flashcards. Do you do better when you hear things? Start recording your teachers’ lectures and play them back. Our next post will help you determine what type of learner you are and what methods work best with your learning style.
Day 10 – Stay Organized. At the end of the week, it’s a good idea to go through all of your folders to keep them neat and organized. Is there any trash you can throw away? Clutter makes it harder to find the things you actually need. Hole punch any work-sheets or study guides that need to be put into your binder. Did you find any work you forgot to finish? The more often you clear out the old and organize the new, the better you will be able to keep up with where you are at and where you are going. Make a list of weekend homework and then enjoy the weekend!
“10 Days To Better Grades” is a great way to start off a new academic tradition. Keep checking back for more tips on how you can take control – and improve – your academic performance.