Getting good grades gives you more opportunities. If you’re in high school, good grades can allow you to gain admittance to better colleges and to study more challenging majors. If you’re in college, good grades can open more doors to graduate programs or to a higher salary.
Grades matter, so it’s important to make the most of your studies.
Try these ideas to study smarter and earn better grades:
1. Study daily. Learning anything is much easier if done with great frequency. A few minutes each day is more effective than one long study session. Create a schedule for each day and plan your study times.
2. Pay attention to what the instructor says. This is true at all levels. The instructor will mention what they consider to be most important. While it would be nice to know every fact in the textbook, what the teacher chooses to share is usually what’s on the test.
3. Avoid cramming. Most college students have skipped sleep to spend all night studying or writing papers. This is a mistake. There’s a limit to how much you can learn, retain, and recall at once. You’ll also be exhausted when it’s time to take the test.
4. Study where you will be tested. If you study in the same room where you’ll take the test, you’ll remember more at test time. Try to match the conditions of your studying and test-taking as much as possible.
5. Attend class religiously. It’s hard to make good grades if you’re skipping class. Again, the material taught by the instructor supersedes the information in the textbook. You’re also more likely to catch a break if the instructor knows you’ve been attending class regularly.
6. Compare notes with other students. Maybe your notes are perfect, but then again, maybe they’re not. Swap notes with a friend or two and see if you captured all the relevant information. Update your notes as needed.
7. Use a recorder. Use a small voice recorder or your phone to capture everything your instructor says. Go back through your notes to ensure they’re up to speed. Do this before the next class.
8. Take regular breaks. You can learn more if you take a break every hour or so. Experiment and find a schedule that works for you. Everyone is a little different, so try out different schedules and see what works best for you.
9. Do the required reading. Make time to stay on top of the reading. Ideally, read the related information prior to class. That way, you’ll already have a good understanding of the material.
10. Remove distractions. Distractions can reduce the effectiveness of your study session. Either remove yourself from the distractions or remove the distractions. You’re less effective when you’re distracted.
11. Get help. If you need help, get it. Ask the instructor, other students, or even a tutor. If you’re lost, it’s not easy to find your way on your own. Get the help you need.
Getting good grades isn’t much more challenging than getting poor grades and it’s certainly less stressful!
It will benefit you to make the most of your schooling, whether it’s required or by choice. Maximize the value of the time you spend in school by getting good grades. It has a big impact on your future.