How to Get Better Grades in High School

While your parents might recommend to “just get off your bum and get to work,” it doesn’t really explain how you’re supposed to go about it. Studying is a complex thing, and while you can definitely simply grab a book and start reading, you might not get very far if you don’t know the proper strategies. No, high school grades are not always indicative of someone’s true intellect, but they are pretty important at this stage of your life, and they are pretty essential for anyone who’s trying to get into a good college. To help you improve them, it’s time you’ve learned how to learn.

Find your own motivation

It’s important to keep your goal in mind. Do you want to get into a specific college? Do you want to be smarter and better at things? Do you want to make sure your coach doesn’t take you off the team because of bad grades? What do you want to accomplish? “I want to please my parents” is not a great source of motivation at all, and it’s unlikely to keep you going for long. You have to find a reason that’s only your own, that belongs to you, not to your teachers or your parents.

Be regular and take notes

Simply coming to class regularly and paying attention is basically half of the work. If you already came to school and are going to spend the day there, then why not take notes and be attentive? It will actually make the time pass faster, and you won’t feel like you’ve wasted the whole day being bored and waiting for the bell to ring. It’s also good to take handwritten notes because it will help you memorize things.

Study in increments

Studying every day, even if it’s just for half an hour, is going to take you a lot further than cramming for twelve hours straight before a test. Revise the notes you’ve taken when you come home, do your homework, and you’ll be stunned at how much easier it is to deal with the material. Also, if you realize that you didn’t understand something well, then you’ll be aware of it right away and you can always ask your teacher to go over it again. If you’re only getting introduced to the subject a day or two before the test, then there’ll be no one there to help you.

Use resources

The internet is full of incredible resources, and it can be used to supplement your course book and make learning a lot more fun. Khan Academy, for example, is great for anyone wanting to learn math, history, coding, or a number of other subjects, and most of it is interactive and easy to pick up. Do you need to study for something more specific? Find places online that will let you get other students’ notes, particularly if you need comprehensive VCE notes or anything to help you get ready for college. Use the internet to your advantage and you’ll have fun learning.

Stay organized

Always have a plan for the day, even if it’s a vague outline. Schedule in your study time, practice, or anything else you want to get done for the day, then try to stick to that plan. Organization is what makes studying easy, and it’s a very valuable life skill to pick up in general.

Recognize when you really need a break

If you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over and nothing’s sticking, take a break. Breaks are important when studying, but they should never be more than 15 minutes long. You want to let your mind rest, not break your focus and get distracted. You will also need to recognize when not to take a break, when taking a break is just an excuse to not do the work. Be honest with yourself, and acknowledge when you’re really tired, and when you’re just bored and lazy.

Participate in class

It will show the teachers you care about the class and the material that’s being taught, and it’s a good opportunity to discuss a subject. Learning through discussion and pushing the boundaries of your mind to consider different aspects of something is very interesting and it will make it easier to fully grasp the subject. Besides, the extra credit certainly won’t hurt.

Consider hiring a tutor

If you struggle with something no matter what approach you take, ask your parents to help you find a professional tutor. There’s absolutely no shame in it, and you’re not stupid for needing to have something explained to you more thoroughly. Tutors are a great way to work through an issue, so don’t be shy.

Keep your focus on a personal goal, be honest with yourself every time you procrastinate, and stay confident – you can do this.