Whether you're in college, high school, college, or even elementary school, grades are an important part of your school curriculum. The grades you get in college allow you to choose a specialty in high school. High school grades allow you to enter college. University grades allow you to graduate and find work. Not everyone is 20 out of 20, however, and that's okay. By learning how to overcome the problems that lead to bad grades, you will be on the path to long-term success.
Method 1 of 3: Improve your grades in the short term
Step 1. Estimate the work to be done
Evaluate your position in the current semester and ask yourself what is left for you to do. Do you need to improve your grades in one subject or in several? Do you still have exams to take or is there just one? Make a list of the courses you are taking right now, what you need to do for each one, and the dates for all homework assignments and exams.
To get a general idea, you should use a calendar where you can write down all the assignments and exams
Step 2. Think about your current study techniques
Take some time to think about how you have studied so far. Analyze which methods worked and which failed, then ask yourself why. Make a list of things to avoid in the future (for example, putting off your homework until the next day) and stop doing them. Try to find your motivations for studying and take advantage of it.
It is also a good opportunity to do an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and threats. This kind of analysis is often done in the professional setting, but it can be easily adapted to the school environment
Step 3. Chat with your teachers
Ask them for advice on what you can improve and where you have failed. Keep in mind that this conversation could take different turns. If you've been pretty lazy lately and ask for help now, some teachers might not be impressed. Make sure you are sincere in your approach and follow the advice they are going to give you. If you ask them for help, and if you don't do what they advise, they probably aren't going to be very keen to give you more advice in the future.
- Ask them if there is any additional homework you can do to bring your grades up.
- Ask if you can give them unfinished homework even if the deadline has passed or if you can redo homework where you got a bad grade.
- Ask for help as soon as you have problems. Don't wait until the last minute to get help. In most cases, it will already be too late.
Step 4. Talk to your parents
They don't want you to have bad grades and if you admit that you are having problems they are probably going to want to help you. Even if they're just constantly monitoring what you're doing to make sure you're doing your job, it's always better to ask them for help.
Also, don't forget that by showing them that you want to improve, they could come to your aid in the future when you need it. For example, if they see that you are struggling with math, they might hire a private tutor to work with you next semester or during the summer
Step 5. Create a schedule and get organized
Gather all the things you need to do and organize them into a detailed schedule. Set specific study goals for yourself every day and assign them a daily study time. Try not to spend too much time on the same topic unless it is absolutely necessary. If possible, try to study more than one subject per day.
- Remember that short periods of study every day are more effective than long periods of time all at once.
- If you are in college, you can try to study between two and three hours per week for every hour of class you take. For example, if you have three hours of History per week, you should take six to nine hours per week to study this course. If that sounds like a lot to you, you are absolutely right, but it is necessary to get good grades.
- Remember to reward yourself when you reach your goals. These rewards should be small things that will keep you motivated and keep moving forward every day, such as allowing you to watch an hour of your favorite program or play an hour on the game console. Save the bigger rewards for the end of the quarter!
Step 6. Fasten your seat belts
Stay tied up until it's done. While this isn't the best advice, if you have no other options, you can cram. Study as much as you can in the short time you have left. Drink lots of drinks that contain caffeine. Put off some sleep until later. See it as your fallback and do your best.
Avoid getting distracted while studying. Turn off the television and your phone. Don't listen to music with lyrics. You have little time, so you have to use it wisely
Step 7. Make plans for what's next
Of course, you should only do this if you are not in your last semester at school or university! If this is not the end yet, you should take the opportunity to prepare for the next year or semester.
- Buy a timetable or calendar.
- Check out the program before class starts.
- Make sure you have all the materials you need for each class before the semester begins.
- Organize your workspace.
- Research to find help at school or university (eg study center, tutors, etc.).
Step 8. Take summer school
No one likes going to class in the summer, but if you want to improve your grades, this is a solution you shouldn't overlook. You might consider taking classes during the summer (to improve your grades) or taking extra classes to help you prepare for a more difficult class that is brewing.
If you are studying in higher education, there are additional benefits of taking courses during the summer. This allows you to reduce your workload during the fall and winter or reduce the time you spend there in college. Some programs allow you to go abroad and to other universities, which gives you the opportunity to travel. If you want to take a specific course, you can study the prerequisites in advance
Method 2 of 3: Prepare for the next year
Step 1. Take a post-monthly assessment
Ask yourself questions about your performance during the semester so you can analyze what went well and what didn't.
- What did you choose to change after deciding to get better grades? Did it work? How much have your grades improved, if so? What things have worked well for you and what have not worked at all? Is there something you would like to do differently next time?
- Think about which study methods have worked and be sure to add them to your repertoire.
- Think about the things that went wrong and ask yourself why. For example, maybe you tried to study at home and found that there were too many distractions. Make sure to avoid them in the future.
Step 2. Get organized
Buy yourself a calendar or a large whiteboard to hang on the wall. Clean up the space you want to use for studying, get rid of all the things you don't need (e.g. books, magazines, comics, etc.) and organize the things you need (your pencils, your pens, markers, post-its, etc.). Prepare yourself a study space without any distractions. Organize your materials in a way that speaks to you and allows you to quickly find what you need.
- Prepare a notebook or workbook for each class you take and label it.
- Keep crayons and markers in different colors to mark your notes and books in different ways. For example, use blue to highlight examples while yellow indicates definitions.
- Turn off your phone or tablet while studying. If you are not using it, also turn off the Internet connection. Don't be tempted to take a look at your emails or texts!
Step 3. Talk to your teachers in advance
If you are serious about improving your grades, they will help you. Ask them for advice on what to focus on and what working methods you should apply depending on the subject in question. Ask them if it is possible to review your homework together before handing it in.
- Keep their contact details and office hours in one place. Each week, review your progress in each class and ask yourself if you could take advantage of their office hours to improve yourself, in which case you should make an appointment with them.
- When asking them for advice, avoid saying, “What are the main points of the lesson? "Or" what should I do to get a 20? This indicates that you are not really invested in the course. Instead, ask them questions like, "What questions will the exam focus on?" I would like to know how to improve my note taking”or“what advice could you give to a student who really wants to apply? "
Step 4. Join a study group
Work with friends or classmates, in groups, to learn and to work on your homework. Ask each other questions. Prepare little homework to do. Each in turn, take the teacher's place to teach the subject.
- It is more interesting, but not necessary, to have some structure in your group studies, for example a specific meeting place and time, specific objectives and a leader or moderator.
- Study group members don't have to be friends. In fact, it would be better if not even. If you meet up with your friends to study, it might turn into an outing and you won't get anywhere.
Step 5. Take care of your health
Make sure you get a good night's sleep the night before. Eat well during the day. Exercise as often as possible. If you take care of yourself physically, you will also have better mental health.
This means that you need to take breaks during your study hours, such as getting up and going for a little walk every hour or rewarding yourself when you reach your goals
Step 6. Find yourself a tutor
It might be someone you hire to spend time with you working on a particular topic, but you might also find one at a study center. Most higher education institutions have such centers (usually run by graduate students), centers that offer seminars or commentary on your assignments, or even centers where you can get professional advice and feedback. Sometimes the help they offer may be free, but other services will be chargeable.
If you are interested in a tutor, ask your teachers for more information. They will know of successful students who might be ready to help you
Method 3 of 3: Improve your grades over the long term
Step 1. Read the necessary material before and after class
Prepare for the topics the teacher will cover during class. Make a list of the questions you have and make sure you get an answer in class. Read the material again immediately after class to make sure you understand the concepts covered. If not, you need to go see your teacher.
Try reading the texts aloud to help you remember them. Your cat might even find molecular biology fascinating
Step 2. Show up to all classes
Even though it sounds like a crazy idea, it works! You might even earn points in some classes just for attending, which is why you shouldn't overlook it. Pay attention in class.
- If you attend class, you show your teachers that you want to learn. This will help you in the future, they will prefer to help students who have already shown initiative.
- If you really want to impress her, sit in the front row. In addition to showing you off to your teacher, it also allows you to put the rest of the students behind you who might be a source of distraction.
Step 3. Take good notes in all classes
Take notes using a method that works best for you. Read your notes immediately after class and rewrite them to engrave the concepts in your memory. Underline any advice your teacher gave you about the assignment or exam.
- Focus on key elements of your notes, for example dates, timeline, character names and their importance, theories, equations, definitions, pros and cons of a topic discussed in class, pictures, tables, diagrams and examples.
- If possible, use an abbreviation system for your notes. This includes, for example, the use of symbols (eg "&" instead of "and") or word abbreviations (eg "approx" for "approximately"). If that helps, make up your own abbreviations.
- Don't worry about spelling or grammar when taking notes (unless you're taking a course on the subject), you can correct it later if needed.
- Adapt your note taking to class. For some courses it might be useful to follow a highly structured method such as the Cornell Method while for others, such as courses which involve a lot of discussion, you might be able to take notes more freely.
Step 4. Participate during all classes
This is all the more important if your teacher is handing out participation notes. If this is the case, know that it will not take into account the frequency of your interventions, but rather their quality. It also shows that you understand the subject. The teacher could also know through the participation of his students, if he has explained something wrong and if he needs to explain it again.
Class participation sometimes turns into a debate, which is every teacher's dream! If you disagree with what a friend of yours has said, you can say so, but without disrespecting them. Don't turn the debate into an argument
Step 5. Do your homework ASAP
Don't wait until the day before to get started. Start your homework the same day it is given to you (if you didn't know about it ahead of time) or organize it into your study schedule (if you know about it ahead of time). Plan to do your homework ahead of time so you can study and revise it without putting pressure on yourself.
It is all the more important to finish your homework early, as students tend to lose points because of simple things like spelling, grammar, presentation, etc. In addition, if you finish your homework early enough, you may have more time to go and chat with your teacher, tutor, or someone else to read it and give you feedback
Step 6. Leave homework open
All the homework given in class is important. Some teachers have a grading system for late homework. According to the professor, you could at least grab a few points for an assignment, even if you turn it in late. When you want to boost your grades, all points count!
- Check with your teacher or in the program before doing late homework. If your teacher is not going to accept them and you have little time available, it is probably not worth doing them.
- If your teacher isn't going to accept them, but you have a lot of time ahead of you, you can use it for practice. Most teachers will agree to correct them to indicate the points to be worked on.
Step 7. Ask for additional homework
It costs nothing to ask, and the worst thing that can happen is to receive a negative answer. If you ask for them, your teacher will give you one or two and you should remember to do them.
- Don't wait two days before the deadline to do them! This indicates that you haven't done anything for the entire semester and are looking for a quick way to improve your grades. If you're struggling with homework, get help as soon as possible.
- There is a recurring debate among teachers about these extra homework assignments. Some think it's a good solution, others think it's a bad one. Each of your teachers is on one side or the other and has good reasons for choosing his position (for example because of his past experience). While it's okay to ask for extra homework, it's not worth arguing with your teacher if he says no.
Step 8. Learn and understand the material
In fact, it is better that you understand what you are learning rather than just memorize everything you have written in your notebook.
- Make sure you understand a topic before moving on to the next, especially if there is a connection between the two. If you haven't learned the previous material, it will be much more difficult to learn the new material.
- Use personal or familiar situations to help you understand the material. Textbooks (and even teachers) tend to use boring examples when explaining concepts and ideas, but that doesn't mean you have to do the same. For example, if you are studying Newton's First Law of Motion which states that a moving object will continue to move unless an opposing force acts on it, try to think of examples that speak to you. For example, in "Fast and Furious" the cars keep moving until something stops them (this might not be the best example, but you get the idea).
Step 9. Read the instructions first
Before starting an assignment, you should read the instructions and follow them. For reasons that are still poorly understood, students lose points during exams because they do not read the instructions and do not do what is asked of them.
- For example, have you ever found yourself in a situation where a section of an exam asks you to choose four topics from the six offered, but you find yourself writing an essay for all six? This is an obvious example where you are wasting precious time doing something you shouldn't do and you might be preventing yourself from finishing the exam on time.
- There is also no reason why you should follow the order of the questions, unless each question builds on the previous one. Start by reading all the questions, then start with the simpler ones and gradually move on to the more complicated ones. This will help you gain more confidence during the exam.
- Examinations aren't the only times when you need to follow directions to the letter. If you are writing an essay and your teacher asks you for double line breaks with a Times New Roman font that is 12cm and 1cm wide, you should do so. Do not use single line breaks with Arial font of 10 and a 2cm margin!
- Many institutions offer advice, seminars or workshops on these kinds of topics, for example note taking, organization (or how to avoid postponing everything), public speaking, PowerPoint presentation, grammar, time management, stress management, etc. Find out about these programs at your institution and feel free to take advantage of them.
- There is a long list like the arm of apps that you can download for free to help you manage your time and homework. If you haven't found one yet, try several and commit to using at least one for a semester.
- Don't forget your homework!
- Practice more in all subjects to better understand your work.
- Don't wait until the next semester to start. Better get started right away.