Grades often play a determining role in the college admission process. Here are ten proven ways to improve them. By applying these simple techniques and following these common sense tips, you can improve your grades by at least a full letter grade.
1. Make sure you study in a comfortable, quiet, well lit environment. Get into the habit of studying in the same area each day.
When working on a project under a time frame, break down your project into manageable parts, and set a goal date for when you want to finish each part. Then make a list for each part of the project, and check it off as you complete each task. For example, if your assignment is to write a book report, avoid cramming it all on the last day. Instead, establish from the onset the amount of pages you’ll need to read each day, in order to give yourself time to write the report.
When studying, use 3 x 5 inch index cards, specially when the subject at hand requires a lot of memorizing. Write down the question on one side of the card and the answer on the other, then go over the cards whenever you find any spare time.
When trying to remember some key facts, use word association. For example, suppose that for your American History class you need to know the three U.S. presidents – Lincoln, McKinley, and Kennedy – that were assassinated while holding office. Using word association, you take the first letter of each name – L,M,K, and make up a phrase, such as Lost My Keys. The phrase doesn’t need to make sense, just as long as it helps you remember the names.
When studying for a test, pretend as if you were the teacher giving the test. Write down the questions you would choose to be on the test and anwser each one. This technique will help you greatly to identify the main points to study.
While taking a test, bring a watch to keep track of time. Take a moment to go over the test and plan how much time each part of the test will take you. Make sure to leave some extra time at the end, so you can go over your anwsers and check for errors. Turning in tests without properly checking for mistakes is a common cause of lower test scores.
Try always turning in each and every assignment. Points for assignments completed will add up and make a difference on your grades. Ask your teacher whether there’s any "extra credit" work you can do, to help you pull your grades up.
We all have those "lazy" days when we don’t feel like doing much, and put off any studying. That’s when you should force yourself to study or work on your project for just five minutes. Often, you’ll find that after the five minutes you’re stimulated enough to continue studying.
Video games and TV is fun, but in the end they’re just time wasters. Limit these activities to one hour a day. In addition, always have your 3 x 5 index cards handy so you can go over them on commercials.
Last but not least, get plenty of rest at night! There are many studies showing the positive relationship between mental sharpness and a good night’s sleep. Staying up late while to cram for a test is usually counterproductive. You should get at least an 8hr. rest. Also, never underestimate the power of a nutritious breakfast. Getting the nourishment you need in the morning sets you up for a more productive day.