Saturday, August 7, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Get Better Grades and to Get More Out of School

Many of you would like to get better grades but aren't sure exactly what will help raise your marks. You may have trouble focusing or you may get bored easily. You may think it takes too much effort to get better grades. That isn't necessarily the case. There are some very simple techniques that can help you to focus so that you'll remember things better, make your studying more efficient, get more studying done in less time, retain more information and to actually get better grades.
10. Actually go to every Class.

This technique is often overlooked. Some students might have trouble waking-up in the morning. Others may skip class to go shopping. For most students skipping an hour of class will require several hours of catching-up.

9. Sit in the Front of the Class

We know sitting in the front of the class makes it harder to play footsie with the person next to you. But sitting in the front will help you to focus and pay attention while helping you to retain more information. It will also help the professor to get to know your face, which may lead to more charitable feelings when grading time comes. Professors are sometimes more lenient on students they know than the faceless students in the back of the class.

8. Ask Questions and Volunteer Answers in Class

Not only does this get more attention from the instructor, but also it helps to keep you from getting bored or falling asleep. The added benefit is that some Instructors give you extra credit for class participation whether they tell you so or not.

7. Finish Your Assignments On Time

This often proves to be difficult due to conflicts with other classes, work and your social life. Students who manage to read their assignments on time retain longer and require less studying for exams. We know of a few students who kept up with all of the assignments and were able to skip cramming for final exams, much to the dismay of their fellow students. We're not saying this is easy.

6. Choose Classes that you like and find interesting in the first place

Of course if you like a class and find it interesting, you're more likely to pay attention without getting bored. You are more likely to remember the lectures and the readings. Choose to take classes with interesting lecturers, who help interest and motivate you.

5. Study a Little Bit Every Day

It's much easier to study a little bit every day than trying to get all of your studying done in one 10-hour study session each week. You may find that you have more free time to do other things without feeling guilty about a big pile of work waiting for you at home.

4. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses in Testing Types.

People vary in how they respond to various types of testing. Some do best at essays, while others do better with multiple choice or short answers. If you are given a choice of testing types choose the ones in which you excel. If you have a weakness in one of these areas, we suggest you learn what it takes to do better. Also make sure you clearly understand what criteria your professor uses in grading.

3. Start or Join a Study Group

When you have classes that involve complicated materials or have large volumes of reading, you should consider forming a study group with your peers. Quiz each other and explain things to each other. If there is a large amount of material you may want divide up the research and report back to each other. If you find that you are the one person in the group who knows much more than the others, You may still gain much from the study session. You will be practicing formulating your ideas. So even if you help bring your classmates from a C to a B, you may bring yourself from a B to an A. However, if the tests are highly competitive and graded on a curve, then you need to weigh the value of your study group. Make sure you leave yourself time to study on your own.

2. When You Study Set Goals and Take Breaks.

Figure out how much work you need to do and how long it will take to do it. Set yourself the goal of completing a certain amount of work and then taking a study break. When you are studying, be very focused on studying. When you take your breaks, get up, walk around, get the blood flowing in your body and brain. If you are studying with a friend, hang out, talk, and socialize. Its harder to take breaks if you leave all of your studying to the last minute hand find yourself cramming like crazy in a 7 hour study session, but it still helps to clear your head. Measured study with break gets the most done without burning you out.

1. Study in a Chair at a Table

Do all your reading, writing and studying at a table, sitting upright in chair. Be sure to have good lighting, fresh air and fluids nearby. This is the number one most important technique to getting more out of studying and getting better grades. So many people lay on the floor to study, sit on a bed to study or recline on the sofa to study. If you are lying down, chances are, you'll get sleepy and fall asleep. When you are lounging, your mind drifts out of focus. When you are sitting upright, in a well-lit room, your studying will be the most focused. Every hour of studying this way could be worth two hours of studying on the bed or sofa. That means more time for fun.

Good Luck. People we know with good study habits are less stressed and require less cramming before exams. They tend to get better grades too.

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