High school feels impossible sometimes. Many high school students sit in class hoping (maybe even praying) that they aren’t assigned another five chapters to read for the AP Lit class they regret signing up for or for the history class they’re required to take for graduation. We get it…managing classes can be difficult regardless of what kind of class or how many classes you’re taking, but it’s no secret that good grades are important if you have any aspirations for college. High school may be hard, but it’s not impossible. Follow these tips to make sure you maintain your high GPA:
TIME MANAGEMENT – It’s not uncommon for people to put off homework because they’re waiting to get home to be at their desk or study space. While that’s not a bad thing, you should be comfortable doing your homework anywhere (especially if you’re a busy bee)! I dedicated my after school time in Freshman and Sophomore year to theater rehearsal. While I was waiting for the director to show up, I would open up my backpack and get a good start on my writing assignments. That just goes to show that any down time you have can be used to get chunks of your homework done. If your ride is falling late in picking you up, take advantage of that extra half hour or 45 minutes! Regardless of where it is, find a place to sit down and start working; this ensures that you make the best use of all your time. Similarly, if there’s an assignment that’s simply not making sense, move on and make a mental note to ask other classmates or your teacher about it the next day. Don’t dwell on one thing and waste time you could be devoting to complete other tasks.
PRIORITIZE – What matters to you? If you don’t plan on becoming a scientist or doctor, one C in science won’t kill you. While trying to succeed in all subjects is a good goal, there’s no need to agonize over something that doesn’t directly effect your dreams or goals. If you want to be an English major in college, your literature or writing class should be what you put the most time into. At the same time, take into consideration your weighted percentages. Many AP classes don’t factor homework more than being 20% or 25% of your final grade; tests are much more important. If you have still have homework left the day before a test, focus more on learning the material thoroughly than trying to finish up assignments that are just busywork. In the long run, a bad test grade will hurt you a lot more than an incomplete assignment packet.
SPEND TIME STUDYING EVEN IF THERE’S NO HOMEWORK – Again, take advantage of your free time! If you find yourself caught up in school or your teacher doesn’t assign any assignments one day, use that to your advantage to work ahead in your classes! Start reviewing the chapters for the next big test in 2 weeks or get a head start on assignments that won’t be due for a long time. If on the off chance you have a bad day in the future or fall sick at some point, you’ll still be in good standing with all your work! If studying is not something you’re in the mood for, then at least use this time to do school related things like re-organizing your notes or planing out your schedule for the future.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXTRA CREDIT- Extra credit (even if it’s one bonus point) can only help you in the long run. If you put in a lot of effort but don’t do well on a test, this is a great way to make up those missed points. If you’re right at the line of going from a B to an A, or from a C to a B, extra credit could be exactly what you need to push you over to that next higher grade. It’s guaranteed cushion that every type student should aim for.
PARTICIPATE IN CLASS- Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask questions! Asking for an explanation while you’re still in class or discussing the topic will help you get the clarification you need as you’re learning. Interacting and participating in class will only make your classes more interesting and maintain your attention on the material being taught. Plus, it impresses all teachers, so why not earn those extra brownie points with them?
ATTEND ALL CLASSES– The easiest way to fall behind is to skip class. Despite the fact that teachers may allow you to make up everything you missed, class is valuable instruction time that you’re not going to get back trying to learn and study the material on your own. If the concept you missed was difficult or if the teacher decided to test the class about it in a different way from the textbook, you’d have no idea what you’re looking at or dealing with. It’s not worth it to risk your success for some days off and have work (you could have easily avoided) pile up for you.
AVOID ALL NIGHTERS- If I can speak from personal experience about the importance of any of these tips, it would be this one. It’s easy to feel like there’s not enough time to do everything you need to do, but don’t let a lack of sleep keep you from heading into class feeling drained or as anything less from your best self. Staying up to study into the long hours of night will negatively affect your health in the long run and if you have a big test the next day, it’ll only decrease your attention, focus, and recall ability. When you get home, you’re not going to want to do anything besides crash in bed. Take it from me; all-nighters are never worth it.