21 ways to get good grades


21 ways to get good grades

Some students just have everything together. They earn awesome grades, but they're also successful on other fronts. Opportunities always seem to find them, and they're always prepared for what's coming next. Equal the brightest students can sometimes find themselves academically under performing, often through no fault of their own. When students find themselves in this situation, it’s often because they’re stuck in a rut and are not sure what to do to improve.

If this sounds like you, the first step is to work out the reasons why you may be under performing, and the next step is to work out how to tackle the problem. If you are not sure how to get good grades

Then this article shows you ways you can do to form an improvement plan to help you achieve the good grades you know you’re capable of achieving.


21 Best ways to get good grades

21 ways to get good grades

1. Adopt a positive mental attitude

In the face of lower-than-expected grades, it’s only human to react by feeling disappointed with oneself. When you’re frequently receiving lower grades than you’d hoped for, you may start to feel depressed or defeated, and feel like giving up. The first step on the road to improving your grades is to turn this negativity on its head. You need to be positive about the situation if you’re to stand a chance of improving it. Acknowledge that your grades aren’t what you’re aiming for, but believe that you can do something about it. Start by mentally taking control of the situation: instead of thinking “I’m a failure”, think “I can and will do better than this.” Don’t give up – take positive steps towards achieving the improvement you’re more than capable of achieving.

2. Work out where you’re falling short

You need to work out which areas need targeting before you can draw up a plan of action, so the next step is to figure out the areas in which you’re under performing, and why. Are your grades consistently lower than you’d like them to be across all your subjects, or is there one particular area you’re struggling with that’s bringing down your overall performance in a particular subject? Take a look at your grades over the last few months and look for patterns. Has there been a general decline in academic achievement, or have your grades in certain areas always been lower than you’d hoped? Are your grades always low in the same areas, such as one problem subject? You’ll probably already have a vague idea of the answers to these questions, but seeing your grades written down on paper – perhaps even in graph format – can help you see things more clearly.
Next, think about the reasons why you’re not performing to your full academic potential in the areas you’ve identified. Are there external factors that may be negatively affecting your grades, such as a family problem or worrying about a social situation at school? Are you struggling with any particular academic skills that might be dragging you down, such as essay-writing or note-taking? And are you studying in a way that works for you? These are all factors that could be affecting your academic performance, so once you’ve isolated what the problem is – it could be a combination of more than one of these issues – you’ll be able to start tackling it. If the problems are external, you’ll need to take steps towards getting them to a point at which they no longer adversely affect your studies; seeing a counselor might help, for instance. If they’re academic, read the rest of this article for some suggestions on how you can improve.

3. Talk to your teachers

Your teachers know you best, so it’s worth talking to them when you’re drawing up a plan of action for improving your grades. Ask them where they think you need to improve, and they’ll probably have some advice on how you can go about it. Coupled with the advice in the rest of this article, this should allow you to tailor an action plan to your personal situation.

4. Pay more attention in class

If you’re prone to daydreaming in class, it’s time to start focusing on the here and now. Listen to what the teacher is saying rather than talking with friends or allowing your mind to wander. Don’t simply copy down what’s on the board without thinking about it; make sure you’ve understood it, make neat notes so that you can understand them when you come back to them (more on that later), and don’t be afraid to speak up if there’s something you don’t understand or want clarifying. It’s much easier to ask a teacher to explain something differently than it is to trawl through books trying to find a clearer explanation for yourself, and they won’t think less of you for asking.

Also read: Top 10 Most Educated States in Nigeria (2022)

5. Start organizing your life

Clutter of any kind inhibits our ability to operate efficiently, so another way of improving your academic performance is to get organized. Keep your workspace tidy and all your notes and textbooks organized in such a way that you know where everything is. Start thinking more about your time management, too, as this will allow you to priorities your time effectively, freeing time for problem subjects. Write yourself a daily timetable that incorporates your school schedule, dividing your day into slots of time and fitting in plenty of time for studying. Allocate extra time to subjects or topics you’ve identified as being ones you’re struggling with; it could be that the reason for your under performance in these subjects is that you’re simply not devoting enough time to them.

6. Do Your Homework

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? To get better grades, do the homework assignments. Yet, you would be surprised by how many high school students don’t do their homework, leaving assignments unfinished or waiting until right before the test to do them. That might have worked in middle school, but it’s unlikely to fly in high school.

If you’re in a rigorous class, it’s covering a lot of material, and your teacher assumes you are going to learn some of it on your own. This is excellent preparation for college, when your classes will meet much less frequently, but you will have much more work to do outside of class. High school teachers are trying to prepare you for this shift by encouraging you to maintain and expand your knowledge through homework.

Finally, if you aren’t doing the homework, you won’t know what you don’t understand, which means you won’t be able to ask the right questions and get the right help. If you don’t know what you don’t know, you’ll never learn it!

7. Participate in Class

Everyone knows that it’s easier to pay attention to something if you’re active and involved. Particularly in a classroom, passively listening often makes it harder for you to remember what was said because you weren’t actively participating.

Of course, your ability to participate depends somewhat on your teacher, the class, and your own personality. Some teachers prefer to lecture, with minimal input from their classrooms, while some students feel uncomfortable speaking in front of others. Nevertheless, these days almost all educators recognize the importance of active learning and making such participation inclusive for all students.

Whether it’s answering a question, asking a question, participating actively in group work, or otherwise being involved in the classroom, participation in class is a great way to master the material and show your teacher that you’re trying hard.

8. Take Good Notes in Class

It’s a near-universal fact: straight-A students take good notes. That said, note-taking is not necessarily something all high school students know how to do, and not all schools do a good job of teaching it. Learning to take notes may be something you need to undertake on your own, but it’s absolutely crucial to getting better grades.

Not everyone takes notes the same way. Some students find it helpful to write long-hand, while others record lectures and take notes later, when they can pause. In general, though, it’s best not to write down everything the teacher says. Rather, truly good note-takers digest what’s important and write down just the key facts.

Don’t worry if this doesn’t come naturally right away; note-taking is a skill that takes time to develop. As you improve, you’ll likely earn higher grades as well.

9. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

There’s a common misconception among high school students that you should only ask for extra help if the teacher specifically recommends it or if you’re getting really bad grades. In fact, all good teachers would love to help you whenever you need it!

Whether you’re trying to understand your test scores, essay comments, homework assignments, or class involvement, setting up a time to talk to your teacher out of class is always a good use of your time. They don’t want to give you bad grades; they want to help you learn the material. It’s why they teach!

That said, if you do go in for extra help, you’ll get more out of it if you have specific questions. Don’t ask the teacher to give his or her lesson all over again; pinpoint what you’re struggling with and ask for advice or additional problems.

Read on: Top 4 Unique Ways to Be One of the Best Students in School

10. Keep Yourself Motivated

Another truth about getting better grades is that it isn’t just about one test or one paper. A strong final grade is the product of a lot of good grades all strung together, which means you need to stay motivated throughout the year.

Staying focused on schoolwork isn’t always easy. Things come up in and outside of school that take away from your focus, and it’s easy to give into procrastination when you have a lot on your plate, a situation you’re sure to encounter at some point.

Bear in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint; once in a while, you won’t finish your homework, and that’s okay. The important thing is that you are striving toward your best academic performance by doing as much of this as you can.

11. Create a Study Schedule

Staying on top of your schoolwork isn’t always easy; you have extracurricular activities, service commitments, family responsibilities, and more. Time management can be the best tool in your arsenal for getting better grades.

Creating a study schedule can help you manage your time and keep from cramming. By learning and studying in small chunks, rather than trying to do so all at once, you’ll be less overwhelmed and better able to master the material. For each class, consider setting out a certain amount of time each day, maybe in a calendar or agenda book. Doing a little every day is miles better than cramming.

A study schedule should be flexible to both your learning style and your life. But even if it gets disrupted sometimes, just having made it can be enormously helpful.

12. Remove Distractions

Getting the most out of studying means staying focused, which in turn means minimizing distractions. These days, it’s hard not to get distracted by notifications on your phone, computer, or other screen. But maintaining productive study time means filtering all this out to focus on your schoolwork.

To that end, do what you can to minimize distractions and build good study habits. Turn your phone to Do Not Disturb so you don’t get notifications and alerts. Use anti-procrastination browser extensions like Stay Focused to keep yourself off social media and other distracting websites. Sign out of instant messaging.

Distractions can be physical, too. Keeping your desk organized can help boost your productivity and lead to higher grades, as can organizing your notes and materials. Managing your space can be as important as managing your time.

13. Don’t Study Alone

When we imagine studying, we often picture someone alone at a desk. But just as being an active class participant can help you connect more deeply to the material, so too can studying with a partner, group, or tutor help your grades!

Forming a study group or partnership can be a particularly great way to work toward higher grades. Rather than just quizzing yourself with flash cards, studying in a group allows you both to ask questions of another student and to explain concepts to a peer, which will really test whether you understand the material or not.

Beyond a study group, working with a private tutor is also a way to manage your schedule and get help with your homework. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to meet with your teacher or a group, a tutor might be a good option for you.

14. Take a 15-minute break after each 45 minutes of studying

Walk around your house. Get some fresh air, think of how to get better grades, or get a snack to fuel your brain. You can also reward yourself for each 45 minutes of productive work by doing something that you enjoy. Besides, breaking up the monotony of studying will help you focus.

14. Take care of your health

Make sure that your meals are nutritious; balanced, and varied, because your brain needs fuel in order to be productive. Never miss breakfast before school.

16. Sleep well

Establishing a regular sleep schedule is crucial when it comes to studying and learning how to get good grades in high school. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same times and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

17. Find the right learning style for you

If you’re academically under performing, another possible reason could be that you haven’t found the right learning style for you. We’re all different, and each of us has our own way of studying that yields the best results. Perhaps you just haven’t found your most effective studying style yet. If you’ve been trying to work on your own, for example, you might find it easier to work with a friend or two, so that you have someone else there to motivate you.

18. Improve your memory

Many students struggle to remember all the information they need for exams, and this brings their grades down. With so much to learn across many subjects, remembering facts, figures and arguments is a pretty monumental task, and you need to arm yourself with some effective memory aids to help you. You’ll find more tips on improving your memory in our article on memory techniques for exam preparation.

19. Stop procrastinating

One of the reasons why you’re underperforming could be that you’re spending too much time procrastinating – that is, putting off work by distracting yourself with other things, such as social media. This is a common response to a big workload; when you have so much to do that you don’t know where to start, the temptation is simply not to start. The problem is that in doing so, you’re delaying the inevitable, as well as making your task worse by eating into the time when you could be productive. If you’re guilty of procrastination – and we all are at some point or another – take a look at our article on five reasons we procrastinate and how to stop it.

20. Make learning more fun

Sometimes students under perform because they have simply lost the motivation to learn. It’s not surprising, when the pressure of exams and doing well at school takes away the enjoyment of learning. It’s easy to get so focused on achieving top grades that you forget that learning can actually be fun – and not only that, but it’s much easier to do well when you’re enjoying it. If studying has become a chore for you, it’s time to put the fun back into learning. You could do this by gamifying your studies, or by trying some of the ideas in our article on 15 ways to make studying less stressful.

21. Use a planner to organize your time

It can be either a paper planner or a mobile app. However, we recommend that you use a paper agenda book so that your phone does not distract you. Write down all important due dates, dates of tests, and extracurricular activities.

Also read: Top 10 Best Universities to Study Medicine in South Korea

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