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How To Graduate With Good Result Despite Poor Performance In Year One

There’s no fairy god mother to magically turn your grades from C’s into A’s: you’ll have to use your brain and your determination to do that! By working hard on your homework and following these handy study techniques and tips, you can improve your grades in no time and really turn around your school year. Just get started with Steps below.

Read How to Bounce Back After A Poor 1st Year In School

1. Pay attention in class.
The best thing you can do to improve your grades is to focus and pay attention when the information is first presented to you. It’s easy to lose focus when your teacher is going on and on about something that’s just not interesting, but you should not tune them out. Really listen to what they’re saying and keep yourself engaged by asking questions and taking notes.

2. Take notes.
It might seem silly, but notes are actually a great way to help you improve your grades. Good notes are like a road map, when you go to study later on. They’ll also show your teacher that you’re serious about doing better in your classes. You don’t have to write down everything your teacher says: just get down the basics. You know when you tell your parents about what happened to you during the day? That’s how you should take notes. Just get the broad strokes, with the really important things written with greater detail.
  • If you know something is confusing to you or seems really complex, write that down too! Even if you don’t understand what your teacher is saying, you’ll have a note to yourself that you need to look that up and get more information later.
  • Write out your notes by hand, instead of on a computer. You’ll have an easier time remembering them this way.
3. Ask questions when you don’t understand. When you don’t understand a concept or fact that your teachers talks about in lecture or that you encounter in your text books, don’t be afraid to ask! Smart people don’t just know everything instantly…they’re curious enough to ask and find out when they don’t know something.
  • If you’re nervous about asking in front of everyone else, you can also talk to your teacher outside of class time and ask about getting some extra help or explanation. Is better than not asking at all.
  • You also shouldn’t feel like your teacher would be angry about you not understanding. Teachers are happy when you’re interested enough and invested enough to ask for help.
  • If your teacher doesn’t explain it in a way that you can understand or if you still feel uncomfortable, try going on the internet to find a new explanation. You can often find Youtube videos covering common school subjects, but there are also forums and other websites that might deal with your question and explain it to you better.
4. Go over your syllabus.
Your teacher will probably give you a syllabus at the beginning of the year or semester. This is a written outline of all of the subjects you will study over the course of the year. You should go over this syllabus carefully and ask your teacher about anything on it that doesn’t make sense. Paired with your notes, it’s another great road map to your learning.
5 Go over your syllabus.
Your teacher will probably give you a syllabus at the beginning of the year or semester. This is a written outline of all of the subjects you will study over the course of the year. You should go over this syllabus carefully and ask your teacher about anything on it that doesn’t make sense. Paired with your notes, it’s another great road map to your learning.
6. Start studying immediately.
Don’t procrastinate! Waiting until the end of the quarter to study or, even worse, cramming the night before a test just dooms you to poor grades. Your brain won’t have enough time to really understand the material and log it away. Cramming leads you to remember things incorrectly or not at all. Basically, you should set aside time every night to go over material from the previous week and make sure you remember and understand everything.
  • This means that when you study for a test, all you have to do is a quick refresher.
  • Try to return to old material as much as possible, to help solidify the ideas in your mind.
7. Go over your notes.
Having good notes allows you to quickly go over the material and refresh your memory. If you didn’t understand it the first time, your notes will give you a road map to finding the information that you need. Organize your notes by topic and go over them one topic at a time.
  • Sometimes topics that are related are covered at very different points in the year. You might have to pair information you learned in September with information you learned in January, to get a full picture of it.
8. Use memorization techniques.
You’ll probably have to do at least a little memorizing, for information that you can’t remember easily. Different people memorize things better or worse using different techniques, so you’ll probably have to do some experimenting. The most important thing is to remember to start the process early and spend a lot of time working on it, so that your brain has enough time and experience to really log it away. You can try these memorization techniques:
  • Work only on small sections at a time. When working on memorizing lists (such as vocabulary words, place names, or groups of people), never work with more than five items at a time. Really thoroughly memorize those five items before going on to the next five items. If you try to do all at once, you’ll really struggle.
  • Use mnemonics. Mnemonics are when you use acronyms or other keys in order to remember lists or concepts. For example, “Memory Needs Every Method Of Nurturing Its Capacity” is a mnemonic for how to spell mnemonic. Look up if there are any mnemonics for what you’re studying, or make up your own!
  • Use flash cards. Flash cards are useful for studying vocabulary words and other things, like dates. Write yourself a question or word on one side of a note card, and the answer or definition on the other.
9. Make sure you have a good environment for study.
You need to have a productive environment to study in. Your study environment should be free of distractions… so turn off those cell phones! You need to really focus because each time you do get distracted, studies show, it takes 25 minutes to really get back on track.
  • Sometimes, you might be able to find a quiet spot in a busy house if you think outside the box: try a basement or bathroom. If your home just isn’t good for studying, try a library or coffee shop.
  • A lot of the time, we tell ourselves that we need certain things, like television and music, to help us focus when really we just want to justify a distraction. If you’re one of the 30% of auditory learners, your learning will be more productive if you speak aloud the information, rather than trying to learn it while other noises are competing for your attention.
10. Eat right and get enough sleep.
Eating poorly can make it hard for your brain to work, because it won’t have the tools it needs. The same goes for sleep. Scientists now think that when we sleep, our brains clean out toxins and other dangerous materials that keep us from being able to think clearly.  Get your 8 hours of sleep (or however much leaves your body feeling refreshed for the entire day) and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Skip out on junk food, sugar, and too much fat. You should eat fruits, vegetables (kale and spinach are good), and healthy protein sources like fish and nuts.
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