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How to Work on Your Academic Weaknesses in High School

Everyone has one subject in high school they don't like much, and usually that's your toughest class to get through. Here's how to strengthen your skills.

Everyone has that one subject in high school they just don’t like very much. It certainly happened to me! We may not be particularly good at the subject, or we may find the content boring. Whatever the reason, we dread it and often procrastinate when we need to complete assignments or study for a test. Sometimes, even in spite of working hard, we may still find it difficult to do well in the class. It can be quite discouraging and can be a big bump in your senior year, as it could impact your college applications and final grades. Now, we all know high school isn’t always the place where we can just skip the classes we don’t like. Sometimes, you just need to deal with it. Having a strategy can help. Here are a few tips I picked up throughout high school that hopefully will help you deal with your academic weaknesses.

Accept the weakness and make a plan

It’s often rather difficult to admit our weaknesses for many reasons. It could be because of pride, parental pressure, or procrastination. But it’s important to come to terms with your academic struggles so you have the right attitude toward remedying them and achieving your goals. Once you come to understand and zero in on your weaknesses, it also becomes easier to plan your next step. You should begin to identify learning gaps and distinct areas in need of improvement. Then think about the kind of strategy you would like to adopt toward addressing your academic weaknesses. A teacher, counselor, tutor, friend, or family member can be a helpful person to turn to at this point, so ask for their advice! This is crucial, because you need clear and concrete plans to improve in a particular subject.

Make time to work on it 

Time: it’s the essential ingredient to working on your academic weaknesses in high school. But I know what you’re thinking—you already have a crazy-busy high school schedule. So how do you find “extra” time to work on subjects you struggle with academically? Well, you need to make studying and time management a priority. Plan out your study schedule for each day in advance, and allocate time to study every subject—plus extra time for the ones you’re struggling in.

Identify your learning style

We are all different learners and consume knowledge in our own unique ways. Figure out what your learning style is and use that to your advantage to make learning and studying a subject you don't like more interesting. Some people prefer reading aloud or reviewing past tests or papers, while others may prefer writing it all out, using mind maps, and color-coding their notes. So think about how you learn best and use the most effective strategy for you.

Related: Infographic: Find Your Learning Style and Study Smarter

Stay focused on your goal

This may be the most crucial tip of all, as it helps you foster good learning habits and discipline toward overcoming your academic weaknesses. If you have trouble focusing, try training your mind for a few months. Plus, when you concentrate better on your schoolwork, you can spend more time on other activities and hobbies. In this way, you not only feel productive, but you also feel that you’ve earned a break after your hard work and concentration. Try apps like SelfControl, Headspace, Time Out, MindNode, The Mindfulness App, and Mental Workout to help you keep up your focus and confidence. The Pomodoro Technique can also go a long way in improving your focus, provided you use it in the right way.

Have a positive outlook

It’s important to keep an optimistic outlook and maintain a positive approach toward combatting your academic weaknesses. As long as you believe that you can improve, you will be well on your way. Take care of yourself, from eating well and getting enough sleep to accepting positive reinforcement and feedback from your teachers, parents, and peers. Having a good attitude can also make you develop more of an interest and aptitude toward performing better and going the extra mile during study sessions before your exams.

Related: It's Time to Tackle Your New Semester Goals

Your academic weaknesses don’t have to stay weaknesses just because you don’t love the subject. Plenty of people are great at things they don’t love, and plenty of others are bad at things they do love. You should always push yourself to do your best on anything you set your mind to. And improving your weaknesses will only put you on the path to a brighter future.

You can find more great videos to help you conquer high school and college on the CollegeXpress YouTube channel!

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About Shivani Ekkanath

Shivani Ekkanath

As a person applying to college this year, I want to chronicle this crazy and unpredictable yet rewarding and fascinating journey so the experience feels less daunting for other students. I'm currently preparing to study Political Science for my undergraduate degree while trying my best to win a battle with the pressures of the IB diploma. I'm a lover of music, debating, reading about current affairs, dancing, baking (not too well), and writing. I'm also an an aspiring journalist and hope to attend Columbia University one day and work for the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

 

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