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Top Tips for Students to Get Good Grades in High School and College

With a few smart strategies and the right supplies, you can maintain good grades in high school or college. Here's what you need to know about keeping up!

Earning high grades in high school or college can be challenging for many students. Juggling classes, sports, extracurriculars, and a social life may cause disruptive stress that strains your grade point average (GPA). Luckily, there are many tips to help you keep up your grades whether you’re a high school or college student.In high school, you face new anxieties regarding life after graduation. Applying for colleges while maintaining good grades can seem impossible at times. Similarly, in college, the stress of finding a career can cloud your focus in class. These worries are necessary, in moderation, to help you reach your goals. But to limit their interference with learning, you can utilize different learning strategies and supplies as well as follow an efficient routine. Incorporating these tips into your daily life as a student can help you increase (or maintain) your GPA.

How to get good grades in high school

The number of students with failing grades has increased byas much as two or three times since switching to remote learning. Virtual learning provided high school students with new challenges and few solutions. To get your grades back on track, you can incorporate new techniques into your academic life.

Employ smart strategies

Asking questions in class can be scary, but it’s linked to efficient learning. Attempting to ask one question per class can increase your retention of information over your peers. Completing assigned homework is another strategy for success. Students who complete home assignments achieve higher test scores than their peers who skip regular schoolwork. Even if you fully understand the material, completing the exercises will further ingrain concepts in your mind to save you study time later. Studying with your peers can also effectively increase your grades. Pairing up with reliable friends to learn has proven to increase GPAs over learning independently. Teaching a concept to someone else and hearing a new perspective on a subject can help you accurately retain information.

Related: Tips for Better Organization and Study Habits in High School

Get the right supplies

Utilizing a large binder or notebook can ensure all your notes are in one place come exam time. Dividing these organizers into subject sections will help you keep important information together for efficient access. A planner can also help because having a secure place to keep organized by jotting down assignments, due dates, and exam days will guarantee you complete all essential schoolwork. Writing down your tasks also frees up mental space, allowing you to focus more effectively. 

Establish a routine

A consistent routine allows for productive focus and learning throughout the day. When you alleviate the expectation of what’s to come, you can mindfully engage in present tasks. Eating breakfast is a vital aspect of a successful student routine. It keeps your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day, which improves focus, length of attention span, short-term memory, and creativity. Showering in the morning before logging on for school is another valuable part of a student’s daily routine. When taking a relatively cool shower, you can increase your alertness and energy levels throughout the day. This also carves out time to transition from relaxation to school time at home. In addition, it’s essential for students’ mental health to get outside at least once a day. Reward a lengthy school day with enjoyable outdoor activities before starting your homework. Taking time to relax between school and additional assignments will increase your focus, information retention, and homework success.

Related: 10 Things You Can Do as Part of a Healthy Routine

How to get good grades in college

Virtual learning has also affected the success of college students. It’s challenging to complete a semester’s worth of work from a dorm room or apartment, but it’s not impossible. Integrating these tips for success can help college students keep up their grades and achieve academic success.

Employ smart strategies

Logging on to every virtual class can help you access all essential course material. College students who attend all their classes maintain higher exam and final course grades. To maintain adequate focus, move your phone out of sight. Studies have shown that students who turn off and put away their mobile devices increase their note-taking, boost their course material retention, and achieve full letter-and-a-half-higher test scores. Writing notes by hand also increases a student’s ability to learn. Keeping a notebook by your laptop during class can help remind you to jot down important lecture information. As long as you have access to writing materials, you hold the potential for academic success.

Related: Video: Organization and Time Management Skills

Get the right supplies

Just like in high school, investing in a planner can ensure you complete all your assignments on time. The beauty of using an agenda is that you don’t need the most expensive version to reap the benefits. There are various options for cost-effective planners that function adequately. Flashcards are another useful resource for productive learning. They function to help you self-test, memorize information, and free up mental space. When you have a stack of cards in front of you, you can work through one concept at a time and place the others to the side, which aids in more focused learning.

Establish a routine

Similarly to the high school routine, it’s vital to eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. Meditating before class also improves in-class attention. This practice enhances cognitive processes and executive control to promote effective learning. Incorporating daily workouts into your routine can also help through movement and physical energy. Taking virtual yoga classes, riding your bike outside, or going for a walk are all pandemic-safe forms of exercise that can enhance your academic success.   

Related: How to Creative an Effective Distance Learning Routine

Keeping up your grades can be challenging, pandemic or not. With these tips, you’ll have a greater chance of success in the classroom in high school or college, wherever your learning may be taking place. 

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About Ginger Abbot

Ginger Abbot is an education, learning and student life writer, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Read more of her work for college students on her Classrooms author page.


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