Make This the Year You Get Better Grades with These 9 Tips
Ready to turn a corner and earn your highest GPA yet? Whether you’re in high school, college, or online school, learn how to get better grades with these helpful tips. You’ve already taken the best first step — getting motivated!
1. Map out your study schedule.
Figure out how much time you need to dedicate to each course outside of class. Make a plan and stay organized. You’ll also want to treat your scheduled study times as if they’re written in stone to hold yourself accountable.
When your only plan is to “wing it,” it’s incredibly easy to run out of time when completing assignments. Block off an hour or two each day to dedicate to your schoolwork, and suddenly, you’ve found time in between a job, extracurricular activities, and your social life. Don’t forget to mark all of your due dates on your schedule, too!
2. Stay on top of your reading and homework.
When you tell yourself that you’ll complete a task tomorrow or next week, you run the risk of things snowballing. Sure, pushing off chapter 5 might seem like no big deal, but what if your teacher assigns chapters 7 and 8 before you’ve caught up? Suddenly, you’ve got hours of reading and things begin to feel daunting and unmanageable. Instead of giving the future you a mountain of work, do what you need to do every day (and get better grades because of it).
3. Find study buddies.
Studying with peers can be a game changer. Study groups can help with staying focused and holding yourself accountable, and you can work together to figure out tricky or confusing concepts. However, you must pick your study buddies wisely! “Studying” with your BFF sounds fun, but it might not be as productive as studying with a hardworking acquaintance from your class.
4. Try a new method.
If your grades were mediocre or worse than last semester, what you were doing before probably isn’t working. It’s time to figure out something new! If you can’t seem to focus at your home, try studying at the school library. If you’re too tired to finish homework after dinner, try getting it done right after school.
For some students, a timer or watch is an invaluable study tool. Try working for 20-30 minutes, then take a 10-minute break. Repeat as needed! This method breaks big tasks into manageable, bite-sized chunks – which can work wonders for your motivation level.
5. Take good notes and ask questions in class.
If you spend the entire class scrolling social media on your laptop or daydreaming about your lunch plans, your homework will be harder and your exam prep will be lengthier. Pay attention in class and it will pay off in a big way later.
Get into the routine of taking thorough notes, and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Not only will you absorb much more information this way, but teachers also tend to look kindly on students who participate in class!
6. Create a dedicated study spot in your home.
It can be extremely beneficial to set up a space to do all your studying and reading at home, especially if you’re figuring out how to get better grades in online school. It might be tempting to lay in bed or sit on the couch while you work or listen to a lecture, but it can be pretty difficult to ignore the siren call of a nap or a TV show when you get a little too comfy.
Instead, set up a small, quiet space, like a desk or table, and stock it with your go-to study supplies and materials. Get into the habit of doing your work there, away from the places that cause distractions.
7. Eliminate distractions.
It is nearly impossible to focus on the task at hand when your phone is blinking at you, your roommates are laughing loudly at a TV show, or you’re in a spot with excellent people-watching opportunities. If you can’t resist these distractions, you certainly aren’t alone! Instead of working impossibly hard to stay focused surrounded by distractions, eliminate them all together. Leave your phone in another room, put on noise-canceling headphones, and find a seat where there is nothing to look at except for your book. Set up a study spot that is comfortable and cozy, but beneficial for uninterrupted study time.
8. Ask for help when you need it.
Oftentimes, feeling lost and defeated can turn into feeling unmotivated. If you’re totally stumped on an assignment or confused about what a teacher or professor wants from you, ask for help. Go to office hours and talk to your teacher one-on-one. Educators genuinely want their students to understand the coursework and work through challenges, and they are here to help. (Plus, it’s a chance to show your teacher how hard you are working.)
If you need additional help, seek out a tutor or study group. If you don’t ask for the help that you need, you’re unlikely to get the grades that you want.
9. Set yourself up for success with the best school supplies.
When it comes to racking up straight As, the right school supplies and perfect back-to-school technology can make all the difference. WiFi issues and connectivity problems can be major productivity killers, so ensure you avoid these with products like WiFi boosters or the ultrafast Macbook Air. Noise-canceling headphones can effectively block out any unavoidable distractions, like the neighbor’s barking dog or that loud breather next to you in the library.
Tablets are also great for stowing in your bag for on-the-go study sessions, whether you’re sneaking in a chapter while you wait for takeout or finishing an assignment on a long bus commute. Even items like fun-colored highlighters, a great planner, or a new travel mug can make school more enjoyable – which can do wonders for your academic performance.
Get Better Grades with Help from Rent-A-Center
A new school year is the perfect fresh start. When you have the right tools to take notes, stay focused, and collaborate with other students, those A’s come a little easier. Make an A+ choice with Rent-A-Center and get the rent-to-own electronics you need to do your best work. Shop online or at a store near you.