I bet one of the questions you ask yourself most often as a student is: “How do I get better grades without having to work too much?” Unfortunately, there is no way you can get good grades doing less than what it takes; however, there is an easier way to achieve good grades without breaking your head.
What you need is a system. A systematic approach to studying will almost automatically increase your grades, trust me. There is your share of work in it, however.
1. You must create a personal schedule of how to use your time outside of class wisely. Your schedule does not necessarily need to be entirely crammed with plans regarding studying—leave some space for fun and rest too—but you need to be constantly aware of what you will be working on, when, and where. Even a loosely-chalked out schedule reduces stress from studying—this is guaranteed.
2. Proper organization is the key to success in anything you do—studying in particular. By creating a schedule, you organize your time—next is the organization of the space you work in. When your visual environment is simple and clean, your mind works more effectively too, so clean your locker, backpacks, and desks regularly. There is one secret about accuracy, by the way: maintaining cleanliness is easier than cleaning up.
3. Figure out your learning style. Some people memorize things better if they see it; other people need to hear new information, otherwise they will quickly forget it. Sometimes, people memorize something new by associating it with a certain smell, or tactile sensation. So, conduct a small experiment on yourself, and figure out which type you are. Just remember that classic reading of textbooks and taking good notes is still important for studying.
4. This point is subjective, but I often recommend it to people: do the hard stuff first. I’ve seen recommendations to “deal with smaller tasks first, so that you can do more things and keep yourself motivated.” This is nonsense. To our minds, hard tasks are primary and important by default. What’s the point in doing a bunch of secondary and tertiary things while you still have a guillotine of Super Important Things to Do hanging above your head? Besides, hard tasks require more brain power to complete, so it’s better to do them first, while your mind is fresh and active. After completing a bunch of small tasks, it will be much harder to work on the more important ones.
5. Invent fun ways to study. It has been proven a long time ago that learning is easier and more effective when the learner enjoys the process of learning. Also, find a study partner (see our previous post about how to find a good study partner). Studying together with someone is more fun than studying alone.
If you turn these recommendations into systematic actions, your grades will gradually improve. Enjoy!
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