Our latest issue out now!Fall 2017
Unless you were born a genius, getting good grades can be a challenge. Even successful students who consistently get the top grades struggle. Want to know how they manage to stay so on top of their game? They have study habits. Sure, there are some grade A students who are naturally smart and don’t have to put much effort into their work in order to impress their teachers – but this is rare. Even when it seems effortless, most of the top students are actually doing a whole lot of work to maintain their GPA.
So what are they doing? If you’re serious about getting better grades, read on. Here are 20 secret habits grade A students have that you need to try:
First and foremost, successful students are organized. They aren’t scrambling around searching for their notes a few hours before a test. They don’t forget to write down homework assignments and thus forget to do them. They keep their school stuff in one spot, and they know how to manage their time.
You know how a lot of teachers offer extra credit, and a lot of students ignore it until they realize they’re failing and need to do something ASAP? Yeah, well, straight A students don’t ignore extra credit. In fact, they usually do it even when it’s not necessary. I know that it’s hard to do EXTRA work on top of what you already have. But instead of thinking of it as extra, think of it has part of your coursework – that’s what these students do!
Straight A students aren’t intimidated by teachers, and they’re not afraid to admit that they don’t know everything (well, most of them, anyway). They know how to ask for help when they need it. Getting help from a teacher can not only help you understand things better, but it also shows your teacher that you’re trying and making a real effort – oftentimes, this can change their opinion of you in a really good way.
The most successful students are typically the ones who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves. If they get a bad grade that they don’t think they deserve, they WILL say something to their teacher about it to try to improve it. It might not always work, but it’s definitely worth a shot!
Good students don’t just study whenever they feel like it. They have a specific time each day/night that they dedicate to getting their work done. Establishing this daily habit is so important. When you have a specific time every day, it’s sort of like an appointment. You get used to it, and then it just becomes something you do without thinking about it.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but cramming doesn’t work. Trying to jam a semester’s worth of information into your head in a few hours is not the definition of success. Students who get the top grades don’t cram – they study consistently. They study even when they don’t “need” to study. They study every night, then study more the night before a test.
Straight A students are usually excellent at time management. They give themselves a certain amount of time to get an assignment done, rather than spending hours on one thing and getting distracted throughout. They also usually know to get the hardest assignments out of the way first, then focus on the easier ones.
Good students read the books instead of watching the movies. They read the reading assignments they’re given instead of blowing them off.
Straight A students feel that school is really important to them, and so usually they end up putting it before their social life. If you’re really serious about school, this is sometimes what you have to do.
Whether it’s to please their parents, get a certain GPA, get accepted into their dream school, or become the valedictorian, good students are working towards goals, both short-term and long-term. They think about their future and they put effort into achieving it. They know what they’re working for, so they have something that motivates them. Find what motivates you, and remind yourself of it every time you’re feeling lazy.
This goes back to being organized. Straight A students stay on top of their game by always reminding themselves of what needs to get done. They make to-do lists either for the week or the day, or even both. They check things off as they go along, which helps towards a sense of accomplishment. Making to-do lists helps you remember everything and makes your day easier
Successful students take notes even when they aren’t told to. Furthermore, they write them out instead of typing them up. It’s proven that writing things out helps you remember them better.
Good students usually have their own study habits that they know work for them – they realize that the same thing doesn’t work for everyone, and so they find what makes sense to them. Whether this is creating flashcards, making their own practice tests, studying with a friend, or saying things out loud, it doesn’t really matter. Find what helps you the most, and stick with it.
When a good student comes across something they don’t quite understand, they make a note of it so that they can look it up later. One of the best students I knew used to have a notebook where she would write down every word she didn’t understand and every phrase she didn’t. She would go home and look everything up, and write it down. She did this even when reading for pleasure. It’s so helpful!
Say a teacher assigns homework and says it’s due in four days. A good student goes home, and does the assignment right away – or at least starts it – instead of waiting for the night before to get it done. Why? Because the day the day the assignment was given is probably the day you learned about that particular topic. It’s fresh in their minds, so why wait and push it off?
Although they’re dedicated, great students also know that they need time to relax and re-energize. This is why they manage their time – so that they can also give themselves breaks. Have times where you do your homework, and times where you read, take a nap, or just veg out in front of the TV.
Good students write down every single assignment they’re given. They don’t make it a note in their phone. They don’t blow it off and say they’ll write it down later. They don’t assume they’ll remember it. They certainly don’t go to class without a pen and paper. In fact, they usually have planners where they record all of their homework to look over later, with due dates included.
Great students usually don’t sleep late. They definitely don’t get to class late! A successful student wakes up early enough so they have a decent morning, and they don’t keep everything until the last minute. Just wake up a little earlier each day!
You need a space where you feel comfortable, something quiet, private, and has the room to hold your school stuff. Maybe it’s a desk, maybe it’s a library, and maybe it’s not even your bedroom. Good students know it should be its own study spot, because making it your bed makes it too easy to get distracted.
Not every good student loves school, but they do tend to have one thing in common: they don’t absolutely hate it or think of it in a negative way all the time. Sure, everyone complains, but truly great students really know that school and learning is important. They have a more positive outlook on getting their homework done instead of just thinking of it as a means to an end. Start being more positive!