4 Simple Rules for Becoming a Straight-A Student
You may have told yourself that you aren’t an A student, that it just isn’t possible for someone like you. Contrary to popular belief, there is no secret Straight-A Club that only accepts certain students. In fact, with the right mentality and effort, pretty much anyone can become a straight-A student. We know it sounds kind of ridiculous, but being a good student is a skill that can be learned. Not everyone is naturally inclined to study or sit in classes, but it’s still something you can become good at. Interested? Here’s how.
Rule 1: Be Organized
It’s absolutely impossible to have a high GPA if you lack basic organization. One easy thing to do is to color-code by subject. At the beginning of the year or semester, decide which colors are for which classes, then purchase a folder and notebook for each class. If you can’t find all the colors you need, some tape or colored markers work fine. If you’ve decided that English is blue, keep all of your English notes in the blue notebook and handouts in the blue folder.
Throughout the day, keep a running “To Do” list of any homework items or projects you have for any class. At home, you can cross them off as you complete them. Just make sure that completed assignments go in the right folder!
Rule 2: Review Course Materials Often
It’s difficult to keep up with materials from 7 or 8 different classes, but waiting until exam time to really start studying is a bad plan. Instead, make sure you’re studying throughout the semester. If you review your notes or handouts weekly, you’ll find that you remember concepts more readily and for a longer time.
Make a review schedule that you’ll stick to: Mondays review Science and Math, Tuesdays review English, etc. It’s up to you, but making a schedule to review notes and concepts for each class is easy and it only takes 10-15 minutes each day.
Rule 3: Take Care of Your Health
If you’re really serious about getting straight-As, treat your brain like an athlete treats their body. Luckily, they require the same things: nutrition, sleep, and physical exercise.
If you are up all night playing video games, you’ll fall asleep in class, which means you’ll miss a ton of great information. Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Our brain requires deep sleep to retain information, so if you’re missing out, your brain won’t be able to recall the knowledge you need for tests and assignments. Likewise, eating well keeps your brain in good shape, so make sure your lunch comprises more than chips and soda and that you’re getting adequate nutrition at home. If this is something unavailable to you, see if your school has free meal options. Finally, you need to get regular exercise. Even a 20-minute walk will do you good by getting blood flowing to your brain. Remember: your body’s health is linked to your brain’s.
On a similar note, don’t neglect your mental health. If you struggle with anxiety or depression, find someone you can trust and let them know. They’ll be able to direct you to a counselor or therapist that will help you. If stress is overwhelming you, it’ll be harder to get those straight-As you’re looking for.
Rule 4: Talk to Your Teacher
During class, after class, during lunch – talk with your teacher. You need not like them, but you should be able to form a working professional relationship with teachers. While this sounds unnecessary, remember that if teachers know you as a person, they’re more likely to want to see you succeed and can help you out.
Ask questions if you have them during class. If a concept comes up that you don’t understand, it’s ok to ask your teacher to clarify; it’s likely that others have the same question. Asking your teacher questions in class will show them you are actively taking part in the lesson. If you still don’t understand something, approach them after school, during lunch, or during tutorials they offer. If you’re a fraction of a point away from an A by the end of the term, your teachers may see that you’ve been working hard, participating in class, and devoting your own time to your learning and round up.
Getting straight-As certainly isn’t out of your grasp, but it requires a bit of extra effort than you may be used to putting in. However, if you truly desire to become a straight-A student, that bit of extra work will pay off.