Advice from straight-A students

July 22, 2017

The top grades don’t necessarily go to the brightest students. According to the professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Herbert Walberg, “knowing how to make the most of your innate abilities counts for more.” It’s not about how long you study, it’s what you do there. Maximize the effectiveness of your study session by using the advice from straight-A students.

  1. Set priorities. The best students do not get distracted by anything. When they are in study mode, nothing can take them away from their studies: phone calls, texts, and snaps go unanswered.
  2. Study everywhere. The top students are usually involved in other activities too, such as varsity tennis or volunteer every night, so they find time to study no matter where they are. You can put up a vocabulary list on your mirror or go over your notes on the bus ride to school. No matter where you study, you have to be consistent.
  3. Be organized. Keep all your papers in a folder or anything that works as long as you know where you can find it and have easy access. One method is to have a folder for completed assignments and one for homework. Having your supplies together reduces time-wasting searches.
  4. Learn how to read fast but efficient. Take a class or read a book about speed reading as you can increase what you retain from reading while being able to do so faster. Also, to be a good reader, you have to be an active reader: ask questions to fully understand the author’s message.
  5. Manage your time. Break up a big assignment into smaller pieces where you can spread out the work over your time frame. Even top students procrastinate sometimes but when they do, they make sure they hit the deadline.
  6. Take good notes. Your notes should make up what the teacher emphasizes during class. Also, take notes from the text and combine the two. One method is to draw a line down the middle of a page and keep notes from the text on one side and the notes from the teacher on the other. It’s important to use your notes too. Review them before class begins to refresh yourself on the previous class.
  7. Neatness goes a long way. Teachers prefer to receive a neat paper and are more likely to give an A that way. If you see a good looking burger you believe that it's good: teachers are the same with assignments.
  8. Test your knowledge. A great way to see how well you know the material is to test yourself. Write up test questions based on the points covered during class and give yourself a written examination. If you can’t answer the questions, go back and review. Students who make up possible test questions often find the same questions on the exam and therefore score higher.

Reed Kurtenbach