So it’s half-way through your semester, and you just got your progress report from school. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you thought, or maybe just looking at your report makes you sick. Either way, do not give up hope! You can still turn around or improve your grades over the rest of the semester. Here are a couple habits that you should integrate into your academics to improve your chances of success.
1. Start projects or assignments right away. You’ve heard it before, that you should start your work when you get it, not right before it is due. I am going to tell you the same thing, but for a different reason. The real advantage lies not in less stress, because that is not true. I am a firm believer that tasks expand to fill the time allotted. The true advantage to starting earlier is that you put a part of your brain to work on the ideas and problems, and the flow of ideas start. In fact I came up with the idea for this article weeks ago, and I have slowly been constructing out outline until now, when I do the writing work. Better creative ideas generally equal better marks, which makes this habit essential.
2. Keep an ear out for extra opportunities. I’m not just talking about extra credit type work that you ask the teacher for if you are failing. I’m talking about commonly overlooked opportunities that you meet day to day. One of my teachers last year offered a 5% mark incentive to students who corrected their wrong answers on tests and could prove to him that they learned the material. Now, it might seem like a no-brainer to you, but you would be surprised at the number of students who didn’t take advantage of this at all. In fact, I think only 5-10% of his students took advantage of these free marks.
3. Break down your academic goals into smaller steps. Okay, so you want to get over 75% this year. Well, what smaller steps can you take towards this larger goal? By breaking it down into smaller, more easily achievable goals such as “attend extra help every week” or “finish all my work each night” or “review the previous week each weekend”. It can even be as easy as seeking academic tutoring for that “extra help”.
4. Emerge yourself with people who exhibit the qualities you would like to develop. Basically, surround yourself with high performing students, and observe their habits and see what you can replicate. Obviously you aren’t going to drop everything and join the math club, but you should be aware of other people, and try to duplicate the qualities that make them better students.
Stay tuned for 4 More Ways to Radically Improve your Chances of Academic Success. I couldn’t fit even the most primary of concepts into one article without potentially overwhelming people, so you will see a part 2 to this coming out soon! I would also be very interested in hearing your best tips for success!