How to Succeed in High School

Turn Around Your Grades with These Study Tips

Entering high school, you will face challenges you may not be ready to tackle. You are not alone. Many teens feel the stress homework, complex subjects, college prep courses and the need to get good grades. It can be discouraging, especially if your first marks come back, and they aren't what you or your parents hoped.

Know that you still have the power to turn your grades around. There are study tricks and resources that can help.

These tips are inspired by Patricia Telesco.

Tips for Success Studying at Home

  • Discuss your problems with your parents. They will only be able to help you if you let them know you need help.
  • Make yourself the perfect study area. You need enough light so you can read and write. You will want to be able to listen to music. You'll want access to a computer or tablet. An area with upbeat colors such as yellow may help keep your mind fresh.
  • While you may be tempted to study in bed, it won't be ideal for writing or keyboarding, and you may be lulled into drifting off to sleep. You need a table or desk where you can sit with good posture and get the most out of your study time.
  • Schedule regular hours when you will study and do your homework. A pattern helps create a habit, and good habits lead to success.
  • You need to fuel your brain, but it needs to be with healthy snacks that won't take long to prepare or make you drowsy. Plan for fruit, veggies, nuts.
  • Make it a team effort. A study partner can help you stay on track (so long as you choose the right one). You can also enlist your parents to quiz you before tests.

The Four-Part Study Method

This method will help you learn and remember more from your reading and lectures. It processes the information through your brain in four different ways.

  1. Take handwritten notes. While it may seem easier to keyboard them or record them, the act of handwriting has been shown to allow your mind to understand and retain more of the information.
  2. Transcribe your handwritten notes into your computer or tablet. This gives you a chance to review them as well as making a readable record.
  3. Now record yourself reciting your notes. Speaking the information out loud will have you retain it in a new way.
  4. Listen to the recording a couple of times. In this way, your brain processes the information again.

Getting Study Help at School

  • Take advantage of your guidance counselor. It is her job to help you succeed. Make an appointment to discuss which classes have been the most challenging. She may be able to steer you to better offerings that will still help you achieve your career goals.
  • If you have a study hall time, be sure you are using it effectively. It's your chance to use the library, locate resource materials, or even find a teacher or tutor who can help you.
  • Teachers often have extra help hours where they can assist you. Get on the list, especially before any major tests.
  • Are there study groups or tutors available for the subjects that are giving you the most challenge? Ask your guidance counselor if you can't find any.

    Online

    • Talk to your parents about using online programs or software at home for the subjects that challenge you the most.
    • Your guidance counselor may be able to suggest sites, online programs, and software that will supplement what is available at school.

    Keep a positive attitude. It will bring you more energy to put into your studies and turn things around.