The school year is coming to an end, and it’s almost time for the final push. Whether you’re in the eighth grade or in your senior year of college, this is when it’s most important to get those assignments in if you want to finish the school year right. Though, with the workload piling up, you may need a little advice, so here are five habits you should practice to get straight A’s on your final report card.
Make a Planner
If you’re like a lot of students, you feel like planners are a waste of time. Many people feel confident that they can keep track of their assignments in their minds, and if they forget when something is due, they can just ask a friend. It is possible, however, there is a reason why some of the most successful people in history have used planners: They work. Planners give you a visual display of all your assignments, so you don’t need to spend the excess energy trying to remember them. Seeing all your tasks written out before you can also give you some added confidence, as it allows you to separate everything you have to do so you can handle them all one at a time.
A healthy diet must not be overestimated. Studies show that nutrition directly correlates with mental focus and concentration, so eat up. Remember, snacks high in carbohydrates and sugar can make you sleepy instead of alert, so stay away from those kinds of foods. Instead, fill up on nuts, yogurt, granola and anything else high in vitamins and protein. Water, too, is needed to keep your body running at 100 percent, so always keep a water bottle on you that you can refill throughout the day.
Put Away any Distractions
Multitasking does not work as advertised. Science reveals that you can only truly concentrate on one thing at a time, and every time you read a text message while studying, you have to refocus your mind all over again. So in class, turn off your phone, and try not to sit next to anyone who distracts you easily. At home, keep the TV turned off. If you have any distractions that you can’t turn off, such as your little brother, then maybe you can go to the library or a quiet cafe. You may think you can handle the distractions, but whether you realize it or not, the more that’s fighting for your attention, the less information you retain. Study groups are a great way to get work done, but if you’re not careful, you can quickly start to forget why you’re there, especially if you’re studying with some good friends who you joke around with a lot. To keep you and your friends on track, it’s a good idea to elect one member of your group as the productivity leader who can redirect the group if you stray off-topic.
Take Detailed Notes
Note-taking is a skill that everybody should master. Taking notes is done by everybody from second graders to NASA scientists, so learning how to take helpful, clear notes is vital in life. When keeping notes, write legibly and stick to the main points of your teacher’s lectures. Then, when you’re at home getting ready to study, one of the best ways to use your notes is to turn them into flashcards. Flashcards make it easier to remember information, and they can be read almost anywhere. Go through them until you can get all the answers without checking.
Follow Your Teacher’s Directions
Finally, you’d be surprised by how many students get lower grades on their assignments simply because they didn’t properly follow the instructions. Too many students just skim the instructions on their projects because they assume they already know what they are doing, only to find out later that they were completely off the mark. No matter how intelligent you are and how hard you work, it doesn’t count for anything if you’re not doing the assignment the right way, so read the instructions carefully and refer back to them as you progress. After all, the instructions are one of your best resources and they are there to help you. If you’re confused about something in the instructions, just ask your professor. Your professors want you to succeed and will have no problem clarifying any questions you have.
Stress is always higher this time of the year as students are scrambling to finish their work as quickly and efficiently as possible. It can be difficult, but with the right strategy and a disciplined and determined attitude, you can take on whatever your teachers throw at you with ease.