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How to Get Good Grades in High School

You’re not the first student to feel apprehensive about your first year in high school. Many students are worried about extra homework, classes that are more difficult than middle school, their first college prep courses, and increased projects.

Don’t be discouraged if your first report card shows grades lower than you know you are capable of earning. There is plenty of time to raise your GPA, and there are tried-and-true techniques that will assure you get the results you deserve.

Seven High School Success Techniques to Use at Home

1. Talk to your parents, and let them know you are struggling. They, too, probably struggled their first year in high school. You might find encouragement in their story. They also might have some good ideas on ways they can help you.

2. Create a special study spot just for you at home. First thing to take care of it is lighting. Make sure your study area is well lit. If you find music helps you to stay focused, set up your favorite way to listen to music inside your study area. Use bright cheerful colors when you design your study space.

3. You will stay most alert if your study space includes a table or desk with chair. Studying in bed is not a good idea. Besides becoming drowsy and unfocused, your handwriting will suffer if you study in bed.

4. Choose healthy snacks for study time, such as fruit, crackers and cheese, pretzels and dried fruit. You will need extra energy for long projects and long study sessions, so light snacks will help you.

5. Get into the habit of studying at the same time each day. This will create a pattern for success. And always study in your special study area. All successful high school students study every day.

6. Make use of recordings of your notes and of lectures. Download and listen to these during your free time. Many students find that listening to a concept is just as, if not more, effective than reading about it.

7. Find someone to quiz you before each test. If your parents cannot do this, find a friend.

Four Resources to Use at School

1. Make use of your school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors are there to help all students, especially in those cases when you might be in a class that is just not right for your skill set or for your career goal.

2. For your most difficult subject, obtain that teacher’s extra help schedule and make an appointment. At the first sign of falling behind, meet with that teacher and get advice.

3. Use study hall time to make progress toward your study goals. If possible, go to the school library and check out resource materials that will help you with your hardest subjects. You might also be able to use your study hall time to meet with a teacher who can help tutor you in your hardest subject.

4. Seek out a tutor or a study group for the subject that is the most difficult for you. A study group will understand what you are going through and will be able to give you some good ideas on how to master the course.

Two Ways Your Computer Can Help You Become a Better Student

1. There are many sites designed for high school student success. Here are two we can recommend:

2. Ask your parents about getting software installed at home. If you don’t have a set of encyclopedias at home, we recommend Encarta. Look for software that claims it is a cyber tutor or a study aid. We recommend High School Learning Advantage made by Compton’s. Super Tutor Company has a good resource called The High School Resource Center. We also recommend the Science and Math Master from Smart Works. These three pieces of software are all reasonably priced and very helpful.

The Number One Thing That Will Help You

Once you have all your resources in place, including your study area at home, there is one thing that will help you above all. A positive attitude will help you the most in the long run. Stay positive and upbeat, and your energy level will stay high, and you will find you have what it takes to become a successful high school student.


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