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How can I ensure straight A's next year?

ac6803ac6803 33 replies32 threads Junior Member
I don't mean magic or anything, just some tips.
Last year, I took the following classes with corresponding grades:
HON Pre calc - B
HON French - A
HON English - A
HON Chemistry - B
AP Statistics - B (3 on the exam)
Phys ed - A
HON US History 1 - A

Despite the grades being mediocre, I never felt so stressed and worked harder in my life and never slept before 2am. Freshman year I took all accelerated (regular) classes and got straight A's and it was pretty easy, except Biology, but sophomore year was incredibly hard. However, next year my course load is only getting tougher: AP calc, AP english, AP physics, AP psych, HON french, phys ed, HON AP euro history (HATE history, but my dad insists I take it)

I used www.tutor.com towards the end of the year and it helped alot, but it could only do so much. Also, it's very expensive, since it charges over $40 an hour (i swear the tutors purposely take forever)

My top college is Cornell and my GPA is at a 3.77 or 5.18 (weighted) and the only way i can get it up is by getting straight A's.

I just need a few tips or study habits that worked for you guys.
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Replies to: How can I ensure straight A's next year?

  • brijetz17brijetz17 99 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Time management for sure.

    Are you doing anything EC?

    Study every day. Do not procrastinate. Do homework-the obvious things

    Prioritize. If there is a test the next day study a little longer. In that subject.

    Try to get some sleep!! Sleep takes a tole on long term memory.

    Have you ever used Khan academy? They have tons of tutorial videos on legit almost everything. And it's free. :D

    Take notes on everything and review them-reread and rewrite them.

    Read ahead in textbooks. Then you know what's expected.

    Are you given all assignments ahead of time? Like for my math classes, we are given all the assignments for the year with the syllabus. If so, do them all in a weekend!! Haha that's what I did. Or do at least a few week's worth so you aren't so overwhelmed. Then when there is a quiz/test review the night before.

    Flash cards flash cards flash cards. My BFFs. And real ones not ones on your phone or computer. That way when you make them, you are physically writing them out and studies show that pen and paper are closer connected to memory retention then a keyboard and screen.

    Find your learning style: kinesthetic, reading/writing, auditory, or I think there's another one, but can't place it at the moment....anyway find what works for you. There are tests online you can take, and then apply it to your studying.

    Hope that helps and good luck!!
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  • iubaccountingiubaccounting 1138 replies16 threadsForum Champion Indiana - Bloomington Senior Member
    If you don't get to sleep before 2 AM, then time management is obviously your problem. Just try to start homework right when you get home. Maybe eat a snack first, but don't watch TV, play on your phone etc. Once you are done, use the rest of the time until 10 or 11 to relax, and then go to sleep.

    Getting more sleep will probably improve your grades by themselves. If you have an EC that is taking up a ridiculous amount of time, consider not doing it next year. Also, don't bring your phone/laptop into your room when you go to bed. If they need to be charged, leave them in the kitchen or some other room.
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  • MPC6789MPC6789 337 replies25 threads Member
    This past year was freshmen for me. While my grades were fine and I am one of the top students ( UW average of 94), I know that if I were more proactive I could have done better, I was in all honors classes. Here are some things I have learned that were helpful to me:

    Find an organizational method that works for you. I had an agenda book that the school gives everyone and I tried using it but never could get into it. I would forget to write assignments down, or didn't look at it at home. I did find an app that works great! It's called myHomework. It's on my iPad mini and you can add your classes to it and add assignments under different types (quiz, test, homework, project, lab etc.). I also have the app set up so a notification appears a day before something is due. There is also a calendar on the app that automatically puts any assignments you have added to it, and a circle symbolizes an assignment, so you can see how many things are due any given day. I've seen some people who use an agenda book that works for them, or some people use a HUGE wall calendar to write down assignments.

    If you don't understand material and are at home and can't contact or stay after school with a teacher, use Khan academy. I prepared for a college placement math test and it was SO helpful. I've browsed through some of the subjects, and there are just so many! Especially in math and science. Of course, if you have the chance, go see your teacher, they'll be able to answer specific questions or explain it in multiple ways as opposed to Khan Academy.

    Determine which ECs are the biggest "time sucks" (not a negative connotation, but which ones are most time intensive). I did cross country, which met from 2-5 everyday, and meets went from 2-8 and you couldn't do homework because you had warm ups. I wasn't good at it, nor was I passionate about it and it was taking time away from things that I was passionate about or was important to me, so I am dropping it this year. I play saxophone and had lots of homework, so I didn't have much time to practice because of XC and I had homework.

    When your teacher says "there's a chapter x test in 2 weeks", don't wait until the last two days to study... Or the night before... Begin studying a little bit every day! Maybe just 20-30 minutes the first few days, and then increase as more material is added. If you study material as you get it, it will be MUCH more manageable then cramming EVERYTHING the night before... Which leads to this point.

    It has been proven that as the night goes on, the brain is not as good as absorbing information and retaining it (like 11 PM?). I read this a while ago, so I don't remember the exact facts, but don't cram the night before.

    If you have a study hall, USE IT. Do not goof off or play on your phone. Use it to get some homework done and you'll have one less thing to do at home.

    When you get home, have a snack but don't watch TV or YouTube... I found myself doing this and saying "well just after this (20 minute) video, I'll do homework" and then 2 hours later I realized I was still watching YouTube... To combat this, I began doing this towards the end of the year:

    Since I often was too distracted when I got home, in the last semester, I stayed after school almost everyday, whether or not I needed extra help, until 4 (so 2 hours) and I did homework. And if while I was studying I needed extra help, I would just walk down the hall and find my teacher! Usually what I did was I went into my biology classroom and used a table as my work base. My bio teacher was fine with me chilling in his room, and he usually had kids after school with questions or extra help so he was there anyways (awesome teacher). Of course, ask a teacher whether they are okay with this, don't just show up in their room one day!

    A lot of these tips I developed towards the end of my freshmen year, but this upcoming year I hope to implement them right from the start!
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  • readingclaygirlreadingclaygirl 2212 replies2 threads Senior Member
    3 A's and 2 B's in all honors or AP classes are not mediocre. You need to take care of your yourself. Find a way to de stress everyday. Go to bed by 11pm at the latest. 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night will not help you. Study everyday. Don't put things off. Stay after school if you are struggling- don't be ashamed to ask for help.
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