What to do when you aren't doing well in a HS class


  2. Go to Teacher’s office hours early in the semester and Ask this question: “I know this is a really difficult class-- what are some of the common mistakes students make and how can I avoid them?”

  3. If you have problems with the homework, go to Teacher’s office hours. If they have any “help sessions” or “study sessions” or any thing extra, go to them.

  4. Form a study group with other kids in your class.

  5. Don’t do the minimum…for STEM classes do extra problems. You can buy books that just have problems for calculus or physics or chemistry whatever. Watch online videos (e.g., Khan Academy) about the topic you are studying.

  6. If things still are not going well, get a tutor. Your National Honor Society will have some. Or ask a teacher for a referral.

  7. Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.

  8. For tests that you didn’t do well on, can you evaluate what went wrong? Did you never read that topic? Did you not do the homework for it? Do you kind of remember it but forgot what to do? Then next time change the way you study…there may be a study skill center at your guidance office.

  9. How much time outside of class do you spend studying/doing homework? Is it enough?

  10. If you run into any social/health/family troubles (you are sick, your parents are sick, someone died, broke up with boy/girlfriend, suddenly depressed/anxiety etcetc) then immediately go to the guidance counselor and talk to them.

  11. At the beginning of the semester, read the syllabus for each class. It tells you what you will be doing and when tests/HW/papers are due. Put all of that in your calendar. The teacher may remind you of things, but it is all there for you to see so take initiative and look at it.

  12. Make sure you understand how to use your online class system…Login to it, read what there is for your classes, know how to upload assignments (if that is what the teacher wants).

  13. If you get an assignment…make sure to read the instructions and do all the tasks on the assignment. Look at the rubric and make sure you have covered everything.

  14. If you are not sure what to do, go EARLY to the teacher’s office hours…not the day before the assignment is due.

  15. Take advantage of any “re-do” tests you may be able to take…your teacher wants you to learn the material. Future material depends on it so you need to have the foundation. By explaining what went wrong you really understand it. Take advantage of this.


Thank you so much! @bopper This is very useful!

Have a good day!

Bump for my HS peeps

Should also add quizlets, as they raised up by total GPA by .2

if you simply ask the teacher for help, they will know you are serious and will cut you slack usually.

Do the homework, even if it’s just “suggested”! It will help immensely, especially in many math classes since practice helps you develop the skills.

Nice tips so far the HS students. Thanks for the updates.

For some classes going through your notes and rewriting them neatly or typing them up may help.

Tip #1 & #13 are pretty useful. You’d be pleasantly surprised how different your teacher acts when she has 20+ students to teach in 50 minutes compared to a couple of students who need extra practice. They tend to be a little calmer and explain concepts better.

Thanks… 2, 4, 7, and 14 helped me out a lot.

I find this tip useful for a lot of students no matter their grade so here it is: if you’re using laptops at school to take notes with then make the switch to paper and pencil. It always helps you remember what you wrote down and you can always bring that piece of paper everywhere with you to revise. It’s better than lugging a clunky laptop around anyways. Your laptop can then be used for things such as quizlets on the topics you’ve covered on the paper.

I personally think group study sessions are the way to go. If you don’t understand something, chances are someone else will. Plus these sessions can be quite fun.

I agree with @bugaddict because if study sessions, you have people that are striving for the same thing you are: that good grade. You surround yourself with that motivating energy to do well, and it really makes studying a lot less of a burden and a lot more laid back while still demanding. Talking from experience! :smiley:

What about staying “positive” after things don’t go your way?

Good advice!

Great advice bud - However, I would like to add something from personal experience. If you’re getting bullied, stand up for yourself. The long term effects of that can ruin your life.

Or ask for help…many HS have anti-bullying people on staff.

@Hardlystudying and @bopper I highly agree with both. Bullying can completely stick with your life, so if it’s happening to you, do not hesitate to get help. Things can get better, even if it may seem like it can’t.

Have a good day!

I want to ask a question … I came from Egypt just two months before joining junior high school year … I take bio/chem class but I feel like it is easy for me ( I had 2 years left at high school in Egypt) I talked with mu councelor and I can take AP Biology but I am afraid of not doing well in that class because the system is all new to me … what should I do ?

What science have you taken so far?
The normal progression in US High Schools is Bio, then Chem, then Physics, and then AP science.

You could also Ask your councelor if you can take the AP Bio class but then drop back if it is too hard.