Chasing grades can sometimes feel overwhelming. It seems like all you ever do is study, but the academic load just keeps getting bigger and bigger and it’s hard to keep up. The secret is not to study harder, but to study smarter. But just how do you manage to get better results without investing more time? Here are a few tried and true hacks to boost your grades the smart way.
Too often classes are spent either trying hard not to nap, or scribbling chaotic notes that later turn out to be fairly useless. Instead, try to get the most out of the time you spend in class. First of all, come prepared. Read up on the lesson before the class. You don’t have to study in advance, the point is just to get a general idea of the topic so that you are able to follow the class and participate in a constructive manner. But what about notes? How will you study afterwards? Easy. Record the class using your smartphone, then use professional academic transcription services. That way your notes will be much more detailed, plus studying will be easier because you will already be familiar with the topic because you paid attention in class.
When you have to study, it’s easy to let your entire life slide into a disorganized mess. You find that time is slipping through your fingers. Days are going by, you feel exhausted, yet you are getting very little done. What you need is to come up with a plan. Create a to-do list, or adopt bullet journaling. Allocate specific time during the day for studying and stick to it. Don’t procrastinate, and then spend the entire day feeling guilty and staring at your open book without actually doing anything useful. Reward yourself with short breaks every once in a while, and when you are done studying, do something to unwind – for instance go for a walk. That will help you clear your head and give you the energy for round 2.
When you’re studying, allow yourself to only use your devices for that purpose and nothing else. Turn off your phone, and stay off social media. Chatting, texting or checking your Instagram every 10 minutes can be incredibly unproductive. It might take you just a couple of minutes to check your social media, but every time you do that, you are interrupting your flow. Your brain needs much more time to get back in the zone for studying than it actually took you to glance at your phone.
Sometimes success is not about putting in more time or effort at all. Sometimes, you just need help. If you don’t understand the topic you should be studying, if you have huge gaps that prevent you from following your classes or doing constructive work, then it’s time to realize that you just can’t do it alone. First of all, consult your teacher. Ask them what specific areas and problems you need to work on to improve your grades. Once you know what to focus on, ask one of your friends from class to help you, or try hiring a tutor. You might be surprised how fast your grade shoots up once you understand what you’re studying.
Sometimes you can find yourself in an academic slump, even if you are doing your best to keep up. Whether you’re just buried under an avalanche of work, or feeling the effects of too much work and no play catching up to you, it’s time to start maximizing the efforts you are spending on your studies.