Easy Ways to Dramatically Boost Your Grades

9 minute read

Are you struggling to keep up with your studying and workload? Have you noticed your grades beginning to slip? Do you know you can do better but you aren’t sure where to begin? Today, we’re sharing a variety of simple, practical and easy-to-implement ways to dramatically boost your grades. From helpful tips to get the most out of each lesson, to written and verbal communication, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone in this list! 


Find out where you’re falling short

In order to boost your grades, it’s really helpful to know which areas in your academics require more attention. Once you’ve identified where you’re falling short, you can create a plan of action! Are your grades lower than you’d like across all your subjects or is there one area in particular that you’re struggling with? Do you struggle with external factors, such as family problems or are you worried about a social situation at school or university? Is there an academic skill, such as essay-writing, oral presentations or note-taking, that you would like to improve? 


Identify your learning style

You might find that your grades are slipping, simply because you haven’t discovered the way that you learn best. Spend some time exploring how you learn, what helps you to interpret new information and which learning style enables you to feel excited about gaining new knowledge. The three main learning styles are Visual, Auditory, and Kinaesthetic, so take a look at the linked blog posts to find out more about each, including the best ways to study! 


Be organised

The laziest way to squander marks is by losing track of deadlines and testing and exam dates, ultimately forgetting to submit an assignment or show up for an important test or exam. It’s your responsibility to have a strong handle on when all your work is due, and there are several ways to do it: a reminder app, calendar notifications, physical notes, a planner or a study timetable. 

Related: How To Create A Study Timetable You’ll Actually Use

girl sitting at desk, studying with notebook, boost your grades

Eliminate clutter

On the topic of being organised, create a study space that inspires you. Have a tidy desk, with neatly organised textbooks, so you know where everything is. Throughout the term, keep your homework, tests and assignments in a central location. Don’t just throw everything on your bedroom floor or into the back of your car, because you’ll need this material for studying and revising. 


Attend all your classes

This may seem obvious, but your grades may be slipping because you’re skipping class. Being in class will help you to absorb course material better. Even if you have a teacher or lecturer who follows the textbook closely and you feel tempted to cover the material on your own, attend and gain direction on how to approach the material. Don’t forget about classes that come with participation or attendance points simply for being there. By not attending class, you’ll lose out on those marks. 


Become a participator 

Statistically, those who sit nearer the front of the class are more likely to succeed, while those who sit closer to the back will find it easier to slack off. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but if you are struggling to focus, consider moving to the front of the classroom. Make eye contact with your teacher or professor while they teach, make your presence known by asking them to elaborate on something, and find ways to make meaningful contributions to class discussions. 


Put your phone away

During lessons, keep your phone in your bag and on airplane mode. Then, while studying, revising or doing homework, make sure your phone is nowhere in sight. Put it on silent, so you aren’t distracted by incoming text messages and limit how much time you spend on your phone during breaks. 


Take notes with pen and paper

Taking physical notes, as opposed to typing on your laptop, will force you to focus and pay attention. Studies have shown that writing things down will help you to remember key facts! Improve your note-taking skills by making sure you can actually read them afterwards. This means avoiding the hurried scrawl. Once you’ve written your notes, consider typing them up at the end of the day to solidify what you’ve learnt and to reorganise your thoughts for future revision. 

Girl writing notes, taking study notes, boost your grades

Show up with purpose

Make the most of your teacher or professor’s time, by setting up a one-on-one meeting and asking questions. To get the most out of this time, show up with purpose! Here’s how:

  • Come prepared with questions about a specific project or assignment.
  • Explain your concerns about an upcoming exam and ask questions about a specific topic.
  • Show interest in their field of expertise and ask to hear more about their experience.
  • Ask for suggestions on how to study or revise for an upcoming exam or things to include in a paper.


Ask good questions

The person who said “There’s no such thing as a silly question” didn’t take into account the select few people who ask questions that the teacher just answered or responded to in the syllabus. When asking questions, consider what has been already covered and any gaps that need to be filled in your understanding. Write down your questions during the lesson and save them for after class if you’re uncomfortable asking in front of the class. 


Use the textbook

Your professors have assigned textbooks and reading material for a reason: it’ll help supplement the lectures and class discussions. With this in mind, read all the assigned material. While reading, highlight any important information and keep summary notes in a safe place so that you can look over them when you're studying. 


Improve your memory

With so much to learn across several subjects, you may find it difficult to remember facts, figures and concepts. This is where memory techniques will come in handy! You can create mnemonic devices to help retain and recall information. You’ll soon see a noticeable improvement in your performance while writing tests and exams. 


Related: Easy Ways To Improve Your Memory


Take breaks

Study breaks are a game changer and will help you to retain information which will ultimately boost your grades. It’s widely known that cramming for an exam will often have the reverse effect. Instead of remembering more of what you’ve studied, you’re more likely to feel tired and overwhelmed, and forget key facts. To avoid this, make study breaks a priority. Your rested brain will thank you. 


Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

Speaking of rest, try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Sleep may not seem like it’ll make a difference, but it can actually have a tremendous impact on your concentration levels and it’s an easy way to boost your grades. If you’re tired in class, you won’t be able to pay attention, you won’t remember what you’re learning and you’ll find it hard to recall information when you take tests.

girl sleeping, rest break, boost your grades

Become a better writer

Writing assignments will come with most courses, so being able to write well is crucial. Organise your thoughts before writing. You can do this by mapping out an outline. Understand what your professor requires for each paper, including how they want it to be structured. Then, be prepared to edit and rewrite your work. 


Proofread all your work

And we mean, all your work. Proofreading shouldn’t be something you reserve for research papers only. Absolutely everything you hand in to your teacher or professor should be proofread, whether that’s a quick email, an assignment or a pop quiz. 


Practice your verbal communication skills

Many classes will include a presentation component, providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a subject. Be prepared to deliver an exceptional oral presentation by preparing well, rehearsing, and if you’re using technology, having a backup plan in case it fails. 


Related: Oral Exams - How To Prepare For Different University Exams


Give yourself lots of time

You’ll need time to revise and study all your work, so be sure to designate more time than you think you will need. Take time to go through practice tests and exams, without rushing. When writing your exams, don’t be quick to write your answers. Give yourself lots of time to read through the questions carefully and to answer everything thoughtfully. 


Hire a tutor

A one-to-one environment is certainly better for asking questions, without worrying about speaking up in front of the whole class. An experienced tutor can help you to understand the material, create a manageable study timetable and personalised lesson plans. At Teach Me 2, we hire only the best. Our online tutors each have a distinction in their subject of choice, so working alongside one of our professionals will help you to boost your grades! 

If you want to get your confidence back, click here to find the perfect tutor for your unique goals.

We have online tutors available as well as tutors in Johannesburg, tutors in Pretoria, tutors in Durban and tutors in Cape Town.

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