Like many other High School students, right now, you may not be satisfied with the grades you’ve been receiving in your report cards. Below, I’ve compiled a list of steps and tips that - if followed - will ensure better overall grades on report cards!
Analyzing - Understand what your teacher expects, how they determine final grades and how they grade single assignments and tests.
Consider what impacts your grade for a course. List out all of the courses you’re taking, and list down what your teacher takes into consideration when giving out quarter/trimester/semester/final grades. The following are examples of class assignments that may be taken into account:
2. Find out how your teachers calculate or determine report card grades.
If you’re in the second semester - For each course, review each assignment/test/exam/etc that is graded, and try to see how your teacher determines your grade. If it’s the first semester/class session - Ask your teacher.
Questions to ask your teachers include:
Is the class graded on a curve?
Are assignments graded based on percentages or based on criteria/standards?
What goes towards my grade?
Does my behavior affect my grade?
What type of assessment is weighted more heavily when determining grades - tests, labs, papers, etc?
Are assessments at the beginning and end of the semester weighted the same towards my final grade?
Will my grade be an average of percentages?
Will my grade be determined by a trend in letter grades?
3. Figure out why you didn’t get a desirable grade the last time final grades came out. Ask yourself how you were as a student last semester. Questions to ask yourself include:
How did I study?
Did I study at all?
Was my studying effective?
How much time did I set aside studying for tests?
Did complete assignments last minute?
Did I save myself time to fine tune/edit papers/projects?
Did I plan ahead?
Did I do all my HW?
Did I participate in class?
Did I behave in class?
Did my teacher seem like they liked me?
Action - Steps you can follow to maximize your grade to the fullest.
1. Prioritize assignments. If tests are weighted more heavily than labs, focus on studying for tests. You need to make sure that if some assessments are weighted over others, those are all what your target grade is. If you want to get a B in Algebra 2 and tests are heaviest weighted assessments, make sure those tests are B’s or higher. If you want to get an A in Spanish and Oral Assessments are weighted the most heavily, make those oral assessments amazing. At my school, our last few assessments are the most important, so I make it my highest priority to ensure that I get A’s on all of them.
2. Never score beneath 2 letter grades of what you’re aiming for more than 20% of the time. For example, last semester I was aiming for an A- in Honors Biology (cut myself some slack for my first honors course as a Freshman!!) and my single letter grades were A-, A, A-, A-, B, A-. There were 6 assessments of our learning total, and on one of them I had gotten a B, which was 2 letter grades lower than an A-. I still, however, am due to receive an A-, because I only got a B once.
3. Do ALL of your homework (even if it doesn’t count towards your grade). Trust me on this - doing homework is what can be the difference between an A and A-. Homework is so, so, so important in preparing you for assessments. It solidifies learned information/gives you a preview into information you’re going to learn in a future lesson, and gives you practice. I do my homework every time it’s assigned for my math class and have received an A with just 1-2 short study sessions. I know people who never do their homework and have less satisfactory grades.
4. Create goals for each assessment you have coming up. If you know the assessment schedule before a new semester/class starts - great! Create goals for each of the assessments based on how your teachers grade. For Chinese Intermediate 1, I’m aiming for an A this upcoming semester, and I’ve already set goals for each of my assessments that I know I are feasible.
5. Be a teachers pet! This is super important. Your teachers will be more understanding towards you, and it could bump up your grade. HS Students - you never know, this teacher might be one you ask your college rec from!
6. Use your time efficiently. Don’t waste time that you could be using to work on an assignment or study! Create little note sheets, flashcards, quizlets, or have your laptop on hand to study and work when you’re doing nothing.
- Hand in neat work. Giving in clean, crisp, beautiful assignments will impress your teachers and make them think that you’re as clean-cut as your assignments. Aesthetics matter!
- Have the mentality that you’re going to ace a test before you take it.
If you have a friend that’s doing really well, see what they do, and ask them for their study tips.
Always plan for tests/assignments.
Review notes after class, it’s a proven way to solidify and memorize content learned in class.
I am not an exact studyblr or anything. But I love this community. I have some real bad months behind me, and I have done nearly nothing in the past few montha. I was struggling but I couldn’t move forward. But now I am here and I am happy to be able to announce : I am back on track finally and I AM GOING TO BE A DOCTOR. I feel the power now. Anyway, biochemistry final exam on Thursday, so I have to study really hard … I hope I can do it. Good luck everyone whatever is forward you you can do it!