Getting a bad teacher is always unfortunate, but you can still learn the material & manage to ace the exams! Even if they don’t teach you anything, they still might have resources you can use, and there are plenty of other ways to take your learning into your own hands.
Get resources from the teacher!
- Ask for a textbook to take home. If you don’t have a book or something similar, ask for your own book, an online textbook, or another resource that you can learn from.
- Get worksheets and practice problems. Teachers usually have really good resources, even if they aren’t good at what they do. Get relevant worksheets, online recommendations, or other resources.
- See if you can get help during free time. Ask your teacher if they have any open hours to get help, or ask specifically if you can go in during your lunch, or before or after school for extra assistance.
Learn from textbooks!
- Take very comprehensive notes. If you don’t have a good teacher, you’re going to need to get the material from somewhere, so your notes need to be extremely thorough.
- Use supplementary books. A lot of subjects– especially AP classes with standardized exams– have books from publishers like Barron’s, Kaplan, and Princeton Review to help you learn the information.
- Make flashcards & extra study tools. Since you don’t have the variety of learning methods you might in a good class, learning in every way you can is even more important to ensure that you do well!
Use online resources!
- Check YouTube for instructional videos. If you need to know about it, there’s a fantastic chance that YouTube has it. Standbys include Khan Academy, Bozeman Science, and Crash Course.
- Make use of masterposts. If someone has already compiled oodles of resources for you, they’re definitely worth checking out! Plus, if they’re student recommended, there’s a better chance that they’ll be helpful.
- Find free questions. Exam boards like the College Board publish questions (and answers!) online, and these are super useful for knowing how well you’re doing.
Ask for extra help!
- Talk to older students for tips. If they’ve been through the class before, they usually know what the teacher is missing out and also how to do well.
- See if your school has a tutoring programme. Some schools have teacher or peer tutoring programmes where you can get one-on-one help without having to pay for a more expensive professional tutor.
- Get a friend to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! If your friend is a science genius and your physics teacher is atrocious, it’s always worth a shot to ask.
Good luck! You can still do fantastically, and hopefully you’ll have some better teachers next year.