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How To Get Straight A’s: Top College Students Weigh In

straight a'sIf you’ve always wondered how to get straight A’s but were unsure of where to start, the best thing you can do is ask the people who are already doing it at the highest level. A word of warning upfront, though: some of the answers may not be the quick fix you’re looking for. While you can certainly work smarter and not harder, hard work usually does factor into the equation at some point, especially if you’re part of a more challenging degree program. Without further ado, let’s get to the expert advice. (Hat tip to reddit.)

1. “I didn’t drink alcohol. … I found that to have a significant beneficial effect on class attendance, available time for studying, quality of studying, and general memory retention. I’ve been told that I had less fun than I could have, to which I generally respond that I’m happy with the fact that I can remember the fun I did have, as well as the things I was paying to learn.”

2. “When I was younger, natural curiosity. I would read books like horrible science, and if I had a question, I would ask, and if my parents didn’t know, they would find out and tell me in terms I could understand. This lead to a base level of understanding that carried me through school with little effort until I was about 15 (mid GCSE). After then, doing all the homework, and a few extra exercises. Now, in my final A-Level year, going to the nearby university library and working there for an hour or two before going home. I get home a bit later, but I can then spend the entire evening doing what I want. When it gets closer to exams, I can use this time for revision. Oh, and revision. That is so important. It you are stuck on anything, however small, ask your teachers. They are there to help.”

3. “My tips: keep notes, prepare for and attend seminars/group sessions. When given an assignment always note the deadline 3 days before the actual deadline.. gives you enough time to touch it up. Begin exam revisions 5/6 weeks in advance by reading up and writing out revison notes again, also try past papers daily.. finally, my pro tip: Gingko Biloba tablets 60mg daily and final 2 weeks before exams gingko biloba drops daily, also supplement with Omega capsules. (All natural, no chemicals)”

4. “I really think my grades in college really amounted to note taking. Most of the time, I didn’t study. I missed class, sometimes (I have anxiety… so some days were just a no go)… but when I missed class, I would email my teacher in advance to warn them and ask for any assignments. I would also go to their office hours if I missed something that I needed a little help understanding. … What it comes down to, is that I took class seriously. Even that stupid dance class that was absolutely ridiculous. Because I was spending good money to get an education… it wasn’t some joke to party away. Even if your parents are paying for college… what kind of slap in the face is it to them if you don’t put in the effort? … Also, I made sure to take at least one class per term that was a subject I really enjoy. Woohoo nutrition classes! … I think that’s all.”

5. “Pick the right gen ed classes. It’s important to choose classes that come easily to you- things you’re interested in and good at, or already have experience with from high school. The less you have to rote memorize, the better. Make RateMyProfessors.com the end-all be-all for which section of a class to take; pick a prof that everyone says is a breeze.”

6. “Get in good with your professors and department heads. Visit during office hours, strike up conversations. Stay engaged during class discussions, and ask relevant questions. If you’re a point away from an A, a professor is more likely to bump you up if they think you’re pleasant and engaged with the material. Sometimes, they’ll do even more for you. I skipped about half the classes in a course with a department-mandated 2 absence limit and still aced it because I turned everything in and the professor/department chair liked me.”

7. “Take written notes in class. It’s a little bit more effort upfront, but paying attention and writing things down makes it much easier to remember stuff, and you’ll need a lot less time to study.”

8. “Whip out your study guide/notes about an hour before an exam. Look over the entire study guide, highlight ONLY the things you don’t remember. Look through your notes on those items for the remainder of the time, and walk into the exam with everything fresh in your memory.”

9. “When writing papers, break down any questions asked in a writing prompt into an outline. Fill in said outline with just enough information/research needed to answer the questions. Extrapolate on those points.”

10. “Wikipedia should never be used as a source, but you can certainly make things easier by using the articles sourced within the Wikipedia page.”

11. “Take as many online courses as you can. Sometimes the work can be a little tedious, but answers to tests and quizzes are right in the textbook. Voila, no need to study.”

12. “Schedule classes with friends. Having a support group makes things a lot easier, and if you don’t understand the material, chances are a friend can probably explain them to you.”

13. “The key for me was just put school first. That doesn’t mean abandon any notion of a social life. You can still go out on weekends and even during the week, but if you have an exam the next day, give yourself a good several hours to actually study. Most of my friends got a lot of Bs and Cs because they were the type that would skim their notes once and then resume their Netflix marathon all night. Go over your notes at least 3 times. The first time to re-familiarize yourself with the material, the second time to reinforce it, the third time for good measure. And I mean really study them closely. Spend a decent amount of time on each slide and don’t just skim and assume your brain will store the info. It doesn’t hurt to have the textbook in front of you so you can reference it when you think there’s something in the notes that might need to be elaborated on more…this is of course assuming you even bought your textbooks. … While you’re studying the material, use common sense try to guess what the questions might be. Chances are a lot of those questions you imagine will wind up on the test. And as you’re doing this, make sure they are questions that require you to apply the material rather than just memorizing the definition verbatim.”

14. “Listen in class. Don’t mindlessly take notes. IME, the teacher will touch on everything that they consider important, and therefore everything that will be on the final.”

15. “Engineering major here. Start your homework, studying, etc. as early as possible (within reason). The sooner you finish it, the more time you have to relax and do whatever you want without feeling burdened or guilty. Also, it gives you more time to review it to catch mistakes. … Make a to-do-list with all your assignments and tests. It gives you an idea of how much time you need to commit to work at any given point. … Also, GO TO CLASS. TAKE NOTES. Even if you don’t ever look at the notes again, writing them down helps you remember important details.”

16. “I made a schedule each semester and stuck to it. … For every one hour of class time (lectures, labs, tutorials, etc.), I’d schedule two hours of study time. Study time includes homework, assigned readings, projects, etc. … I’d also schedule ‘fun.’ They could be used for whatever. Hanging out with friends, spending time with the SO, browsing Reddit, etc. … It is better to schedule study time earlier in the day. If you have fun in the morning/afternoon, you may find yourself too “tired” to study and put off studying until the next evening. … You cannot account for all hours each week, so there will be open time slots for unexpected events. Use these empty slots to reschedule study time or fun time as needed. … Sticking to a schedule requires a lot of discipline the first few weeks, but it becomes routine. … I’d also put study notes on cue cards and review them on my way to and from school. It’s important to note that notes on your mobile do not work as you are one text/email away from being distracted the entire commute. I categorized this time as commute time and not study time. … Also, aim for at least 7+ hours of sleep per night. I scheduled it in.”

In Summary

So there you have it straight A’s seekers. A guide on how to get to where you want to be in college. Most of these tips will usually be effective in high school as well. Good luck as you move forward with your education!

Written by

's work appears regularly here at 4tests.com and across the web for sites, such as The Inquisitr and Life'd. A former high school teacher, his passion for education has only intensified since leaving the classroom. At 4tests, he hopes to continue passing along words of encouragement and study tips to ensure you leave school ready to face an ever-changing world.

Website: http://aricmitchell.blogspot.com/

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