4 Qualities You Need to Change to Get Good Grades
Getting good grades requires a lot of work, but before you can get to that point, you may have to address some specific attitudes that are holding you back. As one gets older in life, they will discover that things like personal issues can sideline them from work. And while everyone needs a couple of days off from time to time, they also must eventually come out of the dark or the slumber and face the challenges ahead.
If you are in that type of situation and it’s keeping you from getting good grades, then here are some qualities that you may need to change to get where you want to be.
1. Blaming Others for your Problems
It’s understandable why you would want to blame others for your poor performance. After all, your family or friends may be putting up roadblocks so that you don’t have the time or the environment to focus. Maybe you think your teacher has a vendetta against you or perhaps they’re young and just don’t know how to teach the material.
Regardless of what the external forces are, however, you will need to find ways to make it work, and that starts with stopping the blame game and asking the question, “What can I do to overcome these challenges? Where can I find the help I need?” You are going to run into people in life who waste your time, or whose performance affects yours, or who simply have it out for you. That doesn’t get you off the hook, however.
2. Working Long Hours Instead of Smart Hours
Many students struggling to get good grades assume that if they put in more time with the material, they will be able to achieve greatness. Unfortunately, they sacrifice quality of study time for quantity, and then they cannot figure out why their performance got worse!
Just “showing up” doesn’t do a lot of good. Sitting in a room for hours while your mind is all over the place won’t get you any closer to getting the good grades you desire. Instead you need to hone in on the material that challenges you, and you need to create the right environment in which to study.
That’s why most students do better if they work for 30-minute stretches of time and take frequent short breaks. The brain needs time to digest the information and concepts that it has just consumed. It also needs time to rejuvenate for the challenges ahead.
In life people have a tendency to over-share. They are frequently guilty of TMI (or “too much information”). The student’s brain can also be guilty of this in another sense. Instead of trying to focus on one or two concepts or pieces of data at a time, you glaze over a lot in the hope that enough info will stick to get you a good grade for the test or the course.
Ask yourself a question after you read over your notes or a section of the textbook: how much of that do I remember? If you’re finding that only one or two things are clear to you in a sea of information, then you’re glossing over too much, and that’s leading to a TMI moment that won’t do you any good come test time. Instead, slow down and work to really understand a couple of things clearly before moving onto the rest. What you’ll find is that the greater foundation of information you build, the easier it will be to pick things up quickly moving forward.
4. Failing to Prepare for the Challenges
It’s been said that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. We’re not sure who came up with that comment, but it rings true in virtually every aspect of life, from school on-up. Imagine what it would be like if you just tried to randomly study things for the GED or the ACT or SAT without any sense of what your strengths and weaknesses were.
It could lead to you walking into your test with a false sense of security over what you know, while being ill-prepared for the things that you don’t, with the things that you don’t know taking up most of the test!
Everyone needs a plan, or the only result they will end up with in the long run is failure. When planning for a test — either standardized or class-based — consider the material that the class covered or that the study materials presented. Then, consider the time that you have before exam day. Once you’ve done those things, assess where you are on each skill set. If you feel confident with certain skill sets, don’t spend as much time on those. Instead direct most of your attention to the skill sets that have an intermediate to challenging difficulty level.
As you can see, it takes a lot of self-assessment before you can get to a place where you’re prepared to get good grades. The good news: once you stop each of these qualities, true knowledge and growth soon follow. What are some things that you’re struggling with on your grades? Sound off in the comments section below.