Sunday, October 15, 2006

How to ace the toughest classes

Via the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News' edu-blog Get on the Bus, here's some great advice for students who want to get an "A" in their AP, IB, and honors classes:
  • Read the textbook, assigned or not. Take thorough notes on reading and lectures, go over them, rewrite/type them if you need more review, and have a highlighter system.
  • Make flashcards. Even if you don’t use them, writing them out helps a LOT and they’re a quick way to review/test yourself.
  • Do your homework. And do extra problems/questions, if that helps.
  • Be engaged in class. Participate in discussions, and try to get yourself interested in what’s going on.
  • Even if there aren’t discussions in class, discuss things with people. Try classmates, friends, your parents….
  • Get a tutor if you need one, or ask your teacher for help.
  • Understand how you’re graded.
  • Read. Just read a lot in general - this improves your writing SO much. Also, learn to diagram sentences. Even if you have all the facts write, (hopefully) you’re also graded on how you write, so you want to write well.
  • Aside from the obvious “listen/do your work,” become interested in what you’re learning. Build rapport with your teachers, drink lots of coffee, and create mnemonics for everything. Confidence/outlook definitely plays a huge role…if other people think that you’re smart, you’ll feel the pressure and rise to the occasion, etc.
I'm going to print out this excellent advice, which was sparked by a student question on the website College Confidential, and tape it to the vT family refrigerator.... Common sense, but a great reminder for students. There's no magic here -- just hard work.


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