Would you like to know how to be a better student? This isn't something that comes naturally to everyone. I've noticed some of my students aren't organized enough to be prepared to learn and do well in school. It doesn't even matter how smart you are; you can be a poor student and get low grades. Other students who aren't as bright can scrape by because they consistently utilize a set of skills needed to be successful students. So if you'd like to know how to be a better student, read on.
Show up for class. Everything else is a mute point if you're not there. Barring illness, attend all classes. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but "I overslept" isn't an excuse. It's self sabotage, so if it's a habit, take steps to break it. If you have difficulty getting organized for class, pack your bag the night before. That way you only have to remember ONE thing to bring the next morning (the bag) and you won't end up saying "ooh, I left that on my kitchen counter!" Once you're there, listen in class. If you listen to the teacher, you might not need to study as hard at home! To be an active listener, look at the teacher when she's talking. Picture what she's talking about. Repeat back in your mind words you hear her repeating because those are the things she feels are important, and those are things she'll put on her tests!
People learn differently. Some remember more of what they hear, others by seeing pictures or diagrams, others retain what they read and others by writing notes. Most of us benefit from using all these strategies! So if you're not sure if you are a "visual learner" or an "auditory learner," be an active participant by listening, watching, and writing during class.
Be specific. "I don't get it" can just frustrate a teacher (and is technically not a question anyway, ha ha). "Can you tell me again how to isolate the variable" shows the teacher that you were following along enough to know that isolating variables is important to know, you just need to go over those steps. The best time to ask a question is when the teacher asks "are there any questions?" That's when she thinks she's said everything you need to know to be clear. But she might have forgotten something, and your question might clarify things for everyone before they go try too. She just might thank you for alerting her so she can help everyone at once.
Prepare for class the next day. If your teacher wants you to bring your book(s) to class every day, do so. Bring a pencil, pen, highlighter, paper, notebook, or whatever other tools the teacher expects and you need. Bring your assignment with you if you have one. Rest up the night before a test. This will help you do your best. Healthy habits such as eating right, getting enough rest, and exercising help your mind stay alert.
Be a lifelong learner. After you take the test, save your notes in case they're needed for the final. Save them when you've finished the course. They may help in future courses, or your occupation (Although to stay current, you probably won't need most of your notes or textbooks after 5 years). Just because you got a good grade on your test doesn't mean you want to forget everything you learned. Try your best always. Good luck!
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