10 Habits of STRAIGHT-A Students
Some students seem like they always have it together. They’re always prepared, perfectly organized, the teachers love them, and they’ve probably never gotten a B in their life. If this doesn’t describe you… don’t worry. Have you ever heard the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it”? Today, we’re discussing ten habits of straight-A students – and the habits YOU should adopt!
Sit in the front of the class and make eye contact!
It’s tempting to sit in the very back of class so you can goof off, daydream, or even catch up on sleep. Don’t do it! By sitting in the front of class, you’ll force yourself to pay attention. You’ll also make a good impression on the teacher, who will remember your face and see that you’re paying attention in class. Making a good impression on your teacher is key, because they’ll be more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt and grade in your favor!
Plan! Seriously, write down everything.
Don’t trust your memory. Write down every due date and deadline! Write in bold colors and highlight the extra important stuff. Don’t risk forgetting something until the last minute or worse, forgetting something altogether!
Work with other straight-A students.
Surround yourself with the people you want to emulate. Study with the smartest kid in class, and do group projects with the other front row sitters. Being around other motivated and high-achieving students will help you stay motivated and accountable (plus, you might learn some new study tips).
Outline (or finish) projects early, and ask for feedback.
If your teacher or professor is willing to give you feedback, TAKE ADVANTAGE. If you plan out a big project, your teacher can let you know if you’re going in the right direction. If you finish a term paper early, your teacher can let you know if you’re hitting on the right points. Seriously, your teacher will give you a roadmap to an A… find out exactly what they’re looking for, and then give it to them!
Work smarter, not harder.
Being a straight-A student is all about being efficient and strategic. Let’s face it – sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. If you can’t finish all your assigned reading in one night, prioritize the subjects that often have pop quizzes. Instead of pulling an all-nighter to read every chapter, read the summaries and highlight all the important vocab words.
Know your limits, and be realistic with your time.
This can be a hard habit to learn, but it’s so important. When it comes to studying, quality can be more important than quantity. Staying hyper-focused on the material for two hours can be more efficient and effective than trying to marathon study for 10 hours straight. If you have a short attention span, be realistic about how you can get the most benefit from your time. Believe it or not, sometimes studying hard for a couple hours and then getting a good night’s sleep is more beneficial than staying up all night, half-focused.
Eliminate distractions. Period.
I used to say that I studied well with the TV on. Trust me, I studied better with it off. Put your iPhone away, turn off the television, and find a quiet area to study or work. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done! Plus, your cell phone or favorite TV show can be your reward for a successful study session.
Study to understand, not just to memorize.
This might sound like it’ll make your studying much harder, but trust me – it makes your life so much easier in the long run. Think about your family and extended family. If someone asked you to recite the names of everyone in your family, you’d probably do it in some organized fashion, listing parents and their children in sequential order and so on. It’s easy to remember your whole family this way, because you understand the relationships and structures. This is how you should be learning your course material too! Talk out loud as you study and understand the logic and organization behind the things you’re trying to remember. When it’s time to recall that information for an exam, it’ll be much easier than just regurgitating memorized words.
Make the inevitable crunch time pleasant (or at least less unpleasant).
No one would choose to spend their free time studying, but it’s something that you have to do if you want those A’s. Instead of being negative and miserable the entire time, try to make it painless! Wear your comfiest clothes and grab your favorite coffee. Make a study playlist of your favorite mellow tunes. Gather all the materials you need to study best – for me, that was notecards and colored markers to create flashcards. Have a game plan so you’re not overwhelmed. Studying is much easier and enjoyable when you’re prepared, optimistic, and comfortable.
Help make your teacher’s life easier.
For every huge project or long term paper you turn in, there’s at least 20 more. Your teacher has to read and grade a lot of assignments, and you can get on their good side simply by making their life easier. Make your handwriting clear and legible. If your project consists of multiple sections, label them. If they are looking for something specific, highlight or underline it. Don’t make your teacher hunt for your answers or try to guess what you’re trying to say! The easier you make their job, the more likely you are to get the grades you want.
If you’re aiming for straight A’s this semester, start by incorporating these habits of straight-A students into your daily routine. Hold yourself accountable and stick to these, and they’ll become ingrained habits in no time.