Improving the Academic Grades
It is a shame to
have talent, natural ability, and be so good at what you do but not reach a goal
because priorities are not set. Priorities must be set in order to achieve goals
in our lives. If an athlete has a goal to become successful in a sport then
he/she must set priorities in his/her life to achieve and maintain this goal.
Good grades are one priority in reaching this goal.
Every day we are faced with choices. Staying focused and consistent is mandatory
in accomplishing our goals. The priorities we set should be primarily in our
thoughts on a daily basis; anything else is after our priorities. This way we
are working towards our goal(s) every day.
An athlete with strong study skills can make a difference in having a successful
season individually or with his/her team. If a student can read and has good
study skills, there is no excuse for failing. The following information can
assist all students and coaches at all levels of education with their studying
cause ineligibility to participate in sports
Attendance, un-excused absences, illness, tardiness, not making time to do
homework due to a job, lack of concentration on homework assignments, incomplete
homework assignments, assignments not made up, do just enough to get by, not
setting priorities, not managing time, lack of study time, lose books and
materials, did not finish project, forget to study for tests, missed test, not
paying attention, poor use of time, not feeling well, too tired, went out with
friends, on the telephone, broke up with boyfriend/girlfriend, family argument
made me depressed, extended vacations and just not studying.
Study on a regular basis. This requires that you plan your time and set some
goals. Grades are the most important thing to allow or disallow you to
participate in sports and other school activities. Higher education will look at
the grades as a basis for deciding whether to admit you as a student. You need
to do your best to keep the grades up so you can do all of the things you want
to do in school and beyond.
The very task of getting to the library is a form of discipline. Each time you
go to the library before school, after school or during the course of your day,
you are directing your energy toward a constructive purpose. That is what
discipline is; a decision to do something demanding, something that requires
focus and energy, rather than doing nothing. Discipline is having direction and
purpose. That means getting up each morning to meet the challenges the day will
One of the most important ways of keeping your grades up or improving the
existing grades is finding a mentor that you can trust and that can help you
develop study skills.
The better you know the mentor the better they will know you and be able to
with a friend
If a tutor or mentor is not available, a friend is another option. In this way,
you can help one another, as you will probably have different strengths and
Sit in the front half of the classroom; do not hide in the back of the room or
in the corner. The closer you sit to the front, the better you will be able to
see and hear the instructor. You will not learn anything if you are not
listening and paying attention.
You are encouraged to ask questions. If you have been listening, paying close
attention and still do not understand what is being said, raise your hand and
ask for clarification. No one will get mad at you or think the question is
ridiculous. If you feel uncomfortable asking questions, write all of the
questions down so they are not forgotten. When the instructor returns to his/her
desk, ask for clarification on the questions you have written down. The
instructor is there to help!
Do homework and study as soon as you get home. All of the information you have
gathered throughout the day is fresh in your mind. Do not study or do homework
in front of the television or with the stereo blasting. A quiet place with a
table and chair is much better. You will remember what you have studied and you
will finish much faster without distractions. If you cannot do the homework
right after school, you will need to plan ahead to make sure you have enough
time to finish it and remember what you have done. You will not remember
anything if you rush through it. You need to be organized in everything you do.
If you are not, everything including the grades will suffer. You need to get
into a daily or weekly routine and stick to it. It will be the best thing you
can do for yourself.
School is a time for fun and lasting memories but poor grade performance can
have a lasting effect on your life during and after school. If you can make the
effort to study and follow a few simple strategies to improve your study habits,
you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have done everything possible to
give yourself an added advantage going into higher education and beyond.
skills workshop for the instructor
Open a discussion on what you believe study skills are. What has helped others
become a good student?
Discuss, display and learn how to use school planners. Discuss the value of
always using organizational planning with learning.
When to Study
in advance a block of time for studying
with hardest subject - move to easiest
Arrange time in manageable blocks
more time for subjects needing improvement
temptations (radio, CD, telephone and TV)
Where to Study
a quiet place at home. If studying at home is impossible look for a quiet
location at the school or library
in the chair straight back in a well lighted area
in an area where you can get fresh air
plenty of study supplies (tablet, pencils, dictionary, calculator, ruler, etc.)
Listening and Taking Notes
1. Instructors will
often indicate important items
"Listen to what I am saying"
"This is important"
"Don't' forget this"
2. Listen to the
"Do you understand the topic?"
"If confused, ask questions"
3. Tips on taking
Pens or pencils (always have spares)
Take notes on a full sheet of paper (mark page number, subject and
Use highlighters or colored pencils to mark different topics
You Must Learn to
Read Before You Can Read to Learn
1. Do not read
2. Think about the subject while reading
3. If the subject is hard, stop after a few minutes and summarize
4. Read slowly if the subject is difficult
5. Keep your mind on the subject
6. Write a summary of the material in your own words
Flash cards: They work well when you have to learn a lot of materials.
Print vocabulary words, formulas, dates, etc. on front (explanation on back).
Study these flash cards between classes or during breaks.
1. Get in test
Start by reading
Work on developing your vocabulary by using a dictionary to look up
unfamiliar words. Words lists and flash cards can also increase your vocabulary.
Understanding basic concepts allows you to tackle many of the questions with
3. Understand the
Study and understand the test instructions prior to the day of the
test. Knowing the instructions means that less time will be spent figuring out
what is being asked on each section. You then have more time to read each
question and work the test problems.
Do not spend too much time on any one question.
Eliminate wrong answers and intelligently guessing an answer can
help you to score better on any test. If you can eliminate one or two incorrect
answers your chances of guessing the correct answer is increased.
6. Simulate testing
Take several practice tests under simulated test conditions. Set an
alarm and stop when your allotted time is up. Score the test, review your
answers and learn something from your corrections.
7. Know your
After scoring your practice test, review your answers and highlight
problem areas for additional work. Also concentrate on the types of questions
that you did well on. It is always good to accentuate the positive.
8. Be prepared
Being prepared helps you to score better and to feel more confident
on test day. Success is not completely determined by your test score but more by
your motivation, willingness to work hard and your preparation.
Remind yourself that time spent preparing for the test can make a
positive difference when you take the test. Your preparation and confidence
combined should help you to score your best on test day.
classes you take this year will prepare you for next year. The classes you take
next year will prepare you for the following year, and so on. Be prepared, make
your classes count, and make what you do at home count, too.