How to get good grades

What are the simplest ways for students to get better grades? Do we spend too long trying to find the latest silver bullet to magically help students kick on in their studies and fulfil their potential, when, actually, much easier and straight-forward concepts already exist?

Here are nine easy ways for students to improve their grades (and what’s handy about this is that they are backed up by some pretty nice research too):

Eat breakfast – Often described as the most important meal of the day, eating breakfast has been shown to improve attention and memory (both of which are key skills needed for learning). For students whose families are from a lower-income background, eating breakfast at school has been found to improve both school attendance and grades in maths.

Believe You Can Learn The Material – Much has been written on the benefits of Growth Mindset and how to implement it in a classroom (a lot by us). But does believing that you can improve your ability with learning and effort result in students getting better grades?
Carol Dweck and colleagues examined this question and found that those who had a growth mindset intervention scored significantly higher grades than those students who had just had a lesson on how to improve their memory.
Growth mindset may not be a one-size-fits-all instant fix, but research suggests it can certainly be a slice of the pie. For more information on Growth Mindset, check out our guide page.

How to get good grades

Have a Sense of Purpose – Students who remind themselves of how doing well at school can help them achieve their future goals, along with having a Growth Mindset, have been led to an increase in grades. That was the findings of this study. What makes this study particularly interesting is that the authors suggest that (a) this is most beneficial for students who are at risk of dropping out of school and (b) this sort of programme can be scaled up across a whole school.

Put Your Phone Away in Class – Being on your phone divides your focus, making concentration and learning more difficult. Being on your phone too much can also lead to a range of other not very nice psychological consequences. In a study that wins an award for ‘stating-the-obvious’, researchers found that students who spend more time on their phones checking emails, Facebook and texting, get lower grades, regardless of sex or previous academic achievement.

Write About Your Nerves – In the build-up to an exam, have students spend a few moments writing down what makes them nervous about the upcoming exam. This technique has been found to help anxious students improve their performance and grades in the test. Why? Several possible explanations exist. The act could be seen as cathartic, it could help students realise their worries are illogical, it could lead to them addressing their fears, seeking support or working harder to avoid the negative consequence of not achieving their best.
A small word of caution. This sort of intervention is probably best done under the supervision of an adult. Done in isolation, it could lead to students dwelling on their worries instead of being followed up with positive behaviours.

Use Out of School Time Productively – A recent study by researchers from Cambridge University found what many teachers/parents have been saying for years. Students who spend more time playing video games and less time doing their homework/reading do worse in their exams. The report states that those who spent an extra two hours in front of a screen scored 18 fewer points in their GCSEs, whereas pupils who spent an extra hour doing their homework or reading each day got on average 23.1 more GCSE points.
Separate research supports this, with the authors of this study noting that students who game twice a day are also less likely to do well in their GCSEs.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Sleepy students tend do worse at school because not getting enough sleep can affect your memory, concentration, mood, creativity, health and concentration. This has been found to have a negative effect on grades in both maths and languages.
It is worth noting that the research does not suggest that more sleep is always better; however, if you were to ask your class if they think they got enough sleep last night, our guess would be that the majority would say no. A good way to help them to start thinking about their sleeping habits is to ask how many of the 9 common sleep mistakes they make? Even just getting a little more sleep can have a big impact on how people feel and perform.

For ways to get better grades in exams, have a look at our tips in Best Ways to Revise – where there’s also great links to blogs that will help you be exam ready.

How to get good grades

If you’re reading this website, you clearly care about being awesome at college. And a big part of that is getting the grades you want.

However, it can be hard to know where to start when you’re looking to improve your grades. Plus, I bet you have other things you’d rather do than spend hours studying each night.

Thankfully, it’s possible to improve your grades and spend less time studying. You just need to approach your studies the right way.

In my book 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less), you’ll learn how to do just that. And to thank all of you for reading and supporting the blog, I’ve decided to offer the book completely for free.

Enter your email below and I’ll send you a free digital copy of the book:

Here’s what you’ll find within the book’s 100+ pages:

  1. Getting more out of your classes – How to pay attention, get to know your professor, and stay active.
  2. Taking better notes – The best note-taking systems, shorthand hacks, etc.
  3. Reading more effectively – Dealing with huge textbook assignments and using active reading strategies.
  4. Building the optimal study environment – Location, study music, apps and gear, etc.
  5. Defeating procrastination – How to hack your motivation, build great habits, and make sure you get things done on time.
  6. Writing better papers – Research tips, how to get over writer’s block, editing strategies.

That’s a sneak preview — there are four other sections waiting as well (see, I can do math).

You’ll also find some of the lessons I learned as a student, plus graphics, diagrams, and links to amazing resources.

I’ve worked incredibly hard on this book and can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

Once you get it, I’ll also send you an email each Tuesday called Tuesday Tools and Tips. In it, I’ll let you know about all the new books, apps, and other productivity resources I’ve discovered recently — and keep you up-to-date on new CIG content.

If you want to be extra awesome, you can share this page with friends and help them earn awesome grades too 🙂

Get help on how to study more effectively, eliminating distractions, working virtually with your peers, and preparing for an online exam.

Study Tips | How to Study Effectively!

How to study effectively for school? Check out our Study Tips!

3 Ways to De-Stress While Studying [Video]

For every 50 minutes of studying, you should take a 10-minute break. If you’re having a hard time de-stressing from all that studying, our video will give you tips on what you can do to effectively take a study break.

5 Tips To Improve Your Studying [Video]

Improve your studying with these 5 easy (and effective) tips!

How to Eliminate Distractions & Focus on Studying

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How to Prepare for a Big Exam

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Where To Get Studying Help

Don't know where to study? We have the places for you!

Ways to Maintain Your GPA

Maintaining a high GPA in high school is essential to getting into college. Here are our tips for keeping your GPA up!

How to Work With Your Professor & Classmates Virtually

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How to Plan for a Productive Day

Class, assignments, extracurriculars, a job, fun. How do you juggle everything? Here are tips on how to plan for a productive day.

How to be Successful Taking a Test Online

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How to Prepare for Different Online Exam Methods

Online exams are like paper exams, the main difference? The tools you will be using. Here's how to prepare for online exams.

How to Focus When Studying at Home

Studying at home can be distracting – ​we’ve compiled a few tips that can help you stay focused.

Listen to this: According to a 2017 Gallup report, “The ‘school engagement cliff’ poses a challenge for school leaders, with the starkest engagement differences occurring during the middle school years.”

In the report, it was found that Grade 5 students had a 74% engagement rate. However, when you go down the line to grades 6–12, you’ll see a drastic change in the rates. By the time students were in Grade 12, their engagement rate dropped to 34%, which is more than a 50% decline!

What happened? What is with this large divide? While there are numerous factors that can influence student engagement, today we’re going to focus on one key aspect of student engagement: motivation.

Have you ever asked yourself why you study? If you’ve answered because ‘I need to get good grades,’ or ‘I need to be at the top of my class,’ or ‘My parents want me to,’ or ‘I just have to’ then your motivation for studying is extrinsic.

This basically means that your reason for studying is motivated by external factors and/or rewards such as grades, competition, pleasing your parents, or simply because it is what is done. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. You’ll actually find extrinsic motivation dominates most school systems across the world.

But… extrinsic motivation can be worrisome because it creates reliance on these external factors. Let’s say the reason you like studying is because you like being at the top of your class. What happens when you find yourself in the mid-tier? Will you lose the motivation to study? In an ideal world, students have a balance between both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

The traditional school environment is built on a rewards and punishment system (if you don’t study, you get a failing grade), where standardized tests are judges of your intellect, and curriculums and subject matter are dictated by schools. While this isn’t necessarily all disadvantageous for students, it does remove one very important aspect — autonomy and the power of choice.

This power of choice is the key to intrinsic motivation. Think about it, once you’re given the ability and freedom to make your own choices, you are automatically held accountable for your own decisions.

For example, if your parents want you to become a doctor, you are only motivated to study because you want to please your parents. But if you actually want to become a doctor and are motivated by the idea of helping others or are largely fascinated by the human body, then your motivation for studying isn’t reliant on any external factor. Your motivation is now intrinsic, which gives you the autonomy to see your own decision through.

The same goes for your major in university. If you choose your major because of external factors like because it’s something your parents want or because it’s a field where you think you’ll earn a lot of money, your reasons for choosing your major are reliant on something or someone else. But what about what you want?

Intrinsic motivation isn’t something you can just build overnight. You’ll need to have a lot of self-awareness, maybe even do some soul searching if you will.

The first step is to discover what you’re interested in. You might be surprised to find that many students, especially high schoolers don’t quite know what they’re interested in. But that’s not your fault. In some ways, it’s the fault of the adults of the world who impose everything on you from such a young age.

Perhaps you just weren’t given the chance to explore either. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out those opportunities for yourself. Get yourself out there and try multiple things. You can join an art or computer programming class, join the drama club in school, or even just watch a YouTube video. Find out what you like (and no, sleeping doesn’t count!) and dig a bit deeper. Trust us when we say that you’ve got nothing to lose.

After finding out what you’re interested in, get exposure and experience. Talk to industry experts, join a masterclass, get an internship — basically, jump into the fray and start learning in the real world. Perception and reality can be very different. What you see in a video can be helpful, but is ultimately someone else’s perspective. Now that you’ve discovered what you’re interested in, now’s the time to try it out and gain experience.

Let’s say you’re interested in creating sustainable fashion. You’ve bought a few pieces, have read about it online, and even watched YouTube videos. What’s the next step? Find people in the industry you can talk to, build connections, and create more opportunities for yourself.

You can also check out OWN Academy — a career and future exploration platform that helps students connect with industry experts to give them the real world experience they need to gain an edge in their career. OWN Academy has a large network of professionals you can connect with. You can join a class, get the opportunity to snag an internship, and even find a mentor.

After getting exposure, you can now set your own goals. Look at your strengths and weaknesses — can you actually create or sew the clothes you want to make or would you rather find someone else you can outsource that job to? What about your dreams? Is fashion just a hobby for you? Maybe you can sell sustainable clothing online? Do you want to start your own retail business?

You don’t have to have all the answers to these questions right away. Remember, the road to intrinsic motivation is a long one, and there will be times when you change your mind. Just know that studying isn’t all about the tests and grades. It should be about exploration and learning. So go out there — discover your passions, explore different industries, and be armed with the knowledge that your future is in your hands.

Many students find middle school much more challenging than elementary. In middle school, you must take charge of your learning and take on more responsibility. While the transition between the relative safety of elementary classes and the autonomy of middle school can be a challenge, with effort and focus you can successfully obtain good grades in middle school.

Explore this article

1 1. Do Your Homework

Your grade is generally calculated by adding up all of the points you earn and dividing by the total number of points possible. If you fail to do some of your work, these zeroes can severely bring down your grade.

2 2. Pay Attention

Your teachers will likely tell you everything you need to know to be successful. If you listen while they impart this knowledge, you will be more likely to hear and remember the information they share.

3 3. Study

The topics covered in middle school are more complex than those discussed in elementary. To fully understand these more difficult ideas, you need to study. Review your notes, re-read your book and make flashcards to cement your understanding.

4 4. Take Tests Seriously

Tests are often a large part of your grade. If you don’t try your hardest on a test, you may make it impossible for yourself to earn back the points you lost.

5 5. Avoid Distraction

When your teacher is talking, look at her, not at your friends across the room. It may be fun in the short term to get distracted, but you must think about your long-term grade goals and avoid the temptation to let your focus stray.

6 6. Get and Stay Organized

In the absence of organization, papers and notes can easily become lost. Use a divider or folders and set up an organization system. Keep yourself organized throughout the year to save time and reduce work loss.

7 7. Follow School Rules

If you do not follow school rules, you risk getting suspended or even expelled. You can’t get good grades if you are not in school. Stay in school by doing what you are supposed to do.

8 8. Pick Good Friends

If focusing on academics is important to you, you should select friends who share your studiousness. Surrounding yourself with friends who want to earn good grades will help you keep yourself on track.

9 9. Study with a Partner

Studying is much more palatable if you don’t do it alone. Pair up with a buddy and turn study time a social event.

10 10. Ask for Help

Your teachers and parents will help you, but you have to ask for assistance. If you don’t understand something or are struggling, seek help instead of trying to fight through it alone.

Getting good grades in school isn’t something that just happens. It takes persistence, patience and a lot of effort on your part. Going from getting mediocre grades into good grades isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes time to get yourself organized and develop the skills you need to succeed. There are few works that you will constantly meet: essay and term paper writing. To help you boost your grades, here are a few simple tips you can start implementing today, but if you have no time we could offer you special essays for sale.

1. Attendance Isn’t Optional

You can’t expect to learn anything if you aren’t actually in the classroom to take in the information being taught. Being present in the classroom is crucial to improving your grades. By just listening to what the teacher has to say, you stand a chance of being able to walk away with at least a C. When you take notes and study further about the subject matter at hand, you are going to boost your grade even further. The skipping class will cause you to lose points and make your grade suffer further.

2. Keep Distractions to a Minimum

If there is anything around you that could be a distraction and prevent you from learning, you need to get rid of it. Don’t play around with your phone, listen to music or sit so far back in the classroom that you can’t see or hear what the teacher is talking about. Sit closer to the front of the room to make sure you can hear what the teacher is saying and take accurate notes. Don’t allow other classmates who might not be interested in learning to distract you from bettering yourself.

3. Pay Attention to Your Note-Taking

Whatever the teacher talks about in class, you can plan on it being on the exam. Because of this, you need to make sure you are taking accurate notes that you can study from before the exam. Most of the time, teachers discuss the things that they feel are the most important. With accurate notes, you should have no problem passing the test. Go over everything the teacher discussed and make sure you know the material inside and out. Make note cards, discuss the material with the teacher or a friend, do whatever it takes to come out ahead and make sure the material is embedded in your brain.

4. Read through Your Textbooks

Regardless of how much your teacher might try to fit everything into their class session, it isn’t going to happen. They only have so much time to go over all of the material. Because of this, you have to take it upon yourself to go through the textbook provided and do your own research proposal and studying. For many students, the thought of reading through pages upon pages of text can be intimidating and overwhelming. This is where you need to implement techniques like scanning, skimming and spotting keywords.

Skimming involves going through and reading just the most important parts of the content. Reading the first sentence of every paragraph can help you pick up what the text is about quickly.

Scanning is where you look through the main parts in a book to figure out whether it relates to your given topic. By reading the preface, index, intro and conclusion, you can get a good idea whether the book is going to help you or not.

Spotting keywords involve going through and picking out the important phrases or words within the text. Anything highlight in italics or bold tends to be the most significant piece of information in the text. Pay attention for this formatting when reading the text.

5. Compare Your Notes with the Textbooks

The key to mastering the material at hand is reading, analyzing and memorizing the materials. Read through your notes, write down any questions you might have and ask your teacher for the answers. You can also search your textbook for answers to your questions. This will help your brain to retain all of the information being taught in class.

So, what are the things we should remember in order to get good grades?

[img]If you want to get good grades, pay attention to the following issues.

By going through the tips above, you can begin improving your grades in no time at all, for example reading our articles: Why are Transitions Important in Writing | Can Science Go Too Far. Before you know it, you will have the grades you want and be on your way to a new grade point average.

There is also another way to get your A – become our customer! Our team of professional writers and 24/7 support can’t wait to help you!

Talking Points for Parents to Encourage Good Grades

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, international bestselling author and host of the The Verywell Mind Podcast.

Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist.

The need to get good grades is a common topic of conversation among teenagers and their parents. Do your talks involve threats or encouragement? There’s a big difference and one may actually be a better approach than the other.

When talking to your teen about grades, it may be tempting to discuss the dangers of bad grades. But scare tactics like, "You'll never get into college," or "You won't get a good job," aren't likely to be effective.

Instead, you can talk about the benefits of getting good grades. By giving real-life examples, you can provide motivation for your teen to study hard today. There are five benefits you can use to jump-start your conversation with your teen.

Good Grades Can Lead to Scholarships

How to get good grades

Colleges and scholarship committees will review your teen's transcripts. Better grades, higher test scores, and involvement in a variety of activities can help your teen get more money for college.

Talk to your teen about the realities of student loans. Discuss how academic scholarships can help cover the costs. Explain how student debt can negatively impact your teen's future, well into his 30s.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many college graduates can't accept their dream jobs because they can't afford to do so. Instead, they have to take jobs that will help them afford their monthly college loan bills.

A lot of students are not that fond of history. This is partly because some of the topics are a bit difficult, and partly because the subject itself is monotonous. Yet, everybody wants a good grade in history. So the question is, how to do so?

How to get good grades

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio /

Here are 5 helpful tips that will guarantee a good grade in history.

Being Curious : Humans are curious by nature. It is this curiosity of ours that makes us look back to our past and study it. We study history because we are curious beings and often need to take a look back at the events behind us to understand our present and shape our future.

To get a better score in your history class, you too need to be curious. You will have to look at the events of the past and ask questions. “Why did this happen?”, “Who was responsible for it?”, and “What if this did not happen the way it did?” are just some of the many questions that can spark this curiosity within you. Once you are interested enough, you will find it much easier to grasp your history lessons.

Studying Multiple Sources : One of the best things about history is that it is a subject where the topics of discussion are more or less connected to one another. It is as if each event surrounding a particular part of history is a dot, and all these dots are connected to one another. To grab hold of all these events and parts of history, you cannot rely on just one textbook. For this, you will have to study multiple sources.

Of course, you only need a limited amount of knowledge to get a good grade in history. But even for that, you should try to study as many writings as you can so that you can have a clearer picture in your mind. If you are not eager to look for these topics through books, you can study some of the top history blogs . Either way, you will find yourself discovering new information with each text you read and will be able to enhance your knowledge on that particular matter.

Studying Related Research Papers : As mentioned earlier, the events of the past are like connected dots. However, in many cases, the lines connecting these dots are a bit hazy. Such situations will require you to connect the dots yourself. But a lot of you will not enjoy doing this. So what can you do?

The ideal thing to do here is to study history research papers that are related to that particular topic. Such academic papers are very detailed, and the hazy lines we talked about earlier are usually cleared out in them. The papers are very detailed and have an in-depth analysis of the events. You can simply glance through the paper and find the parts that interest you. This will help you develop more comprehensive answers to your history questions which in turn will lead to a good grade. Adding such analytical context to your answers will surely impress your teachers.

Watching YouTube Videos : You are likely to get bored at some point while studying so much history. But what if you could enjoy learning your lessons without having to read a single word? What if the lectures were presented to you in the form of stunning visuals or animation? Would you be interested then?

If you are the type of person who wants to learn history by enjoying yourself, you should check out a few YouTube videos on the particular topic. Once you initiate a search on the platform, you will be provided with a ton of videos that dive deep into the subject matter and present it to you in a very enjoyable manner. Sometimes it is an animated video, while sometimes it is a simple PowerPoint presentation by a lecturer. Either way, YouTube is one of the easiest ways for you to enjoy your history lessons.

Discussing with Professionals : Another way to get better grades in history is by discussing the topics with professionals, mostly teachers or students majoring in history. You can discuss anything from your textbook or homework. You can also discuss the solutions to tricky analytical questions. You should also check out the history answers on Homeworkmarket to see whether your questions have already been answered or not. If they have not been discussed previously, you can post the question and see if someone knows anything about it.

Now that you know how to approach the subject, it is time for you to start studying.

How to get good grades

How to get good grades in highschool? That has always been the biggest worry of every student. Even the best students sometimes let their concentration slip, which results in bad grades. But it isn’t just about grades. High school can be very difficult sometimes. It is a period when teenagers are constantly getting into trouble, skipping classes, and even bringing their future into question.

It’s not a disaster if you skip a class or two. It is important to focus on studying and figure out how to get better grades before the end of the semester. If you feel like you are catching the last train, it is time to ask for some advice. Perhaps you can ask a teacher for help or you can find some answers by continuing to read our article. We’ll give you specific examples and teach you how to improve your grades in high school.

How to Get Good Grade in High School: Helpful Tips

To figure out how to get good grade in school you have to follow some simple steps we provide below.

1. How to Get Better Grades: Show Some Enthusiasm

If you are wondering how to get good grades in high school just because you are afraid of your parents’ reaction or perhaps you want to make a good image of yourself, you need to change the way you’re thinking.

Having a high GPA is the most important factor that will open the doors of college institutions you are interested in. Improving your grades is crucial for your future, which means you need to show some enthusiasm and study harder. Be optimistic and encourage yourself. And soon you will notice how your grades become better.

2. How to Do Better in High School: Have More Confidence

Of course, your future depends not only on grades in high school. But still, you have to try to do your best and get better grades for assignments to have higher chances of getting into college of your dream. But no assignment is the same. Some are more challenging than others. Sometimes you get stuck with a project and it seems like you're a lost cause, but that doesn’t mean you should lose faith. Take one step at a time and take frequent breaks, ask for help, forget about your fear of failure, and move forward. And remember, everything is possible even if it seems difficult.

3. How to Get Good Grades in Highschool: Pay Attention

If you want to get better grades in high school, It is important to study at home, as well as participate in class. Listen carefully when your teacher is giving lectures, absorb every piece of information, and take notes of whatever you think is relevant.

The following pieces of advice are always helpful:

  • Always take notes
  • Ask questions about any part you don’t understand
  • Participate in discussions
  • Take a minute or two to test your knowledge at the end of each class

Extra Tip: Don't bother remembering every part of the lecture. It’s best to take notes of the highlights and read more at home. That will help you master the subject.

4. How to Do Good in High School: Learn How to Study at Home

In order to find out how to improve grades in high school, you must know how to learn at home. Some people can’t stay focused when they need to study at home. There are too many distractions such as TV, music, cellphones, other family members, and more. But when you have an assignment that needs to be done, you need to do your best to concentrate.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Get your schedule organized. List priorities and the due date for each project. Use this time management skills, you will always know what you need to do each day.
  • Do your homework on time. It is never a good idea to put your obligations aside until the last minute.
  • Read more. If you want to get a higher grade, you need to expand your knowledge beyond the information you can find in your school books. Try doing some research and be open to learning.
  • Try to study with your classmates. Organize a study group or sign up for a team project. That’s a very good way to support each other, get excellent grades, and have a good time.

5. Get Into a Routine to Improve Grades in High School

In order to know how to do better in high school, you have to follow one more important tip. It may sound a bit boring at your age, but getting into a routine and having good studying habits can be worth the effort. To accomplish this, it is necessary to possess some basic organizational skills and tools.

Here’s what can help:

  • Work hard and keep your things nice and tidy. Try to use one notebook for every subject and write neatly, use paragraphs, section headings, bullet points, etc.
  • Use a planner. Keeping an agenda will help you keep track of each assignment, plan every step, and stay organized.
  • Create a working environment. Avoid studying on the sofa or floor. It is important to find a good place (a desk and a chair) where you will have peace and concentration.
  • Get rid of everything that distracts you. It is not possible to focus on studying if your phone is constantly ringing or your younger sister enters your room every minute.
  • Take a break from time to time. The best advice is to follow the schedule your school has. Read and take notes for 45 minutes and then take some rest for the next 15 minutes. You can’t learn anything if you are tired, so you must sleep enough and eat properly as well.

6. How to Make Good Grades in High School: Ask for Help

Whenever you’re wondering how to get your grades up fast in high school, remember that you don't have to do everything alone. Your teachers, mentors, and peers can help you with any part of the subject matter you don’t understand. Don't be shy to ask for help regarding your final test or essay or whenever you need some assistance.

Peer monitoring is especially beneficial to high school students. It can help them learn, as well as acquire social skills and seek answers for their problems.

How to Get Good Grades in High School: Final Thoughts

We have provided some basic guidance on what an excellent student must do to pick up some productive habits, gain knowledge, and get good grades in highschool. Now, it is up to you to find the right path to your academic future. Don’t forget that high school success is not something that should be taken for granted. Your future, as well as whether you will get good grades in college, depends on the habits you’ve developed in high school. Make sure you are always responsible and on a good track. Keep improving and push yourself until you get the best possible results.