Monday, September 22, 2008

How do I get started studying smart?

Here's the situation: your parents are nagging you about your poor grades, you feel hopeless to improve your grades. That's where this blog is going to help. I have some very concrete ideas to assist you in studying smart. Some of these require that you start before the test, some are useful while taking a test.

Let's start with classroom attendance. First off, we all know that perfect attendance would help us in attaining better grades, but really what gets you noticed is attending class on days when most of your classmates have slacked off. Think about it. . . your teacher won't notice you are in class if the classroom is filled. But the teacher will notice you are there if the class is half empty. That teacher will be grateful for those students who made it to class even though it was raining cats and dogs, or it's the day after a campus-wide party, etc.

These are the most rewarding days to attend class. These are the times when a teacher will let down their guard and give those students who bothered to attend the upper hand in the next exam. Many teachers will give out hints, tips, extra credit points because the teachers want to reward those students.

How do you get these extra credit points, tips, hints on what to study? Ask.

When you find yourself on one of these special days where many students have skipped class, this is your opportunity to bond with the teacher, get to know the teacher as an individual. Your big impersonal class now becomes much more personal since there are fewer classmates cluttering up the room. It becomes an atmosphere of we are all in this together, let's help each other out.

Specifically, I would say, "Mrs. Brown, it wasn't easy for us students who showed up to get out of bed this morning, but maybe you could make it worth our while by giving us some tips on what you think is important for us to study on our next exam?"

Or, "Mrs. Brown, the weather today didn't make it easy for us to get to class so could you give us some extra hints on what we need to know for our next exam?"

Or, "Mrs. Brown, how about giving everyone who showed up an extra credit point for the extra effort we made in getting to class today?"

The worst thing your teacher can say is "No." If you ask in a respectful manner, no harm will come to you and your classmates who are present will love you.

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