Improving the Academic Grades
Article By: George Payan
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 first and foremost 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 was researched and is what I believe can
assist all students and coaches at all levels of education with
their studying skills.
that 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.
Make a Commitment
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 or not 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 the 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 help.
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 weaknesses.
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
and paying close attention and still do not understand what is being
said, raise the 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 the 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.
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
- Plan in advance a block of time for studying
- Start with hardest subject - move to easiest
- Arrange time in manageable blocks
- Allow more time for subjects needing improvement
- Avoid temptations (radio, CD, telephone and TV)
Where to Study
- Find a quiet place at home. If studying at home is impossible look for a quiet
location at the school or library
- Sit in the chair straight back in a well lighted area
- Sit in an area where you can get fresh air
- Have plenty of study supplies (tablet, pencils, dictionary, calculator, ruler,
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 Instructor
- "Ask questions"
- "Do you understand the topic?"
- "If confused, ask questions"
3. Tips on taking notes
- Pens or pencils (always have spares)
- Take notes on a full sheet of paper (mark page number, subject and date)
- Use highlighters or colored pencils to mark different topics
You Must Learn to Read Before You Can Read to Learn
1. Do not read without understanding
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 taking shape.
- 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 more confidence.
3. Understand the test instructions
- 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.
4. Practice answering questions
- Do not spend too much time on any one question.
5. Intelligent guessing
- 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 strengths
- 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
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
- 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.
The 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.