- Slides: 13
Based on WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S AN "A" Professor Claude Olney Arizona State University
Getting good grades is a matter of using the right skills and techniques, not merely a matter of IQ. Choose the techniques that are right for you. CLASSES AND TEACHERS Attendance makes a difference! Be in class every day. Missed classes mean _LOWER_ grades. When you have a choice, choose classes that interest you. Sit in the _FRONT_ and lean forward to help concentration. Get to know your teachers. After a test, talk with the teacher to find out how _TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME_.
Begin each new class full speed ahead! Make an allout effort in the first two weeks of each term. Start strong. Work hard the first few weeks to establish an "A" and then work on _KEEPING_ that "A. " More than talent, genius, and education, _PERSISTENCE_ is key to success. View optional extra-credit assignments as _MANDATORY_. Take every opportunity to turn in extra credit work. If your teacher doesn't offer extra credit projects, ask what--if anything--you can do to raise your grade. Keep track of your own grades in every class.
TAKING NOTES, WRITING PAPERS, AND GIVING ORAL PRESENTATIONS Take worthwhile notes. Be brief. Use key words, not _LONG SENTENCES _. Use _ABBREVIATIONS_. Review notes immediately after class to reinforce the information. Use _INDEX CARDS_ to help you learn key facts. Read notes aloud so you hear the information as well as see it. When writing papers. . . Remember that _APPEARANCE_ is very important. To improve the _CONTENT_ of the paper, use this five-step method: 1. Make an _OUTLINE_ of the main ideas. 2. Write a topic sentence for each section on a separate paper.
3. Fill in the specifics for each section. Write the first draft informally as if you were writing a letter to a friend. 4. Refine each _PARAGRAPH_. Keep paragraphs short. Read your writing out loud. 5. Check for grammar, _SPELLING_, and repetition. Have someone who is a good editor/proofreader check your paper. Be calm during oral presentations. Have _PROPS_ for your speech and put notes on the back of them. STUDYING Master the art of studying. Study first and then play. Studying won't seem as hard. Study the _PROPS_ material first; then study the _EASY_ material.
Be creative with your approach to studying. Study less but learn _MORE_ by studying _SMART_. Pick your study times according to your biological clock. Study when you are at your peak and when the _TIME_ is right for you. Study in short bursts. The first and last things we study are the easiest to recall. Therefore, increase your _FIRSTS_ and _LASTS_. Use _WAITING_ time to study. Yellow underliners postpone learning. Instead of underlining important points in your notes, mark what you don't know.
When you study, _PROP_ up your feet: This position helps blood get to your brain. Breathe deeply. Eat a piece of fruit rather than a heavy meal before studying or taking a test. Learn and use memory techniques. 1. _ROTE_ method 2. _LINK_ method 3. _RELEARNING_ method Increase your reading power by reading _ACTIVELY_, not passively. Read with pen in hand! Read assignments before class and let class be a _REVIEW_ time for you. Picture in your mind what you're reading about and look for _PATTERN_. If you get tired of reading, _STAND UP_ while you read.
When studying a foreign language. . . Choose a language you like or have a feel for. Get _INVOLVED_ with the language -- read books, newspapers, other publications in that language; join a club; etc. Memorize out loud. Use index cards to turn waiting time into _STUDY_ time. When studying math and science. . . Make sure you understand _EACH STEP_ before you go on to the next step. Don't try to learn the material _OVERNIGHT__. Understand the directions before doing your homework. Ask for help as soon as you begin to get lost. Study for a test right up to the last second. Review the formulas you need to know as you walk into class. Then write them on the _TEST PAPER_ right after the teacher hands it out. Pay attention to all the tips and tricks the teacher offers.
TAKING TESTS Become an expert test taker and an educated guesser. Get _PSYCHED UP_ for the test, not psyched out. Know limiting words used on true/false tests (see handout). Don't skip questions you can't answer. Make an educated guess and a small _MARK_ by the question so, if you have time later or remember the answer, you can go back to it. When you guess, go with your _FIRST HUNCH_. It's usually correct! Turn in picture-perfect exams by using an _ERASABLE_ pen. To reduce tension before taking tests: 1. Tense and then relax each muscle of your body. 2. Imagine and plan for _SUCCESS_. 3. Repeat _POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS_. Henry Ford said, "If you think you can do it, you're right. If you think you can't do anything, you're still right. "
On essay tests. . . Avoid "I think" and "I feel. " Be confident Answer with several short paragraphs rather than one long paragraph. Volume is important, but don't overdo it. Answer easy questions _FIRST_. Watch for key words and be sure you are _ANSWERING_ the question that is asked. Leave room on your paper for additional information that may come to you later during the test. Strive for neatness on your tests and papers. Neatness raises grades; _SLOPPINESS_ lowers grades. To improve your test scores in math: 1. 2. 3. Write figures _CLEARLY_. Keep columns _STRAIGHT_. Copy numbers _CORRECTLY_.
PREPARING FOR TOMORROW TODAY Now is the time to start planning for your future education and how to finance it. Being involved in one or two major activities (athletics, student government, music, drama, etc. ) will improve your grades. If you have higher grades, you may be eligible for lower automobile _INSURANCE_ premiums; scholarships are available; and you'll be able to choose where you want to go to school. Take advantage of the different types of financial aid available --scholarships, grants, and loans. See Valencia's computer labs and _COUNSELING OFFICE, LIBRARY, AND DAILY_ for specific information.
Prepare for the ACT and the SAT. Getting better grades--what's in it for you? Take the tests _EARLY_. Practice taking these tests under simulated test-taking conditions. Sign up for a special prep course. The first questions are usually the _EASIEST_. Don't think that your answer is wrong because the question is too easy. The last question in each section is the hardest and often has deceptive answers! Better jobs More _CHOICES_ when it comes to college and career Scholarships Peace of mind because you have _CHOICE_ Increased _CONFIDENCE_ The _SATISFACTION_ that comes with accomplishment
LESSONS FOR LIFE Set goals for yourself in all important areas of life. Stay fit -- mentally, spiritually, and physically! Write out your goals for life regularly--and don't be afraid to set your goals _HIGH_. Make your goals _SPECIFIC_ and state them in positive terms. Set goals in all important areas of life. Establish _TIME FRAME_ for achieving your goals--and keep score. Set your goals which belong to _YOU ALONE_.