Hello everyone, and congratulations on completing the first semester of the 2021-2022 year! I’m sure we have all been working hard at school, but things can become really stressful when the stakes to perform well are high for post-secondary admissions and other academic programs. If school isn’t challenging enough by itself, don’t forget that heading off to college or university will bring a whole new set of obstacles and challenges into the picture. Things only get harder year by year. Furthermore, a 2020 study by Finances Online proved that 66% of students are frequently or always worried about getting into their dream college or university. But if you plan and make decisions wisely, it will make things a lot less stressful. Today, I will be sharing a few helpful strategies to help you perform at your best level next term and later on.
My first tip, which is probably the most important one, is to clearly understand the purpose and objective of every assignment before starting. I’d put it this way – not understanding the goal of a task is like driving without knowing your destination. The chances of making a mistake and finding yourself lost will be extremely high in this case. In short, guidelines are like ropes. Staying within them will ultimately lead you to success, but straying off will only steer you into danger, which could mean anything from bad grades to late assignments. The easiest and most effective way to avoid these problems is by reading the success criteria and rubric before starting a project. After all, there is really nothing to lose from spending a couple of extra minutes if it could save you a lot of time later on.
If you’re still confused after reading the guidelines or somewhere during the process, never be afraid to request your teacher for an explanation. When I was in elementary school, I lost a handful of marks every year because I was generally scared to ask for help. All of this might sound like a lot of added pressure over the task itself. But if you focus more on summative assignments than formative ones, you won’t be stressed over every little thing. If you follow these steps carefully, you will hopefully find your schoolwork less challenging and more rewarding. But there’s way more to success than simply knowing what to do.
This brings us to my second tip which relates to time management. With a few simple steps, you will be able to achieve more in the same amount of time. Let’s face it. We all have those few assignments at times that seem incredibly difficult or boring. I’m now going to share a few strategies I use during tough times in terms of schoolwork. First things first, it’s extremely important to spend more time on assignments that are worth more marks. After all, remember – every marked assignment is a step to determining your final mark. As a result, it’s definitely a bad idea to work when you’re feeling angry, tired, or frustrated.
If it helps, you can plan how much time you will spend on each segment based on how the marks will be distributed. Of course, you won’t want to waste time on anything unnecessary, so be sure to pause for a moment before starting part of an assignment. Ask yourself, “Is this really necessary?” You’ll also want to use a similar approach for assignments that require you to choose a topic for the framework. In this case, making a decision is similar to positioning yourself for a free throw in basketball. If you find an easier option, then congratulations! You’ve just saved yourself some pointless labor. Just remember that if at any point in time you’re having trouble making a tough decision, having a friend or classmate around can certainly reduce the pressure and make things a lot more entertaining.
My main point is, be mindful of how much time you spend on each task. Remember that when comparing the amount of time spent on a task to your mark, the result with generally is a curved graph like this one:
So spending 20 minutes of one assignment and 180 minutes on another might give you a terrible average of around 62%, but spending the same amount of time – 100 minutes on each – will give you a much better score of around 83%.
These strategies will take you a long way in assignments, but it won’t be too long before COVID ends and tests are back again at our doorsteps. To do well on exams it’s essential to take organized notes. According to ResearchGate, students who take notes score 13% higher on average. But the big question here is, have you been taking notes correctly?
For starters, remember that though your teachers might be looking at one of your lab reports, they probably won’t be digging furiously through your binder to evaluate your chemistry notes. The most important note-taking tip is to keep your notes short and easy to read. If it helps, feel free to use diagrams, images, or charts. After all, what matters is that you are able to understand your class notes – not your friends, or even your teacher! To do so, you will have to still ensure that you don’t leave any incomplete points. If something doesn’t need to be written, don’t write it. Give your pen a break. After all, you shouldn’t feel pressured to write four pages of notes in an hour just because your friend is doing so.
While studying for tests, you will only need to recap a summary of the information – not everything word-by-word. As it has repeatedly been proven that writing is one of the best ways to retain information, taking notes wisely will help you not only to study during quizzes and tests but also to remember key concepts. Hopefully, if you follow these tips and work hard, you’ll be able to avoid situations like report card shock.
Remember that if you didn’t do too well the last term, there is always hope. Most universities only look at your marks for the second term of grade 11 and for grade 12, so keep your hopes up! I wish you all the best of luck for the second semester. Thank you!