How to Stay on Top of School Work

By Karen Palmer on July 2019
Category: College Life

a girl standing next to the chalk board

Studying is not an easy thing; we all know that. Many students struggle with their homework and tests because of procrastination or anxiety. If you are looking for some pieces of advice on what you can do to stay on top of school work or some additional ways to improve your grades, this article is just for you.

Implement the Experience of Successful Students

Many students would like to know how to succeed in high school or college. But have you ever wondered what the lives of the straight-A students are? What are the habits of successful high school students? Here are some of them:

  1. Successful students are focused. No matter how much time you spend on your homework, if you are all over the place when you are studying, you won’t be productive enough. This means that focusing on one task only will make you more productive and allow you to reduce the time you spend on each assignment. Avoid watching Netflix or scrolling through your social media when doing your homework.
  2. Successful students are persistent. Have you ever noticed how persistent successful students are? They always ask questions to clarify what they don’t understand, attend all the classes, and do their best to improve the quality of their papers and their writing skills. Usually, they just want to get the most out of the education system.
  3. Successful students care about their health. Most straight-A students don’t attend parties and prefer spending their time working to improve their health and/or grades. They get enough sleep and eat healthy food because these are the ways to keep their brain activity and concentration high.
  4. Successful students are great at time management. If you don’t feel like 24 hours is enough for you to complete all your daily tasks, then you should take straight-A students’ experiences as an example. They know how much time they need to dedicate to their homework and how much free time will be left.
  5. Successful students plan ahead. The majority of them use agendas, planner apps, and calendars to track their classes, homework, and accomplishments. That’s why they can plan their weeks and even months to be on time with the deadlines. You might need to do that too.
  6. Successful students are not afraid of asking for help. Asking for help or advice from a professor, professional, or another student is not disgraceful. It’s much worse to know that you can get help but be too proud to ask for it. Professors actually like questions and appreciate students who are not embarrassed about asking for help.

So, you can see that straight-A students don’t have any superpowers – they just put enough effort into their studying. However, there are also some other things that you can do to improve your grades at school.

Attend Classes Regularly

Attending all your classes might be boring, but it’s effective. Whenever you struggle to get out of bed to go to class, remember that it might affect your final course grade. Here are a few reasons why you should attend as many classes as you can:

  • By attending classes, you show your professor that you care and are eager to learn. Missing a lot of classes is not the best way to give a good impression to your professor. Believe it or not, they pay attention to your attendance, and it clearly affects their attitude towards you.
  • Professors often emphasize the most important points to help you structure information and process it easier. You might think that you can read the same information at home without attending a class and there will be no difference. However, the information that you professor presents to you is already structured. It allows you to pay attention to key details and understand the concepts better.
  • Professors often let you know which questions they will use for tests. Sometimes knowing what to expect from a test can help you a lot in your studying process.
  • Taking your own notes is always better for you than looking through someone’s notes or a textbook. Firstly, because this way you remember it better. Secondly, because you can choose the note-taking method that is the best and the most convenient for you.

Clearly, it’s not always possible to attend all the scheduled classes due to sickness or other circumstances. However, attending the majority of your lectures will definitely help you perform better.

Hand in at Least Something

Some people say, “it’s better something than nothing.” In the case of school assignments, this is true – turning an unfinished essay in is better than none. Procrastination can be tricky to overcome, so sometimes you just don’t have enough time to complete your paper before the deadline.

In this case, it’s better to contact your professor and inform them why you can’t meet the deadline. You might need some pieces of advice on how you can do that properly, so we prepared a guide for everyone who misses a deadline. If you can’t talk to your professor in advance, do as much of your homework as you can and turn it in to get at least partial credit.

The majority of students lack time due to part-time jobs, social lives, and other circumstances. Moreover, sometimes when they have spare time, they struggle with procrastination and ask, “how do you force yourself to do homework?” It’s not surprising that keeping up with every deadline is hard, especially for working students. That’s why having at least part of your assignment done will show your professor that you have put some effort into preparing for the class instead of ignoring it.

Another option is to request writing help from a team of professional writers. This way, you will have a completed paper on time and won’t have to deal with a missed deadline and, as a result, zero credit.

Communicate with Professors and Be Honest

Communication with your professors is an essential part of the studying process. Nowadays, the majority of students distance themselves from teachers and professors and prefer hiding the truth from them. For example, lying about the reasons for not doing their homework or missing a class.

However, a student needs to understand that communicating with a professor and being honest is beneficial for their grades. It’s understandable that students might be intimidated, especially when they need to apologize for something or ask for extra credit. However, it shouldn’t be that way. If students are polite and respectful, they usually receive the same attitude back.

There are a few things that one should understand about communication between a student and a teacher or professor:

  • Lying is instantly detected. Professors are not naïve – they have already heard about all the “my dog ate my essay” situations and can spot a lie. Being honest is the best decision.
  • Professors are also people who deserve to be treated with respect. Especially with respect to their privacy and spare time. There is no place for annoying calls late at night. It’s better to check office hours or the information that you can find in a syllabus, for example, contact hours and email addresses.
  • Professors might give an extra assignment. There is no such thing as asking for extra credit when you miss a deadline or falling behind a class and waiting for a professor to give you scores just like that. If you ask for scores, you will get a chance to earn them with your work.

Being polite and appreciative is not hard, and it can give you an opportunity to get extra credit or useful pieces of advice. You will only benefit from this communication.

Don’t Panic

It’s easy to start panicking when you have many assignments due and little time left. Calm down and try thinking rationally, as everything might be simpler than you think.

Many students say, “I can’t keep up in college.” If you struggle with your studying, pay attention to your college or high school organization methods. They may be far from productive and effective. Tracking your deadlines should help with finding time to prepare for another test while getting professional assistance should help you solve your homework difficulties.

If it’s a late night and you think “I’m too tired to do my homework. Should I do my homework or sleep?” you might consider ordering an essay, as the quality of work which is done in such a state might be very poor.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to balance your personal life and studying, especially if you are a working student. However, as you can see, there are some life hacks that can teach you how to stay on top of classes even if you are not the best at your homework right now. Let us know what you think of these tips.

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