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Making the Grade - How to Succeed in High School
By Patricia Telesco of teenwire.com
 High School Survival Kit
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Not everyone is ready for the challenges of high school. In fact, many students find the combination of increased homework, more difficult subjects, college prep courses, and higher expectations very discouraging, especially when the first marking period rolls around. If you find yourself in this situation, you're not alone by any means, nor are you powerless. There are a lot of study tricks and resources available to help you get your grades back on track and keep them there!

At Home

  • If possible, talk to your parents. They can't help you if they don't know you're having trouble.
  • Create a well-lit study area. Include a CD or tape player if you find music helps you stay focused. Otherwise, highlight the space with yellow and other upbeat hues that may help keep your mind fresh.
  • Don't study in bed. Sit at a table or desk where you can write neatly (so you don't lose points for things the teacher can't read) and where you will stay alert.
  • Set regular study and homework hours. Making this part of your routine creates a positive pattern for success.
  • Ask for healthy study munchies (dried fruit, crackers and cheese, etc.). Light snacks provide extra energy for getting through those long projects and study sessions.
  • Find a study partner or ask your parents to quiz you before tests.
  • Record your notes and listen to the tapes during your free time (sometimes hearing something a couple times sticks better than reading it).

At School

  • Talk to your guidance counselor. He or she is there to help you, especially in those instances when you may be in a class that's just not right for your skills or career path.
  • Use your study hall time effectively. Go to the library, get resource materials, or team up with a teacher who can act as a tutor.
  • Get a list of each teacher's extra help hours, and sign up when you find yourself falling behind (especially before major tests).
  • Find out if there are tutors or groups for students experiencing trouble with whatever subject seems to be the hardest for you - then talk to them! For one thing, they'll understand what you're going through. For another, they might have good ideas that provide immediate help where you need it most.
Online

  • Look for software that can help you, and talk to your parents about getting some installed at home. In particular High School Learning Advantage from Comptons, The High School, Resource Center from Super Tutor Company, and the Science and Math Master from Smart Works are reasonably priced and very helpful as cyber tutors and study aids. I also recommend an encyclopedia program such as Encarta.
  • Look for sites that are designed as resources for high school students, such as:
      ~  http://www.nwrel.org/sky/student.html
      ~  http://highschoolhomepages.studentcenter.org/

Overall, try to "think positive." The more upbeat you are, the more energy you'll have for turning things around. Hang in there, and keep trying!

Copyright © 1999 - 2002 Planned Parenthood ® Federation of America. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from www.teenwire.com

 

 

 

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