How To Do Better In School? 5 Simple Actions You Can Take Immediately

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If you are wondering how to do better in school, you came to the right place.

I have personally walked all of the paths a student can walk. For most of my life, I was a struggling student, a failing student, but now I am an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA for the past four semesters.

How did I do it? Well, I studied what straight-A students do, and I also tried a few things on my own. I’ve come up with a formula that has helped me be successful in an extremely difficult major, nursing. So I am confident that this will work for anyone. Middle school, High school, and every major.

So let’s get into the formula to help you do better in school.

1. Always have your due dates right where you can see them!

how to do better in school

This is absolutely crucial. And no, I am not talking about an agenda book or checking your due dates online intermittently.

You need to print out your teacher’s syllabus with all their due dates. If for some strange reason your teacher does not provide this, you need to type them out on a spreadsheet yourself. After you print or write these due dates out, you are going to tape them where you can see them every single day.

Every week, or daily, you are going to cross out what has been completed.

You must know what assignments, quizzes, and tests are coming up at all times.

This is an easy and efficient method to see what is coming up in the next days, weeks, or months on a daily basis so that absolutely nothing sneaks up on you.

If you are wondering how to do better in school, you must understand that organization is more important than anything. It is far more important than “intelligence”. My intelligence has not changed over the years, my organization and methods, however, have.

2. Stop watching Netflix, Hulu, all of it! I’m sorry, but you need to turn it off to do better in school.

This might sound harsh, unnecessary, and or excessive. But remember, you came to me. I am currently a four-time, consecutive, Presidents Honor Roll Student with a 4.0 GPA in registered nursing, one of the hardest majors there is. If you want the same results you might want to implement what has worked for me and many others I have coached.

I have talked to many of my fellow peers to learn what they do to fail.

This may sound rude, or judgmental but I assure you there is none of that within me. For me, I truly treat this as research.

I know all of my fellow peers are just as “smart” as I am, and many are even in my opinion far more intelligent and quick-witted. I have learned without a doubt that success, and failure, are purely behavioral, not mental, in most cases.

During my research, I have learned that many of my fellow peers still watch all of their favorite shows while in school.

We have all been there. A new show comes out, and before you know it, you have watched the whole series in one or two days. Oftentimes, an important assignment, quiz, or test is within that same week. You start cramming for said exam, and you just wish you had one or two more days to learn what you need. Well you had two days, but you watched all of season 2 of Euphoria.

There are millions of shows to choose from, all on streaming services, and the good news is that they are not going anywhere. They will still be there when you finish your semester, or when a break comes, and it will be so much more enjoyable to watch them guilt-free.

3. Stop reading notes and thinking information is going to stick! You need to use flashcards.

Do you read your notes over and over before tests?

Are you ever reading the page, and thinking to yourself, “I’ve read this before, it sounds familiar, therefore I know this”. Yet you take the exam and you bomb it?

Reading over textbooks and notes is called passive learning and it is not effective at all for most people.

What you need to learn to do is to utilize active learning. I will insert this YouTube video right here for you to learn the difference.

Once I understood this, I got A’s on every single one of my exams, and I am not exaggerating. I am the top nursing student in my class of 60 students because I don’t read notes.

I personally like to use Quizlet to create my flashcards. First, I go through my teachers’ PowerPoint, I choose the slides that are not common-sense information to me, and I turn them into flashcards by taking out keywords and typing “Blank”.

So when I am studying, I am reading paragraphs and have to actively plug in those keywords. I will leave an example of this method right here.

4. If you do not use online practice quizzes, you are making a huge mistake.

What if an athlete only read about running, or only understood what running was about?

At the big track meet, they would probably struggle greatly because despite all their knowledge, they didn’t apply it physically. When you take practice quizzes to study, you are exercising your brain.

There is SO much free study content online, it is insane.

Quizlet is again a great resource for practice quizzes. Simply type in, for example, “cardiac physiology practice quizzes” and see all that comes up.

You can also use your book. Textbooks come with great practice quizzes and many have online key codes you can purchase, or that even already come with the text. These online codes provide you with awesome practice questions and study materials.

Answering multiple-choice questions is an art. Never go about it just trying to choose the “right” answer. Explain to yourself WHY each choice may be the WRONG answer. Canceling out wrong answers first and leaving the right one for last is the better way to go about it.

5. If you are only watching drama channels on YouTube you are missing out on a huge opportunity to do better in school.

how to do better in school

Look, I get it. YouTube drama is the best drama there is. I indulge in it myself. I love me some Trisha Paytas and Amber Lynn commentary.

However, YouTube has an incredible academic culture as well. Anything and everything you need to learn about is on there. There are literally experienced teachers on there giving free and super helpful lessons on every single subject out there.

If you are really struggling to understand something, please type it into the YouTube search. Watch a short video, then go back to trying to answer your practice questions.

Being in nursing school, this has been vital to my success. Our professors just don’t have enough time in a lesson to teach us every single thing in a fun and interesting way that sticks.

It is the professors job to present the information you need to know, it is your responsibility to go home and know it.

If you want to learn how to do better in school, you need to keep it simple

You do not need to buy all these extra resources, you don’t have to hire a tutor.

You simply need to change your habits and behaviors. If you would like to read about how I earned straight A’s in my first semester of nursing school, you can read right here where I go into a lot of detail.

This is a list of 5 steps you can immediately take and I believe you will see the results in the next few weeks if you follow them.

Good luck and please report back any successes!

Jackie Jimenez BSN, RN
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