Feature

A few changes can improve grades

by NISA SYED

Going into second semester can be bittersweet. It’s the time to weigh losses from first semester, but its a clean slate that enables students to work harder. There are a lot of expectations second semester, but with a few fixes, it can be easier to handle.

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First, having a positive attitude enables students to accept their weaknesses and work hard to do better in their classes. Simply accepting a weakness in subjects, such as math or science, prevents students from working hard and overcoming the issue. Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, conducted a study with middle school students to find the correlation between confidence and good grades. She found that the majority of students who had confidence in their intellectual abilities, did much better academically, than students who stated they weren’t confident in themselves. Having a positive mindset will help students accept criticism, and allow them to work harder.

Second, understanding what learning style works can help you learn better and enjoy it. Students find it easier to learn when studying with a group of people, in a quiet place (like the library), a coffee shop or alone. Furthermore, you may be a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. Visual learners may need a diagram, pictures or videos to better understand the material they are learning in class. Auditory learners benefit from a lecture given by their teachers. Finally, kinesthetic learners learn better when engaging in activities related to the lesson. Teachers have their own lesson plans that may not include activities or a lecture, however, allocating time to do an activity or listening to a lecture at home can be effective.

Finally, getting a good night’s rest not only improves your health, but it increases your performance at school.  Researchers at Ghent University concluded that of the 621 students surveyed, students that increased their sleeping time had an average increase of about 1 point on their exams out of 20. It may not seem like a significant increase, but getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep can improve mental health and productivity at school.

 

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