One of the best pieces of advice I can give you regarding high school is this: high school is just a game. You’ve got to play to win. Stay with me for a second and hopefully you can understand. In high school, the most stressed factor is your academics. However, your grades don’t always tend to reflect your knowledge. There is always that really smart guy who just doesn’t care and gets Bs, or even ends up going for the GED while a hard-working student will get As. In the end, who’s smarter?
The guy that got Bs without trying is probably a heck of a lot smarter than the one that got As. So what’s the key to getting those As? I’ve outlined here what I think are the 5 most important parts of getting the A.
1) Don’t Piss Off Teachers
This one is really a no-brainer, but you’ll notice that the more you piss a teacher off, the less likely of a chance you have of getting an A. Supposedly teachers aren’t supposed to play favorites, but you know what? They are human beings too. Just because they are teachers doesn’t mean that they won’t manipulate numbers to make sure you don’t do well. I’m not saying suck up to them, I’m just suggesting that you don’t get on their bad side. They’ll be a lot nicer come grade time.
2) Act Interested
No one in their right mind is interested in chemistry, but if you appear to be interested in the subject material at hand, teachers will give you the benefit of the doubt come grading time. The kid that doesn’t care and never participates in class isn’t going to catch any breaks, but the one was always asking questions and answering others will be given a good grade. Even if you don’t do that great on tests, teachers will be lenient on free-response/essay questions. Just act interested, and you’ll be closer to an A.
3) No Late Work
This goes along with 1 and 2 but was significant enough to warrant a category of its own. Teachers tend to give ‘busywork’ to students just so that a) they have some grades to put in the grade book and b) students have an opportunity to boost their grade. Those five questions the teacher assigned to you were meant for you to bring your grade up.
In fact, teachers don’t usually bother reading the assignments extremely carefully. If they see you have done the work, they most likely will give a 100%. Forget to do these small assignments, and they eventually add up and screw you over.
4) Learn, Then Forget
The stuff you learn about the War of 1812 isn’t going to be very useful in life. That’s why you need to learn how to ‘learn, then forget.’ By knowing something for just a few days, you’ll
be able to do pretty well on the tests. Tests usually make up a large percentage of your grade, so just try and learn the important stuff and don’t study forever.
Shoot for a B on every test, which should be easy if you just take a little bit of time to learn the material. You might not remember it in a week, but you’ll definitely know it for a few days.
5) Talk to Teachers After Class
This is one of the absolute best tips I can give – talk to teachers after class. It goes along with the whole ‘act interested’ bit. If you ask teachers a few questions after class, they’ll know you are putting in an effort. And which do you think a teacher likes to see more? A student that knows everything but doesn’t put any effort into school, or one that might not be the smartest but is one of the hardest workings. Grades are based largely on effort, not just knowledge.
So there you’ve got my 5 steps to ‘playing the high school game’. Remember them, and try to implement them in a class or two. You’ll be surprised at the end result.