If you struggle to get high grades in school, you have probably received some “advice” from parents, teachers, and maybe even friends.
“Don’t be lazy.”
“Just pay attention in class.”
“Spend more time studying!”
These “solutions” are frustrating because it makes getting high grades seem “easy.” If only that were the case.
I understand your frustrations, and I know that getting better grades in high school is not as easy as many people make it out to be.
I’ve created a list of six tips that will help you get back on track and empower you to learn how to get better grades in high school.
Learning How to Get High Grades
Getting high grades will not happen overnight. It will require commitment and hard work. It may seem frustrating at first, but I promise that you can achieve the results you are looking for with consistent action.
Improving your grades may also require you to try some new things and learn new skills. I promise that if you approach these tips with an open mind, you can achieve your goals.
Instead of focusing on tips like working harder or staying organized, I take a different approach to improving grades. Instead of focusing on what to do, I focus on the why. I believe that knowing your “why” will help you sustain your hard work and will be more effective in getting the results that you want.
Identifying what motivates you and setting goals are more effective than trying to work harder.
It is time to work smarter, not harder.
If you would like some more specific advice about how to get high grades, check out my article on strategies that can help you get straight As.
Improve your Grades with These Tips
These tips are listed in order of importance. Don’t try to implement them all of them at once, start with number 1 and work your way down the list.
1. Know Why you Want to get High Marks
Getting good grades is a challenge in the best of situations. I have seen many students struggle to do their schoolwork because they don’t know why they are putting in the effort. Their parents, teachers, and peers tell them “Get good grades” without any sort of justification.
Before learning how to get high grades, I recommend that you answer the question: “why am I doing this?”
You might want to stay eligible to play sports or get into a specific college. Or maybe you want your parents to leave you alone so you can spend more time with your friends. Your answer should be a reflection of your true feelings, not the “right” answer.
Your “why” is the secret to staying motivated. Putting effort into schoolwork is difficult. When you don’t feel motivated, you can fall back on your “why” to motivate you to get the assignment done.
2. Set goals for yourself
I get it, your goal is to get better grades. However, it is also a big one and hard to measure. I recommend setting smaller goals and more measurable goals that will help you progress towards your larger one.
For example, set a goal of working on homework for one hour per day, turning in all of your missing assignments, or asking a question in class.
All of these goals are measurable and will help you progress towards your goal of better grades.
Setting smaller goals will also make the task of improving academically feel overwhelming. Plus, you will also feel good when you achieve them so it’s a win-win.
3. What is your reward going to be When You get High Grades?
Everyone likes a prize. Unfortunately, many students are not given rewards for working hard in school. A job rewards you with money for working hard, but school just gives you grades. The last time I checked, you can’t buy anything or turn your grades in for a reward.
Establishing a reward system for yourself is a great way to sustain your efforts to improve your grades.
After you set a goal, think about what the reward is going to be. For something small like completing a homework assignment, the reward might be a 30-minute break. If you reach a bigger goal like getting an A on a test, a good reward might be getting food at your favorite restaurant, seeing a movie, or hanging out with friends.
When you give yourself the reward, remind yourself why you earned it. This will build a positive connection between your hard work at school and the outcome. Connecting achievement with rewards is a great way to train your brain to work hard.
4. What are your current strengths?
Give yourself some credit! Your grades might not be what you want them to be, but that doesn’t mean that you are doing everything wrong.
Take some time to think about your strengths as a student.
Thinking about your strengths will help you have some positive thoughts and vibes around working on your academics. Plus, thinking about your strengths can help you build your confidence.
As you work to improve as a student, keep putting effort into your areas of strength. These areas can help you improve your grades and cannot be ignored.
5. What Areas do you need to grow to Get High Marks?
On the flip side, it is also important to think about your areas of growth. Improving your academic weaknesses is one of the most important steps on your journey to getting good grades.
It may be difficult or uncomfortable to think about your weaknesses. If you are struggling with this tip, talk with a trusted teacher, adult, or peer. Sometimes a second perspective is exactly what you need.
After you have come up some areas of growth, pick two or three that you want to improve. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
Next, brainstorm how you can improve those weaknesses.
For example, if you struggle to pay attention in class, a solution might be to sit at the front of the class. Or, if you have a hard time remembering your homework, commit to writing down your assignments in your agenda.
Focus on implementing these changes and regularly check in with your progress. It may be helpful to let trusted adults and your teachers know how you are trying to improve. They can help support you.
Finding solutions to your areas of growth is essential for improving your grades.
6. Ask for help
Improving your grades is a challenging task that is made all the more difficult by doing it alone.
If you are serious about improving your grades, ask someone you trust to help you.
You might be surprised how much your teachers are willing to do to help you on your journey to better grades and academic success. As a former teacher, whenever a student showed some initiative, I would bend over backwards to help them.
In addition to help you in class, teachers, adults, and peers can give you helpful insights on your strengths and weaknesses as well as give you encouragement when things get tough.
Don’t make your journey harder by trying to do it alone.
You can Learn How to Get Better Grades in High School
I want to congratulate you on making an effort to improve your grades. This is a challenging task, and I am glad you are seeking out guidance and assistance on your journey.
If you find these tips helpful but struggle to boost your grades, let’s talk. I am an academic coach that has helped hundreds of students improve their grades and increase their confidence in the classroom. I can help make your academic goals a reality.
About the Author: John Hyde
I am an educational coach specializing in teaching students’ academic fundamentals and a growth mindset.
After graduating from Duke University in 2015, I taught at a public middle school from 2016 to 2019. Although I loved working with students in the classroom, the public education system was not teaching students the skills essential to academic success.
I left the classroom in 2019 to start Academic Empowerment Academy. Since then, my coaching program has helped hundreds of students realize their academic potential by assisting them in building confidence and empowering them with the skills and mindset to meet their goals in school and life.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help your teen be more motivated, foster good habits, and improve academic organization/performance, Book a Complimentary Discovery Call Here.
Hi I’m John, author of this blog, academic coach, and founder of AE Academy.
I help teens reach their academic potential by empowering them with academic fundamentals, a growth mindset, and critical thinking.
If your teen is struggling to reach their academic potential, or isn’t learning the skills they need to succeed in school, we should connect.
It’s on me – Book Your Free Call Here