graduate with papers and laptop excited about getting job

How To Get Straight A’s: Eight Strategies to Make It Look Easy

We all know that student, it seems like school is effortless for them. The type of student that knows how to get straight A’s …

They turn in all their assignments

Know the answers to all the teacher’s questions

Finish the test early

And get the highest grade in the class

It may seem impossible to be like that, but here’s the secret – they are not any different than any other student in the class. Straight A students use a simple set of strategies that sets them up for success. Unfortunately, these strategies are not taught in school. The good news is that you can implement these strategies and learn how to get straight A’s. 

I know these strategies because I was a straight A student in high school – I was actually my school’s valedictorian. I know just how important using these strategies is because, in my infinite wisdom, I stopped using them my first two years in college and was at the bottom of my class. I literally went from first to worst.

During my junior and senior years, I got back to what made me successful in high school and was on the Dean’s list (3.75 GPA or higher). This experience made me intimately aware of the impact that these strategies can have on your academic performance.  

I’m sharing these guidelines so you can apply them to your own studies and learn how to get straight A’s. 

How to Get Straight A’s: 8 Strategies 

The purpose of these strategies is to work smarter, not harder. School is not everything. You should have free time to enjoy hobbies, spend time with friends, or relax. These strategies will teach you how to get straight A’s without dedicating all of your time to schoolwork. 

Get Straight A's by eating a healthy breakfast
A good breakfast will give you energy for the school day.

1. Straight a’s Start With Your Stomach

Health is something that is frequently overlooked when it comes to good grades. If you are like me, it is next to impossible to focus on what the teacher is saying if your stomach is growling. One of the most important tips for surviving high school is eating right and getting enough sleep.

Eating a healthy breakfast will energize you for the school day and help you make the most out of your class time.

In addition to eating well and getting good sleep, exercise is an important foundation to straight A’s. Regular exercise will help you sleep better and give you more energy throughout the day. Taking care of your body will help you bring your A-game to the classroom. 

2. Get Straight A’s by Showing up to Every Class

This may go without saying, but in order to get Straight As, you have to show up to every class. Skipping class is a sure-fire way to put yourself behind and make learning more difficult.  Additionally, you need to participate and be an active member of the class. 

For this reason. straight A students are active listeners. While the teacher is presenting, they are thinking about what the teacher is saying and asking themselves questions like “Do I understand this topic?” or “How does this connect to what we learned yesterday?”. 

The best students learn how to get straight A’s by asking questions. Question asking is one of the most important strategies students can use to improve their grades. Asking questions minimizes the amount of time straight A students are confused. This allows them to stay on top of the content and keep learning. 

Some people recommend you sit in the front of the class and be a teacher’s pet. I don’t think that is necessary at all. Sit where you want, but make sure you stay engaged. Of the strategies on this list, this is probably the most important.  

How to Get Straight A's: Take Good Notes
Good notes make for good grades

3. Straight A Students take Good Notes

In addition to showing up to every class and participating, it is important to take good notes. There are a variety of note-taking systems and the best one depends on your personal preference. 

Taking notes helps straight A students stay engaged in class. Notes are also a resource that they use to help them complete homework and study for tests. Plus, you would be surprised by the amount of information that the teacher said in class that shows up directly on the test. Taking good notes is an easy way to boost your grades and make your studying more efficient. 

Finally, straight A students will review their notes at least twice a week in order to keep the content they are learning in class fresh in their minds. 

How to get Straight A's? Get organized
Get straight A’s by getting organized

4. Want to get Straight A’s? get Organized

Good notes are useless if you can’t find them! Straight A students have an organization strategy that they use to write down assignments, tests and due dates. Additionally, they have a way to file all of their notes, worksheets, reading assignments, etc. in an easy-to-find manner. 

Furthermore, any papers handed to you in class should be organized in a file folder or binder dedicated to that class. If your teacher shares documents with you via Google docs, your G-Drive should be organized by class. 

A good organizational system is one of the biggest ways that Straight-A students separate themselves from average students. 

5. Stay On Top of Current Assignments – No Missing Work

Straight A students don’t have missing assignments. There is no shortcut around this. Missing assignments are one of the easiest ways to tank your grades. Not only do missing assignments bring your grade down but you are missing out on an opportunity to practice what you are learning in class. 

Specifically, this additional practice gives you an opportunity to test what you know and reinforce the knowledge. This will make studying for the unit test easier because you have been practicing the whole time. 

Finally, homework takes the same amount of time if you complete it on the due date or last minute before the quarter ends. Turning in assignments last minute may improve your grades, but it has not helped you learn the material and so it doesn’t positively impact your grade the way it could. 

6. Prepare for tests to get Straight A’s

One of the final pieces of the Straight A student puzzle is test prep. For most classes, test scores make up the majority of your final grade. Doing well on tests is a must for straight-A students. 

However, many students think test prep is just about studying right before the test. Straight A students know that test prep begins the moment they walk into the classroom.

Therefore, being an active listener in class, taking good notes, and completing the homework are all a part of test preparation. By using all of the earlier strategies, Straight A students start preparing themselves for the test weeks before the test date is even announced. 

As the test approaches, Straight A students also know how to study smarter, not harder. They start studying at least a week before the test and break up their studying into manageable time blocks.

Straight A students also ask teachers what is going to be on the test. This might happen at the end of class or before/after school, but you would be amazed at what a teacher will give away when asked this question. Trust me, I was a former classroom teacher. Asking this question gives straight A students a huge advantage when it comes to preparing for and taking the test. 

7. Straight A Students Have a good study area 

Finally, straight A students have a good study area. A good study area allows a student to study effectively and efficiently. This area should be free of distractions, well lit, and quiet. 

8. Ask for Help To Get The As

Getting straight A’s is no easy task. Even if you follow all of these tips, there may be moments where you don’t know what to do or need additional support.

Ask for help!

You can ask a teacher, your parents, an educational coach, or another trusted adult. You might be surprised by what a big difference asking for help can make.

Be Patient With Yourself

All these strategies may seem overwhelming, and I encourage you to be patient with yourself. It takes three weeks to build a habit so implementing these strategies won’t happen overnight. I recommend starting with taking care of your body and working your way down the list. 

Implement one strategy at a time to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. 

If you want assistance building straight A student habits, let’s talk. I have worked with hundreds of students and helped them improve their grades by building good habits and working smarter, not harder. 

Every student has their own specific needs and challenges, let’s make a plan so you can make straight A’s a reality – book your free discovery call here

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.

Secret School Tips For Parents 
As parents, you want your children to excel in school and achieve …
Online Success Coach: Unlocking Your Teen’s Potential
As a parent, you want your teen to succeed academically and in …
School Is Setting Your Child Up For Failure
Schools don't care about students and are setting your child up for …
10 Bad Study Habits You Need to Break Immediately
In my experience as a classroom teacher and an academic coach, one …

Author Spotlight

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