High school is where grades begin to truly matter, at least for me. Your high school GPA is now a huge piece of a puzzle that will determine what university you will get into.The 1st trait I notice that sets apart people who do well in high school is their demeanour and attentiveness in class.
1. Engaged listening
I found it much easier to follow a class when I engaged in the class with the teacher. This is much easier in a smaller class, but still possible in a large one. Engaged listening is truly what sets many student apart and this involves:
“Low achieving students- those in most need of assistance—appear to ask increasingly fewer questions as they proceed in school from grade to grade.”
(Good, 1981; Good, Slavings, Harel, & Emerson, 1987)
If you’re a “low achieving student,” you don’t have to ask about everything, but definitely try to ask about small relevant things. The logic of this is: in order to ask a question, you must have thought about the material, showing that you care.
Actively taking notes.
I do admit I take an extensive set of notes; I use the Cornell note-taking system.
Yet, although active note taking is instrumental for me, I personally think that if your note taking gets in the way of your absorbing the material, you are better off simply listening to the teacher. If you take notes without absorbing the explanations, you will be left with empty words that you don’t understand. You could instead ask the teacher to email you the PowerPoint and take short notes of what he says.
PRO TIP: Something that works well for me is reading my class notes once I get home. Within days of practicing this, you’ll be surprised how much you’ve already forgotten after a few hours. You’ll also be surprised how much more you will remember over your peers after having kept this up.
On that note, since this article is an attempt to update your approach to high school, it is relevant to mention the use of laptops to take notes. For many, this is a viable option. I have seen many peers succeed with this note-taking style, but personally it feels detached. The ease of tabbing into Twitter and Facebook is all too real. Just remember, if you are taking this route don’t forget to backup your files! I recommend investing in a 2TB hard drive