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Lesson #1: Make the Honor Roll
We know how you'll get better grades, fast!
By Michelle Toglia
Smart student
Photo by: Inti St Clair

1. Schedule Your Time
Whether this means buying a planner, writing daily to-do lists, or even using Google Calendar, make sure to organize your time. Mastering time management will go a long way when you have three tests and a project due the next day. Sometimes papers or projects take longer than expected, so look at your syllabus, map out when assignments are due, and assign yourself days to work on them. Even if you can't get to all that you had planned, it's good to keep track of assignments before the due date creeps up on you.

2. Know Your Teachers
Although it's important to know what they expect from you and how they grade, make sure they know you personally too. It can be tricky to participate in a large class, especially in college lectures. Instead of visiting your teachers only for homework help, step into their offices during the semester just to chat. Sometimes showing you care can come in handy when teachers are deciding between two grades.

3. Form a Study Group
Add some liveliness to your studying by making it a hands-on event: Form a study group. Make sure to split up topics with your group before you meet. Come to the meeting as an expert on your subjects and be prepared to teach your classmates everything they need to know. Make a study sheet or a PowerPoint presentation. Being able to teach others something shows you truly understand it. When others are presenting, ask questions. Then discuss topics. If studying in a group is too distracting, find a study buddy.

4. Get Active
Be involved in the classroom. So that you don't have to cram for your tests, make sure you understand the material when your teacher explains it. Avoid taking notes mindlessly and telling yourself you'll look them over later. Treat every class as a review session for your test. Your teacher is there to answer questions, so process the information while it's still fresh.

5. Take Breaks
Whether you're writing a paper or studying for an exam, study breaks will help you clear your mind and understand the information. Revisiting a paper the next day gives you time to think clearly and make effective changes. Instead of drifting off and daydreaming when studying becomes dull, put your book down and take a walk or chat with some friends. When you come back to your work, you can get a new and focused start.

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