Hitting the books

Dallis Mullett, Staff Reporter

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With the first quarter now over and second quarter progress reports approaching, grades have become a high point of stress for many students.

Study Session: Students come into lunch, ready to work on homework. Many other students have said doing homework in class or in the morning cuts back on stress. “I find it really helpful because it keeps me on track and sets me up for the day.” said Logan Fraise.

When grades are finalized, and students can see their performance, it is a mixed bag when it comes to reactions. Some are pleased with their performance, their report card being a neat row of high letter grades. Others may not be satisfied and disappointed that they did not perform as highly as they could have. This can often lead to pressure on students to do better and boost their grades in order to raise their overall GPA.

A student’s GPA, or grade-point average, is calculated by averaging the final grades of the first two quarters together. This is repeated with the third and fourth quarter grades as well. Those two sets of final grades are what colleges and universities look at when accepting students to their schools.

Grades can still be changed for the better during second quarter: there is a chance to bounce back from any low points from the beginning of the year. This can be done in a number of ways, many involving a change in students’ schedules to accommodate more time to their studies. Meeting individual needs is also an essential factor to take into consideration. While the idea of more time studying is usually followed by a collective groan, the time put in can turn anyone around.

Take Note: Detailed class notes are an integral part of helping students retain source material. Keeping notes simple can make studying a subject much easier. “I used to just scribble stuff down, but now I take time to make sure I have everything written where it should be.” said Frazier. 

When creating a timely routine, a student must first evaluate their regular schedule, then set priorities based on which class they need the most assistance. For example, say someone is struggling in their math class but is doing really well in Spanish. Putting aside more time out of school to study formulas from math rather than verb conjugations in Spanish would benefit that student more in the long run. Putting in time for other extension assignments or extra credit can be an easy way to give your grades a quick boost.

“I always do my extra credit assignments, unless I absolutely have no time,” said sophomore Zachary Christman. “It really can help you out when you may miss an assignment during one of those more stressful weeks.”

Getting the proper amount of sleep is not just important to students’ health, but can also improve focus during school. Getting the recommended 7-8 hours can be vital in a students’ success and ability to retain information from their lessons each day. Setting a sleep schedule and planning study time around that, as well as accounting for any out of school activities, can also be effective in striving for both improvement in school and personal time management.

“It can take me a few tries to do a problem sometimes,” said Jasmine Frazier, a freshman. “I sometimes have to plan around practice to or do it at school.”

There have been many studying methods that have made promises of increasing productivity and focus. These include different styles of note-taking such as mind maps and two-column notes, or more time-based techniques such as the Pomodoro method, where there are periods of solid, focused work, broken up by quick breaks. Some apps and websites can be used on the go or during school like Quizlet or online planners such as myHomework.

There are always opportunities waiting to be taken by students throughout the whole school year, both academic and recreational. It is all a matter of how they are approached and planned, for students will then see the positive results they have been looking for.