New year, new student


As a AP student, things that I always wished for in my academic career sometimes seemed out of reach. For example, me getting 5’s on my ap tests and having good study habits throughout the year. Let’s be honest, we all strive for the best when it comes to school, but it’s hard to execute these plans without having the support of preparation. Therefore, here is what you need to do in order to make a pathway for yourself and that high gpa!

Organization, organization, organization! 

Organization is the thing we’ve been taught about since 2nd grade but only started to realize how important it really is until freshman year. I myself am a victim of this, but after some changes in my study habits, I was more confident in my work and grades. When I say organization, I don’t mean the layout of your desk or what type of order your flair pens are; I mean the structure of your note taking and your school calendar/ checklist.

Note taking is based on what you would study later on for a test, not what your friend tells you. My type of note taking is derived from color coding and highlighting in bullets and sub-bullets. Some use the SQ3R method, PQ4R, distance method and all other ideas to help with textbook notes and test notes on units, but once again, play around with different types of note taking and see which helped your test score out the most and which made you feel ready for it. My note taking is mostly used in my AP world, but these sorts of note organizers can be used for all sorts of topics; but I know the color coding works best for me and my friends in AP world history.

Time to start studying!

Strategies for studying to some people include: being in a quiet place, no phones, snacking on food and getting a good night’s rest. However, let’s be real here..Sleep is an issue for kids and not being on the phone is almost impossible to even say, trust me I know. Therefore, go against what these random auto-generated websites say and do what YOU think would help. Of course it’s easier said than done but you know yourself and your limits. If your phone needs to be by you at all times, set a timer for 30 minutes and study, 5 minutes phone break then quiz yourself on what you just studied. Being in a quiet place for me is essential, and sometimes being home isn’t the best for finding that. So, I drive to the library and do what I need to do; Excuses that involve a simple fix wont help those already bad habits. Overall, studying is not something that takes 1 day for 20 minutes either, it takes time if you want to master a unit. Studying should make you feel confident in your work and show results that make you proud.

Procrastination & Old Excuses

Some people have the easy excuse of saying ‘I can’t study because I have sports after school’ or ‘My work is late because of my crammed schedule’. Well if this is a true issue, you need to get past the mental block of procrastination. I have school sports then club sports after that on some days, so on the days I don’t have that extra sport, I get work done that might even be due the following week. It’s always better to get things done and have teachers then proofread your early work. Along with this, as a student in general you have to know what is available to you. School tutors, extra help posted, and more are available to you at school and people seem to forget that. If you need help with work you need to ask for help! Even if you are in a high level Ap class and everyone seems like they know what they’re doing, they might not understand the next topic ! If you are nervous to raise a hand, ask after class for help. Lastly, if extra help and tutors aren’t helping you or it’s just not convenient to your schedule, there are plenty of apps to assist. Apps such as Khan academy, app classroom, quizlet, and plenty of more apps even more specialized on your subject are available for you to use. Yes, some days procrastination gets the best of us and we can’t get work or notes done, but in order to reach the goals you make for yourself you need to push yourself.

All in all, goals that have been set by the old you are still in reach for this school year. You shape your own path by the choices you make, reflect on past years and change things that didn’t help your grades and keep strategies that improved them. I know it seems hard to make lengthy detailed notes, so make notes to study off of that fits your personal needs, not what your teacher recommends. In conclusion, goals of getting that 5 or higher gpa won’t seem so out of reach once you enforce better organization, a good schedule with time for studying, and trying to overcome procrastination.