How to Get Good Grades at a New School

Three Parts:Improving Your Study SkillsDeveloping Good HabitsAdjusting to a New School

Whether you have moved to a new area or progressed to middle or high school, starting a new school can be a difficult process. Learning your way around a new place, meeting new people, and missing your former school and classmates can all make it difficult to focus on your studies and get good grades. However, by adjusting to your new school and improving your study habits and skills, you can make sure that you stay focused and receive good grades.

Part 1
Improving Your Study Skills

  1. 1
    Take good notes. Because tests and other assignments tend to cover materials that the teacher has covered in class, it is important to take quality notes. Pay attention during class and listen for important information the teacher mentions or writes on the board. Write notes that are clear and easy for you to read later.[1]
    • Taking notes will not only give you a guide for studying later, but will help you remember important information in the moment.
    • Leave space between each line so that you can add information later.
  2. 2
    Do your homework. Although it may appear to be a nuisance, homework is an important way for you to learn your materials. Completing your homework will help you master your subject and remember information better when it is time to take a test. Also, the points for homework assignments add up. At the end of the term or year, a few skipped assignments can make or break your final grade.[2]
    • Set aside a specific amount of time each night to do your homework. Find a time that works well for you and stick to it.
  3. 3
    Read your textbooks. It is not enough to simply skim over your assigned readings. You need to take some time and actively read your textbooks and other assigned materials. Find a quiet and distraction free place to sit and read.[3]
    • Set aside time each day to do your assigned readings. Find a time that works for you and stick with it.
    • Avoid reading in front of the TV. The distraction will make it nearly impossible for you to really retain anything.
  4. 4
    Study with a friend. Although this may be difficult at a new school, finding a study partner will make studying more enjoyable and help you retain information better. As you make new friends, find someone that you enjoy spending time with and who will help you improve your grades. Set times for you to study and work on your homework together.[4]
    • Be sure your study partner is someone who is reliable. You want your study sessions to be productive and not spent goofing around.
    • A study partner is a great way to make a friend at your new school. Keep an eye open in your classes for someone who you think might be a good person to study with.
  5. 5
    Ask for help. If you are having a hard time with your school work, do not be afraid to reach out to someone. This can be a teacher, a friend or a parent. If you are having a hard time with a certain subject, ask your teacher for help. If a homework assignment is proving difficult, chat with a friend about it or talk to your parents. It is okay to ask for a little help. Stewing on a problem will only lead to further frustration and make it more difficult to solve.[5]
    • Asking for help at a new school might seem particularly intimidating, so you might want to talk to a teacher until you find a fellow student you feel comfortable with.

Part 2
Developing Good Habits

  1. 1
    Get enough sleep. Because of the anxiety or excitement around starting a new school, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. Initially, this is difficult to avoid. However, as the school year progresses, it is important that you develop a good sleep schedule. You need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night in order to get good grades and keep your mood stable. Not getting enough sleep will cause your grades to suffer. It will also cause your mood to be more unstable, making it more difficult to make new friends.
    • Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. Developing a routine around sleep will help you fall asleep.
    • Keep an eye on your clock. If you have to get up at 6:00am for school, make sure that you are in bed before 10:00pm to ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
  2. 2
    Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Adjusting to a new school and a different schedule can make it difficult to exercise and eat right. The stress can cause you to cut back on exercising and eat unhealthy foods, which can lead to low energy and poor grades. In order to stay motivated and keep your grades up, be sure to eat healthy diet and exercise regularly.[6]
    • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, like avocados. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar.
    • Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (i.e. walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous (i.e. running) a week.[7]
    • If you find that the food options at your new school are different or that you eat lunch at a different time, try bringing a healthy lunch and snacks to help you through the day.
    • If your school does not offer PE or gym, find time outside of school to exercise.
  3. 3
    Organize your life. When you initially start a new school, things can seem a little chaotic and beyond your control, which might cause you to lose your focus on your schoolwork. In order to regain control, you should organize your life. Create a schedule of your classes and assignments where you mark down when things are due and other important dates. This will ensure that you do not forget important assignments. Also, keep your locker, backpack, and other spaces clean and free of clutter. This way you do not lose important class materials.[8]
    • If you practice being more organized, you will feel more in control and the situation in the new school will appear less chaotic.
  4. 4
    Practice time management. With all of the distractions of a new school, you might feel the urge to disconnect by spending a lot of time doing things like watching TV or playing video games. Although it is important do these things in moderation, they can also distract you from your school work. If you are having a hard time balancing schoolwork, other obligations, and your personal time, try managing your time using a schedule. Free time is important to keep you from burning out but too much of it can hurt your grades.[9]
    • Set aside certain amounts of time for your schoolwork and for the things you like to do in your free time.
    • Use a calendar or a day planner to help you manage your day.
  5. 5
    Be an active learner. When you start a new school, you might have a strong urge to keep a low profile and fly under the radar, particularly in the classroom. However, class participation is an important way to keep your grades up. Answering questions and engaging with other students will help you retain information better. It also ensures that the teacher knows who you are and develops a positive opinion of you, which never hurts.[10]
    • If you are shy, talk with your teacher about other ways you can participate in class. This might include writing posts for a class blog or engaging in class discussion forums online.
  6. 6
    Reward yourself. A great way to stay motivated in a new school is to reward yourself for a job well-done. If you get the grade you wanted on an exam, give yourself an extra hour or two to do what you enjoy doing. Keep a positive attitude and find things that will reinforce your study habits and keep you motivated.
    • On the other hand, if you do not meet your expectations, take it easy on yourself. Do not get down on yourself. This will only make it harder for you to stay on top of your work.

Part 3
Adjusting to a New School

  1. 1
    Research your new school. Before your first day, do a little research on your new school. Determine how many students will be there and who the teachers are. Figure out the route you will take to get there. If you can, walk around the school so that you will know where to go on your first day. This will help you be less stressed when your first day arrives and allow you to focus on your studies.[11]
    • If you have a friend or older sibling who went to the school previously, ask them what it is like.
  2. 2
    Pursue your hobbies. Just because you are in a new place, it does not mean that you should quit doing the things you enjoyed at your previous school. If you enjoy playing sports, join a school team. If you like music, sign up for the band or choir. If you enjoy drawing or painting, take art classes. Pursuing your passions is also a great way to meet new friends who share your interests. [12]
    • Doing the things that you enjoy will help you stay positive and focused on your school.
  3. 3
    Be friendly. Although it might seem natural to be shy when you start a new school, being warm and chatty with your new classmates will make your integration much easier. You are a new person, so people will be curious about you. Feel free to fill them in on who you are.[13]
    • Avoid sitting by yourself at lunch. Sit by people who seem nice and who you think you might have something in common with.
    • Having a good community of friends around you will make it much easier to study and keep your grades up.
  4. 4
    Join a group. An easy way to meet new people and get comfortable in your new school is to join a group or club. This can be an organization related to one of your hobbies, like a sports team or musical club, or an academic organization, such as the math or science clubs. Do not limit yourself to one group either, try out as many different groups as you can until you find the ones that you like the best.[14]
    • The bonus of joining an academic club is that it should help you improve your grades in the associated subject and provide you with a number of study partners.
  5. 5
    Stay in touch with old friends. Your transition to a new school might be a little less painful if you stay in touch with your old friends. Write them letters and talk on the phone. You can also Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout with your friends. Although you will make new friends at your new school, staying in touch with your old friends will make the move less painful.[15]
    • If you still live near your old friends, find activities that you can do with them outside of school, like going to the park or visiting an arcade.
  6. 6
    Deal with bullies. As a new student you may have to deal with some bullying, which can be a major distraction from your studying. You can talk to an adult about the bullying or try to avoid it, but the best method is to confront the bullying head-on. Tell those picking-on you that you do not appreciate their actions and to stop. Confronting a bully will demonstrate that you are not afraid of them take much of their power away.[16]
    • If the bullying persists or becomes unbearable, talk to a teacher or your parents.
  7. 7
    Be patient. Although starting a new school might seem miserable at first, it will get better. Eventually all of the new people and places will become familiar. You will make new friends and find a place in your school. Remember to take it day by day and, eventually, things will get better.[17]
    • Your grades might suffer at first, but they will eventually rebound after you have gotten accustomed to your new situation.

Article Info

Categories: Learning Techniques and Student Skills