wikiHow to Get Great Grades With No Effort

Four Methods:Building a Strategic FoundationMaking the Most Out of Your Class TimeCompleting Assignments EfficientlyDoing Well on Tests

Unless you are a genius or an autodidact with a penchant for facts and figures, you’ll need to work for your grades. While this is an indisputable fact, there are ways to make the most of your efforts. By eliminating useless study techniques, you can drastically reduce the amount of time and effort you put into your education and improve your grades overall.

Method 1
Building a Strategic Foundation

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    Figure out your school’s or teacher’s grading policies. The best way to set a solid foundation is to thoroughly understand the rules of the grading game. Does your teacher give more points for one assignment over another? If so, it might behoove you to pay more attention to one assignment over another. If you are in high school, are some classes worth more — e.g. AP courses? If so, you’ll want to concentrate your efforts there. In most states, AP classes are actually worth more towards your overall GPA, but the classes are more demanding. This is not to mention that AP courses replace college courses. So if you'd like to skip core or introductory college classes, then focus on your AP studies.
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    Pick easy classes. Look at previous syllabi and talk to other students. Figure out what each class looks like ahead of time and pick the one that seems the easiest.
    • In any educational program, you’ll have a set of mandatory classes and electives. Sometimes, the elective courses can be filled by a variety of subjects. If your goal is to “get good grades with no effort”, choose a subject you feel comfortable with, you think is easy, or you’ve already mastered. Keep in mind that there is no universal “easy A” class. It all depends on the teacher. A “shop” class can be very easy or really difficult. So too can a trigonometry class be a piece of cake or a terrible experience.
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    Plan out your time wisely. Use a day planner to schedule your class time, study time, and time for all of the other activities you have to complete over the course of the semester. At the beginning of the year, map out when your assignments are due and even include reminders to get started on assignments. Time management is the key to getting good grades efficiently.[1]
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    Start studying early on. Many of us have a tendency to put school work off. Time with family and friends seem to take greater preference especially as the deadline for a particular assignment seems so far away. In order to do well in school, you need to start at the beginning of term. Get a solid foundation at the beginning of the school year so you aren’t stressing at the end. Get good grades from the beginning. It takes much less effort to maintain good grades than it does to build up to them.[2]
    • Take advantage of all extra credit opportunities. Oftentimes, teachers give out extra credit work that is of the same difficulty or easier than your “normal” work. Because you can’t lose points for completing the extra credit, you can only gain from trying.

Method 2
Making the Most Out of Your Class Time

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    Make a great first impression. We all form first impressions. And we all continue to judge others based on first impressions we’ve taken of them. When you first meet your teacher, make sure that you are polite, hard-working, respectful, and read to learn. It is possible that when your teacher goes to grade your assignment, they’ll be guided by the kind feelings they have towards you. They might be more likely to let an error slide and an inconsistency pass. The result of this may only be a couple of points, but those points add up.[3]
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    Pay attention in class. Do you tend to stare out of the window? Do you doodle nonstop while the teacher is talking? Do you pass notes constantly? All of these activities are common faux-pas. In the classroom, your goal should be to absorb as much information as possible. Doing so will reduce the time needed to comprehend the material later. Homework will become infinitely easier and take a fraction of the time used when you’re having to teach yourself the material.[4]
    • Take all the necessary steps before class to reduce distractions. Feed yourself. Get some sleep. Make phone calls ahead of time or take the time to text before entering the class.[5]
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    Participate in class. Ask questions. Answer your teacher’s questions. Participate in class dialogues. This step is essential for two reasons. First, it manages your teacher’s expectations further. It makes you seem like a motivated student. More importantly, if you take time to ask questions in class, you’ll probably understand the material better later on and will require less time to study or complete homework.[6]
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    Be open about your weaknesses and ask for help. Maybe this seems counterintuitive, but teachers need to know what their students don’t get. If you are open about not understanding the significance of asymptotes, the function of the mitochondria, or how to use a semicolon, your teacher will spend more time on the subject, which will help you in the long run to reduce the amount of work you have to complete. Furthermore, your teacher might cut you some slack if he sees you struggling with a subject.
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    Sit in the front row in class. This will help you to focus and give the impression that you are willing to pay attention. Teachers know that serious students sit up front because it is difficult to hide things up front. You won’t be able to text or fall asleep without the teacher noticing.
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    Take amazing notes. Many teachers test on their lectures exclusively or at least in addition to the materials found in the book. More importantly, your teacher will take the time to cover the most essential and perhaps the most difficult materials in class. Take excellent notes. Adopt a shorthand and be sure to note what your teacher spends more time on. More time spent covering it in class equals more likely it will be on the test.[7]
    • According tot he Cornell note taking system, be sure to highlight key words and write questions you have in the margins of your notes. Then ask your teacher them when you next see them. Similarly, write out key questions that your teacher focuses on in the class. Most likely, you'll see those questions on a test later.

Method 3
Completing Assignments Efficiently

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    Identify and tackle busy work effectively. Every teacher assigns some work that is either redundant or simply not necessary and in some cases, you may not need to complete it to understand the materials. Chances are other students do need the extra practice though. If the assignment is a worksheet or closely resembles something else you’ve done in the class, it is probably busy work. If this is the case, work through the busy work quickly. Don’t give it more time than is absolutely necessary. Just show your teacher you can do it and move on to more pressing assignments.
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    Tackle your assignments one at a time. Too often we try to complete several assignments in one sitting. Rather than inundating your brain with information, compartmentalize your school work. Finish your math homework, take a break, and come back to study for your science test 15 minutes later. This method will help you process the information.
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    Prioritize the bulk of your work based on difficulty and importance. Start with the hardest or most important stuff first and then move to the easiest and least significant work. This way if you run out of time or steam, you’ll have the most important assignments done first.[8] For example, complete your physics study guide assignment that is worth a significant portion of your grade before you do your English journal entry that is barely worth anything.
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    Write papers efficiently. There are three steps to writing a great paper — research, writing, and editing. Compartmentalize these steps. Compile all the info needed to complete the essay. Write the essay. Then edit it. Don’t blend these steps. It will take you longer to complete the essay as a whole and you’ll inevitably backtrack needlessly.
    • Don’t stress about each sentence while you’re writing. Get your basic ideas out on the page. And then go back and edit.[9] When you go back to edit, you can use a thesaurus to help dress up your language.

Method 4
Doing Well on Tests

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    Use your homework to study for tests. Since you’ve put in time to complete homework for a grade or not, you might as well use it as a study guide. Most of the time, the key points that’ll be on the test will also be in the homework. You’ve likely completed several problems that’ll be on the test. You’ve likely completed diagrams that you’ll have to do on the test again. Don’t just throw away your homework. Use it to your advantage.[10]
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    Take time to study. Don’t put it off to the last minute. Your brain will learn and retain information better if it is constantly exposed to it. Cramming helps in the short-term, but you won’t remember the information very well for later assignments.[11]
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    Study with others. One of the greatest pieces of advice concerning tests is that if you can teach someone else the material, then you know it well enough. So join a study group. Or ask friends and family members to study with you. They’ll be able to ask questions that you might not think about. Then when you are forced to answer them, you’ll either explain them in a way that makes you understand the material better or you’ll look up the answer. Either way, it makes for more efficient studying.[12]
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    Remember to relax. When you are studying and when you are actually taking the test, be sure to relax. Even if you haven’t studied at all or enough, you won’t be able to concentrate if you freak out. If you have studied, chances are you’ll do much better if you can think with a clear head.[13]
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    Don’t cheat. This may seem like the easiest way to get good grades, but most likely the risks associated with getting the materials ahead of time or looking off of another’s paper will far outweigh the rewards, if you get caught.[14]

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Categories: Improving And Maintaining Grades