While high school might not be the most important thing in life, it’s definitely something that can shape your future. Good colleges will come to you if you have good grades, but there’s more to it than that. Doing well means learning how to manage your time and how to deal with difficult coursework, and this can significantly impact how your brain grows and develops. It can also influence your confidence levels and make you feel capable and clever, so it’s not a bad idea to find a better approach to studying. If you want to fix your grades and do well at school, here are some of the things you can do.

Pay attention in class

Seems like an obvious thing to do, but so many students forget themselves and end up wasting the class by playing games on their phone or passing notes. Yes, some lectures can be mind-numbingly boring, but since you’re already there and have to sit through them, the least you can do is pay attention and take your own notes. You’d be surprised how much learning is actually done during the class itself, and how easier it is to study later on if you understand the material in front of you. Besides, this way you can ask the teacher to clarify something immediately instead of trying to hunt them down a day before a test.

Revise before bed

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let your knowledge “sit” for a while. This means reading through the lesson you’ve had that day, taking a few more notes, and then going to bed. The brain reinforces new memories during sleep, so going over your material before you hit the sack is a great idea.

Don’t multitask

It won’t actually make you more productive. It’s only likely to distract you and prevent you from finishing either of the things you’re doing, so do things one by one. Focus on what’s in front of you, finish it, and then move on to something else. For students suffering from ADHD this might be a difficult thing to do, so here are some tips you can turn to for help.

Connect the dots

When studying something, don’t just try to learn everything by heart and then recite the information word for word. That’s not the point, and you’re likely to forget everything a week later. Instead of that, try to really understand the lesson, to connect it to the previous ones in your book, to figure out how things are related to each other. Learn to find connections between things and you’ll have an easier time making what you’ve learned stick.

Swap notes with other students

Taking notes is great, and sharing them with others is even better. If you miss a class you can rely on a friend to copy their notes, and you can do the same for them when the situations are reversed. You can also look at sites like Thinkswap for good study material, where you will be able to exchange your notes with other students, or pay to use them. This is a good way to stay on top of coursework and make sure you have everything important outlined for easy learning.

Use sound to focus

Music is usually detrimental to studying because it distracts us, but if you can’t handle the silence then you can use sound mixers to create a study atmosphere. For example, library sounds where you can hear the scratching of pen on paper, pages being turned, and a low murmur of voices can relax you and make it easier to finish revising a lesson.

Get a tutor

If you can’t understand a lesson, you won’t be able to make much progress. Either ask your more knowledgeable friend to explain it, or ask your parents to help you hire a tutor. There’s no shame it not understanding something, so don’t be shy to ask for help.

Manage your time

Interestingly enough, this is the one skill that will make your life easier regardless of which stage you’re at. Studying, working, your social life, everything can be made a lot easier if you use your time wisely. Try to finish your obligations in small increments, doing a little bit each day instead of letting things pile up and become unmanageable. Be neat, do what needs to be done, and you’ll end up with a lot more free time on your hands than if you keep procrastinating until the last minute

And lastly, don’t study for others, study for yourself. You can’t study to please your parents and your teachers, you need to do it because it will bring you benefits. So, think about your goals and what you want to accomplish, then keep them in mind whenever you start feeling unmotivated.