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How to Do Homework Fast and Get Better Grades in High School

How to Do Homework Fast and Get Better Grades in High School

Transitioning from middle school to high school can cause academic distress for many students. It’s difficult to adapt to the new environment, master the art of completing homework assignments, and get good grades when given such independence for the assignments, and the expectation to learn new material that is more challenging. These tips will work for students whether they are a first-year high school student or a senior.

1. Completing Assignments on Time

In order to do homework and still have time to do other things, there are some basic principles that must be adhered to.

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  • Limit distractions like television, cell phones, and other people. Find an area where you can work without interferences.
  • Some students find that using a computer to answer questions when given a hand-out is easier and more effective, allowing for faster answers.
  • Always have your material on hand. Your study area should be stoked with pens, calculator, paper, and other essential items.
  • If you’re not good at a particular subject, pinpointing someone who’s capable of helping will save a lot of time.
  • Dedicate time each day for completing your homework.

2. Read the Directions and Rubrics

Knowing exactly where the standards are is the key to reliably get good grades. Ignoring instructions will almost guarantee the sacrifice of a good grade on an assignment even if the quality of the content is perfect. Misinterpreting directions can lead to the blaming of the teacher, and even disagreeing with the directions won’t get you a good grade.

3. Listen and Participate

Paying attention in class seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people think that it is possible to space out in class and study hard later on. This is not always the case and will catch up to you when a complex problem has you stumped. Paying attention in class almost always leads to spending less time studying later on. This is because the information has already been absorbed just by being engaged mentally when the teachers talking. Participation is crucial as it helps students understand the material more thoroughly because it is used in context and conversation.

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4. Ask for Help ASAP

This is easier said than done if the teacher is not especially friendly. Having a list of questions prepared for the teacher makes it easier to get the clarification you need, and the teacher will know exactly what to go over. There is no shame in asking for help it is the smartest thing that can be done when struggling in school.

5. Don’t Rely on Family and Friends

This can also be interpreted as, don’t cheat. Help with homework is one thing but directly copying a classmate’s homework, even if it doesn’t count for a grade, is definitely cheating. It is said that you only hurt yourself when you cheat and this is totally true. Relying on the knowledge of others for assignments will lead to larger assignments being more difficult since the material was never learned in the first place.

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6. Do Your Homework, Always

Many students take optional homework as a pass to ignore the assignments. This is not a good idea. When dealing in math and science, it is important to do the homework to fully comprehend the material. Skipping homework can lead to confusion when the teacher begins a new chapter or unit. Doing homework regularly can also have the same effect as studying consistently over time.

7. The Difference between Skimming and Understanding

The information should be actively absorbed instead of just read superficially. Having surface knowledge of the subject will not help in the long run especially if the test consists of open ended questions. A good way to do this is to read each section and then look away from it and try to repeat the facts. Don’t move on from the material until you are able to do this.

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8. Study, Don’t Cram

Sacrificing sleep to cram the night before the test is not good news no matter how you put it. It should be made into a habit of regularly going over the material and not only the night before a test. Leading up to a big test, study for about an hour every night for a week as opposed to studying a straight five hours the night before the test. As the knowledge builds up so will confidence. The night before the test, do an overall review and make sure all the main concepts are understood.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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