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5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

Graduation Day

    Studying is usually defined by the same, old, boring methods – reading, writing study notes, and rote learning.

    While these tasks should take up the bulk of your teen’s studying time, there are certainly other less well-known methods that effective studiers use to make sure they get the grades they’re aiming for.

    The five methods below are all things YOU can encourage them to do and help them with, and will contribute massively to your teen’s studying success.

     

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    1. Help them make a study timetable

    Your teen’s study timetable only needs to be very simple, yet the benefits of having one (and using it!) are huge:

    • Your teen is much more likely to complete the study they need to if it’s planned in advance and written down. A timetable achieves both these things immediately.
    • By marking out when they will study each subject, your teen will ensure they study everything they need to in time for each exam.
    • Quite simply, having a study timetable = more study done

    Making and sticking to a timetable is Organization 101, and being organized does absolute wonders for stress levels. By helping your teen get organized, you’re helping to keep their stress levels down… something the whole family will benefit from!

     

    2. Implement incentives where appropriate

    Many teenagers need a good kick up the bum leading up to exams. If this sounds familiar then we suggest using a few simple incentives to give them the boost they need.

    But, they need to be the right kind of incentives…

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    Harvard Educational Professors have shown that incentives based on a child’s inputs [work done] are far more effective than those based on their outputs [grades].

    This means you should base your incentives on the number of hours of study done, rather than the grades your teen ends up getting.

     

    3. Introduce them to handy websites.

    The web is a goldmine of fabulous free resources designed specifically for high school exam study, of any schooling system.

    To get you started here are a few of our personal favorites:

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    • Khan Academy: This site has thousands of free videos covering everything from math to chemistry to finance at a level that’s perfect for high school students.
      It also has a ‘Practice’ section that acts as a personal math tutor. All free!
    • GCSE Bitesize: Based on the British curriculum, but a fantastic website bursting with resources for any high school student anywhere.
    • YouTube: Yes, it is one of the best tools for procrastinating, but if your teen can resist their browsing urges, YouTube probably has at least 10 videos explaining any topic they could ever need to master.

     

    4. Past exam papers

    We credit a lot of our own exam success to studying from past exams. Not every teacher will provide them, but it never hurts to ask.

    They’re a wonderful study tool because:

    • The questions and format of the exams this year will probably be very similar to those in previous years.
    • They’ll give your teen the best idea of what to expect in the exam, and they’ll want to avoid any nasty surprises!
    • Going over past exams will very quickly show your teen what they need to brush up on.

     

    5. Test them

    A great tool for studying is getting someone to test your knowledge.

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    As a parent, you may not know what protein synthesis or differentiation is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your teen memorize those definitions.

    As long as you can read, you can ask questions from their study notes. Flash cards could also fit in very well here.

     

    As you can see, just because your teen is growing up and studying for subjects you haven’t thought about for 30 odd years, it doesn’t mean you have to be a spectator of their success.

    Behind every successful high school student are very proud and supportive parents. We hope that the tips we’ve outlined here help you help your teen reach the level of academic achievement you know they’re capable of.

    It’ll be YOU they thank first at their high school graduation.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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