I'm not a believer in dedicating all of your life to studying. I am, although, a believer that grades do matter. I think it's about finding the right balance between the two that really matters and makes a difference, and I hope these 5 tips will help!

1. Manage time effectively

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keeping track of time

✧ Grades matter, but you do, too! It's important to manage your time so you can stay on top of your academics while having time for the things and people that matter to you.

Get a planner or a to do list so you won't forget any of the tasks you have to do. Set a specific amount of time you want to get each task done (but add buffer time too!) so you can squeeze in your favorite show or hanging out with your friends.

✧ A lot of time is wasted when we sit idly by. It's important to get our responsibilities done ahead of time, instead of putting them off just because you don't feel like it.

✧ A good technique is the 5 minute rule: force yourself to get a task started for 5 minutes, and if you don't feel like continuing it after that, you can try again later. Personally, this has worked for me and I find myself finishing my tasks ahead of time. It's really about challenging yourself and immersing in that proper mindset.

2. Take better notes

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notes notes notes

✧ Make your notes interactive! Write them in a way where you can use it as an immediate review material. I like this because it allows me to study on public transportation.

✧ For subjects heavy on information, I would highlight key words so I can study without having to read everything.

✧ For equations, I'd read through problems we've already solved in class and try to understand how the equation works and the steps involved in solving the problem. I write down parts that aren't clear so I can verify them later on.

3. Study in smaller chunks

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studying on the go

✧ Instead of studying all in one go a night before the test, study the lesson in small chunks daily (or as often as possible). Personally, when I studied a lesson three times in different days rather than in one go, I did better in the test.

✧ Our brains recall better when information is repeated, and it's even better when we review the lessons in the same day it's taught. Learning all lessons in one go will be overwhelming for our brains, and it won't help it recall information better.

4. Surround yourself with positivity

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study with a buddy

✧ My friends do well academically, and it motivates me to do well myself. If you don't have anyone like that, be the influence for others! Not a very easy task, but nothing worth it comes easy. :)

✧ When you feel tired from all the schoolwork, talk to someone about it. May it be an adult or a friend, anyone who can give good advice to put yourself back on track.

What motivates you? Although discipline is important, it's hard to develop. Since you're just beginning, buy yourself cute stationery or make a list of reasons why you want to succeed. Anything that will make you want to work, work, work!

5. Sleep

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✧ Unless you have an assignment that's due tomorrow that drastically affects your grades, don't pull an all-nighter. It's really bad for you, and the next day you won't be able to perform your best for the actual test.

Sleep improves performance, and that's what we want. If you can put off a task for another day in exchange of a good night's sleep, do it.

✧ Say you finished all your work exactly when you're supposed to sleep, and now you think an episode of a drama won't hurt? Don't do it. Please, sleep.

Bonus: take care of yourself!

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Eat better, and put on something cute every now and then. I found that when I took better care of my appearance, I was a bit more confident and it helped boost my mood and made my productivity levels higher. It doesn't have to be exaggerated - something nice and simple will do.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this helpful! I wish you the best of luck!

Love, S.

from the love in my heart to yours