How to Improve Grades in High School? 10 Proven Tips

It’s simple. The better your grades in high school, the better college or university you can get into for a better career. You need to take care of your grades in high school to ensure your GPA fits in the schools you want to attend! So, you might be wondering how to improve grades in high school?

Excellent grades reflect your comprehension of different subjects and your hard work. But not only do good grades boost your chances of getting into a top-notch college or university. They also teach you crucial life skills! Working toward it improves your studying habits and self-discipline. These lifelong skills will serve you beyond school.

See how you can improve your grades in high school and how to stay motivated. 


How to Improve Grades in High School?

how to improve grades in high school (infographic)

Many students struggle to learn how to improve grades in high school due to many reasons. From bad studying habits to not knowing where to start — these are the typical troubles these young students face. Below are ten proven tips to help you get a grasp of school work more, study better, and how to maximize time.

Here are foolproof study strategies every high school student must know to improve their grades in any subject:

💯 Be Attentive and Involve Yourself in Your Classes

female high school student writing on board - how to improve grades in high school

A common trait that high school students with outstanding grades have is attentiveness.

As tempting as it is to space out during classes and study later, it’s not ideal. Although you may ace your tests now and then, it’s not the most consistent method.

Eventually, this lazy habit will catch up to you when you face something difficult. Thus, always be attentive and be more involved with your lectures. 

Being more attentive in class gives you a better grasp of your lessons, no matter the subject. With this, you only need to study the lectures briefly. In the long run, practicing this habit will help you grasp the different topics better. Therefore, you’ll spend less time studying over time. And it’s all because you’ve already absorbed a lot of info by involving yourself in your classes.

Aside from being attentive during lectures, I recommend taking notes. Writing notes in class reinforces what’s getting discussed better in your mind. So, it’s best to sharpen your writing skills before college or university. As a result, you don’t have to make it hard on yourself whenever writing notes during lengthy or complex lectures. 

Learning to summarize each lesson’s key points makes it more manageable to write down notes. 

Finally, class participation is the most challenging for most high school students. But as embarrassing as it is to speak in front of your classmates, it’s crucial for getting good grades. 

If you’re struggling to speak up during classes, I recommend sitting at the front of the room. Doing so helps you feel like you’re talking to your teacher one-on-one, making it easier for you to ignore the class. And whenever you’re answering or asking questions, never overthink it! 

Remember, even if your answers are wrong, consider it a learning opportunity. Use that to help yourself understand the lessons better. From there, you should be able to learn better and eventually achieve better grades in high school. 

💯 Carefully Check Directions and Rubrics for All Assignments

Whenever a teacher gives you homework, always double-check the directions and rubrics. If you don’t follow them, you won’t likely get a great grade even if you do an excellent job. 

Even if you don’t like the structure of the homework or assignment, deal with it. After all, not following instructions won’t help you achieve anything. So, always stick to what your teacher says. 

For instance, if they tell you to write a five-page essay and go beyond it, you will waste your hard work and time. Meanwhile, if you go under it, you might get points taken off your grade even if you do the assignment right.

Although this may seem very strict, you must follow your teacher’s instructions. These are the types of teachers who prefer sticking to particular guidelines. And there’s no going around this. But after doing things repeatedly, you’ll get a better grasp of your teacher’s standards over time.

In short, always double-check the rubrics and directions to avoid sacrificing your grades. After all, no student would want to fail due to negligence of instructions!

💯 Focus On Where You’re Failing Short 

To maximize your study sessions, focus on subjects you’re falling short on. Check to see if your grades are lower than you’d be comfortable with across all topics or on only one area affecting your performance at school. 

I recommend looking at your grades for the previous months and seeing if there’s any pattern. Ask yourself these questions to gain a better insight into where you might be failing: 

  • Do you have a decline in academic achievement? 
  • Have your high school grades in particular areas always been lower than you’d want till now?
  • Do your grades drop in the same topics or like in one subject?

You may already know the answers. However, seeing your written grades, no matter the format, can give you a better overview. Thus, focusing on where you fail shortly makes it more manageable! You’ll be able to find out the reasons for your underperformance and then remedy and improve them in no time. 

After discovering the reason behind your less than excellent grades in high school, it’s time to answer – why? Determine why you’re underperforming in your academics. Are you suffering from family issues? Or haven’t grasped academic skills like essay-writing or note-writing? 

Either way, these factors might affect your high school performance and grades. So, the best way to handle this is by isolating the issue. Plus, determine what you are going through.

💯 Never Hesitate to Ask for Help and Do it ASAP

student asking teacher something

Independently studying is excellent for concertation. But it’s not the best if you, yourself, lack knowledge. Remember, the true secret behind success is knowing when to get help. And yes, high school homework, classes, projects, and assignments are no exception. 

So, if you’re having difficulty keeping up with the materials, tell your teacher. It’s better to do it ASAP than waiting to get bombarded with tests you’re unprepared for! Ask them if they’re willing to spare some of their time for you to go over the recent lessons. With this, you’ll be able to keep up and avoid getting bad grades in high school. Not to mention, it helps you bond with your teacher better. 

But all these aren’t as easy as it sounds, as it’s challenging to ask teachers for help. And that’s especially the case if the teacher isn’t the friendliest or you tend to keep things to yourself. If you’re struggling to ask, I recommend sticking to a script. You can start by preparing questions for smoother and quick supplementary lessons.

Either way, remember there’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance, especially in school work. Truthfully, it’s one of the most efficient things you can try to improve your grades in high school. 

💯 Organize Your Daily Life 

When learning how to improve grades in high school, you’ll see how essential organization is to every student. It makes it easier for you to study and focus on schoolwork. After all, what kind of person can work while surrounded by all types of clutter? It disrupts your ability to operate efficiently. So, start organizing for smoother learning!

Keep your study area clean and tidy, and organize your notes and books. Ensure you place your supplies in a way where you know where everything is without taking a second look. 

Aside from organizing your notes, school supplies, and textbooks, you must also work on your time management skills. After all, you’ll only have so much time after 8 hours of school. So, prioritize your time well, and free time for subjects you’re underperforming in. I suggest writing an everyday timetable to showcase your school schedule. From here, you can adjust the time slots and fit whatever you need for school. 

💯 Never Rely on Others too Much

Although relying on your teachers is okay, it’s another story with your family and friends. It’s all right to ask for help or work with classmates on homework or assignments. But blatantly copying someone else’s work or having it done by your parents is never a good idea. 

Even if that helps boost your grades in homework or assignments, it’s not helpful over time. After all, it makes you rely more on these people to do your school work for you. So, not only are you cheating, but it also lets you learn nothing over time. And this, in turn, can make your grades in high school plummet. 

So, avoid relying on others, especially if you want to improve your grades long-term. Remember, asking for help and working together is okay. But it’s never all right to copy someone! If not, everything will just become more challenging for you. After all, you’ve never worked on the material yourself. 

Moreover, never let your parents help you with homework hands-on. For instance, if you want to have them edit your essays, have your mom or dad read through them and suggest some changes. And from here, you can make the needed adjustments. Still, I don’t recommend doing this all the time to help you get used to doing school work in bulk! 

In short, always strive to learn on your terms. And it’s okay to ask for help, but never copy someone else! Independently do your school work, and you’ll have soaring grades in high school in no time. 

💯 Sharpen Your Note-taking and Essay-writing Skills

student writing on their blank notebook

Mastering note-taking and essay-writing are your tickets to achieving better performance in high school. Sharpening these skills guarantee higher grades no matter the subject. 

Among the reasons why high school students underperform and get bad grades is because they don’t take notes or can’t write good enough ones! Messily scrawled writings from any subject can be challenging to understand when it’s time to read and revise them. And even if you’re the one who wrote it, it’s easy to misunderstand them. 

Therefore, you must sharpen your note-taking skills. It’s not all about writing fast but also about doing it comprehensively. So, don’t forget to spruce up your writing as well! If that’s not possible, type up everything you wrote after class ends while they’re still intact in your brain.

Another skill that underperforming high school students lack is essay writing. Whatever the subject, writing will always be a part of it. So, it’s essential to sharpen your essay-writing skills to achieve better grades. Quality essay writing covers everything, ranging from the research phase to proofreading. 

But besides writing, remember to work on your reading comprehension skills. After all, you must know what you’re jotting down in the first place. With these skills intact, you should be able to improve your grades in high school in no time!

💯 Always Work on Assignments Daily 

Most high school teachers assign homework to their students daily. And unfortunately, many do this even if they don’t check or include them in the final grades. Although many ignore these assignments since it doesn’t affect their grades, don’t do the same! After all, you gain a better comprehension of the material by working on homework. 

You’ll gain a better advantage over your classmates, helping you achieve higher grades in high school. So even if the work doesn’t directly affect your final grades, it’s essential to do it. After all, knowledge often builds on itself, meaning the more you explore, the more you achieve!

Aside from that, not doing assignments might leave you left behind. You might get confused when your teacher moves to new units on different subjects. In short, not doing the given homework or assignments make you stray behind and perform poorly. And even if the current task doesn’t count toward your grade, the future ones might. 

Finally, regularly doing homework, even if not needed, can help you mentally. If you work harder and learn more, you’ll be naturally on top of the class. As a result, you’ll be able to become more confident in yourself, eventually excelling in grades! And best of all, you don’t need to study for tests as much separately. After all, you already have an excellent grip on the subjects. 

💯 Discover the Proper Learning Style for YOU

Although there might be learning or studying strategies that work for most, that doesn’t mean it works for all. So, if you’re underperforming and getting terrible grades in high school, you might not have found the proper learning style that works best for you! After all, all students are unique and have their preferred ways of studying. 

So, don’t get too upset. There’s still a chance to improve your grades. You need to find your most efficient learning and studying style! For instance, if you’ve been studying with friends and yielded no results, it might be best to do it alone. You might be able to focus better. 

💯 Make it Fun

students discussing something - how to improve grades in high school

Finally, the most effective way to improve your grades in high school is by making learning fun. Many students underperform in high school due to a lack of motivation to study. It isn’t a surprise since the pressure of getting good grades and exams can be stressful. 

If you’re one of these students, get better grades by making schoolwork fun. It’s so easy to get sucked into the momentum of working toward better grades that you forget that studying can be fun! And you may also have forgotten that it’s more manageable when you enjoy your work. So, if learning has become a burden to you, it’s time to bring back the fun! 

There are many ways to make studying fun for high school students. From turning school work into fun games to rewarding yourself with snacks — make learning fun again! 

One of the best ways to enjoy studying is to study with friends! Discussing specific topics with them helps you all connect better to the material and understand them better. And if you’re confused with anything and vice versa, you all can help each other. So, not only is it fun, it’s incredibly beneficial as well. 

Forming study groups with your friends can be an efficient and gratifying way to work toward getting higher grades in high school. If studying with friends doesn’t work out, ask your parents to hire a tutor for you. 


Additional Tips to Stay Motivated in Studying to Improve Grades in High School

students discussing school work at a cafe

No matter how well you study, or much you spend on school supplies, you won’t get good grades in high school if you’re unmotivated. So, once you learn how to improve grades in high school, maintain your rhythm by staying motivated! So get started and study like a pro with the tips below.

These should help you stay inspired and ready to learn all the time:

💡 Break Your Schoolwork into Smaller, Manageable Chunks

Complex and massive schoolwork like dissertations can make any student miserable and unmotivated. After all, revising for long periods is never fun. And that’s especially the case for young high school students! So, keep it manageable by breaking your larger tasks into smaller chunks.

Working on tinier chunks is more manageable and does not seem as stressful. No matter the schoolwork, create clear sections and tasks you must do and make it simpler.

💡Take a Break Now and Then

Studying for long periods isn’t only tiring for students but can also quickly get boring! And boredom often comes with demotivated individuals. So, to avoid getting into the rut of studying nonstop, take breaks now and then. Whether standing, walking around, stretching your body, or opening the window for some air, these are excellent ways to stay motivated while studying. 

So, keep your productivity high and take breaks at least every half an hour. And keep each interval as short as 3 to 5 minutes.  

💡 Designate a Study Zone at Home 

Studying in a less-than-ideal environment isn’t the most motivating thing for high school students. So, if possible, designate a study zone at your house to work on school projects, assignments, and tests efficiently. I recommend choosing a space with minimal sounds and distractions. 

And don’t forget to keep the zone clean and tidy for seamless learning. 

💡Stay Connected with Classmates, Friends, and Family 

Whether you’re taking virtual or face-to-face classes, staying connected is crucial to staying motivated. And this is relevant, especially nowadays, where most teachers communicate to their students via the digital world. I suggest using video chat platforms to stay connected with your peers.

Take advantage of the connection and set up a study group to discuss schoolwork.

💡Limit Your Multi-Tasking 

As convenient as it is to multi-task, such as doing chores while studying, it can lead to burnout fast. So, avoid tiring and demotivating yourself from learning by limiting your multi-tasking. I also recommend turning off your gadgets whenever it’s time to study, even if it requires you to be on your PC!

💡Stay Positive 

With the constant studying, it’s no wonder many high school students get unmotivated. So no matter how tiring the lessons, homework, and tests get, stay positive! Wallowing in negativity won’t bring you anywhere, so remain optimistic. 

💡Create and Maintain a Study Routine 

It’s more manageable to stay motivated if you include studying in your daily routine. For example, you can spare time to read a textbook or two before enjoying the rest of the night after school. 

If doing it every day is too much, even dedicating one day to studying a week is enough. As a result, it’s become easier to concentrate on learning and avoid getting distracted! I recommend informing your family and friends of this routine so they can avoid disturbing you.

Before you start this routine, be sure when you begin to reduce distractions. For instance, please turn off your mobile phone to stop yourself from checking it every minute or two during study time. 

💡Explore Various Study Approaches

Studying can get stale and old fast. So, keep things interesting by exploring different study styles. You can try something productive today and something completely different the next. It keeps you motivated and helps you discover which approach works best for you. 

Study styles and approaches aside, I also recommend rotating your subjects. It’ll keep things fresh and engaging, keeping you motivated to learn. Aside from that, you may also try exploring various study activities. These include reading over the material, drawing pictures, or creating songs! 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I often get bad grades in high school?

A: Although it differs for each student, most of them get low grades due to inefficient study habits. Students nowadays like to do things last minute, cramming everything in one day or night. Moreover, many also struggle to keep up with classes and lessons. As a result, these negatively impact a typical high school student’s performance. 

Q: How to improve grades in high school from B’s to A’s?

A: To improve your B’s, C’s, D’s, and even F’s to A’s, staying organized is the key! I recommend planning your days evenly with school work, studying, and breaks. Keep a planner with your daily assignments and upcoming tests, major and minor. Aside from that, making a weekly study schedule is also ideal. 

Q: Is getting a grade of straight A’s in high school difficult?

A: Receiving a grade of straight A’s in high school is very challenging unless you’re a prodigy. So, to achieve top-tier grades in high school, you must work hard! Always submit your school work and assignments on time. And instead of cramming the day or night before your exams, study at least a week before. 

Q: How can I get a score of 100 in all my exams in high school to improve my grades?

A: Create an in-depth study plan covering all essential subjects to score 100 on your tests. To make the most out of your study sessions, focus and dedicate more of your time to topics you’re weak in. And add in the ones you’re already good at and continue improving later. 

Q: Does getting good grades in high school matter in life?

A: Although grades don’t define who you are, they matter in high school. After all, a high school student’s grades determine their future by increasing their chances of getting into decent colleges or universities. So as difficult as it is to accept, you need to get your grades together for a better future!


Final Words

As fun as high school is, it’s a vital time when students need to get good grades to get into a good college. So, if yours aren’t the best, it’s time to change that. And learning how to improve grades in high school is easier than you think! From attending classes to studying in groups, readjust your schedule for studying and schoolwork. Remember, anyone can get good grades, so don’t give up and work hard!

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