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Need some help with school grades. Any tips???

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just got done getting chewed out by my mom about me failing some classes.
My problem is I just don't really know why Im doing so bad. Im not lazy in the least (I think so anyway), but I just can't sit down to homework and do it. I feel like I'll go insane if I waste one more second staring at that history book. I know theres no way around it, and I have to pass my classes to graduate, but it doesn't seem to be enough to motivate me.
Another problem is Im actually failing more classes then my mom knows about. Shes already been paying for my nightschool, and I don't want to make her pay for more.
This probably came across as wierd, but its hard to explain.
If anyone out there has any tips for studying, or just getting through the school day without sluffing, please share with me!

post #2 of 27
Brandon, as tough as it sounds you need to apply yourself at school now, or suffer later. I skated through high school, hardly ever studied couses that I disliked and let me tell you later on as an adult I paid for that apathy. You have to apply yourself, turn off your computer, get your homework done, enlist the aid of a cool teacher you like to help you, or ask about a tutor. It's over before you know it, and you really need to apply yourself now. I wish that I had!
post #3 of 27
Someone once did studies on the art of procrastination (of which I am the Queen) and it turns out that it actually takes MORE work to avoid doing work that it does to actually get it out of the way!

I'm a lot like you in that I can't bring myself to do homework. I always did the inclass work just fine, but when I came home I'd suddenly discover so many other things I had to do. I'd all of sudden start doing laundry, cleaning and whatever else I wouldn't normally be doing. But the fact is this... The longer you maintain these habits, the harder it becomes. I skated by in high school. I never studied, I handed things in late. My grades weren't what they could have been, but I got by and lateness was punished with an occassional slap on the wrist. But when you get to college the teachers don't care. If you're loose the marks. You'll be so entrenched in your habits that you'll have a very hard time breaking the pattern.

You have to step back and look at the larger picture. You need to plan a strategy in life. Here you are now, you live at home, your needs are taken care of. But one day you'll want to move out. You'll have an apartment or house to pay for, a car, groceries, entertainment, clothes. If you haven't graduated from college then you're going to have a hard time finding an entry way in to a decent proffession. You don't even neccessarily have to follow through with the career related to your studies. You just need the piece of paper (diploma) to be considered for jobs with a decent pay. Without education you'll be stuck with jobs that don't have any promise for advancement. That means that the quality of life you're accustomed to living right now will be downgraded. Add to this the fact that you'll probably want to get married and have children one day, and that's a huge financial responsibility as well.

So you have to keep in mind that this is a small amount suffering over a short term period of time. The payback will be huge. Set goals and work towards them. Soon school will be a thing of the past, but your hard work will continue to reward you.
post #4 of 27
Yes, I'd like to add to that some more of my personal experience. I picked the straightest line out of highschool. Spare, Art, Media, Childrens Literature, Spare. I stopped taking math after grade 10 when it was no longer required. I didn't do much in the way of science. I did take enriched level english classes right through, but only because I found it easy. But now, I find myself working in a factory with no real possibility of advancement. $15/hour sounds pretty good when you're 21. But I'm 25 now, moved back home and starting to think....why the hell didn't I finish college? I can't possibly imagine affording the costs of living on my own.

I've decided to go back to school for Vetrinary Technitian, but lo and behold... I need MATH and SCIENCE! So starting next month I'll be going to night school for four nights a week to pick up the four classes I need. It's going to take eight months and a lot of money while I'm going to work simultaneously on midnights. It has been a DECADE since I've had to attend a math class. I know it's really hard for you right now to plan ahead when you may not even know where you want to go in life. Just make sure you have all your bases covered.
post #5 of 27
Brandon -

Hissy and Lunx have said some very good things. I was one of those who never studied either. My math suffered - so my parents got me a tutor - it did help a lot, only problem was that he would not let me use a calculator and I had to try and remember all the sine, cos and tan numbers all by myself. That was not easy because I do not have a head for numbers.
But that year, If I had failed math, I would not have been allowed to move up, but thankfully I passed it by 1 % and that was all I needed to get up. Now I look back and I realise I do probably need to learn math because I would like to study medical lab technology when I get back home to NZ and that does require math.
It is better to buckle down and study because it is only for a short time of your life. When you graduate from school, you have all the time you need without studying. Its just a small sacrifice for your future.

Good luck - if you ever need help, just PM me.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I actually want to go to veterinary school to become a verterinarian(though I don't get much support for it!). In any case thats after my undergrad work. Im going to try tonight. I have to finish 3 packets of History for Thursday. Lots of pencils and coffee I guess.
I still need to apply for college, but I want to secure my graduation first. Will they even think of accepting you when you have Fs to make up?
I have to make up 4 quarters of English and 4 quarters of history in only two quarters. Sounds hopeless huh?
These are my real problem areas. I did great in math and science, and passed some AP tests, but the above are seemingly impossible!
Anyway, time to go study.

Thanks Hissy, Lynx, and Kiwideus.
post #7 of 27
I've always been a bit like that, I always manage to postpone things, and have never liked doing homework. Things have been very different for me in uni, because here I study what I want to study, and I find everything so interesting! So my advice would be to stop thinking "I MUST do this boring history stuff", and get interested! I mean, history... How people used to live, what happened to them, how the world got to where it is today. That's interesting, and I always hated history before uni. And if you get interested in a subject, it's not hard work. It's easy, since you remember stuff much better when you haven't had to force yourself to just get through it.

Okay, now I need to go and get interested in my thesis... It's the big projects that always get me down in the beginning when I'm unsure of how it's gonna go.
post #8 of 27
Becoming a vet isn't going to be easy. I don't know where you live, but in my country (Canada) you need to have excellent academic achievement and work habits to be accepted. If you think high school is hard, wait till you get to college! You'll have to muster up all your drive and determination to make it through that many years of schooling. It will definitly be worth it in the end!

For me, I know I'm not university material. (In Canada college is based towards careers, and university is based on knowledge in a specialized area. University is generally much harder and very much more expensive). That's why I'm glad Vet Tech is only a two year course!!!
post #9 of 27
Brandon--You need to talk to your school counselor and ask him/her if they would recommend you to apply to a college next semester. You may need to take summer school to even finish. If I were you, try and apply for a community college near your home. You can probably finish high school and take your college classes at the same time. Keep us posted and Good luck!
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Lynx, I know its going to be hard. I might not even try to go in that direction anyway. Just what I want to do. If grades are counted, then its unlikely for me!
I really don't want to take summer school. Im going to try to go all out for the next semester, and if I don't make it so be it. Its a lot of work, and a whole lot of studying for the tests.
Eeva, I know what you mean about getting interested in history, but US history just doesn't do it for me. Its worth a shot though.
As for my counselor, shes a fanatic BYU graduate. The conversations are so one sided that I can never get a word in.
Thanks again people,
Back to the books,

post #11 of 27
i have the same prob with history too... i'm not sure if my method would help you considering that our education is different.. what i did with my history was to read through my history text and get an idea how things go and then start watching history tapes that would give me a visual idea of how things were really like..then i would draw a timeline and the major events that happened... helps a whole lot... but honestly, you might need to find a time which you work best and absorb the most... it helps a whole lot and helps to shorten the time used to study... hope it helps you..
post #12 of 27
You're talking to a teacher and a parent of 2 kids in high school. Sorry to be blunt, but the time you spend posting on websites should be devoted to your homework and your courses. Period. The advice you have gotten here from people who did not apply themselves in high school and have learned that it takes double the effort later to make up for it in order to achieve goals should be motivation enough. Colleges are looking for people who demonstrate an ability to succeed, as well as knowledge. There are no free rides. Make the investment in yourself, starting NOW!
post #13 of 27
I can totally sympothise with you!! I also was the "slacker" I put off my homework until late at nite. and by the time I got started into it I was ready for bed. so I would put it away thinking I will do it in the AM before class. well needless to say it never got done. I skimmed through high school with nothing but D's until I hit senior year. That's when it hit me that I wasn't going to get into the College I wanted to go to. My GPA was crap so I figured I would put my nose to the grind stone. I like you had ALOT of classes to make up for. I ended up taking 8 classes out of an 8 hour class day. I didn't get a period for lunch because I knew that if I wanted to Grad with my friends and what not that I had to get those credits. I took the 8 classes and I learned some study habits that helped me keep my eyes on the books.

First one is Take breaks!!!!! it is proven that when studing that a person remembers the first and last thing they read. There fore it is suggested to take alot of breaks stupid as it sounds but it's true. Because of this study method I ended up getting on the honor roll my last semester of my Senior year in high school. and I brought my GPS up by almost a whole point!!!
2nd thing is to get rid of all the distrations. no radio no T.V. Close yourself into you bedroom or where ever you can get totaly privacy to do your work. that way you won't want to look up to see what everyone is laughing about on the TV, you won't start singing alog with a song when you really should be reading. the less to distract you the more you intake of what you are doing.
3rd Same things most everyone here has said........just put your nose to the grindstone and get it done. WILL POWER.

I wish you the best of luck!!!!!! But I belive you can do it
post #14 of 27
Have to chime in here. In my uni psych class I learned that according to studies, one can concentrate on stuff like studying well for about half an hour at a time, max. Taking breaks is a good thing, but five minutes is enough, don't be like me and stretch those breaks into half an hour!

And try and figure out at what time of day you function best. Most people seem to like to study in the morning or during the day, but for me, it's evening or night. I'm a night person, so I guess it makes sense that my brain works best at night too.
post #15 of 27
Hi Brandon,

Last semester, I failed my first course: grade eleven mathematics. I wasn't understanding the information, and I felt really, really, really stupid so I didn't go to anyone for help. Through that experience, I can tell you to go to your guidance office and ask if they know of any volunteers in your community that tutor. (I'm not sure if you have any money to pay for such a service, but I know that I didn't). Through the guidance office, and word of mouth, I was paired up with a retired teacher. My mark in the class right now is 78, which I think is pretty good compared to my mark last semester at this time: 34%. I go to the tutor two days a week during my lunch hour. I find that this helps me apply myself a lot more: if I know that the tutor is going to want to see my notes, I'm not as tempted to doodle and "zone out". I pay more attention so that I have concrete questions to ask him. I find that the extra help - one on one, helps me out a lot.

I'm staying an extra year of highschool. I'm not sure what I want to do with my life yet... I just wanted to say that I wish you the best of luck! :o)
post #16 of 27
You can do it...... just make sure you take those breaks everyones been talking about and try and keep yourself motivated. I had the same trouble in comprehensive school (same as high school) and after a lot of hard work I passed. I finished my degree in the summer of 2000. It isn't impossible, just keep trying.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well I got that one packet turned in! Just a few more to go. By the way that last packet was on the US from 1920-1980 scary stuff


post #18 of 27
You need to try some new study ideas. Get some notecards and write out questions on one side and answers on the other. You can make the cards as you read the chapters. After every section, read over the notecards and answer the questions. At the end of the chapter, you will have your own stack of cards to go back over and study later.

Do you have a way to record your voice? You could read the book aloud and record it as you read. Then play the tape back while you do other things around the house or in the car, etc...

Basically, you need to make studying fun. Good luck What classes are you taking? I have a teaching degree, maybe I could help with more study ideas if I knew what kinds of subjects you are studying...
post #19 of 27
I started kindergarten in 1963, at age five, and since I'm a teacher, I've spent the vast majority of my life in school(s). My tips: It is far better to spend 15 minutes to an hour every day studying, than to cram for a test the night before. All-nighters and getting up at 5 a.m. to prepare for a test are wasted time - it takes at least 8 hours for data to go from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Many people need to write or type things in order to remember them, so organize and rewrite or type your class notes after school. If you are an Internet addict, use your online time productively: check out news sites research class material (tip: ) using your search engine, and set up a system of goals and rewards for yourself, e.g., one (or better two) hour(s) of school work = one hour of "reward" time on thecatsite, etc..
post #20 of 27
Brandon...I understand how you are feeling. I am 38, been out of school 20 years and now am going to college. It is hard to get back into the studying habits. I have so many other things I could be doing...spending time with my little girl, reading a good book, watching house, doing laundry...the list goes on and on. But I am FORCING myself to study and study hard. Because I know that if I had done this 20 years ago when I was fresh out of high school I would be so much better off and not have to deal with it now, when I have to pay my own way in parents to rely on like way back when. Quite frankly, being in school now, after all these years scares trhe crap out of me. I wish I was your age and had my whole life ahead of me and could get it over and done with now (college/school) so that I could get a good job and get on with the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I didn't appreciate or realize the importance of that when I was your age. I hope you will hang in there and do the best you can and be wiser than I was so you don't have to go back to school 20 years from now to get a good job.
post #21 of 27
jcat, by the way...what do you teach? I may need some help!
post #22 of 27
I work with high school students in their science classrooms. I help out with their work and I've even tutored for free.

Others here have given you great advice in relation to studying. Find one that suits you and stick to it. Have a routine and follow it.

With career advice, if you feel that the conversations with your counsellor is one sided, find someone else for guidance. It doesn't need to be that person. Show who you ask that you are genuine in trying to succeed. Perhaps there are other teachers that you can talk to or even your mother.

Your mother may seem like she's upset at you. She isn't. She simply wants you to do your best. I really think that perhaps it is best to be honest with your mother about how many subjects you really are failing. And perhaps from there work to a plan to accomplish your goals.

I'm currently in university and I will be finishing at the end of the year. And then after that, I'm going back for more to complete a Graduate Diploma in teaching.
post #23 of 27
I would just like to say, that contrary to all of you on here (at least answering this post ) I liked doing school, and always did my homework and what I say may not sink in as much. I graduated with an average of 87% I think (or maybe it was 84% ). Anyhow, I too didn't know what I wanted to do after high school. So I didn't go to University/College nothing. I did go to NS (on the east coast of Canada) for 6 months, which I don't regret at all, but so far that has been all I've done, and that was--are you ready for this??--7 years ago in June!!!! Oh my goodness, I'm getting old! lol jj Anyways right now, at age 24, I am stuck at a dead end job, living at home, and as I have to have a car to get to work, I have to work for at least the next 4 years to pay off the stupid thing (and for all of you who say sell it, or take the bus....I live in the country, and 20 miles is a little far to catch a ride with someone! ). So what I say is do the best you can for school, maybe take some courses at a community college to see what you are into/what you'd like to do for the rest of your life, etc, and go hard at it! Believe me, it's not fun at 24, when you don't know or don't have the guts to go for what you really want to do in life, and it would have been so easy when you're 18, b/c you are fresh out of high school, ready to face the world, up for any challenge that comes along. By the time you are out of school for a couple of years, even 1, it wears off, and you have to make yourself do stuff! Anyhow, that's my 2 cents worth of advice today! I hope you do well in your classes, and go on to university/college etc!
post #24 of 27
I have to say, if my parents had let me slack when i was younger i don't think i would have gotten far in life.
My parents were EXTREMELY strict about studying when i was younger.

Yes i resented them for it. Yes it was a pain.
But at 18, i left college with three A's at Alevel (the highest marks acheivable in the UK), and i had a pick of any course at any university, including veterinary science.
I ended up picking Dentistry at a London University (Don't ask why! )
And let me tell you, i really really appreciate and thank my lucky stars my parents pushed me so hard!
So i missed a few parties? So what?
I didn't watch too much TV..... and?
Take my word, you can catch up on all that later.
I'm still at university now, i know what it's like to not feel like working on a particular day, or when the pressure gets so much, that you just can't start. But you have to find what drives you to work, be it determination, pressure, fear....whatever!
Get text books that you enjoy reading. And concentrate, work in a quiet place. No matter what people say, i find studying with music or the TV on will not work. Write notes! Test yourself on what you just read, and reread!

I for one, when i start slacking, i close my eyes and think of all the luxuries i will be able to provide for my cats, the security of never having financial worries, the Mercedes SLK ( ) and that drives me on!

Trust me on this one, study now and you will reap the benefits in tenfold when you graduate
post #25 of 27
Oh yeah, have to add, that i'm a freak and in my opinion, too many breaks is a bad thing as it can distract your mind from what you're studying.

Personally for me? i study hour and a half blocks, and my break is literally as little as going downstairs and getting a drink, to have WHILE studying. Not spend half an hour drinking it downstairs (as tempting though it might be! )
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Coco Maui
You need to try some new study ideas. Get some notecards and write out questions on one side and answers on the other. You can make the cards as you read the chapters. After every section, read over the notecards and answer the questions. At the end of the chapter, you will have your own stack of cards to go back over and study later.

Do you have a way to record your voice? You could read the book aloud and record it as you read. Then play the tape back while you do other things around the house or in the car, etc...

Basically, you need to make studying fun. Good luck What classes are you taking? I have a teaching degree, maybe I could help with more study ideas if I knew what kinds of subjects you are studying...
Currently in school Im just doing the requireds plus a few electives. I have english, auto, auto body repair, welding, human biology, weight lifting, drawing, and blah blah blah. That notecard idea sound like it would actually work for me. I always go back to the reading and search for main points, but that would eliminate it. Thanks!
What drives me to actually work on homework? Mabye if I got a really hard electrical shock every time I didn't study.
I don't really have a choice. I can't not get into college, so I'll have to do whatever it takes. Oh and by the way, I talked to one of my teachers and I found out I have 2 big english packets, and 2 big history packets left to do. Thats less than I thought!
On the topic of studying, I think its best if I only study for .5-1 hour increments. Any more and I start to go into the mode where I read, but don't absord any of it.
Anyway, thanks everyone for the motivation. It really helps

post #27 of 27
Originally posted by Debby
jcat, by the way...what do you teach? I may need some help!
German to English translation, concentrating primarily on business and economics, though I also do some general stuff with the classes. The kids are training to become translators or foreign-language correspondents. What are you studying? I studied German Language & Lit, with a minor in Latin American Lit (I've forgotten almost all my Spanish, though).
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