Sometimes, you may lose motivation in school and wonder: what’s the point? Do grades even matter? And although it’s true that high school should be a period of exploration and enjoyment, it would be wrong to assume that your academic grades don’t play a role in your future.
Knowing why good grades matter and how they’re 100% achievable will help you find motivation and confidence in your studies. So if you’re not sure where you’re going with your grades but want to make a change, this post will help you out.
In this post, I’ll reveal a few important reasons why good grades matter in high school, as well as 5 top tips to help you obtain and maintain those high marks. Make sure to save this post and share it with your friends! Let’s start.
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You are building good study habits
In order to get good grades, you have to build and break certain study habits. And though this may not sound like a huge motivation, having the proper foundation in attitude and skills will prove beneficial for the future.
Whether you’ll move on to college or not, and whether you enter the workforce or not, you’ll need to practice habits and skills, such as:
- Proficiency in computer programs like Google Suite or Microsoft
- Time management, prioritizing, and delegation
- Taking good notes and writing concise reviews or summaries
- Self-control, staying off social media when needed, etc
By practicing these skills in high school (and you’ll likely have to in order to achieve the best grades), you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the future.
You don’t have to force yourself to remember these habits, either. Getting good grades requires self-control, dedication, time management, review skills, and more. Just by working hard in academics, you’ll be unconsciously building these essential skills.
Grades matter to colleges
Academic performance is a major part of college applications. While extracurricular activities, leadership positions, awards, essays, etc are also important, having good grades often define the benchmark for college admissions.
This means that even if you have a few great extracurricular activities on your resume, if you have a 1.0 GPA, you’ll struggle a lot more to get into good colleges.
Generally, applicants should aim for at least a 3.0 GPA and a 1280 SAT. For T20 schools (top-tier schools in the US, including Ivy Leagues), applicants should aim for at least a 3.5 GPA and a 1500 SAT.
Of course, your academics aren’t the only factor in college applications. Generally, as long as you meet the (average) requirements for a college, your extracurriculars and other aspects of the application will become more important.
Good grades could bring scholarships
As mentioned, academic performance alone will not guarantee college acceptance or rejection. However, having good grades opens doors to a lot of merit scholarships.
Merit scholarships are financial awards that are given to students based primarily on their academic performance. Many colleges offer this as part of the application, while others are offered by private organizations.
The application process looks different for these two groups, but the common theme for both is that applicants need to have a strong academic background.
Therefore, if you’d like to receive financial aid for your college applications through scholarships (and why wouldn’t you?), strive for good grades so that you can qualify and apply to merit scholarships!
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The things you learn will be useful
Another reason that studying hard in high school is important is that the information you learn will be useful in the future. Along with the habits and skills you’ve built, you’ll be equipped with all kinds of knowledge.
As mundane as it may sound, the history, physics, math, writing, reading, and other knowledge that you’ve gained during school might just help you out in real life!
You never know what type of intellectual conversation may pop up in a real-life exchange, or when you need to calculate change while shopping.
In addition, you’ll probably not completely abandon all of these subjects in college. Sometimes, you’ll have to continue taking math or English classes in college to gain all the credits.
If you did well in high school and still remember all the information, you’ll simply be building upon your knowledge instead of restarting from 0. Therefore, don’t slack off just yet!
Tips: how to get good grades
Now that you know why good grades are important, it’s time to learn how to actually obtain and maintain good grades. Here are 5 top tips of mine:
Pay attention & go to class
This is a given; if you want to effectively learn and remember information, you have to pay attention the first time you’re exposed to it!
Whether you’re listening to a lecture, watching a video recording, reading a textbook, or something else, pay attention to actively think through every sentence you’re hearing.
This also means taking notes, asking questions, making diagrams, drawing connections, discussing with others, etc.
Not procrastinating is easier said than done, but it’s a crucial step towards becoming a better student. By finishing your to-do list early and efficiently, you’ll have “extra” time to do other things!
Here are a few tips to help you stop procrastinating:
- Open your homework assignment and start working on it as soon as it is assigned.
- Remove all distractions, including your phone and social media (turn off notifications!).
- Set a schedule and implement a reward/punishment system to ensure that you follow it.
- Take breaks and stay healthy; get enough sleep and eat your meals.
- Check out the full post (and 8 helpful tips) on how to stop procrastinating here.
Be curious, be active
Do not be afraid to talk to your teachers and fellow students! Usually, teachers are happy to answer any questions or talk to their students, as they’d like to know how they can improve their teaching as well.
At the same time, your fellow students are in the same place as you. If you’re confused about something, someone else could be having the same concerns. Or they totally understand the concept and could help you!
Either way, the only way you’ll make full use of the environment you have (with your classmates and teachers) is to be active in class. Ask questions and make use of the discussion time you have.
Use your resources
Don’t limit yourself to your teacher and textbook! Good students know how to use their resources, and you should know what’s available to you from day 1. Here are a few resources I found very helpful in high school:
- Khan Academy
- Heimler’s History
- The Organic Chemistry Tutor
- Online textbooks
There are many educational YouTube channels and videos (and other resources, but I find YouTube to be the most robust tool) out there that will teach you exactly how to understand and master a certain concept.
Of course, don’t use the Internet to cheat! Cheating won’t get you anywhere in high school except the teacher or principal’s office, and your efforts to cheat will not pay off in the long run.
A common misconception is that you have to spend at least an hour (on average, based on the size of the workload) to have an effective review session. In truth, just 15 minutes a day can make a difference.
Flashcards are a great way to practice active recall (a review strategy to effectively practice information), and they don’t take that much time to go through! Therefore, these could be something you practice daily.
Of course, there are other review strategies you can practice weekly or even monthly, such as revising your notes and holding group study sessions. As long as you build a routine, your review will be effective, and you’ll find it easier to understand and apply information.
And there you go! I hope this post was helpful for you, and you now are at least a little more motivated to work hard and get good grades! If you’re looking for more study tips (trust me, I have a lot), check these out: