How To-65: "How to Excel in High School"

How to Excel in High School

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Know the truth — high school is now all about endurance; no longer can you coast by. With competition for high-demand courses and tuition fees in colleges rising, and consequently scholarships becoming more and more of a necessity, it’s time to face the facts: you’ll need to do well in high school to get the college admission you want and scholarship you need.


  1. Do very careful research to find out exactly which classes you should enroll for. Read the class descriptions. Talk to other students about the class. Try not to be in a class just because a friend is in there(very distracting) wont help you.Try to take a look at the textbooks of various subjects to decide which one is right for you, also keeping in mind the subjects necessary to pursue your intended career. This could be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life!
  2. Research the best textbooks. Ask your teachers, seniors, consult the Internet. Use several reference books that complement each other. Don’t be afraid of doing difficult problems, give them your best shot.
  3. Get really good tutors. A good tutor will able to help you understand concepts, make the class fun and set problems which are neither too easy nor too difficult for you. Try to find a class where the best students are just above your level, this will motivate you.
  4. Prioritize your after-school schedule as much as possible. Continue doing the extra-curricular activities that demonstrate your abilities and commitment, and don’t cut back on all the things you love to do, but allow yourself enough time to study. Exactly how much time depends on your class-load and goals, but strive to keep it within three to 10 hours per day. Studying beyond your abilities can be as bad as studying too little. If you are enrolled for tuition, make sure you have enough time left for self-study (studying by yourself).
  5. Organize everything; your backpack, your desk, everything. Organize all loose papers and notes. Place notes for every subject in separate 1″ binders. Archive completed homework for every subject in an easily retrievable manner, use topic-wise indexes for quicker access. Use database and flowchart applications to maintain a complete record of your empire of studying. Label each paper clearly with a colored pen: CW for classwork, HW for homework, N for notes. Clear out your backpack. Dump it on the floor, sort everything into piles, then place all necessary papers into the correct binders and throw out what you don’t need.
  6. Make and maintain a study place. If you don’t have a set study place, make one now. Is your study place organized and clean? Is it well-lit? Is it quiet and well-ventilated? Do you have necessary materials at your fingertips? If so, good! If not, work on it. Store all textbooks, notes etc within reach as well as a computer (desktop/laptop) with Internet access if possible.
  7. Make and maintain a high standard before moving on: promise yourself, not others, that you’ll keep an acceptable level in tests and complete all homework. Take notice if your marks start falling. Find ways to motivate yourself, convince yourself that you want to get in that elite college more than anything.
  8. Start studying. The night before every class, read through the material in the book that you predict or have been told will be covered that day. Use review questions at the end of the chapter to make sure you have a basic understanding of it. Write down any questions you have and ask them to the teacher.
  9. Take Perfect Lecture Notes. A good rule of thumb is to copy down all diagrams as completely as possible and write everything you can in the first go. Ideally you need to write as neat as possible such that you do not waste time re-writing your notes. Too many students choose re-writing their notes as an alternative to studying. Spend time reading, understanding, consolidating and memorizing your notes. Remember, what is in your brain is much more important than what is in your notes.
  10. Don’t wait for a test to begin studying. Constantly stay in touch with the material you have covered. Once you have finished a chapter, don’t just shelve it. Periodically review the material, do a few of the typical sums. This way you don’t get overworked before tests. When a teacher announces a test in fewer than five days, begin studying for its specifics right away no matter how easy the test is going to be.
  11. Avoid pulling an all-nighter to study for a test. It does not pay off. It’s OK to stay up late to write essays or complete projects however. Lack of sleep will only hurt you though if you are taking a test or giving a presentation.
  12. Do the homework. If you just put on some music you enjoy, set a timer and get popping, you’ll eventually finish and be a whole lot happier.
  13. Do some extra. After you finish your homework, do some difficult problems from good textbooks and problem books. Solve past test papers of reputed exams. Learn some advanced techniques you can apply to solve problems more easily.
  14. Set limits for yourself. Work as long as you can before you start procrastinating or digressing, then take a five minute break. Set the timer, and don’t break it. Gradually work your way up. If you can already work an hour at a time, go in that direction, and work 50 minutes, take a ten minute breather, and continue working. When you finish a homework subject, no matter what, you’re entitled to a treat before you move on to the next class’s homework. Read the next chapter in an engrossing book, go play some basketball outside, whatever. Just remember to get back to work in time.
  15. Begin working on long-term projects ASAP. The longer you have, the bigger they are, so estimate it this way: total points possible divided by days given to work on assignment = points per day (round up). 1 point is about 6 minutes of work. For example, if you have a 200 point essay with 1.5 months to work on it, 200/47= 4.25; so you should work on your essay about 25 minutes per day. If you do it this way, you’ll generally finish light years ahead of time, and have the all-important “crunch time” before the essay is due to kick back and relax because you finished early!
  16. Form a study group with friends. If it’s convenient, meet bi-weekly. Consider aligning classes with friends, but only if you’re sure you’ll be able to get work done, and not just chat.
  17. Be a creative student. Got a doctor’s appointment? Arrive early and take a small assignment with you.
  18. Cram as a last resort. This should not be your everyday routine, but if you just have to keep that grade up and you’ve fallen behind on a busy work assignment because you didn’t deal with your time accordingly, don’t just give up. Five minutes before class can be very rewarding. Learn the art of cramming. It helps on essays, homework, busy work, and many other note assignments. However, it does not help you learn.
  19. Know the syllabus set by your school or relevant board This is like a set of guidelines or outcomes that a student is to learn or be able to do after the period of learning a subject. Your teacher may sometimes provide these guidelines or outcomes, and if they haven’t, be sure to ask for them. That way you know which area (or how big an area) you will be tested on in that subject. Make sure that you follow these guidelines or outcomes when you study for your exams (You will not go wrong on this one). In fact, these guidelines will assist you in knowing “how much” you need to study for a particular test.
  20. Do extracurricular activities after school. Good grades are an excellent way to impress that certain college but something extra will show that you can do more while maintaining excellent grades.
    • If you are athletic, consider joining a sports team that you are particularly talented in. Try out every year for the team to establish a reputation within your high school.
    • If you lack certain skills required to join your high school’s sports team, then simply join a club. Join any club you are interested in or have a good background knowledge in. IE: If you are great in Spanish, then join the Spanish Club. If you’re good at music, join something music related.


  • If you seem to have too little time for independent study and have to bunk school, then do it only on days when you have unimportant classes, bad teachers, off-periods, etc, and only do it to give yourself valuable time to study on your own. If you’re skipping school to play, you’ll regret it later. Call your teachers immediately after school, get your assignments, and prepare/do as much as possible.
  • Remember: Work before play. Once you get into the habit of rigid study and keep at it, it will become easier to finish early, thus making your study schedule not only simpler, but more flexible!
  • Play is so much sweeter when work is finished!
  • Be on time, always!
  • Exercise daily. Exercise brings up endorphin levels, and keeps you in overall good health.
  • When you have major end-of-year tests, make sure you have a timetable for revision, which lets you revise each subject at least 3 times. This can be in 3 different ways, but your 1st revision should always take longer than your 2nd, and your 2nd longer than your 3rd. One good method is to make notes of all your subject material for your first revision (don’t just copy word for word from your classwork) and then use these to revise later on, that way, your revision will be more concise and organized.
  • When doing any sort of work that will be submitted, be it homework or other, have it edited. Make sure it is both neat and correct.
  • Don’t understand the material? Read through the book, do some exercises on your own, then consult the teacher, or get a tutor.
  • If you’re studying a language (which you definitely should be), practice it as often as possible. Mentally review words in your head when you can zone out, like in PE, or if possible, speak your studied language at home (chances are you have a native-speaker to practice with in your friends circle).
  • If you feel like saying “Nuts to this!” and going off to play, mentally recount how much work you have to do and about how long you think it will take under the worst possible circumstances. If it’s possible to actually fit in a few hours of hardcore gaming, great!–just do it after the homework.
  • Get plenty of rest every night. Teens need more sleep than adults, so 9 hours are healthy and 8 is a minimum. Getting 7 hours of sleep or less has been proven to be unhealthy. Don’t destroy your health trying to get better marks; it does not pay off in the long run.
  • Take a few short naps if you feel the urge. They’re incredibly refreshing. However, if you begin a REM cycle, it will just tire you even more, so keep naps to about 15 minutes.
  • Don’t lose hope. If you’re having a panic attack or the like because of overwhelming amounts of pressure and work, take a 10 minute rest, and calm down by breathing deeply and switching your focus. Hysterical crying solves nothing, but it’s good to get the frustration out of your system.
  • If it is financially necessary for you to work, get a job close to your home, and one that respects the fact that you are still a teenager and need to spend the majority of your time on school work. If you decide to work weeknights, get home with plenty of time to relax and finish your schoolwork before a reasonable hour. Remember that you will spend the rest of your life with a job. High school, when all the work is finished, is also time for you to have fun!
  • Wear your nice set of clothes on test day, not your typical daily attire.
  • Pay attention to the details. If you don’t like the pen you are writing with, it will diminish your interest in doing homework, at least subconsciously. Unless looking at your educational equipment gives you a sense of satisfaction, something must be wrong. Work to correct it.
  • It really comes down to 3 basic rules:
    • Keep quiet in classes except to ask questions,
    • Pay attention to what is being taught,
    • Do the homework and then some.

  • If you feel so ill-prepared for something that you must cheat, don’t, instead, act like you are going to. Put everything you need to ace the test on paper, then memorize it. It makes the studying much easier.


  • If you have an exam or a test, make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before.
  • It’s best if you have an idea about your aptitudes and interests so you can choose a career. Don’t choose something you don’t like just because the jobs are good, it won’t pay.
  • Don’t try to be too perfect. By setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, you’ll only hinder your own chances of achieving them.
  • High school retains its traditional status as the place where kids do much of the socio-emotional experimentation required to become young adults. Neglecting this other sort of “work” to focus solely on studies will leave you alienated from your surrounding culture as you enter college.
  • Before committing your life to doing perfectly in high school “to get into a great college”, consider whether this is really your goal, your parents’, or someone else’s. If it is genuinely your sole dream to go to that name brand university, then by all means, go for it. If it is not, remember that this is your life, not preparation for life: do well in your studies, but be yourself and follow your own dreams.

Things You’ll Need

  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Enrollment in a High School (or Middle School)
  • A study area
  • Equipments of education (paper, books, pens etc)
  • Determination
  • Amazing self-control

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Excel in High School. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


How To-64: "How to Be One of the Best Students in Your School"

How to Be One of the Best Students in Your School

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Ever wanted to show everyone that you’re not a dunce, and that you’re a teenager who won’t let anyone put you down? If you follow this guide from the beginning of the year, I guarantee respect, and excellent grades.


  1. Be prepared on the first day of school! Most kids aren’t. You want to show the teachers that you plan ahead, are prepared, and on task. If you don’t understand something when your teachers are explaining, do not hesitate to ask, they like seeing that you’re both interested in the subject, and want to learn. Do your homework! It can be in between classes, home, library, just do it!
  2. Keep up! Don’t slack off during the week and then cram before the test. Not only does this not work, it makes you tired and therefore less able to concentrate on the test. It is much better to study a little bit every day than cram and stress yourself out before an exam/quiz/test. If you can discipline yourself into studying half an hour a day it will help you more than you can imagine. Trust me. I learned this the hard way and my grades suffered because of it. Set up good studying habits NOW because when you get to college it will be double or even triple the work load of high school and you won’t be able to keep up at all.
  3. #Keep your classwork organized by date, in a notebook, or folder! Some teachers check classwork.Study every night! Even if there’s no test the next day. You never know about pop quizzes.If your teacher teaches according to a text book, in order. Force yourself to read the lesson ahead of the class. This helps you to be more on task, and might even make your teacher think that you’re really smart. Never let an extra credit assignment slip by, it gives you extra points to make up that B. (Yes, you’ll need straight As to be #1)If you’re absent, be sure to get the notes from a trust-worthy friend, study the lesson, and ask your teacher for any classwork you may have missed. This shows that you care for your grades.
  4. Dress appropriately. Ripped pants are not cool. Girls, wear real clothes. You’re at school, not at the club, and the purpose of school is to learn, not to attract a mate. Also dress appropriately for the season/weather and occasion.
  5. Try to never forget your homework, worksheets, slips, or anything that your teacher expects turned in at home the day it’s due! Get some post-it notes and put a reminder on your door. That way you won’t forget. If possible, try handing it in before it’s due!Don’t rush through your classwork. Instead try to make it flawless, and “A” worthy.Bring at least two pencils to class!
  6. Be a perfectionist. If you want to be the best in the school you have to keep in mind that there are other people who are also striving to be the best, who want to be number one just as badly as you do, maybe even more. When you think you’ve studied enough to make an A on a test, keep in mind that there’s probably a lot of people who studied “enough.” If you want to be number one, you have to work the hardest and do the best. Think a few points up on a test doesn’t matter? Maybe not, but if you put that much energy into every assignment, you will have a higher GPA than the people who did just enough to make an A or a B, which makes you the best in the school.
  7. If you want to dress nicely, try some NON-ripped jeans, and a neat shirt, not too long or too short. (Wear body spray and deodorant, shower daily, and comb your hair.


  • Use studying strategies like acronyms and little sayings to help you memorize things quickly.
  • Don’t be afraid to go to tutorials. When I was in middle school I thought they were for dumb people, but I realize now that just a ten minutes of undivided attention from your teacher (that you can’t get in class because there’s 20-30 other kids who need help too) will help you very much and is worth showing up early to school or staying late.
  • Keep the place you study in the way you like and keep your folders and school things organized. If mess distracts you, then keep your desk clean. Play your favorite music softly in the backgruond.
  • Wear something comfortable while you study so you can study longer without fidgeting or getting distracted.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Be One of the Best Students in Your School. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

‘Intel to offer net-based content to schools’ – Express News Service, The New Indian Express

Chennai, Sep.3: Craig R.Barrett, Chairman, Intel Corporation, on Monday said that Intel would provide Internet-based content to over 1,800 secondary schools in Tamil Nadu for student learning and teacher training.

Addressing reporters after holding discussions with Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi at his residence here, the Intel chief said the organisation would assist the State Government in providing WIMAX broadband access to 50 government schools in tier-two towns, such as, Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Madurai and Erode, for providing content and training to the schools.

Besides Intel would donate 500 personal computers to government schools.

Later, a press release from the company said that Intel and Tamil Nadu Govt would work together to expand the above network through support from USO funds, thereby connecting several schools, government offices, and health centres in more districts.

The release also said that Intel would work with the State Government in achieving leadership position in adoption of broadband and set an example for the rest of India, in terms of connectivity to schools, hospitals and government institutes.

Courtesy: Express News Service, The New Indian Express, Madurai, Sep.4, 2007

‘Let Us Know Gandhi Through Correspondence’ – Riyas, K.P. in Education Express, Supp. to The New Indian Express

Saturday, September 01, 2007
Eyecatchers-27 : ‘Let Us Know Gandhi Through Correspondence’ – Riyas, K.P. in Education Express, Supp. to The New Indian Express

“My life is my message.” It was Gandhi’s message to the world. The Gandhi Study Centre, located in Chennai, is on mission to spread the message of Gandhi’s life and philosophy to the common man with a special focus on youth. The purpose is to teach the society the positive message of Gandhi’s life based on historical facts and analysis, which is becoming increasingly relevant to the world, the centre is conducting correspondence course and study classes for the public and the students.

‘Let Us Know Gandhi Through Correspondence’ is a course conducted in Tamil and English by Gandhi Study Centre, which gives a rare chance to know and familiarise with the life and thoughts of Mahatma.

The course duration is three months. Contact classes at the nearby cities will also be arranged for the benefit of the students. The question paper will be sent to the participants. They can write the exams in their residence itself and send the answer papers to the centre.

The date of exam will be January 30, 2008. Certificates will be sent in due course to the successful candidates. Registration fee and course fee per candidate is Rs.150/- and those who register their names will get study materials free of cost. There is no educational qualification and age limit for enrolling in the course.

The Centre has instituted an award in the name of its founder TD Tirumalai for the students and the schools who take up the exam on My Experiments with Truth. It consists of cash prizes: Rs.1000/- (one first prize), Rs.500/- (six second prizes) and Rs.250/- (six third prizes).

With a good collection of materials on Gandhi, its library and research center has been recognized as one of the resource centres on Gandhi. The library which contains 10,000 books, CDs, video tapes, cassettes and photo collections, is a good resource option for educational institutions, research scholars, social activists and the public alike.

For more details: Gandhi Study Centre, 58,Venkatnarayana Road (near Hindi Prachar Sabha), T.Nagar, Chennai-600017. Ph: (044)24346549, 9444183198

(Excerpt from ‘Let Us Know Gandhi…’ by Riyas K.P. in Education Express, Supp. to The New Indian Express, Madurai, Aug.31, 2007)

Letter to Students from Swami Purushottamananda

If you are a student, deeply interested in learning, in acquiring knowledge that can enrich your life, here is a booklet that can do just that for you. It has a number of practical hints. It was originally published in Kannada and the response to the book from the student community was overwhelming. There was a persistent demand for an English version for the benefit of those who do not know Kannada and the swamiji himself rewrote the booklet in English. It has been published by Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore-560019 and is priced at Rs.6 per copy. Those who want to read and benefit by it may contact the Math. Their e-mail-id is: and ISBN 81-7907-042-5.