Grade-Saving Tips

Now that first term marks and report cards are rolling out, many students are realizing that their grades aren’t what they expected. If your marks in the first term of this semester were subpar, don’t be too worried. There’s still two months until exams, and two months to get your grades up to your standards (or your parent’s standards). To help students who may struggle with the last minute studying, presentations, and essays, I’ve gathered some tips to help.


Studying Tips:

  1. Use a study technique that works for you. Whether you reread your notes, rewrite your notes, or turn them into a song, make sure that it’s working. If your past tests show that simply rereading your notes yields unsatisfactory results, it’s time to mix it up.
  2. Ditch the study group and work on your own. While a study group can be great for asking questions and bouncing ideas, it can quickly become a distraction. If your study group has turned into a social circle, try studying on your own for the next test.
  3. Review your previous mistakes and learn from them. Highlight test questions you got wrong and homework questions you didn’t understand. Incorporate them into your studying to make sure you don’t make the same errors twice.

Slideshow Presentation Tips:

  1. Don’t write a speech on your slides. It’s boring for your audience to read your whole presentation off the screen. Instead, use pictures and key points on the slides, and put the speech in your hands.
  2. Fake the eye contact. It can be terrifying to look at your classmates when you present. To avoid this without simply staring at your script, look at the back of the room while you present. Keep your gaze just over the heads’ of your classmates to create the illusion of eye contact.
  3. Practice until you don’t need the script. The most important part of presentations is being familiar with your information. In presentations, you are the teacher. Make sure you know the material so well that you could present it even without a script (but keep it nearby just in case).

Essay Writing Tips:

  1. Don’t stress the order! Sometimes it’s easiest to write your body paragraphs first, and worry about the introduction and conclusion later.
  2. Start with a ton of quotes. It’s better to have too many quotes and narrow it down to the best ones than to have only a few weak quotes to use.
  3. Make your title interesting. Teachers hate nothing more than spending hours marking boring essays. Make your essay stand out with a fun title (try to use rhyming words or puns).
  4. Proofread. Then proofread again. And again. Proofreading is the easiest thing you can do to improve your mark. The most disappointing thing is getting an essay back and seeing that you lost 10 marks for grammar mistakes. Read it out loud, have your friend read it, and make changes.


Good luck to everyone in this final stretch of the first semester!