Five habits of highly-effective students

If your New Year’s resolutions involved getting better grades, here is a collection of links to past posts to help you.  Many of these cite (or redirect you to) advice from study skills author Cal Newport, one of the best in the business. 

1. Make class time study time.

Most high school students are sitting in class roughly six hours a day.  If you made the absolute most of that time, if you zeroed in and really paid attention, you’d probably get better grades on less study time.  A key skill you’ll need is good note-taking, and Cal has a method I describe in this post

2. Start before you need to.

You might think you work best under the pressure of deadlines, but please read these posts here, here and here—I think you’ll see how much better your work and life are when you start before you need to.

3. No study interruptions.

It’s not about how many hours you study.  It’s about how focused you are, as Newport explains here.   And part of being focused means eliminating interruptions, as I describe in posts here, here and here

4. Teach it back.

The surest way to understand material is to use the “Feynman Technique” named after Richard Feynman, a former professor of physics at Caltech who won the Nobel Prize. 

5. Ask for help.

It’s not enough just to ask for help when you need it.  You have to work to deserve the help, and you have to ask in a way that doesn’t annoy your teacher.