Study Tips for Guaranteed “A”s

Few things in life are actually guaranteed. If you wear your seatbelt, you’re less likely to perish in a car crash, but it’s not guaranteed. Brush your teeth twice a day every day, the chance of tooth decay decreases dramatically, but doesn’t disappear entirely. However, if you follow these study tips, you are guaranteed* to get an A in your class(es).

(1) Read any and all assigned material BEFORE you go to class. (Trust me, it really doesn’t take that long.)

Even if it’s boring

Even if it’s long

Even if you have to skip a Netflix episode to do so. (Netflix will be there later, but your A might not)


(2) Take notes on the assigned reading in your class notebook

If handouts are provided online (such as a PowerPoint) by the instructor, print them off and bring them to class on the day that lecture material will be covered.


(3) GO TO CLASS, and pay attention

Stay off your phone

Stay off Facebook

Leave SnapChat alone

Your selfie can wait


(4) Take notes in class.

Take good notes. Don’t try to write down every word, try to train yourself to pick out the high points.

If you have a handout printed off, use it as an outline and jot down additional information from the instructor on the handout (or in your notebook)

If your instructor talks quickly or it is hard for you to write notes quickly, ask if you can record the lectures for future playback.


(5) Every day after class (usually that evening, if you’re either in high school or have back-to-back classes on a day in college) do the following:

For each class you had that day, sit down with your textbook, lecture notes, any handouts, your recording (if you have one) and either a computer or a notebook.

Make a new, ongoing, “living” document of notes for that unit that incorporates information from the text, class notes, professor, or any other resource allowed.


(6) Do your homework for that class (now that you understand the material)

At the end of each week, review your living document of notes for that week.

A full week (OR MORE) before the test, print off the living document and begin reviewing.

Ace the test.


*Guaranteed A depends on true diligence to the program and conscientious effort on the part of the student. Half-assed effort = half-assed grades.