10 Homework Tips That Will Improve Your Grades

Your homework habits might be affecting your grades. Are you staying on track with your assignments? Feeling tired, achy, or bored when it comes to homework time? Are you arguing with parents about your grades?

1. Use a Planner

Did you know that poor organization skills can reduce your final scores by a whole letter grade? That's why you should learn to use a day planner the right way. Who can afford to score a big fat "0" on a paper, just because we got lazy and didn't pay attention to the due date? Nobody wants to get an "F" because of forgetfulness.

2. Use Practice Exams

Studies show that the best way to prepare for a test is to use a practice exam. If you really want to ace the next exam, get together with a study partner and create practice tests. Then switch exams and test one another. This is a great way to improve test scores!

3. Find a Study Partner

Practice exams are the best way to prepare for a test, but the strategy is most effective when a study partner creates the practice exam. A study partner can help you in so many ways!

4. Improve Reading Skills

Critical reading is "thinking between the lines." It means reading your assignments with the goal of finding deep understanding of a material, whether it is fiction or nonfiction. It is the act of analyzing and evaluating what you are reading as you progress, or as you reflect back.

5. Communicate With Parents

Parents are concerned about your success. It sounds simple enough, but students don't always realize how much parents can stress out about this. Whenever parents see a small sign of potential failure (like missing a homework assignment), they start fretting, unconsciously or consciously, about its potential to become a big failure.

6. Get the Sleep You Need

Studies show that teens' natural sleep patterns are different from those of adults. This often causes sleep deprivationamong teens, since they tend to have trouble going to sleep at night, and have trouble waking in the mornings. You can avoid some of the problems that come with sleep deprivation by changing some of your nighttime habits.

7. Improve Your Memory

A great way to improve your homework habits is to improve your memory with brain exercise. There are many theories and ideas about improving memory, but there is one mnemonic method that has been around since ancient times. Ancient accounts show that early Greek and Roman orators used the "loci" method of remembering long speeches and lists. You may be able to use this method to enhance your memory at test time.

8. Improve Your Eating Habits

Do you feel tired or dizzy a lot of the time? If you sometimes avoid working on a project because you just don't have the energy, you can increase your energy level by changing your diet. One banana in the morning might increase your performance at school!

9. Fight the Urge to Procrastinate

Do you get the sudden urge to feed the dog at homework time? Don't fall for it! Procrastination is like a little white lie we tell ourselves. We often think we will feel better about studying later if we do something fun now, like playing with a pet, watching a TV show, or even cleaning our room. It's not true.

10. Avoid Repetitive Stress

Between text messaging, Sony PlayStations, Xbox, Internet surfing, and computer writing, students are using their hand muscles in all new ways, and they're growing increasingly susceptible to the hazards of repetitive stress injury. Find out how to avoid pain in your hands and neck by changing the way you sit at your computer.