It’s important for students to find the study habits that work for them, and it’s important to figure out what they are as soon as possible because the ninth grade is often considered the make or break year by teachers for completing high school. On average, ninth graders’ grade point average can lower during one’s transition from middle school to high school, and even though grade nine plays a vital role in determining a student’s success for high school, it doesn’t mean twelfth graders can’t learn something before they venture off into college… or behind the McDonald’s counter.

1. Don’t overestimate IQ

Many students overestimate the importance of IQ, but success isn’t just about being the smartest. The top students are the most self-motivated and have the most discipline, which are two important factors in creating good study habits. Students should be proactive and shouldn’t rely on motivation from parents and teachers; instead, they should rely on themselves to stay on track. Internal motivation beats external motivation every time.

2. Practice exams

One thing top students do more than other students are practice exams, which is a much greater predictor to success than memory-based studying such as rewriting notes or revisiting the textbook. Teachers do offer practice exams, and there are programs that are ready to download such as Quizlet. Exams are not about memorizing everything in the curriculum, exams are about using what you remember to form an argument for content in class, such as History. Practice exams are also great ways to see what the test will be like and see what needs to be studied instead of having students overload on information not covered on the test.

3. Studying schedules

Time management is a priority for making top grades, and the top students already have this figured out. Studying schedules are an easy way to stay organized throughout the school year, whether it be on a phone, or in an old-school journal. Give more attention towards the subjects that need more time, and don’t overload on information, which can cause students to shut down. Above all, a student should find balance between a social and school life which will create a foundation for routine productivity throughout the year.

Every student’s main goal this year is to do well, but just aiming to work hard isn’t enough; it’s about working hard doing the right things.