This is the second article in the “How to become successful at McNally” series. Again, this is not to brag about myself, but rather a collection of sincere advice from my experience and regrets/failures. The entire content in this series of articles are of only suggestions. I am not going to tell you to follow every singles thing that I do or was doing, because they might work out well for me but not for you.
Unfortunately, being high school students in Alberta, Canada, your marks matter. In fact, it matters LOTS. Unless your want to go directly into job training such as Auto-body Repair, Bakery, and Carpentry, you have to keep your grades decent for all three years of high school. Some competitive programs in universities require approximately 75~90 percent(varies) of overall average in order for them to put you into CONSIDERATION depending on the number of applicants and the available spots in that certain program. Even for your grade 9 year your marks matter! You need 60~65 percent of average in each of your 4 core subjects(do I have to remind you what they are?) to enter those 10-1 courses as most post-secondary programs require you to finish some 30-1 courses(English 30-1 for sure, with the exception of many programs at NAIT). For those who are in grade twelve like me, you better keep your grade up because you will be doing most of your 30-level courses in this year.
1.Attend classes: This is the most crucial part in your education…According to Alberta Education, you need to attend 90% of all your registered classes, BUT, just for your Gr.12 year! So you know how to get away with it…JUST KIDDING. You want to attend all the classes unless you are sick or having very important things to do (aka dental appointment, not gaming on XBOX), because each year of high school passes by very quickly without you even noticing. If you’re taking semester courses, the flow is even faster as they are in your schedule every day for five months, so you don’t want to miss any of them. If you really have to miss any class(es), talk to your teachers beforehand so you might get notes/assignments early for you to prepare/catch up. But again, GO TO CLASS.
2.Preview and review: Spend at least approximately 15-30 minutes going over the lessons your have learned IN EACH SUBJECT, and around the same amount to preview for each subject so you have a better idea of how things work. Write down any questions you have while doing review and preview and ask teachers to clerify them the next day, in this way you can get the best control of your material
3. Do your homework: In high school teachers don’t really check to see if you do your homework anymore, but doing homework is for YOUR OWN SAKE . Some assignments are taken for marks for sure, while some are purely for enhancing your understanding of the material, such as Math and Physics where practice makes perfect.
4. Find something that works best for you: know your study style. Preferably you need a quite place to study and do work independently, and classmate who are engaged to learn as well when you study together or do group work. Personally, I like to study alone, but everyone has a different way to study so it’s entirely up to you that how you do it.
5. Time management: use your time wisely. I know life is just not about school, and you must have a bunch of other stuff to do too(aka volunteering, family time…). But prioritize things and set up a schedule. For example, if your essay is due the next day while you struggle to finish it, instead of partying tonight or playing video games, go finish it! If your Math exam is two weeks away and you have to hand in a English project in two days, you would probably choose to do your English project first, then worry about the exam later. It will get more complicated when your courses become more difficult, and sometimes many things might come up at the same time, so you want to keep it up at your best efficiency. Take some small breaks in between each task to keep you alive too, or else fatigue will slow your pace down causing you to do work/studying with low quality.