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How to Become an Organized High School Student

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Staying organized can help you get into a good college!

Staying organized can help you get into a good college!

12 Tips to Help Keep You Organized to Get Good Grades

Being a high school student is a hard job and getting good grades is difficult with all of the other pressures of being a teenager. Why does a high school student need good grades? Mostly, to be offered better opportunities than a student would get that has poor grades. Good grades help students get into better colleges and give them more of a chance at getting scholarships to help pay for those colleges.

The following tips are designed to help high school students stay organized and get the best grades he or she is capable of:

1. Pack your book bag the night before.

To make sure to bring everything needed for the next day's classes, it is helpful to review your next day's schedule and go over everything needed for all classes, including gym, and money for lunch.

Waiting until the last minute the following morning when you are tired and rushed allows much more of a chance to leave something behind.

2. Manage your time.

When you have to be somewhere, whether it be at school, practice after school, a meeting, an exam, etc. set your alarm on your clock or cell phone 15 minutes earlier than when you have to leave to remind yourself how much time you have before you need to leave. Getting places on time helps relieve stress and keeps you calm.

3. Use a student planner.

And use it every day to keep up with assignments. If your school doesn't give out planners to students, it will be worth it to go to Walmart or Staples and get yourself a student planner so each day you will be able to write down and keep track of what assignments are due when, and for which class.

It can help you plan out when research papers are due, so you don't have to wait until the last minute to get started, and you can write on your calendar which days you will work on your paper. It will also help you keep track of practices and meets if you are an athlete, games and band competitions if you are in the school band, etc.

4. Write a master list.

For certain assignments or quizzes which happen to be on the same day each week, write a master list of days, and post it on your bedroom door where you will see it each day.

For instance, if you have a spelling test every Tuesday, write on your Master list "study for Spelling test" on Mondays. If a Current Event assignment is due every Friday, write "find a current event" every Thursday.

5. If you have poor handwriting, always type assignments.

And also, don't forget to use Spell Check. Not only will your assignment be neater and easier for the teacher to read and correct, but you will be teaching yourself the proper spelling of words.

At some point in your high school career, you may want to take a keyboarding class to help you get your typed assignments done more quickly and with better accuracy.

6. Have a space in your home reserved for doing homework.

This could be in your room, a shelf in the kitchen, a desk in the den, etc. Make sure it is a place where you won't be distracted. Have everything you will need for assignments nearby, such as pens, pencils, a calculator, a dictionary, Thesaurus, etc.

This way, you'll always be prepared and won't have to continually interrupt your studying to go into another room to find a pen or calculator. This could lead to distraction by a family member or a TV show and could cause a loss of valuable study time.

7. Plan study breaks when you feel you need them.

Hours and hours of studying in the same place and the same position will make you sore and tired. Tell yourself you will work on two subjects till you have them done, take a 45-minute break, and then work on the next subject. It will give you something to look forward to, and give you a sense of accomplishment to have finished some subjects already.

8. Start a study group with other classmates.

Study groups make studying for tests much easier because as a group you can compare notes, ask each other questions that will be on the test, etc. The group can meet at different group members' homes for variety or at the school library. Everyone learns together, and it makes the experience more meaningful.

9. Take notes in class that you can actually read later.

Take notes neatly. As you review the notes later, write down questions that you can ask in class to help your grade in-class participation. Also, trade notes or make copies of notes with at least one other person in class so you can pick up on other information you may have missed in your notes.

10. Use different colored folders for each class.

This will help you can keep track of which homework goes in which folder for a certain class. This will help you stay organized for each of your classes.

11. Sit in the front of the classroom if you have trouble concentrating.

If you have trouble paying attention in a certain class or staying awake, make sure to sit up front. Sitting up front will keep you in front of the teacher and hopefully awake enough to pay attention.

Or, if there are classmates in a class that talk too much and distract you, sit away from them so you can concentrate on what the teacher is saying. It may be hard to do this if you are friends with chatty peers, but your grade will be better because of this decision.

12. Talk to the teacher.

If you are struggling with a subject, don't wait till just before the test to see the teacher. Find out in advance what days that teacher stays after school so that you can meet with them before you get too far behind.

If you wait until the day before the test to meet with the teacher, and they have a personal emergency and can't stay, it could seriously affect your grade in a negative way if you don't understand the material on the test day.

Hopefully, you have found all or at least some of these tips helpful, and this will enable you to achieve better grades and a less stressful high school experience.

© 2012 Karen Hellier


TANJIM ARAFAT SAJIB from Bangladesh on December 07, 2015:

A really great article on how to become a disciplined high school student. By following these tips, one can easily become disciplined in his/her high school life. Many high school students fail to do well because they lead an undisciplined life. Students leading an organized life may not be the best in terms of getting the best grades but they are the best in overall criteria. They are also seen to shine in the longer term i.e in their career life because of the disciplined lifestyle they have leaded all the years. So use this article as a cornerstone and try the practices right from now!

Renee on October 24, 2012:

Great hub Karen. These are gems that parents can always teach their children, even when they aren't yet in high school so that when they are in high school they already have the foundation. As a mom with a high school student, it really is important that parents guide/inspire/motivate their children. We can't just leave it to them and expect them to excel, especially when there are so many distractions these days. Voted up and across, shared, tweeted and pinned.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 09, 2012:

Thanks Francine.

Francine Schwartz on July 09, 2012:

This is all great advice and I am featuring Karen's article's on my website: .

I am an independent college consultant.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 07, 2012:

Thanks Angel198625. I am not sure why students wait too long. For some it may be laziness, for others it's apathy, but for some, I think they are too shy to admit they have a problem with the material, or wait till report cards to come out before they see the reality of the situation. Hopefully this hub will help at least a few students, high school or college. Thanks for the comment.

Amber Lynn on July 06, 2012:

Great tips, and I have to agree with Josh that students tend to wait a little too long to see the teacher. Typically, if a student addresses problems they are having in the beginning instead of waiting until it is too late, the teacher will be more willing and able to provide assistance. These tips also work excellent for colege students as well. voted up!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 04, 2012:


What grade do you teach? I am thinking about substitute teaching starting in the Fall but I am not sure what grades would be the best fit. I have just come from a job with teens for 7 years in a high school. I tend to gravitate toward the younger ones though. I am thinking kindergarten through third. I am guessing from your article about a degree in child development that you teach the younger ones?

Dianna Mendez on July 03, 2012:

I like all your tips, especially the one about see your teacher. I tell my students to always ask if they have questions, it does make a difference in how they learn.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 03, 2012:

You are very welcome Karen! :)

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 03, 2012:

Thank you molometer. I appreciate the read and the comment.

Micheal from United Kingdom on July 03, 2012:

Great tips for new students. One of the problems they face is the torrent of information. Well done.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 03, 2012:

Thank you josh3418. I appreciate your reading and the comment. As the parents of 3 teens and having worked in a high school I have seen what works best first hand!

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 02, 2012:

Great tips Karen, especially the last one! So often kids go at the last minute to see the teacher, if they even go at all. I saw this happen all the tim durin my highscholland college years. Very informative, and well-written, and you wrote it simplistically at the same time! Many votes Karen!