With a new year comes new successes, challenges, and adventures. A new year of school and learning is just around the corner.
GhanaEducation.org is really looking forward to this school year and all the great things that will happen. You’re probably getting ready for school to start up again.
We want to help you put your best foot forward, so here are our top 5 back-to-school tips and tricks to help you get ahead of the game from day one.
Tip 1. Make plans
In life, it’s so important to have a clear plan for whatever you’re doing. If you don’t have a plan, you’re sure to be surprised by new things that pop up out of nowhere, and you’ll have to act quickly.
When it comes to school, this is especially true. Ghanaeducation.org is sure that you shouldn’t just stumble through school.
Your education should be an opportunity for you to do well, and to do that well, you need to have a plan and specific strategies.
The best way to do this is to make a plan and use the tools you have. Many schools have academic calendars with important dates for when your tests are due (this can sometimes be called an assessment calendar).
These are very important to your success! If you know when these things are due, you can write them down in advance and plan when to start them, what days to work on them, when to study, and so on.
Don’t worry if your school doesn’t give you a schedule of tests. Assignments and tests usually happen at the same time each term.
For example, you will usually have some kind of test between weeks 5 and 6, and then again between weeks 8 and 9. This is because your teachers will usually check your progress in the middle of the term and see if you keep getting better and putting in more effort until the end.
You might want to get a diary or day planner to help you plan for this! They are very helpful not only for school, but also for planning extracurricular activities, social events, and any other personal events!
Make sure you leave room for things not to go as planned.
Make sure you have things in place, like extra time/days or maybe even people to help you, in case what you had planned turns out to be too much. Things can happen to you out of the blue, like getting sick or having a holiday pop up out of nowhere.
Tip 2. Set goals, review goals
Yes, we know. This is something you hear a lot when a new year starts. Everyone will tell you to set goals, be realistic, and use the SMART method. We know because everyone tells us the same thing.
But there’s a reason we put it in our list of tips and tricks for going back to school. Setting goals is one of the best ways to stay on track and not just wander around aimlessly.
Having goals is really the same thing as having a vision.
Vision is so important because it gives you direction and a sense of purpose. Without it, you usually make decisions based on how you feel at the time.
In school, this usually means putting things off (like homework) until you have to do them (hello all-nighters).
What should you do? Make plans for this year. Make sure they are SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Don’t say, “I want to shoot a bow and arrow,” as your goal. Instead, set limits and make it SMART:
Doing this for school also helps you get better at setting goals in other parts of your life.
We want you to be successful in every part of your life, and having clear goals to help you get there helps you develop your skills and talents. When you have a clear plan, it’s much easier to be successful.
Tip 3: Find someone to hold you accountable.
Most people don’t reach their goals because they try to do everything on their own.
A person to whom you tell your goals and plans and who then helps you stay on track to reach those goals is called an accountability partner.
You’ll find that if you find a partner to hold you accountable, you’ll stay on track much more than if you just went it alone.
Even if you have clear goals, it’s great to have someone to back you up and hold you accountable on days when you just don’t feel like putting in the work or when you’re having trouble believing in yourself.
You should be very careful about who you choose as your accountability partner. Choose someone who works hard at school but won’t be afraid to push you, help you, or bring you back on track if you start to slack off.
This can be a good friend, a classmate, or, best of all, your Academic Personal Trainer! Tutors are taught to hold their students accountable and help them when they are having trouble reaching their goals.
You should try to use them and any other accountability partners you have to talk about your strengths and weaknesses with someone who can help you improve and grow!
They should also be able to help you stay motivated and inspired, especially when things don’t go as planned (see tip 1) or you find it hard to reach your goals (tip 2).
Tip 4: Get to know how you learn best.
Not many people will think to get to know their own learning style. But at Ghanaeducation.org, we think that how you learn is the most important part of your education and one of the most important things you should know about yourself.
We won’t go into too much detail about what a “learning style” is. If you want to learn more, you can read our previous blog post about it.
The most important thing to know is that your learning style helps you figure out how you learn best. Here are the most important back-to-school tricks and tips!
There are three main ways to learn: by seeing, by hearing, and by doing (learning through what you do).
It might seem hard to figure out which one you are, but our tutors are trained to help you figure out your learning language and how to match it to the way you learn and study.
If you want to learn more about how to learn languages, make sure to read our other blogs about the different ways to do it and how they can help you learn faster. It’s very important to do this because it has a big effect on the next tip:
5. Learn and improve your study habits
Your study habits are very important if you want to be the best student you can be.
You need to know how you learn best to do your best work. Learning languages is an important part of knowing how you study, but there are so many other things to think about as well.
Have you ever wondered when your mind works best? Or what kind of environment makes you feel most at ease when learning? Or if you like to learn different things in different ways?
If not, you should do so right away!
It is very important to be aware of how you learn and what habits you have. It helps you feel at ease and makes learning something you want to do instead of something you have to do.
For example, I hate sitting still at a desk or staring at a blank wall when I’m writing. I would much rather spend hours typing while sitting on a soft couch or propped up on my bed. I love being surrounded by visual aids like mind maps or pages of handwritten, color-coded notes.
My mind doesn’t feel at all active in the mornings, so I usually do my best writing from about mid-afternoon on.
Now, I can still write even if the conditions aren’t ideal, but it will take me longer because I’ll be tired and sometimes even angry at the work I’m doing.
I know all of these things because I sat down with people who helped me think about myself and my habits, especially the ones that were hurting me. Since I did that, I’ve been able to improve my writing and do it faster.