People & Inspiration

Cheat Sheet: How To Get That A+ Grade, Courtesy Of A Summa Cum Laude Graduate

Cheat Sheet: How To Get That A+ Grade, Courtesy Of A Summa Cum Laude Graduate


By Angeline Cheng

My journey to excellence in school was never a piece of cake. It involved a lot of sleepless nights, hysterical moments, crying jags, and a tremendous amount of effort. I know that most students also want to obtain a Latin Honor or an A+ grade, that’s why I’m bringing you my tried-and-tested tips to help you achieve it!

1. Recite. Recite. Recite.

This is my all-time favorite advice to all the students who really want to amp up their academic game and get higher grades. The thing is, many students are too shy to raise their hand and speak up in class, which in turn makes them yet another random student who’s easily forgettable.

You have to remember that it's important to recite not only because professors appreciate students who are eager to participate, but it also goes to show that you’ve come to class prepared and focused on the discussion. The most rewarding part of this? You’ll be remembered by your teacher as an active performer (which translates to plus points!)

2. Advance reading is the key.

And believe me when I say that this tip does wonders. What makes this so important is that you are training your mind to ingest more information which then enhances your memorization skills. Other benefits include always being on a roll during surprise quizzes and recitations, less effort when reviewing for exams, and leveled up retention skills for your mind!

This may be tedious at the start but once you get the hang of it, it will eventually feel like breathing–effortless and natural!

3. Go extra on the projects and assignments.

What sets a top-performing student apart to a mediocre one is their intention to go beyond and exert more effort on what needs to be done. For example, when you’re given a simple movie review assignment, instead of passing a bland piece of bond paper, why not try incorporating a dash of creativity and put on some subtle designs? Well, that of course depends on the mechanics of your assignments or projects.

The idea I’m trying to employ here is that when there are chances for you to do things that will make your work stand out, don’t hesitate to do so. Your hard work and efforts will bear fruit and will not be left unnoticed, trust me!

4. Ask for help when you need it.

No man is an island, and this is one of the truest cliché quotes you must always keep in mind. When you don’t know what to do on a particular homework or when you’re having a hard time grasping the class discussion, don’t be that person who wants to know the answers on their own and is too shy to reach out for help. 

Whether it be from your classmates or your teachers, asking for help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a symbol of strength since you’re brave enough to admit that you don’t know everything and that you are willing to be coached.

5. Identify the reviewing strategy that works for you.

You may have asked other people on how they review for exams and tried their ways, but found out that it’s not effective for you. You may have also thought that reviewing is as basic as reading, memorizing, and that’s it. But truth be told, the reviewing habits that worked for other people may not work for you, and the art of reviewing is way more complicated than what it seems.

When I review for an exam, I usually lie on my bed, plug in earphones, set the music to a high volume, munch on some snacks, and start reading and memorizing my notes. My ways might seem too distractive for other people, but this is what makes my review session effective. My advice is that you go ahead and just explore the reviewing habits that you’ll find effective for you (no matter how weird it may get.)

6. Find purpose and motivation in everything that you do.

Okay, this may sound a little bit heavy, but nothing makes you actually strive to excel more than a purpose. Now ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? What is the purpose behind wanting that A+ grade? Is it because you want an excellent track record and land a job on your dream company? Is it because you want to experience a sense of pride and fulfillment in life? No matter how big or small your reasons may be, your driving force should never be at the expense of other people. Your need to excel should be rooted towards your own growth and the welfare of the people you love.

By the end of the day, it all boils down to you! Getting that A+ grade is hard, but it’s always possible. You really need to go the extra mile to reach it. After all, as the famous quote goes, “Nothing worth having ever comes easy.” I know you can do it!

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