Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How to Make Better Grades and Have More Fun

From being kicked out to the top of my class!

Yes, you read that right. I got kicked out of university because my GPA was down to 1.8! But then, I received some incredible advice that helped me turn it around. After University, I went on to be top of my class in my Masters and PhD programs.

No more drama, I’ll break it down into three parts.


1 Hour FRIDAY Afternoon

Make an unbreakable 1-HOUR appointment with yourself on Friday afternoons. I did mine from 4 pm to 5 pm (when my classmates had already started celebrating the weekend. I told them I had to work for an hour!

Here’s what you do:

  • Get your class notes in order from each class. Every class session starts with anew piece of paper (take hand notes—research proves it).
  • Set aside a new piece of paper for each class. (Ex. 1 piece of paper for Math, 1 for Science)
  • Onone side only, divide each piece of paper into the number of classes you had that week for that subject
  • List the one or two most important things you learned from each class.
  • Make a note of anything you did NOT understand
  • Now, go enjoy your weekend!

I made a form you can use for this, which you can download here. Why does this work? You get to review your notes while they are still fresh and, at the same time, you have created a study guide for yourself. When your finals come around, this collection of “weekly summaries” becomes your new study guide!  

Remember: this won’t work if you try to do it on Sunday night. Make it Friday!  


30 Minutes SUNDAY evening.

This strategy works for grade schoolers, high schoolers, or university students. The best leadership gurus of our day (Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, etc.) still do this.

  • Write down your hourly schedule for the week ahead.
  • Fill in all of your time (put in relax time, golf time, workout time, etc.).
  • Decide where your study block are that week and fill them in!
  • Put down time for each specific class and reserve that time slot.

By doing this, you’re taking control of your schedule.Basically, you plan your week every Sunday evening and you honor the appointments you made with yourself.


Write your notes by hand…

Many studies prove that when you take down notes by hand, you will remember more AND process the information better. It may sound old school, but it’s a proven recipe! Michael Hyatt himself has a few tips on how to take notes more effectively.

… and prepare your test guide

One side of one page—that will be it. Reviewing all of your weekly summaries, write small, and put everything on one page THAT YOUWON’T REMEMBER. If you are pretty sure you’ll remember it, you don’t need to write it down again.

Study that one page of dense notes for a couple of days, then…

Get out a half-page of paper and rewrite your unmemorized notes on the half-page. Study, study, study.

The day before the exam, get a small index card and write everything down that you are not confident about. On the day of the exam, try to memorize that small card. When the test time begins, do NOT start answering the questions. Instead, write down everything from that index card!


I got much of this advice from this book.

If you do this, your will spend less overall time studying, you will get better grades, and you will have more fun!

Got questions? You know where to reach me —

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