Many students struggle to get an “A” in science class. And if you fall even a little behind in the class early on, it’s easy to fall so far behind that you’ll never be able to get the grade you’re going for. There are a number of things students can do in the classroom and when studying at home that, if done consistently, can help achieve that sought after grade improvement.
Our science class study guide is going to walk you through many different techniques to help you excel in the class. But believe it or not, some of the best advice simply involves paying careful attention to your teacher and to the subject matter.
That’s because most students who struggle with science end up creating a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” They don’t think they will do well, and this anxiety causes them to academically suffer.
But if you walk into each class with a committed and successful mindset, you’ll better be able to understand what your teacher and textbook are saying. Best of all, you won’t have sabotaged yourself before you enter the classroom.
Take Detailed Notes
Maybe you were born with a very amazing sense of memory. Good for you! But the rest of us need to focus on taking detailed notes while the teacher is speaking.
Obviously, you can’t write down every single word your teacher says. But make sure to write down important dates, including when upcoming tests are. And try to write down anything the teacher puts on the board or screen: if they thought the information was important enough to write down or project, it is likely to appear on a test.
It’s also useful to find a “cohort”…a group of others who are taking the same class. This will give everyone in your cohort a chance to compare notes, and you can write down any important information that you missed the first time.
Make a Detailed Schedule
What do most struggling students have in common? Simple: they often find themselves running out of time to study. If you want to be a great science student, then you need to create a detailed schedule for yourself and stick to it.
For example, let’s say that you know a major test is coming in two weeks. With some careful planning, you can create different times of day that you focus on everything from dinner with the family to your math homework.
With a daily schedule in place, you can schedule 30-60 minutes a day to study for the upcoming test. This tight scheduling also prevents you from getting distracted and keeps you focused on material from the science textbook and class.
Pay Special Attention To Formulas
Whether it’s in the book, on the board, or just in a lecture, there is one thing you should always write down. And that is scientific formulas!
For better or for worse, there is a lot of shared DNA between your science class and your math class. That is because your science class also has complex formulas that you need to understand to solve a variety of problems.
And if you don’t understand a formula very well, it can really sabotage your grade when you take a quiz or test that mostly focuses on this formula. But if you write down and intently study each formula that comes your way, you can handle these quizzes and tests with ease.
Achieving the School/Life Balance
As a student, there are probably days that feel like you’re doing nothing but schoolwork. During these days, you probably wish you had more time to simply relax.
This is another reason that we recommend creating a schedule for yourself. It’s not just about penciling in the right study times. It’s also about making sure you can achieve that elusive school/life balance.
For example, if you schedule your study time right, you’ll have extra time to catch a movie with your friends. Or maybe just enjoy that long evening walk you like to take after dinner.
Believe it or not, such relaxation is important to your success in science class. You can’t do your best if you’re tired and full of anxiety, so you need to schedule enough rest and relaxation for yourself!
Takes Labs Very Seriously
Does your science class feature lab work? In that case, we have some advice you can fit into three little words: take labs seriously!
Lab work is important because it is, by definition, applied science. This is where you put those different formulas to the test and get a deeper understanding of how well you understand the class material.
It’s important to take labs seriously for the sake of safety, of course. But teachers often use labs to reinforce lessons that you will be tested on in the near future. By taking labs very seriously, you can improve your science class grades in a big way.
Discover Your Best Study Strategy
If you ask ten different people what their study strategies are, chances are that you will get ten different answers. And this underscores an important point: it’s up to you to discover your best studying strategy.
For example, some students are very visual learners. To them, watching Youtube videos related to science lessons can help those lessons stick. Other students are auditory learners, and they might benefit from podcasts and recorded lectures related to the class material.
Some students learn well by studying note cards full of class material. You can experiment with using physical note cards or creating digital “cards” that you can view on your mobile phone.
Speaking of digital versus physical, many studies have reinforced that students retain information better when they read from paper sources and write down physical notes. So we would recommend using a physical textbook instead of digital (if you have a choice), and writing down notes by hand instead of just typing them into your phone.
Drill Yourself On the Vocab
In many ways, vocabulary is more important in science class than in almost any other class. And if you’re going to ace your high school science classes, you need to regularly drill yourself on the vocabulary.
Of course, every science class has its own vocabulary. The words you must learn in Biology, for example, are very different from the words you must learn in Chemistry. But by studying the textbook and creating flashcards to review, you can get a better handle on the vocabulary.
Overall, we can’t overstate the importance of studying the vocabulary. This is basically the “language” of the class, and if you don’t know what the teacher is saying, it will be impossible to do well on the tests!
Cramming: A Bad Idea!
For many students, cramming for the big test is a time-honored tradition. But here’s a simple truth: cramming is actually a bad idea if you are focused on passing science class.
The idea behind cramming is that students can temporarily “cram” their brains with everything they need to do well on the test. Basically, this is a gamble that a student’s short-term memory and a good cram session will be enough to help them succeed.
However, if you’re cramming for a test, then you are likely very anxious about it. And that anxiety can easily lead to you forgetting just about everything that you crammed for and can even hurt your health!
This is why we recommend making a plan and studying for a test over the course of two weeks when possible. This gives you time to genuinely learn everything you need to know instead of cramming a few things the night before the exam and then getting a terrible grade.
Hiring a Tutor For Your Science Class
What if you are studying and working hard in your science class and still getting poor grades? In that case, your best bet may be to hire a tutor.
The best thing about hiring a tutor is that you get advice customized to your exact needs. Unlike the lectures in your science class, you can pipe up and ask the tutor any questions that you want to ask during a session. And you might be surprised at how easily you can learn the material when you have someone other than your teacher explaining it!
Best of all, you can set up a long-term relationship with a good tutor. Such a tutor will be able to help you through years of difficult science classes and help you emerge with the “A” you deserve!
Your Next Move
Now you know how to get an “A” in your science class. But if you aren’t a “science person,” do you know who you can turn to for help?
Here at Tungsten Prep, we provide tutors that can help with all your classes (including science class) as well AP exam prep, ACT/SAT prep, and more. To see how we can help you make the grade, contact us today!