Tips To Be Successful in School


Isabella Dietzel

Cornell Notes Method

Do you struggle to get your work completed on time? Have you been looking for ways to Are you behind in school and need help getting caught up? There are many people you can ask for help and different ways to study, and Lafayette offers an after-school program to help. You can study by taking notes, using flashcards, and testing yourself. There are also pros to being caught up in class and paying attention.

Something you can do to try and get ahead of your tests and assignments is to take notes if your teacher has no issue with it. When you take notes, whether, on the computer or paper, you can take notes of the main points. You do not want to write down everything that is presented. You want to summarize it. One way you can do that is by reading one part at a time and then summarizing it from your memory. There are a few note-taking methods.

One way is the Cornell method, which has a certain way of setting up. You want a two-inch margin to the left of your paper and another six inches of space for the actual notes. Take as many notes as possible, and if your teacher moves on, leave a few lines to catch up after class. Write any main points or phrases to review while studying in the two-inch margin. Logan Gwynn, a ninth grader said, “They are very helpful for studying because you can find the important points very easily.”

Another way is the outlining method. This method is when you hear the first main point being made, you want to indent that point. That point will be more to the left. The more specific the point gets, the more you want to indent it to the right. This has the advantage of being able to read the main points better. Therefore it is easier to study with. One disadvantage is that this note method might take more thought during class for it to be done correctly.

The other method is mapping, where you have the name of the presentation in the middle. Then the main points of the presentation branch off of the name. On those branches, the more specific points have an even smaller branch. If you think this will get confusing, you can add numbers, small marks and even color code your notes. This is a visual note method, so it will be easier to read. One disadvantage is that your teacher might not make it obvious that they are switching main points, so you need to pay attention to that.

Another method is charting. This is where you make columns and label headings in the table. However, to use this method, you must know what the presentation will be about. If your teacher supplies the presentation beforehand, review it before class. Once you know the main points in the presentation, make your columns and label them. One thing to help with this method is to add rows to your notes to make boxes. You put the main points, phrases, dates, and vocabulary words in those boxes.

The final method is the sentence method, a method where for every sentence you write, you want to number it. One advantage is that the sentence is more organized than the standard paragraph. One disadvantage is that the main points are not highlighted as visually as other note-taking methods.

If you do not want to study only using notes, there are other ways, like flash cards. Go over the main points and make flashcards over the points. You can make them out of index cards or pieces of paper. One advantage of flashcards is using them or getting someone to help you. You can review them multiple times. One disadvantage is that if you have to make a lot they can take a long time to make flashcards.

Something else you can do to be successful in school is to stay on top of your homework. Your homework and in-class assignments are worth 40% of your grade. If you do not complete your homework, it can bring your grade down by a lot. It is one less assignment you must do when you have your homework done. When you have less homework and assignments to do, you tend to have less stress. You can go to Lafayette’s ESS if you need help with your homework. You can find ESS information on the Lafayette website. You go through the student link, then scroll down to the E section, and you can find information.

You might need help with homework and need to attend ESS, but you have an extracurricular activity and do not have the time. You can always ask your teacher, classmate, parent, or guardian for help. You can also ask a friend if they know anything about your homework. Another thing you can do is take advantage of the A-day and B-day schedules. You can try and split your homework between the two days. You can relax or study for tests if you get your homework done.

There are many ways to get caught up in school, and you can use these ways to be successful. Use your resources as best as you can, study for your test using your notes and flashcards, and you can quiz yourself. Also, stay focused on your assignments and homework; it can relieve stress.