By SAGE Scholars
June 7, 2022

Top 5 Back to School Tips

Keep Track of every test score

It's a reality, summer is winding down and with every passing day there are more and more commercials for back to school products. Before you know it, you will be back in the classroom, taking notes, and preparing for tests. Don't stop reading! As stressful as going back to school may seem, it will be less stressful the more you prepare for it and visualize what kind of student you want to be this year.

Below are our SAGE Scholars 5 Back to School Tips for a successful school year. Please read, internalize, and share with us your thoughts on our advice (we would love to hear from you).

  1. A New School Year Means a Fresh Start
  2. This one is pretty important one, so we put it at the top of the list. Please don't let last year's academic school performance predict how you will do this year. So many times we have heard young adults, say things like, "I am not good at this or that subject." Or, "I am just not that smart." Education is not stagnant. The whole point of going to school is to learn new things and new skills. Believe it or not even adults can learn new things too (like when you teach your parents which filters they should be using for their Instagram posts). This means that your C- grade in Algebra last year, isn’t a sure indicator that you won't be able to get an A this year in Geometry. So proceed with an open mind and give yourself the benefit of the doubt.

  3. Binder Selection - Not a One Size Fits All Scenario
  4. So it's completely obvious that you should have your binders nicely organized for the school year, but with binders you really have to consider what will work best for your class load. For example some high schools have "block scheduling", where you have 4 classes daily for 90 minute periods each. In this scenario, it might make sense to have 4 separate binders per class. Also, make your life easier and color code your binders per subject. Blue might be your favorite color, but multiple blue binders will most likely lead to your Biology binder making the trip to Trigonometry class. On the topic of folders, they may have been great in 3rd grade, when you had less homework, but in high school they do have the tendency to break at the steams, when packed with paper. So think through what will make the most sense for you before taking a trip to the supply store.

  5. Flashcards Are Your Friend
  6. High school is a great place for making new friends, but during that exciting process, don't throw out your old ones...FLASHCARDS. If you are like most students, you don't learn through osmosis, and in high school you will need to know the difference between the Mitochondrion and the Nucleus. So put your active recall to good use and let flashcards guide you to a good grade.

  7. Extra Credit - Worth It!
  8. Is extra credit, extra work? Yes, but it is well worth it. It shows teachers that you are willing to put in extra effort and it can raise your grade substantially in some cases. Even for top students, extra credit can be an "insurance policy" on their A's. Colleges look at your transcripts Junior year and for some of Senior Year and there is no room to explain that your B+ in World History, should have been an A, but your grade got dragged down by one lack luster group project. So, if your teacher is willing to do the extra work on their end and grade additional assignments, you should take them up on it. They are offering it as a way to help, not because they have no lives outside of grading papers.

  9. When Struggling - Ask for Help
  10. High school is a struggle and very few, if any, float effortlessly into the perfect college of their choice without antagonizing over algorithms or splitting hairs over history quizzes. No college is going to know how you ended up getting the grade that they see on your transcript. So if you need tutoring, ask for it. Sometimes teachers get into school early, so if you get to school before most of your peers, chances are that you will be able to get some one on one help. If your school offers peer tutoring, don't be afraid to sign up for the extra help.

SAGE Scholars

At SAGE Scholars, we deeply believe in the value and quality of private higher education. Our mission is to provide access to affordable college opportunities while bringing together families, colleges & universities, and benefit providers to create college funding solutions. Since 1995, SAGE Scholars has bridged the gap between students who want a quality private college education and colleges that will work closely with member families to ensure affordability — all at no cost to the student, family, or college. As the nation’s oldest, largest, and most trusted private college preparation and funding organization, we’re providing families with the guidance and resources they need for every step of the college process.
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