How I Got a 4.0 in High School

Kadama team holding up a $25,000 check for completing the University of Washington Foster Jones Accelerator
University of Washington Foster School of Business building

Out of the many things that contribute to your college application, your cumulative GPA is pretty important. It summarizes your academic performance and tells colleges how successful you were in different classes and subjects. It is vital to take care of your GPA as soon as you enter high school as a freshman. The first two years of high school set the course for what your GPA will be. It is easy to drop your GPA, but bringing it back up is challenging, which is why you need to maintain a cumulative that is already high. Below I have listed a few ways I managed to keep my GPA on the right track.

Time Management

This one may be obvious, but if not implemented, your performance could suffer. You need to be able to space out your studying and homework time throughout the week. Building a schedule can help significantly, you can use a planner or make a to do list. Additionally, you can write out the specific time frames you are going to perform tasks. This strategy can help you plan in advance and remind you about upcoming events. For example, if I know that I have an exam next week, I plan out an hour of studying every day for reviewing topics that week leading up to test day. Getting stuff done is much easier when you control the time that you have.

Communicate with Teachers

It can be difficult for students to approach their teachers comfortably, which may prevent them from getting all of their doubts cleared up or their questions answered. There are multiple ways to make talking with your teachers easier. To begin, you can email your teacher any questions or concerns you have, you may get a delay in response, but this still an effective way to pass the message. If you are too shy to approach your teacher in person, you could bring a friend along to make you feel less anxious. I have learned that no matter how stupid a question or misconception I think is, I should still ask about it. Teachers want to help, and that can only happen if you put the effort in talking to them as well. This let me thoroughly understand what I got wrong, which topics confused me, and more, so that I could watch out for them in the future.

Create Study Groups

One of the best ways to prepare for exams and understand topics in class is to form study groups. Pick a group of peers, try to limit the number of members to 3-4 people. This way there won’t be too much distraction. Have a person in the group be the leader. This person will keep track of what needs to be accomplished that day and make sure that everyone is staying on task. Problem solve questions together, ask each other your concerns, and review topics together. Studying is a lot more engaging when you have a peer helping you, this can also help retain information better.

Select the Right Classes

Many students tend to overload their schedule by packing on AP Classes every year. Although it is good to challenge yourself, I advise you against doing this. A lot of students take on more than they can handle and that negatively affects their GPA. My suggestion is to take AP and honors classes in subjects you are truly interested in. For example, I was always interested in Science and Math, so I took higher level classes in these subjects. I was not very fond of English and History, so I took regular classes for those. This helped me do well in all of my classes. Take courses that will intrigue you, studying will become much more enjoyable and interesting, leading to a better grade.

Balance your Lifestyle

I believe the most important way to keep your grades high, is to balance your lifestyle. In order to learn and retain information better, your mind needs to stretch and rest. Get involved in extracurriculars such as: clubs, organizations, competitions, music, art, and more. It is unhealthy to focus your attention on only one thing, this leads to burnout. Keep your brain fresh with other activities. Personally, I enjoyed participating in pageants, blogging, fashion, and art. Your brain will be more ready to learn and remember information if it is being exercised. It is also important to keep your body physically active. This balanced routine is gonna help you stay alert in class and register information better.