As you study and prepare for your exams each semester, you wonder how you can use your time more efficiently and get better grades. The challenge of a trade school is that you need to have complete mastery over what you’re learning, and you want to be sure that when you graduate, you have the skills to succeed.
It’s not easy, but you can do it! These study tips might be helpful to you as you work on mastering your trade. But succeeding in school isn’t just about keeping your nose in the book—it’s about learning how to learn.
Below are three tips that have helped us as we’ve learned skills, practiced our trade, and worked hard to improve our grades. Check them out and you may be surprised by how fast you improve!
Tip #1: Stay Healthy
Your mind is a powerful tool, but it can’t function well if your body isn’t healthy! In fact, students who live healthy lifestyles are proven to get better grades.
Making health a priority while you’re going to school can be tough. After all, some students juggle a full, challenging school schedule, work part- or full-time, help support a family, volunteer in their community, and maintain a social life—and adding exercise, enough sleep, and a healthy diet to an already overwhelming schedule can feel a little ridiculous.
There are a few health tips you should never compromise on, even if you have a busy school schedule:
- Always eat breakfast! Try to avoid sugary cereals if possible, but if that’s what it takes, do it. Feeding your brain every morning before you start your day is an important part of staying healthy.
- Get your vitamins. Nothing is worse than taking an exam with the flu or trying to study while coughing and sneezing. Vitamins help stave away sickness and keep your mind sharp.
- Exercise for thirty minutes a day, at least three times a week. Do whatever it takes—bike to school, join a yoga class, or play a pickup game of basketball with friends. Get your heart rate up and stretch those muscles!
Remember that maintaining good health will relieve stress, not add to it! Taking the time for a twenty minute run or a few extra minutes to prepare a healthy meal will help your body and mind rejuvenate. You’ll be ready to study, learn new skills, and focus during exams if your body is in shape and you’ve had enough rest.
Tip #2: Maintain Good Relationships With Your Teachers
We’re not talking about sucking up to get the grade. But you should develop and maintain good relationships with your instructors. Why? Because in addition to knowing more than you (they are the teachers, after all!) they can help you work through challenging problems and get the most out of your educational experience.
Make sure that your teachers understand why you’re in school and what you’re hoping to achieve. If your teachers see that you are driven, hard-working, and honest, they may be more inclined to help you when you run into a difficult problem or struggle to learn a new concept.
You may want to get to know your teachers as well. What have they achieved in their lives? Why are they teaching? What do they hope to do with the rest of their careers? As you get to know your teachers, you may be surprised by how much they can teach you about school and your own future career.
In a trade school, it can be especially important to have good relationships with your teachers because your instructors can help you when you look for jobs and go into the work force. If your teachers know that you are eager to learn, work hard, and develop good people skills, they’ll be much more likely to recommend you to an inquiring employer or to point you in the direction of a good job.
Tip #3: Join a Study Group
Logging away your long study hours all by yourself isn’t much fun, and many people remember what they study much better if they study with others. You may have never thought of yourself as a social learner, but when you’re learning skills with your hands, it might be best for you to study with others.
If your school offers study groups, consider joining one and preparing for your next test with a small group. And if there aren’t any study groups currently at your trade school, create one! Invite a few students in class to join you as you study.
Because you’re learning a trade, it’s a good idea to include a few people in the study group who seem to have mastered the skills already. Teaching others will give these students a chance to solidify what they’ve learned, but you’ll benefit too as you learn from them and watch their skill.
School can be challenging, but as you keep yourself healthy, work well with your instructors, and learn with others, you’ll improve quickly and master the skills you need for your next career. Start today and make the most out of your trade school experience!