Who can help get good grades

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On our student blog, students from all over Germany report in guest posts about their experiences with school and learning. In our second article today, Latinesca (https://www.instagram.com/latinesca/) tells us about her tips for exam preparation.

The questions everyone asks me

"Where did you get such good grades from?"
"How do you study for subject XY?"
"How do you manage to stay so motivated?"
I am now asked these questions every day by students who are simply lacking motivation or simply discipline. It is precisely the things that are indispensable for the correct preparation for the exam. What is the point of forcing all this stuff into your brain without having any of it afterwards? Right, nothing.
You probably know yourself that you are not always motivated. You're not the only ones - I think every student will do so. Be it that the day is not going well or that you have an abysmal hatred for the subject. That can happen - but the right strategy for dealing with it can make a lot of things easier and make learning easier. How I do this, I would like to introduce you to this post.

Get and keep motivation

One of the most common questions I am asked is about my motivation. This question is very difficult to answer as there is no such thing as a 100% secret recipe. Everyone has to find out for themselves what motivates them - but you have to think about that first.

In the middle school in particular, I was quite unmotivated and seldom studied because the grades didn't matter anyway. But this attitude is wrong. Sure, nobody pays attention to the grades in the ninth grade after graduating from high school; however, developing proper learning behavior during these years can be incredibly helpful.

The oral grade

First of all, cooperation is essential. The cooperation is above all quality. For us, the basic AT (participation is part of it, I'll get to that in a moment) counts 2/3, so a lot, so you can definitely get something out of the oral.
Repeated during the holidays! I also try to use the vacation to repeat what I have learned. But do not overtake yourselves! You have to be able to regenerate and switch off from time to time.

The general part includes

  • Preparation and follow-up of lessons
  • Homework
  • Lectures / tests
  • reliability
  • Initiative / commitment
  • Possibly the linguistic quality of the contributions
  • Social behavior
  • Ability to cooperate
  • oral participation (see above)
  • independence

The preparation and follow-up of the lesson includes repeating the subject matter, as an example. You should always have the knowledge present because you can always use it. If necessary, take notes. In music we had the case that we wrote an unannounced test, in Geo we did the same last year. In music I had the best test in class (1), in geography the worst (a 5+). This also includes homework! Do them really thoroughly, I do that too. I got a 4 in organic in ninth grade because I didn't have my HAs so often. I really learned from that. In the tenth grade I always had a ++ in my homework with this teacher and it was a very good basis for learning, which is why I even managed a 2. You can really do a lot with the grades through the oral participation and they help you - believe it or not - with the written grades.
If you have to give presentations or write tests, you should be very well prepared. Even if it's just tests! Most of the time, there is already exam-relevant material, which is why tests are also a good exercise. I always prepare extremely well for presentations. I speak freely, sometimes I do it more like classes and things like that. Papers are also important.

Reliability includes things like

  • punctuality
  • Completeness of the material
  • Complete material on site at the start of the lesson

You should really pay attention to that! The point initiative / engagement includes:

  • unsolicited and working continuously during idle work
  • Striving for the best possible performance
  • Assistance to the other students when you have already finished your work

The linguistic quality of the contributions (refers to modern foreign languages) includes:

  • Contributions always in the foreign language
  • fluent and understandable speaking
  • Paraphrase of unknown words
  • largely no vocabulary aids required

Social behavior is very, very important! Particularly in partner and group work, great attention is paid to:

  • Take initiative in group work
  • cooperative and respectful interaction with the other students
  • Respect for other opinions
  • stand up for one's beliefs
  • Observance of rules and agreements
  • constructive handling of conflicts
  • Helpfulness

I am extremely meticulous when it comes to stapler guidance, which is why I usually do my homework and so very thoroughly. That's why I often take notes during the development phase, even if the teachers don't like it. If I didn't have enough time, I take this at home and copy it off neatly. My binders are so neat as they are my learning base.

When you take a transcript, the following things should be met:

a) Keyword-like, but structured
=> important data / events / information
=> possibly important names (depends on the subject)

b) Make connections clear by:
=> Arrows
=> Relationships
=> Graphs
=> Concept Maps
=> Mind Maps
=> etc.

c) highlight particularly important things through
=> Markings
=> Underlines
=> certain fonts
=> Symbols
=> etc.

Of course you should also have a proper font. There are also registers for certain subdivisions - in ancient Greek, for example, I have registers for exercises / texts, grammar, realities and tests. There is a lot there.

The written grade

There are many methods to learn effectively, I like to combine them :))
write out. Perhaps it will help you if you mark everything in a factual text and then write out what is important. I mainly use this method in chemistry. Who writes stays!

1. Donkey bridges:
One takes a vocabulary from any language. For these, one looks for terms that are derived from them. Another method is to think of a scene for each word: e.g. Latin cubare - to lie. I immediately think of a cow lying on a stretcher. The more crazy the better!

2. Word fields:
Another method of learning vocabulary is to group them into word fields, e.g. parts of speech or subject areas. A modification of this is the so-called MindMap. This has a central term in the middle, based on this several terms, based on this again terms, so that a large network is created. I have used this method in chemistry and physics as well as in English and French.

3. Learning posters:
However, you can also create posters for a specific issue. I have used this method in chemistry, Latin, physics, math, French and English. Are these still hanging in my room?

4. Charts:
In order to understand connections in history, I often make a diagram. There you connect events with symbols, highlight important things, etc. - So you have a good overview of what is happening.

5. Concept Maps:
Here terms are combined with labeled arrows. Another great method that I absolutely love! I've made use of this, especially in history, but I've also done it in organic food.

6. Timeline:
Another thing that can be used in history is the timeline. But the timeline can also be of great service in biology or other subjects where you want to present a chronological sequence of events in a structured manner.

7. Recording:
I have often recorded vocabulary and listened to it on the way to school.

8. Poems:
Believe it or not: poems. I was once a fan of mathematics and so I made it my hobby back then to wrap mathematical topics in poetry. DorFuchs makes music about mathematical subjects?

9.Hanging up:
You can take notes and write down vocabulary there. You then stick these to places connected to them and learn them in passing.

10. Videos:
There are many videos on the internet. For example, I was able to remember the individual phases of the cell cycle.

11. Questions:
If you have problems, ask the teacher and classmates, this removes any problems of understanding.

12. Mark:
Brings colors into play. Mark important things. That also helps me, then I write out the most important things.

13. Index cards:
Flashcards can be used for vocabulary as well as for definitions and the like. I have cards in A5, A6 and A7 - the largest I use more for chemistry or bio or something, the small ones for vocabulary.

14.Repeat:
So you often remember it much better?
One would have to notice that especially in foreign languages. So do I notice it in Latin?

15. Learn with others:
I usually learn by myself because that's better for me, but it often helps people to learn together with others!

16. Explain to others:
This method helps me tremendously in chemistry. Do you know why I never have to study chemistry? Because I explain it so often that it is no longer necessary.

17. Apply:
In many subjects it helps if you write test essays or work on assignments, for example. So you have one more time security.

18. Participate in class:
In this way you learn straight away to apply what you have learned correctly and you save a lot of learning curve. I speak from experience. ?
The whole thing even has a positive side effect - your oral grade will also be improved immediately!

19. Tests:
I really enjoy doing old tests again or looking for some on the Internet. It's a great learning method because you just go through things again and see where you still have to learn.

20. Drawings:
In Bio we sometimes had to make drawings in which we represented a topic. We should use as few words as possible. A method that requires a bit of thought. But it is effective!

Those were the learning tips and the methods that I use. Where I use which method depends on the subject. But I always try to use many methods for one subject because so much more sticks. Do not specialize in one learner type, but use all learner types if possible. The best way to learn is through associations (see concept map) and learning slips, but the other methods can also help a lot.

Perhaps speak to your teachers as well. This shows interest and the teachers are often very willing to help the student with tips or something; For example, my math teacher will send me practice material if I ask them, and so will my ancient Greek teacher. Do not be afraid to speak to your teachers, it shows that you really WANT to improve and your teachers are more likely to (usually) perceive your positive contributions! Also do some voluntary work to improve your grade a little; I did that in chemistry and ancient Greek and it ultimately gave me a better grade.