Seven Sure Steps To Success
Doing well in your school tests and High School examinations are important.  You don't have to memorize the laws of physics because no one's going to ask you state Newton's second law or any other law during an interview. However, a good grade in a subject really increases your self-esteem, self-worth and prepares you for bigger challenges later on in life. Besides, you may not aspire to win a Nobel Prize, or the Pulitzer or Grammy or Oscar some day! 

However, your admissions officers and/or (potential) employers are certainly be interested in assessing your confidence, communication skills, and work ethic as you answer their questions.   Read on to find a summary of expectations and friendly advise to you from a person interested in teaching AND learning. Your happiness and good results will definitely make everyone proud of you at home, school and the community.

1.     Always sit CLOSE to your teacher on the desks at the front of your classroom.  This should set the tone for your learning throughout the year.  Of course not all of you can sit on the first few desks but make a sincere effort.

2.    COPY down everything that goes on the board.  Don't attempt to be 'cute' by asking, 'do we have to copy this Mr. Bala ?' What you've copied down should help you organize your learning during review (see # 5 below)

3.    LISTEN attentively in class.  Your teachers experience should guide you with topics and questions that are traditionally examined in most examinations. More importantly that's what they're likely to use for assessment in their tests too. Mark these in your own style say with a * or some other symbol or letter(s) of your choice.

4.    When asked to UNDERLINE key vocabulary words, do so immediately.  There's always a reason for this.  Don't underline a whole sentence.  That would not help you recall the key vocabulary words. You could use a highlighter if it's your own paper or book.

5.   REVIEW the notes of your previous lessons before your classes and remember to focus on your *s! As a simple rule of thumb, I'd say: students in Grade 6-8 should spend about 10 minutes REVIEWING every 40 minutes of instruction at school ON THE SAME DAY, student in Grade 9-10 should spend about 20 minutes REVIEWING every 40 minutes of instruction at school ON THE SAME DAY, and a student in Grade 11-12 should spend about 40 minutes REVIEWING every 40 minutes of instruction at school ON THE SAME DAY. You can reinforce this by spending a few minutes before the next lesson, and make sure you take your difficulties to the teacher and talk to them at this time. If you know your teacher's e-mail, you may want to e-mail them when you review at home. On the weekend, spend at least 1 hour if you're in Grades 6-8, 2 hours if you're in Grades 9-10 and 3 hours if you're in Grade 11-12.

6.    While taking your quizzes or exams, after a quick read through of the entire paper, START answering the questions whose answers you can recall well first. It doesn't matter if your answers are not in order, as long as you number them correctly.  Your brain would then start automatically funneling down only what you need for the other questions from the entire assortment of material you have studied.

7.    Draw a box your equations, use acronyms, draw diagrams and plan your PRESENTATION style.  Make it easy for the examiner to read through your answers.  That is bound to help you significantly.  For example, clearly identify what you are trying to do before you do it, for example - To Find R: and then perform your calculations At all times, try and answer questions to the point, spelling out your logic. Even if they don't specify in the question paper, ALL WORKING MUST BE CLEARLY SHOWN in science/physics.

The seven steps above will provide you with the 'focus' that you need to be effective in schools. It is imperative that you have 'fun' in school and at the same time make learning enjoyable for you and your teacher for the rest of your life.