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2014With the beginning of the new school term right around the corner, now is the perfect time to sit down with your teen and come up with a plan of attack for 2014.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, your teen will already be half way through the academic year, and exams are always closer than you think.

If you’re down in the Southern Hemisphere with me, your teen has a brand-spanking new year ahead of them, and nothing stopping them from making it their best academic year yet.

Wherever you are, there is plenty of time for your teen to get on top of their study and get some fantastic grades.

Today I want to share four things every teen should have in mind as they launch back into school and study:

1. Plan ahead

Know when all of your assessments for the year are. Write these dates down and stick them up somewhere you will see them all the time.

Knowing what’s happening when is a massive help in keeping on track throughout semester. It keeps you focused and avoids anything sneaking up on you.

2. Don’t get behind

If you have a tendency to put things off or cram, make 2014 the year you make a concerted effort to keep on top of things. There is nothing worse than watching a subject snowball away from you.

As soon as you find a topic confusing or difficult, put in the effort THEN to get on top of it, and get outside help if you need. Your future self will be forever grateful come exam time.

3. Make realistic goals

If you’re a straight-A student, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t charge at 2014 in the same fashion – go for it.

But if getting A’s is something you’re working towards or unlikely to achieve, then don’t stress. We’re all good at different things, and while we can all improve our study skills and certainly get good grades, getting straight A’s might be an unrealistic goal for you right now.

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in getting straight B’s, or whatever grades you would love to achieve. It’s all about progress and getting to where YOU want to be. Your goals need to reflect YOUR aspirations, not anyone else’s.

4. Stick to a routine

If there’s one thing over-achievers have in common, it’s their ability to stick to a routine.

I am not saying we should be over-achievers, but it’s probably not a bad idea to take a leaf out of their book in the interests of getting fantastic grades.

I highly recommend putting together a weekly timetable that includes all of your weekly activities, with blocks of time allocated to doing homework and studying when need be.

We are all much better at sticking at something when it’s written down. When you set time aside for doing homework and studying, there is no excuse for not doing it.

The good news is, outside of exam and assessment time, a small amount of study each day can go a very long way. Setting aside only an hour a day after school could be all that you need to reach your goal grades for the year.

Of course this depends on you and where your study is at, but generally speaking it is much better to do a little bit of homework/study each day in manageable chunks, rather than spending hours on end starting at your computer being unproductive for most of that time.

Thanks from me …

If your teen keeps these points in mind throughout the year they should be well on their way to getting the grades they’re capable of in 2014.

I am really looking forward to another great year, with The Study Gurus giving your teen LOADS more study tips, and helping them get amazing grades.

And lastly, a huge thank you to you for your readership — your teen is lucky to have you!

Remember, I am always only an email away if you or your teen have any study-related questions.

Here’s to a fantastic 2014.

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High School Study Advice | The Study Gurus