Academic Tip of the Month – Your Secret Weapon

By Kate Forman, Rugger’s Edge Advisor

You (students) have to read books, solve math problems, plot science experiments, and write essays (oh the writing!). Balancing these requirements can be quite complicated to say the least, and you need a secret weapon. Here it is:

Check your grades (every day)


Checking your grades should become a habit; I do this in all my classes. As the bell rings every kid knows to open their grades and then record them on a student calendar (created in class). With technology there is no excuse for not knowing your own grades; there is even an app for it. You can log into your account in about 3.1 seconds, quicker than it would take the fastest man to run a 40 yard dash at the combine.

Being aware of your grades is a huge advantage. Let me tell you a little secret; teachers make mistakes. We forget to input a grade, we lose a paper, we mark an assignment incorrectly blah blah blah. So you need to be on the offensive with your grades. Teachers also grade assignments differently; tests in one class might account for 80 percent of your grade (like in math), however, in English they might only count for 10 percent. Understanding this difference will allow you to play the grades game. If you know that tests are the majority of your grade in math then that is where you spend your energy; spend time before each test studying, review difficult concepts on Khan Academy (check it out!), or work directly with your teacher before or after school. Understanding how your grades work and where to spend your time and energy will alleviate stress and allow you to maximize your efforts.


Now, don’t misconstrue what I am saying; I am not encouraging you to simply skip assignments, but you do want to know how to get the most bang for your buck, particularly if you are an athlete. Hopefully, you are a multiple sport athlete, which means you are busy. When your schedule is overloaded by practices, tournaments, team events, family time, even possibly (and hopefully) a job, you need to find ways to prioritize the workload. There has to be a way to balance all that is going on, so in that effort, check your grades. Check them every single day.

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