Tips for better grades in 2021

It’s time to start executing on those New Year’s resolutions. If getting better grades at school, establishing better study and homework habits, getting into college, learning a new language, or simply becoming a better student fit into your plans for 2021, you’re going to want to check out some of the suggestions below.

Don’t have any New Year’s resolutions? That’s totally fine. But I think we can all agree that striving to reach new academic heights should be top of mind nonetheless. In that case, the tips below will help you, too.

To help students pursue their goals this year, I’ve dug through some recent and older Paatham blog posts to compile a list of things that students of all ages can do to sharpen their minds and produce results.

Here’s what I came up with.

Manage your time

On my journey through university, I met a lot of friends and acquaintances who were studying all sorts of different subjects. This meant they had unique courses with their own demands, varying amounts of homework, and distinct individual pathways through their degrees. However, a common thread among all of the students I met was that time management was top of mind — either because they needed to get better at it or because it was a key to their college success.

In a post we published prior to final exams last spring, I suggested that, while prepping for exams, students “avoid cramming [and if they] have multiple exams, plan when [to] study for each one…”

The same should be true when you’re going into a new calendar year, semester, or school year. Plan out your semester in advance. If you’re aware of exam dates, due dates, and other important academic events on the horizon, plot them out on a calendar (digital or with pen and paper), and stick to it. If you’re able to take it a step further and plan out a standard week, including time for school work for each subject and any extracurriculars, you’ll save yourself a pile of stress down the road.


I’ll admit it — this isn’t a common piece of advice when it comes to improving academic performance. I’ll also admit that I should take my own advice more often when it comes to meditation (I’ve only actually tried it a handful of times). But, there are a lot of reasons meditation is becoming more and more popular among students. Here are some from a guest blog we published back in May 2016 (thanks to Riley Webster, yoga teacher and plant-based health junkie, from the Lotus Journal for the insight):

  • It increases focus
  • It releases stress and anxiety
  • It enhances creativity
  • It creates a healthier body (scientifically proven to boost immunity!)\

Interested in trying meditation for yourself? Get started with Riley’s guide — Meditation for students: A beginner’s guide.

Eat brain food

The foods you eat can make a big difference in how your brain functions, and in turn, how you perform in school. Here are some suggestions from our lifestyle tips for students infographic:

Brain food comes in all shapes and sizes, from fruits and veggies to nuts and seeds. Avoid fatty and sugary snacks. Try broccoli for vitamin K and pumpkin seeds for zinc. Focus on getting a variety of vitamins every day.

Seek one-on-one help

Both asking for help and creating opportunities to learn from a knowledgeable teacher, tutor, prof, or instructor in a one-on-one setting are pieces of advice that can make enormous differences in a student’s academic performance.

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