I’ve compared school to learning to jump through hoops in the past. It’s not a completely fair analogy but here is the basic idea.
Succeeding in school is all about jumping through the right hoops. You don’t need to learn stuff. You need to learn specific stuff. If you fail to learn the specific stuff then you will fail (even if you did learn a lot.)
Some of the hoops you need to jump through are made obvious. Your teacher may give you a syllabus and a big list of stuff that’s going to be on the test. Those are hoops that you need to jump through to succeed. But most students try to push themselves farther than that. They have this idea that their are other implied hoops they’re supposed to jump through.
For example, their teacher tells them homework is only a tiny percentage of their grade but the student is willing to invest hour after hour working on that homework. Success in the class has been defined by the teacher as not needing the homework but the student feels weird slacking or skipping the homework. The student feels like there is some kind of an implied duty to complete all the work for their course (even if the work is meaningless.)
Until told otherwise, assume their are no implied hoops. When a teacher lays out their rules for grading you clearly, expect those rules to be followed until they make it explicitly clear they wont be following them. There virtually always are implied hoops but you should absolutely never let implied hoop jumping (like making the teacher like you) get in the way of objective hoops to jump through.
So… if your homework is valueless you probably don’t want to tell the teacher you think the homework is pointless but you can still skip most of it while being completely polite with the teacher.
Aaron Richardson took his grades from fighting F’s to Easy A’s. In the process, he read over 300 books on personal development. Today he’s founded 2 blogs on studying including Smart Student Secrets. He’s written 3 books on the subject. His work has been featured on some of the biggest news, psychology, and student sites on the internet.