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Doing well in school is possible through learning the class material well but doing well is also possible with a very limited understanding of the material being taught in class.
Most students drastically underestimate how valuable it is to learn the system.
By understanding the way school, and tests work you can give yourself a constant boost to your grades without ever learning new class material. For a one time investment, you can permanently increase your grades.
When a student learns to use their syllabus to prioritize their work, they bring their grade up by more than the equivalent time studying.
When you learn a new fact for a class, you may use that knowledge to increase your points a few times through the class.
When you understand a strategy like, you gain more points preparing for the test than you would using that time to do homework, you’re able to increase your points on assignment after assignment forever.
Naturally, all of your learning can’t come from understanding how the class works.
You need some base of understanding to appreciate these benefits but once you have that base, you shouldn’t lose sight of this opportunity.
Learning the system is about finding the “loopholes” to every system you’re a part of. (And there are always loopholes.)
Once you find those loopholes they pay off time and time again and usually don’t require any memorization or studying.
They’re essentially free points for paying attention.
Most students don’t pay attention. They get their assignments and they do them. They wait until the night before their test and they cram. They get their graded papers back and don’t even look at what they got wrong.
They never ask themselves one important question:
“How can I improve my grade WITHOUT spending more time on it?”
Until you start to ask that question, you’re always going to be settling for less than you’re capable of.