As a person preaching a study routine of less than 15 minutes a night, you could imagine this is a problem that I’ve run into personally with my teachers. Oddly enough, I actually have had almost no problem with it. Here’s the problem:
I think my teachers think I’m lazy. I started reading your old site a while ago and started to implement some of the strategies into my routine. Since then my grades have come a lot easier but I’m starting to get the impression a couple of my teachers are raising their standards. When I first started boosting my grades up I was producing work that, too me, seems worse than my newer work but it seems to have brought me better grades than I get now. I had one teacher come up to me and say that he doesn’t think I’m “applying” myself and that he lowered my grade for that. I wanted to say, “I am applying myself. I’m just not applying myself like an idiot anymore.” I’m wondering if this has to do with my more relaxed approach when it comes to school. Have you had this problem?
One time I felt like I had this problem. I have definitely noticed teachers with lower expectations of a student tend to grade good work higher than it deserved. (I observed that writing essays for students that tended to get lower grades. An B+ for me would be the equivalent of an A+ for a C student.)
It makes sense that teachers would make these kinds of judgments you’re worrying about. Teachers grade “smart” (for lack of better word) students worse than “dumb” (again, lack of better word) students. Students that work hard get graded better than students that don’t give a crap about class.
Naturally, teachers try to reward good behavior. If you do what the teacher wants you to do, they’ll improve your grade. It’s not about intelligence it’s about grades. Grades are partially, a representation of how well you’re pleasing the teacher personally.
I have never had a major issue with this because I’ve constantly encouraged the facade of being a hard worker. Every time I’ve been in a class small enough for my teacher to recognize me, I’ve accepted that part of my grade comes from my ability to stare politely at my teacher while they’re lecturing (even if I’m just thinking about lunch.)
I do not act particularly relaxed about my grades. If I score low (even if I intentionally wasn’t putting in an effort because it was a low priority assignment) I act a little irked. As long as this is a factor that makes a difference in my grade (my estimate is 5 to 10%) then I’m going to continue to milk it for everything it’s worth.
If it’s obvious that you’re not putting in much effort then you’re asking for people to take points away from you for stupid and unfair reasons. I don’t like it either but it could just as easily be working in your favor if you choose to let it be.
Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to check out the archives and follow along for all the details. The ebooks in the sidebar can help you boost your grades while working less. Check them out if you’re interested.
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.
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