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How Class Schedules Can Impact Your Grades

Can class schedules make a difference in your grades? We’re not talking about the classes themselves, because we already know the many benefits of a balanced work load. What we mean is the actual physical schedule and how your classes are lined up.

As you take a look at your course load for the upcoming quarter, trimester or semester, this is a good time to assess whether recalibrating your class schedule could make the difference. Here are three components to consider:

  • The time of day you work best. We all have certain body rhythms that can play a major role in your success. If you’re a morning person and feel particularly energized or find it easier to concentrate in the morning, then it’s smart to start your day with a challenging course like math or science. Conversely, if you’re someone who takes longer to get into your groove, PE or an art elective might be just the thing to help you ease into your day. Many students find that their attention span can wane as the day drifts on, or that they usually come back from lunch finding it hard to buckle back down. That means that those are better times for an elective or a subject you’re particularly interested in.
  • The order of your classes. You may find that your brain works best when you switch up your courses – alternating a “left brain” course like physics with a “right brain” class like AP World History. Other kids find that once they’re in a certain mode – for example, reading and writing with literature and history, it’s easier to stick with those tasks than switch it up and then go back. Think about your own rhythms and what works best.
  • The teachers who motivate you. Most schools have multiple sessions of every course, usually taught by different teachers. And it’s not necessarily about having the “easiest” teacher, but rather the one whose style inspires you to do your best. For example, some teachers are more apt to assign projects, are more open to holding after-school study sessions for that extra boost, or are known for providing more detailed background for test prep. You might know a certain teacher and feel like they’d be a great fit for you – or not. Talk to friends, siblings and school counselors to figure out which teachers could be a good fit. Especially for class subjects that might not come as easily to you.

Each of us has certain factors that allow us to concentrate more and do our best work. Adjusting your class schedules and using them to your advantage can improve your focus – and your grades.

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