How to Become A Straight-A Student

Plan Your Time and Take Time to Plan.

How to Become A Straight-A Student

William Du, Staff Writer

How To Become A Stright-A Student is a self-help book written by Cal Newport, whose writing has appeared in national publications and is the founder of Study Hacks, the Web’s most famous student advice blog. Throughout his book, he illustrates critical points that top students use to do more while spending less. Here are some major takeaways.


  1. Setting a calendar is more effective in designating specific times for doing work, which ultimately leads to less time spent on assignments. It’s important not to overschedule and get back on track after suffering burnout. Spending a few minutes this way can go a long way in making your workload easier to manage.
  2. Procrastination – When asked how they resist the urge to procrastinate, most top students reply that they don’t. It’s impossible not to feel a desire to ditch work and do something more enjoyable, such as browsing social media. The significant bit, however, is minimizing the damage. One method to fight procrastination is a “progress journal” to track whether or not you completed all the tasks you set out to do. By admitting your failure, you kickstart the motivation to avoid future failures. In order the fight procrastination, you also need the right mental conditions. This means drinking water constantly, monitoring your caffeine intake, treating food as an energy source, and not skipping meals. This maximizes your mental power so you can maintain academic focus. Other methods include taking on the worst tasks first, building a routine, and choosing days to do work.
  3. For quizzes and tests – gather suitable materials, such as laptops, class-specific folders, paper, and pencils. Experts may recommend add-ons, but you only need these basic materials. Take notes, develop a shorthand, skip lines, and write freely. There are solving problems sets, working with someone else, and solving problems on the go.
  4. Memorization – For straight memorization, it’s helpful to prepare memorization tools, such as flashcards. You’ll also need to schedule wisely so your brain isn’t too tired when you study. It should be done over time for other materials, such as formulas that just need to be memorized.


This is just the tip of the iceberg on the strategies to succeed academically. By following these general guidelines, one could improve their day-to-day schedule and hopefully have a more enjoyable high school experience with less work.