It is getting uncomfortably close to that time of the year when you have to really start thinking about going back to academic education. Especially if you are in high school and are transitioning to the AP/IB years.

A combination of butterflies, rats and all sorts of other unsavory movement is probably giving you a hard time (and if not, either you are well prepared, or a very cool person)!

Every year I see my students pushing themselves to do more college-credit courses (AP/IB) and struggling to keep up.

frog-1339892_640Rule 1: Balance ambition and practicality

Ambition has no use if you gain nothing from it at the end of the year. Even if “college application” are the only words you  hear in your mind, Number of IB or AP courses = 1/(Probability of a 5 or 7 in all of them)

Rule 2: Education = building resume learning

Try this mantra out. Just this mental shift will increase your grades significantly, and it ties back to Rule 1.


Every time you are stressed, think about what you are learning in that course, or why you are not learning.

What do you need to shift the focus back to learning from grades?
chemistry-161575_640Rule 3: Do a project

Science classes in high school are hard but what makes them harder is that often you have no idea why learning this stuff is important.

So do a project, it is the single most important thing you will do to connect the abstract knowledge you learn to daily life tangibles!

Yes, your grades will improve.

students-702089_1280Rule 4: Find a tribe

All work is more meaningful when done with a team. I have found that students that study in groups most often do better than lone rangers. If you can’t find a team, find a tutor.