Tips for Getting and Staying Academically Organized

With back to school right around the corner, many students will find themselves rushing to get ready for the new school year. Staying academically organized throughout the semester can sometimes be tricky, but the results are well worth it! Students that stay organized tend to get better grades and avoid unnecessary stress in school. To make life a little easier, here are some great tips for getting and staying academically organized!

Make an agenda. Many students believe they can mentally “jot down” their assignments throughout the day to be recalled later. The fact is, this approach simply doesn’t work. Even in lower grade levels, students are expected to complete homework in multiple subjects. High school students may have up to seven classes a day! It’s just not realistic to try to remember a long list of due dates. Write down important assignments, projects, and upcoming exams in an agenda to ensure you’re always on top of your work and prioritizing appropriately.

Create a to-do list. To-do lists are a bit different than agendas and are more appropriate for individual projects or assignments. If you have a large project coming up, a to-do list can help you plan out the steps needed to complete your final goal. For example – let’s say a student has a science project with a presentation coming up. A good start to a to-do list might look like…

  1. Choose research topic
  2. Start taking notes
  3. Get poster board and art supplies from store
  4. Write first draft of presentation
  5. Plan out the poster layout
  6. Practice presentation speech

…and so on and so forth! One more tip: on your to-do list, you may also find it helpful to add dates or checkboxes to each step.

Separate your materials for different classes. Try not to use one notebook, binder, or folder for multiple classes. Colored paper folders are an inexpensive and effective way to keep all your classes and assignments separated. You don’t want your spiral notebook to have geometry problems on one page and history notes on the next! This causes unnecessary clutter and makes it more difficult to locate notes you may later need to look back on. Keeping all your materials separated goes a long way for staying organized!

Take advantage of technology. In today’s day and age, many teachers and professors will make themselves available for questions and support electronically using technology. If your professor has an email address, contact them this way for important questions. This gives you (and your teacher) a record of what was discussed and provides you with information to look back if further clarification is needed. Many teachers also have websites where you can access the class syllabus, assignments, and sometimes even grades. Take advantage of these amazing platforms and use them to your benefit!

Keep your backpack organized! Although this may seem rather obvious, don’t forget keep your backpack clean and tidy! Surprisingly enough, we’ve seen students that return to school with used notebooks and old, crumpled assignments in their backpack from the previous school year. Ideally, you should clean out your school bag after every semester!

From all of us here at Tutor Doctor, we wish you all a happy and productive back to school!