How smart do you have to be?
How smart do you have to be to get top grades?
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We all get homework. We all know we need to do it. But do we? The short answer is 'yes', you do. But there is reason to question whether homework should be the priority. To answer this question, first we need to look at what homework is.
Homework is the work given to you by your teacher to ensure that you have a foundational understanding of the material taught in the class. Essentially, it's work given to you that tells you teacher, "If student gets this work done, they know the basics."
The problem here is that if you're reading this, you're probably not concerned with knowing the basics- you want get top grades. In order to get top grades you need to do high value work - the sort of work that goes above and beyond what is asked of you. if you get your homework done, you might impress your teacher, but will you get top grades? Probably not if homework is all you do. Before we go on, let's be sure: you still need to do your homework. Homework, however is not the beginning and end of the story.
Elevate's research has shown that the top students go above and beyond what is set for them by their teachers. This involves doing non-required work such as doing practice exams or revision questions, making notes during term and doing extra reading beyond their text book.
But with loads of homework, how do we actually get this 'extra' non-required work done? The key is to do it incrementally throughout the term in small bursts. Don't save this type of work until exam time - everyone is doing this stuff at the end. The students who have been doing non-required tasks throughout term are the ones who have exam time to focus solely on doing past exam papers and fixing up on their weakness areas.
The best way to plan out your non-required work is to dedicate 30 minutes to each subject per week. That is, each week you should spend 30 minutes doing 'non-required' work for each subject. You can do one subject per day, per week. That means, for example, that you might do 30 minutes of non-required work for English on a Tuesday, and other subjects on other days. This may not sound like a lot of work - because it's not - but spread over the year this will account for many hours of high value work that other students aren't doing.
Using a non-required task planner will allow you to block out time and allocate tasks in advance so that when you get home from school you don't need to work anything out, just open your planner, and get to work. Once you've done your 30 minutes of non-required work, you can then spend your time finishing off your homework. That way you get the best of both worlds: you keep your teachers happy and you get a head start on revision before anyone else.