The secret to better grades and lower stress: executive functioning

Students are often tired and stressed out. That combination of fatigue and stress — only heightened during an uncertain 2020 — made it difficult for students to focus and perform well academically.

On the bright side, the reason behind that fatigue and stress is quite simple: Bad habits.

New, better habits, then, have the potential to increase energy, reduce stress, and consequently improve grades and test scores. Time management and organizational skills, for example, have a transformative influence that leads to enhanced academic performance and more confidence.

These are called “executive functioning skills,” and we developed a list of 6 essential ones for students to work on:

  1. Study in ways that maximize your time
  2. Plan ahead, write down goals, and stay accountable
  3. Maintain effective organizational routines
  4. Incorporate a growth mindset
  5. Respond to stress productively
  6. Seek out help when you need it

Study in ways that maximize your time

Eliminating distractions, avoiding multitasking, and breaking study time into smaller chunks are great ways to optimize study sessions.

Plan ahead, write down goals, and stay accountable

Cramming is the least effective way of studying. Identifying priorities and setting targets to make progress is much better.


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Maintain effective organizational routines

Keeping a productive study space and organizing your materials and note-taking process helps retention and focus.

Incorporate a growth mindset

A growth mindset means approaching obstacles with confidence and understanding that you always have room to learn and improve.

Respond to stress productively

It’s not about what happens to you — but how you react to it. Find a breathing, meditating, or journaling technique that helps you relax! Exercise and fresh air are also essential.

Seek out help when you need it

Students have a support system around them. Whether it’s to a parent, teacher, or tutor, speaking up and asking for support is essential in getting through tough times and coming out of it as a more confident learner and person.

But how to apply those into your routine? Revolution Prep regularly hosts a free webinar on this exact topic: “How Executive Functioning Skills Improve Grades & Lower Stress.” Check out our website to find more information and upcoming dates.

We look forward to seeing you in one of our sessions!