Be the best you: Tricking your way to straight As this semester

By in Culture

You don’t have to be Emma Stone to get an easy A. All you need to do is implement these three easy tricks, and you can leave those mediocre grades in 2017.

Trick your professor into thinking you’re smarter than you actually are with the halo effect. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with video games — getting an A isn’t that easy.

The halo effect is a psychological phenomenon that allows unrelated positive traits to influence a person’s overall evaluation of you. Convincing your professors that you’re a good student in the early weeks of class will make them think highly of you, which can help you raise your average.

Making a good first impression on your professors isn’t all that hard or time-consuming, either. Simply make your presence known. Sit in the front row, make eye contact, go to office hours, and get to know your professors — they will be sure to recognize your name on an assignment and read through it with a certain level of fondness.

Aside from giving you a killer arm workout, answering and asking questions will trick your professors into thinking that you are super engaged with the class’s material. Moreover, the process of trying to come off as a good student might just make you into one — fake it until you make it!

You can also try to study more efficiently and productively with the Pomodoro Technique. It’s simple, and all you need to implement the technique is a timer — or just a timer app. Set the timer for 25 minutes, and get to work.

Following the work period, take a short break — stretch, get some water, and maybe relax briefly, because after five minutes, another 25-minute work period commences. Repeat this process four times. After the last study period concludes, take a 20-minute break instead.

This method of studying supposedly keeps your mind fresh and focused, while also serving as a reward system. Students who are addicted to cigarettes have been using this studying technique for years! What else can you reward yourself with in 20 minutes? The possibilities are endless.

Another tip to do better in class is to trick your brain to function differently — so that it works for your benefit instead of against you — with the five-second rule. This rule focuses on eliminating the negative effects that moments of hesitation have on your life.

After taking a few seconds to process an idea, stress signals are sent to the brain. These signals can make you freak out and pull back from going through with the idea. It’s the reason why you haven’t started that essay that’s due in 12 hours or begun reading for your midterm next week. Unfortunately, this kind of hesitation has an impact that extends beyond your academic life.

Hesitating keeps you from being your best self — in and out of the classroom. Acting on ideas without hesitation can allow you to do the work you need to do without self-doubt, a skill that will transform all aspects of your life for the better. To use the five-second rule, acknowledge your stress about the task at hand, count backwards from five, and begin immediately.

Start the new year right by applying these three easy tricks, and leave unremarkable grades where they belong — in 2017. No one will know that you’re bouncing back from a failing semester based on all the As you’ll be getting this term!

Emma Ashworth

Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk