How to Be a Good Student in a New School

When you start school it is important that you make a good impression on your teachers and classmates, since that will set the tone for the rest of your time there. Being a good student in school is essential, since attending school will make up a significant percentage of your life. Not only that; but your teachers will be kinder and you will make more friends!


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    Make sure you complete any assignments you are expected to do prior to starting school. If you are starting at the beginning of the school year, this means that you absolutely must do your summer reading. Even if you could get by without doing it at your old school, your new school might test you on it right away. Although summer reading isn't always the most fun thing in the world, it's much easier to tackle that summer reading assignment if you do your reading ahead of time. At the very least, you won't have a clueless look on your face when your teacher asks about the summer reading or math assignments.
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    Try to meet with your teachers or school administrators ahead of time. If you have to attend a new student orientation where teachers are present, be sure to ask about what's expected from you academically.
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    Study hard. Even if you are an A+ student, neglecting your studies result in that horrible 64, or D- on that reading assignment you could've easily avoided had you studied. Try to study in a quiet area where you can concentrate and can't be disturbed.
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    Listen to your teachers. It may take more work to get an A at your new school than it did at your old one. Take their feedback seriously and use it to improve your work.
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    Gauge the level of participation expected. Some schools expect you to be a more active participant and encourage students to ask more questions. In that case, try to match the participation level of your classmates. Even if it is uncomfortable at first, your teachers will respect you for making an effort. At the very least, try to raise your hand for something other than asking to go to the bathroom.
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    Do every homework assignment. Some schools, especially smaller private ones, have teachers who will grade you on your homework. You don't want to lose points for not doing homework or doing it poorly. At the very least, doing your homework will give you a better understanding of the material, it will give you a sense of what you need to improve on and you won't get in trouble.
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    Keep up with the reading and go over your notes. Some teachers are big fans of pop quizzes and as the new student, you won't have a sense of who they are. It helps to do as much preparation as you can.
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    Be a good influence. Behave well toward everyone -- even to that jerk who tripped you and made you land flat on your plate of beans at lunchtime. Do as Hiawatha did in the Native American days and be nice to everyone, even your enemies. Doing this will make you new friends, which means more fun for you!
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    Don't cuss. It can make you look like an idiot in front of your friends, crush, or teacher. It can also get you in big trouble.
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    Be good in general. This is easier to do if you avoid hanging out with people who make you feel uncomfortable or who just don't like. Give yourself some leeway to make mistakes, but be sure to learn from each and every one.


  • If you need a tutor, it doesn't mean you're dumb! Part of adjusting to a new school means adjusting to a new academic system and a tutor can help with this -- especially if your new curriculum is more advanced than what was taught at your old school.
  • If you need help, do not hesitate, no matter who it is.
  • Some classmates may not help you, not because they are bad people, but because they may be worried about keeping their spot on the top of the grade curve. This is especially true if your school is a really competitive academic environment. While you don't have to go out of your way to be besties with people who don't help you, having low expectations and being civil toward these people can make your life a lot easier.
  • If you are in middle or high school, ask about finals and term papers ahead of time. It's better to find about it before you start school, rather than to suddenly find out that you have midterms 2 weeks before the actual exam date -- especially if your old school never had those types of exams.
  • If you are moving to another US state, you may want to research standardized test requirements since the tests may be different from those where you used to live.


  • Be careful who you hang out with, no matter how "cool" or "nerdy" they are.
  • Don't fall into peer pressure! No matter if it's how you dress, look or things you do, be yourself and don't get into deep trouble.

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Categories: Surviving School