wikiHow to Coast Through School Easily

Ever wonder how those smart kids get through school? It's not always because they are geniuses. They just know how to use the resources at their disposal.


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    Ask friends for homework help. You can try pleading with them, but mostly, you should have friends who are willing to help. Copy their work as needed, but also study class notes to make sure you understand the material. Otherwise, you'll be in trouble come test time.
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    Do homework in other classes, unless it requires a large textbook. For example, if you have Algebra homework, don't whip out the huge textbook during English. But, if you have something like Algebra and you need to do some English, you can take out the small book you're reading and read it behind the person who sits in front of you. Just position the book so that the teacher can't see. It's not really that hard. If you sit in a closer row to the teacher, flatten out the book a little and put it under the notebook you're supposed to be writing in.
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    Listen to how the teacher explains the notes during class, and then copy the notes later. Get them from a friend. If the notes are easy though, and it's not a lecture where you're just writing down what the teacher is blabbing on about, you could probably take the notes with no problem.
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    Utilize free time to finish up homework. Do it at lunch (after you eat), during homeroom (if you have it), or stay after school for a short time. For a change of pace, actually study in study hall!
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    Realize that you are allowed to not completely finish a lot of assignments. If you have to fill out a worksheet, for example, and you know the teacher doesn't read over the whole thing (most don't), your answers don't have to be perfect.
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    Get to know Sparknotes -- it is your friend if you just don't feel like reading that night for English. The assigned books in high school are usually a decent read, but you may need that boost every now and then. CliffsNotes (available at most bookstores) are also good to get you over the hump.
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    Learn only what's important to know. Don't waste time with minutiae. For example, if you have a problem in math, and for some reason can't get the answer to some problem, don't get someone to tell you the answer. Try to understand the concept and then you'll be able to do all those types of problems. Same thing for other classes - Don't memorize events of whatever book you're reading for English, merely know the themes and the characters.
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    Pay attention in class. If you learn in class, you don't have to waste time on schoolwork outside of school. The teachers are teachers for reasons - they're probably better than your friends at explaining things. You're stuck in the room, at least make some use of the time.
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    For papers - everybody wants to be able to just write it and pass it in. If writing just doesn't come naturally to you, you might not be able to just sit down, crank it out, and print it out. But there are ways to expedite the process. First, instead of just trying to write a paper line by line, think about your topic and just make up an impromptu little speech and try to make sure it flows well and transitions between ideas. Then, translate that into a paper by adding the appropriate details and analysis, keeping the smoothness of the speech. Another helpful technique that saves time is making an outline. Just get all your ideas on a paper in order and you won't get stuck while writing, and you can be at your most productive. As for proofreading, you can avoid this if you get in the habit of writing in the same tense consistently and then just spellcheck. General typing skills help also. And although this may go against the spirit of this wiki-how page, it is recommend that you know something about whatever topic you're writing about. Having the information in your brain ready to go facilitates writing greatly.


  • If you're going to get homework from a friend make sure he or she doesn't have the class next and need to hand in the homework or need it checked. Same with notes if he or she needs to study. And make sure the person gets his or her stuff back when you're done with it. A loyal customer will be rewarded well.
  • If you want to do really well (top A grades), you'll need to perhaps write a bit more than the bare minimum.
  • Know the minimum requirements for what is considered "doing your homework." If you just have to write a line or two for a question, write that.
  • If someone else's class is before yours with the same teacher, ask to see their quizzes or tests, if the teacher gives them out early.
  • If you get the annoying assignment of reading and taking notes, only do the reading. Then copy someone else's notes in school or something. Not that hard.
  • If you forget to do your homework and didn't give it homeroom, and your teacher is forgiving, do it later on the day in a free period and turn it in on the same day.


  • Don't copy during a test. It doesn't pass unnoticed.
  • Don't get caught by a teacher -- some of them have been around for a long time and are wise to the tricks.
  • Don't ever IM/e-mail someone asking for help with an assignment. Having a record of copying off of others could get you into trouble, so always discuss plans in person or over the phone. Try to copy assignments by hand.
  • Don't even think about plagiarizing for important assignments such as papers or projects. Copy to save time on the busy work, and use that time to put thought into assignments that count.
  • If all else fails, cut, paste, and re-phrase. Repeat until all of the original source material is unrecognizable in sentence structure AND order. Don't forget to cite a completely different source that covers the same basic topic.

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Categories: Managing Time During School Years | Surviving School