Third quarter slump: How to prevent GPA from slipping south

February 5, 2020

During the second half of the school year, it’s easy for students to begin losing motivation and fall into a “third quarter slump”. This syndrome can be identified by fatigue and poor work ethic affecting students’ grades for the third quarter of the school year.


It’s tough for a student who has fallen victim to a third quarter slump to get rid of it, but not impossible. Some helpful tips for getting back into the swing of things are to get into a routine to stay on top of work, to make goals for yourself to help in completing a task, and to find ways to motivate yourself.


After staying up late and sleeping in for all of winter break, it’s difficult for students to get back into the routine of a structured school day. Setting a schedule to map out the day is a way for students to ease their way back into school. By following a routine of waking up at the same time and going to bed at a reasonable time every night can keep high schoolers less tired and more focused at school.


It is also important for students to eat a healthy breakfast to start their day. It’s equally as important to get into the routine of doing these everyday things as it is to set aside time every day to do homework and to study. Using a planner or some way of organizing everyday tasks can be a useful way to keep up with the routine of going back to school.


Goal-setting is very important in staying on track with schoolwork and not falling behind. The third quarter of the school year is the longest and it is easy to become overwhelmed with schoolwork. Setting easy to achieve goals breaks down lengthy projects and makes them significantly more manageable.


Instead of setting out to learn an entire unit of math in one night, one should set a goal that is measurable and more attainable such as doing 10 practice problems a night. This is a better goal because it gives a specific quantity of math problems to complete.


Learning an entire unit is much too broad, but setting an achievable goal makes the learning much more manageable. Completing simple goals is a good way of studying and gives students more self confidence in their abilities in school.


Possibly the most important tip for overcoming a third quarter slump is to find motivation. No student is willing to give effort if they can’t find a purpose in what they are doing. Finding ways to self-motivate will provide students with necessary focus to increase the quality of their work. Students may find it beneficial to reward themselves after completing a task or doing well on schoolwork.


An example of this could be a student treating themselves to candy or a snack after finishing all their homework. Another example could be a student refraining from going on their phone until after they have read 30 minutes of the book they need to read for English class. Making deals with and rewarding themselves for good work can be a good way to stay motivated when school can stress students out.


By following these tips, any student who might be struggling with a third quarter slump should be back on track to finish out the school year successfully.


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