By Sean Alexander
Person studying at desk with a computer, pen and notebook" />

Every parent wants their child to succeed in school, so it can be hard to accept when yours is struggling. But even if you aren't a teacher — and even if you weren't a great student yourself — there are steps you can take to help your child achieve academic success. But first, what is academic success?


5 Tools That Help Students Achieve Academic Success

No matter your child's current level of academic achievement, there are ways you can help them improve. Teaching your child academic success tips, providing extra help when needed, and making sure they're being challenged will help every child thrive and learn.

    What Does Academic Success Look Like?

    Academic success often measures a student's performance on standardized tests and report cards. However, this view doesn't consider the individuality of each student.

    Many gifted children excel on standardized tests and easily achieve all A's on their report cards despite being unmotivated and disengaged in their courses. Other children are among the one in five with brain-based learning differences and may be unable to master certain academic skills independently despite hours of effort.

    To complicate the picture even more, around 6% of children are twice-exceptional, meaning they are intellectually gifted and have learning challenges such as ADHD, autism, or dyslexia. These children frequently have asynchronous development and can be years ahead in one subject but below grade level in another.

    Academic success looks different for every child and every subject. Regardless of assessment scores or grades, a child who is actively engaged in their learning, being challenged to meet appropriate learning goals, and putting forth an effort to improve will be successful in academics and life.

    5 Strategies That Help Students Achieve Academic Success

    No matter your child's current level of academic achievement, there are ways you can help them improve. Teaching your child academic success tips, providing extra help when needed, and making sure they're being challenged will help every child thrive and learn.

    1. Tutoring Programs

    Many children struggle because of the disconnect between how they learn and how they're taught. Teachers must take the most efficient teaching approach with a roomful of students, which isn't always the best way to teach your child.

    Tutoring programs can close this gap by teaching your child how they learn best. Children thrive with individual attention. Tutors don't have to move on because of a set syllabus. They can stay with a concept, teaching it with different resources and scaffolding instruction until your child masters it. It's much harder for a child to get distracted or tune out in a one-on-one setting.

    Tutoring is also ideal for children who aren't challenged in school. A tutor can provide the intellectual stimulation they need to learn at their level and can move at your child's pace, no matter how fast or slow.

    2. Exam Preparation

    Many kids sail through elementary and even middle school but start floundering when they get to high school and have to take cumulative exams. Learning how to study for tests is an important skill that will serve your child through high school, college, and beyond.

    However, studying is an executive function skill that can be difficult to master without explicit instruction. The most important thing you can teach your child about studying is to start early. Cramming doesn't work and can lead to worse performance if your child is sleep-deprived.

    On that note, you should ensure your child gets enough sleep every night, not just before tests. And when they're studying, make sure they take enough mental breaks, which has been shown to increase retention.

    As for what they should be studying, the best strategy is to ask the teacher directly what will be covered on the exam. If the teacher provides a study guide, that's an excellent starting point. If not, your child can study all the quizzes, homework, and classwork the teacher covered. Make sure they understand any questions they missed so they won't make the same mistake again.

    Studying doesn't have to be drudgery and can be more effective if it's enjoyable. Encourage your child to study with a friend and make a game out of reviewing flashcards to drill important concepts.

    3. Note-Taking Strategies

    Students know they should take notes but don't always know how. They often try to write down everything the teacher says, making it hard to pay attention and leaving them with disjointed thoughts.

    The Cornell note-taking system is an effective, easy-to-learn strategy that will simplify studying for exams. Have your student divide their paper into four sections:

    • One horizontal block at the top of the page (title)
    • Two vertical columns with a larger section on the right (keywords on the left, notes on the right)
    • One horizontal block at the bottom of the page (summary of the lesson)

    Filling in these blocks will help your child organize their notes and remember important points. Encourage your child to review their notes daily to help them retain the information.

    4. Skill-Building Activities

    When your child has trouble learning something, try breaking it into smaller steps and working on one skill until it's mastered. For instance, if they have trouble adding fractions with unlike denominators, work through the problem until you find the step causing them to stumble.

    Stop there and have them practice that skill until they get the hang of it. Then, repeat the process with the next skill they need to work on. Working with a tutor is a great way to uncover skill gaps and master them.

    5. Academic Goal Setting

    Setting goals is one of the most effective ways to teach your child a growth mindset. Teach them to use the SMART template by choosing goals that are:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Realistic
    • Time-bound

    In the beginning, you'll probably need to help a lot, both with choosing the goal and following up with progress. Eventually, your child can take over the process, including writing meaningful learning goals they're motivated to work toward.

    Help Shape a Successful Student With Online Tutoring Services

    Online tutoring can help improve student engagement and academic achievement. The staff at your child's school don't always have the opportunity to work with them after classes. At Alexandar Tutoring, we work at your child's pace. From your child's first appointment, you'll notice their confidence soaring as they learn to use academic success strategies to take charge of their education and overcome obstacles. Reach out today to find out how we can help your child reach their full potential.


    • Sean Alexander

      COMMAND PILOT, OWNER Sean has been a professional educator for 15 years and has taught math, physics, and astronomy at all levels.  His experience ranges from working at a high school for severe learning differences to teaching advanced physics at Stanford.  After completing his graduate work in theoretical physics Sean founded Alexander Tutoring, with the mission of revealing the deep connections between math and nature to as many students as possible. 

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