It’s that time of year again! How are you preparing for the new school year? Here are some tips that will improve your chances of success.

1. Know your schedule and courses.

Start the year with an organized approach. Learn your schedule and where your classes are held so that you can avoid the first-day confusion of navigating from class to class. Taking a course online? Create a schedule, so you can dedicate time to your online learning too. Depending on the course, you will need certain materials, such as a calculator for math, pencil crayons for art, and a notebook for English. Get the materials you need beforehand so that you can focus on learning from the start.

2. Set goals, prioritize, and reward yourself.

Successful students are goal-setters. Having something to work towards increases motivation in your learning. Do you want to achieve a 75% average? Get an A+ in English? Make the podium in track & field? Earn your diploma? Get accepted to a prestigious program? Everyone’s goals will look different—and they should! We all have different abilities and aspirations, and each of us learns to identify the stepping stones that lead to success.

It’s also important to prioritize. Knowing what is most important will help with last-minute decision-making. For example, is homework or hockey practice more important today? The answer will vary. Perhaps the student-athlete is working towards the ultimate goal of being in the NHL. If so, hockey may be more important tonight and homework the next night. This is why many athletes choose Virtual High School (VHS)—if you can’t work on your course today, but can tomorrow, you won’t be penalized. You can choose when and how to complete your courses. As a school, we value and encourage a focus on education, but we also realize that our talented students lead full, active lives. For these reasons, VHS courses allow students to excel in academics and the many other activities that are important to them.

When you achieve a goal, celebrate the achievement! Having something to look forward to at the end of your hard work is often motivating.


3. Get involved.

Being part of a community is an important part of learning, one that can open up many opportunities. Choose your community—at school, at a religious facility, on the soccer field, at the local theatre, or somewhere else that interests you. Having a group of people who share your interests creates a supportive, encouraging environment. The various events and gatherings that occur within communities create opportunities for meeting new people, learning new skills, and volunteering.


4. Know your learning style.

An important part of being successful is knowing how you learn best. Take this quiz to see how you might benefit from your unique approach to learning: Learning Style Quiz.

5. Know your post-secondary prerequisite requirements.

Are you planning to attend college or university, or do you hope to enter the workforce in the next year or two? Do you have an idea of what type of program you’re going to apply for? Post-secondary programs, and many career opportunities, have specific prerequisite requirements that applicants must meet in order to be considered for acceptance. For example, you may need to achieve over 75% in ENG4U, over 80% in SCH4U, or have earned a grade 12 mathematics credit. If you know this ahead of time, you will be able to work towards those goals when planning for post-secondary studies. 


6. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity.

Understand that mistakes may happen, and you may fail to achieve one of your goals. Learn from such experiences. After all, failure provides one of the best opportunities for growth. Did you miss your 75% grade requirement for post-secondary school? Well, it’s time to problem-solve. What are your options? Will you retake the course at VHS as an upgrade or take a year off to improve your grades and re-apply next year? While some things might seem like failures, it’s good to see them as opportunities to learn and grow, perhaps by moving in another direction altogether.

After all, learning never ends.

Whether you’re just entering high school, just about to earn your diploma, or simply want to take a course for fun, VHS can help you meet your goals this school year. Thousands of students have found that VHS is a good option because it has allowed them to

  • meet a prerequisite requirement for high school, college, or university;
  • accommodate timetables at their day schools or take courses that their day schools do not offer;
  • upgrade marks;
  • accelerate through high school;
  • earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma;
  • refresh skills or meet requirements set out by a workplace; and
  • gain the extra flexibility that students may need or want in their education.

At VHS, you can register at any time and move through the course at your own pace. Visit our courses page for a full list of course offerings.

Best wishes to all who are heading back to school. Whether you’re entering your first day of high school, first day of grade 12, or first day of college/university—those first days happen only once, so make the most of them!