I’m a top student. This is just a full on brag, but because no one believes you until you give numbers, here are some of my stats: 4.0 GPA, 5s on APs, 35 ACT, all while doing extracurriculars like a job, competitions, etc all and still sleeping 8 hours a day.
The biggest advice I would give is time management. You’d be amazed at the amount of hours in the day if you try this method:
Half hour train ride to school? Rather than sleeping or browsing the internet, try revising for the next test or reading a thought provoking book. Have 10 minutes at the end of class? Start the classes’ homework instead of waiting for the bell to ring.
When studying, only focus on what you need to improve on and the most efficient way to do it. The trick is that usually the most efficient method is the hardest. It’s kind of like exercizing – you know you are getting a good workout if your muscles burn. While this may seem tiring, because it is so much faster, you are also done more quickly. Studying isn’t supposed to be done 10 hours a day – you’re probably being way too inefficient.
This may sound obsessive and unhealthy to some. Personally, this has cut down the amount of time I spend sitting at a desk to very little. Where I may have done 3 hours of homework in a night, these cumulative behaviors cut that time to 1 hour. Many days I now have less than half an hour a night and maintain my grades. This new time is used for reading, writing, work, exercise, and having a social life.
Everyone has parts of the day that leech time away. Find a way to use them to your advantage.