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In The Classroom:

How to get an A with tips, trick

Class uses teacher’s own experiences in high school to show students the right way to work.

July 27, 2009|By Michael J. Arvizu

Using techniques he developed while in college, Adney graduated at the top of his college’s senior class, with a 4.0 grade-point average. He achieved all of this while working full-time.

His motivation for starting Natural A’s came from a desire to share with others the techniques he had developed, Adney said.

While working, Adney would constantly eat junk food, go to bed late and not eat breakfast. These habits contributed to his tardiness, he said, and his lack of productivity in high school, and later, work.


“It makes you lazy and it makes you stupid,” he said of sugary drinks and snacks. “When I was in high school, I ate a lot of junk food. I mean literally, overnight, when I quit eating junk and sugar, it was just a whole new world to me.”

By ceasing his intake of junk food and sugary drinks and increasing his intake of fruits and vegetables and other healthier foods, Adney was able to be an efficient student and worker.

Basically, take care of yourself, get plenty of sleep, eat a real breakfast — bacon, eggs, hash browns — and watch what you eat, because, “school is there to help you develop work habits and make you much, much more successful,” Adney said.

He also stressed the importance of setting academic goals.

To become a lawyer, Adney said, he had to get “pretty good grades.”

A company is likely to hire someone with all A’s as opposed to someone with all Bs, Adney told his class.

“What does this mean?” he asked the class. “It means the person with all A’s works harder.”

Good classroom actions, such as coming to class early, smiling at the teacher, sitting away from friends and participating in class, are also critical for classroom success, Adney says.

Mastering academic skills like proper note taking are also important.

“I am attempting to get into a good school like UC Berkeley, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to take the class to get higher grades,” said Burbank High School student Rebecca Goldman, 15. “I am getting good grades, mostly A’s with some Bs, but I’m hoping to get all A’s. I thought it couldn’t hurt to get some more tips.”

Each subject taught in Natural A’s builds on the one before it. For example, students can learn to be good note takers, but not before learning how to take care of their physical selves.

Adney also teaches students the best study times, memorization and retention techniques and test-taking tips.

“The class is set up so that it’s understandable for 10-year-olds,” said Adney.

“I have the class set up in such a way that it really simplifies things. I get down to the basic concepts. The trick is getting it across in a way that everyone understands.”

For more information on Natural A’s, e-mail Adney at

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