Graduating with a high grade point average is one of the main goals of every person who attends college. It is included on most resumes and can be a determining factor for getting your first job offer. There are 10 ways to improve your grades in college.
1. Go To Class
This may seem like a very obvious thing when it comes to improving your grades. People think that skipping one or two classes will not impact their grade. By attending every class you show your professor that you are committed to learning and actually want to become better in the subject. By going to class you will absorb a lot more information that you will reading a classmate’s notes.
Going to class will also allow you to talk with other students and allow you to find the ones who excel in the subject. This is one of the most important things that you can do throughout college. By exchanging numbers with your fellow classmates and becoming friends you can all do better in the class. You always have a way to get some extra help or reminders on what is due for the next class.
2. Sit in the front 3 rows
This technique is one that I wish I learned earlier in my time at college. I was one of the students who would sit in the back of the classroom and rarely participate. Participation can count towards the overall grade of the class, but it also help to build a relationship with the professor. If you are showing that you care and want to learn, they will be willing to give you some wiggle room when it comes to certain situations. You have a better chance of having an assignment extended or your grade bumped if you make their lives easier. Creating relationships will improve your grades in college and can even be useful after graduation.
3. Find someone who has already taken the class you’re struggling in
I was this person for many of my younger friends that were taking challenging courses. I was able to teach multiple friends how to code in Python and Excel. They were able to avoid a lot of the mistakes that I made when I was learning it all on my own and it definitely saved them hours of frustration. It is best to find someone who will not just give you the answers because you will end up doing horribly on the exams. I was able to sit down for a few minutes and walk them through assignments and they understood it enough to demonstrate it in other situations.
Another advantage to finding someone who already took the class is that they may still have notes from the time that they took the course. It is very rare for a professor to completely change their curriculum to the point that last years notes are useless. If you are following in the path of someone that is older than you ask them if you can have their notes from the class. This can be super useful when you are stuck and have no where else to turn.
4. Go To Your Professor’s Office Hours
Going to your professor’s office hours is by far the best way to become close with your professors. You can often get 1-on-1 time with them to discuss any issues you are having in the class or even outside the classroom. I had three different professors that I would visit to talk about plans after college and what I was doing on campus. They offered to help me find internships and would have written me excellent recommendation letters if I needed them. College is more than grades and if you can make connections with people who can open doors for you, do it.
5. Take better notes
This is something that I really struggled with and wish I could go back and change. I was very lazy when it came to note taking. If you want to improve your grades in college you need to be able to go back into your notebook or laptop notes and be able to review all of the major points that your professor talked about in the lecture. The exams that you take are almost always based on what the professor covers in the classroom.
If you struggle with keeping up you should go to your professor’s office hours and ask them if you can get their slides after they are done teaching. Hopefully your professor does not read directly off the slides, but you can at least get a good understanding of what was covered. There is also the chance of them recording all of their lectures so that you can watch it at your own pace and really absorb all of the material.
6. Review your notes after class
Reinforcing everything you learned in class will help you pull the answer out of your brain when a tricky question appears on a test. While you are in class taking notes it is hard to fully take in all of the information and write it all down at the same time. If you spend 15 minutes after class looking through everything you wrote down you will be able to perform much better. This also helps you save time when you are studying the few days before the exam because you’ve seen the material at least two times before.
7. Find an organization method that works for you
Staying organized is another way to make sure that you improve your grades in college. Time management and organization are two skills that you should work on as you get older and take on more responsibility. If you have an optimized system that allows you to waste less time looking for notes and hand outs you will be able to finish your work faster. You will also be able to make sure that you do not miss any assignments or exams, especially if you are taking online courses.
I took multiple online classes and missed a few assignments because I was not organized and did not have a planner to track due dates. This ended up hurting me in the end and I missed out on Dean’s List because of it. Finding an organization method that works for you is a major key in having a successful college career.
8. Stop procrastinating
This is another area that I needed to improve wen I was studying or doing work. I always looked for an opportunity to get side tracked. Cell phones, friends, TVs, and extracurriculars are just some ways to get side tracked and lose focus. If you are able to shut off your phone and find a place that is away from everyone you will be much for efficient and get your work done faster. This allows you to do these other activities without the stress of work and studying always in the back of your mind.
Many people like going to the library to study or do work, but if you can find an empty classroom you will be able to avoid a lot of distractions. Sitting with a group of people in the library may be helpful in the first few hours of working, but some people lose focus and end up distracting everyone around them. Isolation can be the key to effective habits.
9. Find a Study Group
If you like to learn in a group you need to find people who are willing to focus for a few hours and get the work done. Ineffective study groups end up wasting hours and can actually hurt your grades in the long run. Limit your group to 3-4 people and get a study room or find a classroom that is comfortable. You should start a group chat with everyone in the group so that you can exchange notes and set up meeting times.
You should use the study group time to discuss assignments and ask questions for exams. In my experience, I have found that working in groups that have different knowledge levels really hurts those who put in the most effort. When there is someone that is very far behind you have to decide if removing them from the group will make a positive impact on everyone else’s grades. It is a rough decision, but sometimes it has to be done.
10. Hire a tutor
I believe that this should be the last step when it comes to improving your grades in college. Paying for a tutor can get very expensive very quickly. You should check to see if your should has a tutor program for students who need it before paying someone to teach you. You should also look into free online tools, such as YouTube and other free online tools. You can Google the subject and there is tons of free information that can help you succeed.
There are plenty of ways to improve your grades in college. You need to figure out what is holding you back and create a plan that will allow you to grow and become the best student that you can be!
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