How to Improve Grades in College
Many college students want to improve their grades, but few have the time to spend doing additional work. Fortunately, there are a few simple habits a college student can adopt in order to get better grades. Read the tips below to find out how to improve grades in college. Completing a list of goals at the beginning of each day will not only help you be more organized, it will also help you become accountable for your success. For example, one of your goals for the day might be “complete 10 practice math problems”; this is a goal that can be completed in a relatively short amount of time and will help you stay on track. Check off items as you complete them and notice the sense of satisfaction you feel when you complete your list. For best results, make sure your daily goals are realistic and that you can complete all goals in that day.
One of the most important factors for improving grades in college involves staying organized. Make an effort to keep your study area organized, as well as your course materials and notes. If your surroundings are disorganized, it will be difficult to concentrate on your schoolwork. A disorganized space will also make you less likely to study. Take a few minutes at the end of each study session to tidy up your study area and you will feel less stressed the next time you study.
Don’t skip class
It goes without saying that skipping too many classes will hurt your grades in the long run. Before enrolling in classes each term, make sure that the day and time of each class are convenient for you. If you’re not a morning person, don’t enroll in a class that meets at 8:00 a.m. In addition, it can be tempting to skip class because you’re not in the mood or because you would rather hang out with friends, but try to resist the urge.
Improve your note-taking skills
Your ability to take good notes is an important factor when it comes to improving grades in college. Most college instructors discuss material that will be on exams during class lectures. The idea is to get as much information down as possible without worrying about structure or neatness because you can always redo your notes later. Pay particular attention to anything the instructor writes on the board, as well as any PowerPoint presentations. Practice being a fast and thorough note-taker, and watch your grades improve.
Summarize lecture notes after each class
Summarizing lecture notes immediately after each lecture will give you a chance to determine which information might be important later on for an exam. It should only take a few minutes to summarize notes into four or five main points. Limit each point to one or two sentences that capture the basic idea behind each point. This will allow for more efficient studying and better retention of information, which is important for improving grades.
Maintain a daily work log
Increase productivity by maintaining a daily work log. Similar to creating a daily goal list, creating a daily work log helps students be accountable for completing tasks. A daily work log should include the subject and a brief description of the completed task, as well as the amount of time it took to complete the task. A work log that is filled with accomplishments can serve as a motivator to do more, and will also give insight into which tasks you spend the most time on. Fremont College offers in-demand degree programs that can be completed in just 15 months.
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Keep Track of Your Grades and Monitor Your Average
Grades are used to measure a student’s success in college. Like a batting average, your grade-point average is an objective indication of how you are doing in your studies. While both utilize grade point averages, it is important to make the distinction that college is not the same as high school. There are no constant reminders from teacher or parent of what you need to do to pass a class. Because the responsibility falls on you as the student, you must step up to bat. The grades you get in college will depend on what you do yourself.
“C” is considered the average grade earned by college students. Because of this, earning an “A” will certainly set you apart. Earning an A is supposed to be difficult, just like earning a college degree. Because these are supposed to be meaningful achievements, you will have to work hard and smart. College offers a much different learning environment than high school. More will be expected of you. It is important to realize that the same amount of effort that got you A’s in high school will not necessarily yield the same results at college.
Some of the most common mistakes new college students make include:
- Completing assignments at the last minute – If you do not give yourself enough time to do an assignment properly, you will likely get an incomplete or failing grade? By rushing through it, you will also fail to garner the knowledge your instructor expected you to get from it.
- Forgoing studying – College comes with many distractions. It is a lot more fun to go play Frisbee with friends than it is to study.
- Allowing distractions to impede studying – Even when you sit down to study, your phone, social media page, and even music can be a distraction.
- Skipping class – 8 a.m. classes are never fun. It is a lot easier to hit “snooze” than it is to get up and go to class.
- Taking classes he/she should not be taking – In college, some classes are designed to be particularly hard. For example, Chemistry 101 is often made difficult to weed out pre-med students who are not serious enough about this path.
What Are Good Study Habits?
Good study habits are important to develop before you get to college. However, developing good study habits takes discipline and focus. Effective study habits, also known as “studying smarter,” can be learned over time and used to improve your ability at retaining materials you have read or heard. These habits include:
- Approaching study with the right attitude
- Choosing the right environment
- Minimizing distractions
- Setting a realistic schedule
- Employing memory games
The key to effective studying is not cramming the night before or studying longer than everyone else. Instead, effective studying is about studying smarter. Too many students view studying as a necessary task, not something they enjoy or a new opportunity to learn. While this is understandable, it is important to have the right mindset when studying.
Here are a few tips to help improve your study mindset:
- Think positively – While you are studying, avoid getting down on yourself. Instead, remind yourself of your own skills and abilities.
- Avoid Absolute Thinking – Instead of thinking “I always mess things up,” think about ways you can improve for the next time.
- Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others – This type of thinking is not beneficial to anyone as it usually only results in you feeling bad about yourself.