How To Improve A College GPA
The college experience is about more that just grades. However, without a decent GPA, you could lose scholarships, be unable to apply for grad school, miss job opportunities, and even get kicked out by your college. Most professors will regularly update students with their current grades, so you can keep tabs on your GPA as you near the end of the semester. Don’t wait until the last week; if you’re worried about your GPA, start working to improve it by at least mid-semester.
Talk to your professors. Extra credit isn’t as available in college as it is in high school, but some professors will give it to students who legitimately want to do better in the class. Talking to your professor has a different benefit, though – they can help you with the course work that you find difficult. Now, if you aren’t doing well in a class because you don’t study or complete the work, there’s not much a professor can do to help you. If you’re legitimately trying and still not doing well, your professor may be able to give you some insight. Some professors will even review rough drafts of term papers, hold weekly tutoring sessions, and go over work with you during office hours. All you have to do is ask.
Find a better study location. Your dorm room might be comfortable, but it isn’t usually conducive to studying. You’ll be distracted by your roommate, friends stopping by, noise from nearby rooms, food options, distracting Internet sites and messaging programs, and even sleep, since your room is also your bedroom. Head to the library and find a vacant study room or quiet table, or explore campus to find other quite places to study, both indoors and outdoors.
Join a study group. Study groups with friends usually turn into gossip sections, so try to meet with people from your class with different levels of understand of the topic. Stay on subject and talk through each problem or concept. If you can explain something to a friend, you’ll likely be able to remember how to explain it for a test or in a paper.
Take notes as you read. Whether you’re taking a science class or an art class, you’ll likely have at least one book. Many students opt to purchase a highlighter and mark important sections and concepts. However, if you’re having trouble with a class, writing things down can help you remember points later. Even typing notes as you read will embed ideas into your memory in a way highlighting just can’t. Dartmouth has some great tips on taking and using notes.
Go to class. The more classes you miss, the lower your GPA will fall, in general. Some professors don’t mind if you don’t show up for lectures, as long as you come to class on test days. Others will allow you to miss a few classes before penalizing you. When you take a course, though, you should try to go to every single scheduled class. Yes, you can get the same information just by reading the book in some cases, but when you hear someone talk about the information, you’re more likely to understand it better and retain information.
Here’s some more information that can help you prepare for tests to raise your GPA.