In college, everyone wants to get good grades but not everyone wants to work hard to get them. The truth of the matter is getting good grades is challenging and does require a good amount of studying and work. College classes are designed to be difficult and to push you. College, beyond the topics you learn in class, teaches you the value of hard work and how to focus to achieve your goals.
While there are no short-cuts in college or ways to magically get straight As, there are a number of simple steps you can take to help improve your grades.
- Go to class. You might roll your eyes and say “Obviously Shannon. Is that really one of your tips??” but you would be surprised how many people skip class on a regular basis. Even if you find lecture incredibly boring, show up and allow the information to leak into your head. Plus, class is where you can find people to study with and also have the opportunity to impress your professors.
- Use a planner. Never forget a deadline again by putting them all in your college planner. I love to make sure that my planner has both a monthly view and a weekly view. Not a physical planner fan? Try using Google Calendar.
- Take care of your body. You can’t possibly study and keep up with classes if you are sick or exhausted! Read my post on “The Best Ways to Have a Healthy College Semester” for some of my tips.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Is there a concept that is confusing you? Did something not make complete sense the first time you looked at it? Ask your professor or peers questions!
- Attend office hours. This is an awesome chance to ask questions and create connections with your professors and peers. Even if you don’t have specific questions, attend office hours and hear what your peers are asking. You can learn a lot that way as well.
- Choose classes you enjoy. You’re not always going to be able to take classes you love but when you can, do it. You will not only enjoy them so much more but you will also be more motivated to work hard in them!
- Manage work and play. In my opinion, there is a point where additional study will only hinder your performance, especially if it means staying up all night cramming for an exam. Make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself by balancing work and play.
- Practice by “studying out loud”. Ditch the quiet library! Study by explaining to someone out loud the concepts you have learned in class. You will quickly find the gaps in your knowledge and what topics you need to study in more depth.
- Get organized with the best study supplies. Here is a full post with all of my favorites.
- Ask for help when you need it. If you are feeling overwhelmed, incredibly stressed or in need of help, ask for it. No one can help you if they don’t know that you need help. Make yourself your biggest advocate and reach out to your dean or professors for academic advice and guidance.
I hope these tips help you get the grades you want. Remember, nothing will replace hard work and dedication when it comes to your college grades.