How To Improve Your Grades Without Studying

According to some, there are two factors that determine success.  Half of succeeding depends on what you know, and the other half depends on who you know. This is certainly true in college. Part of succeeding in college, which can be defined as getting good grades, is knowing the course material. The other half is knowing people, both students and professors.  

Since part of succeeding in college (getting good grades) depends on whom one knows, it is possible to increase one’s grades by knowing people better.  Studying can help improve grades, but it is not the only method.  Here are some ways to improve your grades in college, without studying.

Get to Know Your Classmates

Few college students survive their classes without participating in study groups.  These groups are used to divide and conquer assignments, review material and answer each other’s questions.  The only way to become a member of a study group is by becoming friends with your classmates.  

Once you identify the most astute students in your classes, you can invite them to join a study group.  As a study group, some studying is required.  However, each member can do a fraction of the work and reap all of the benefits.

Know Your Classmates, Well

It is not enough to simply know others in your classes.  You are working with these people; you are depending on them for answers. If they fail, your grade will suffer accordingly. The most successful networkers in college can read their classmates. Does a fellow student know what he is talking about, or is he just making up an answer? You must be able to answer this question, so you can know whether the information is valuable or useless.

Meet Your Professor

Although many of them are socially awkward, professors are people. Few professors truly enjoy failing students (although I’ve had a couple).  Most will do everything in their power to help a student succeed, if the student expresses interest in them or the course. Failing students might receive passing grades, and an 88 might become an “A-“ for students who meet with their professors. By developing a personal relationship with a professor, students can form a bond. Regardless of how week this relationship is, professors will help students they know slightly.

The simplest way to develop a relationship with a professor is by visiting during office hours. This is not always feasible, however. In some instances (especially online courses), calling the professor or sending a personal email can have great effects.

Research Your Professor

For the most part, professors teach subjects they enjoy. They have likely written articles on the subject, which can be found on Google. Students should Google their professors to find out what their degrees are in and what they have written about or researched. Picking a related topic for a paper should perk the professor’s interest, and usually your grade.

Categories: College Life   Tags: how to improve grades, how to improve your grades

Getting Organized to Improve Grades in College

Kids know that their grades in high school matter for getting into college, but college GPA is also important. Recruiters look at grades, and it’s a common question in interviews. Employers don’t just want to know that you passed the classes; they want to know that you passed with flying colors. If your grades are slipping, there are ways to improve them by working on your study habits.

Note-Taking Skills

It’s hard to study if your notes are a jumble or impossible to read. Make sure that your notes are a valuable tool and not a wasted effort. Use dedicated notebooks for each subject, and date the entries you make. While you aren’t trying to record every word the professor says, it is important to write down the basic ideas that are shared. This is most important if you are learning concepts and terms that are difficult for you. Anything that your instructor deems important enough to write on the board should be recorded in your notebook.

Learn Through Involvement

Get involved in classroom discussions. If the instructor is moving too fast, speak up and ask to have something explained again. Instructors will tell you that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification by asking questions. When you have a chance for group activities, you should get actively involved. These sometimes represent the greatest learning opportunities.

Daily Review

In high school, your teachers gave you homework for a reason. It helps cement everything you learned during the day. Even though college professors are not inclined to hand out daily homework lessons, you still need that regular review to understand the information. Organize your priorities and time so you can spend some time every night reviewing the information you learned in class.

Textbook Tips

Make good use of the syllabus and textbook by skimming through chapters the night before they are reviewed in class. You don’t have to read the entire lesson, but having an idea of what will be covered can help you prepare mentally. Page through the relevant chapters and look at boldface headings, subheadings, charts, and highlighted vocabulary terms. After the initial survey, return to the front and read it a little more carefully.

After the material is covered in lecture, you should return to the textbook and read the sections more carefully. Go through the review and study questions located at the end of the chapter. Try to answer them to ensure you have a solid understanding of the information.

Big Assignments

Research papers and experiments will require a good deal of time. They can count for a major part of your grade, and you need to take them seriously. Don’t wait until the night before they are due to start working. Start by breaking the assignment into smaller pieces, and have definite goals for when each section will be completed. Moving steadily towards the finished project will yield wonderful results, and it will allow you to avoid a last minute rush. You should also take great pride in how your project looks, because appearances do matter.

Exam Help

Nothing will set you up for failure like waiting until the night before to study for a major exam. You won’t have time to ask questions or get assistance with difficult concepts. You should be reviewing your notes regularly, and you should start studying for the exam as soon as you find out about it.

Improving your grades is possible if you are willing to put forth the work. It will require better organization on your part, but the effort is worth the results. Not only will you be rewarded now with better grades, but you will love how the improved organizational skills impact other areas of your life.

Tom Small is a freelance blogger, who writes about education. If you are interested in returning to college or furthering your education, he recommends looking into getting a master in health administration.

Categories: College Life   Tags: improve grades, improve your grades, how to improve grades, grades in college