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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.