Not many students go to college hoping to fail. Sometimes life gets in the way, priorities change, and things can be more difficult than initially thought. This can all have an impact on someone’s grade and can be quite frustrating for a number of reasons.
That being said, preparation, to a certain extent, is the key to mitigating issues that could affect your grades. There are some steps you can take to make sure you get the best out of yourself.
You are certainly not alone when it comes to stressing about getting good grades, so take a breather, and follow these top tips to set you up for success!
Make Sure You Go to Class
It might seem like an obvious point to start with, but it is so important that it is worth hammering home. Even if you do get your lectures sent to you after on PowerPoint or have access to the recordings, it is so common to miss out on the nuances that come with an in-person session, along with the chance to ask any questions that pop into your mind as and when they come up.
If you are in your lecture and you don’t understand something, your teachers are there to help you. If you are watching back your lecture without any additional input, this could add to your confusion and mean you miss out on information your peers have gotten from the session.
Work on Your Time Management
Leaving work or studying until the last minute can be extremely tempting, especially when you want to binge-watch another six episodes of your new favorite show more than anything else. However, this is usually going to set you up for failure. The brain needs adequate time to process and store information, which is why you cram studying in the night before an exam is not going to allow you to produce your best work.
Making a study schedule help you stay on track and manage your time more effectively. Just make sure to set aside enough time for each subject that you need to look at, and don’t skimp on study breaks, either. They are essential for helping you retain the information you need to learn and also avoid burnout.
It is recommended that you have a break after every 90 minutes of studying to help you maintain focus and motivation too.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
One of the worst things you can do for yourself and your grades is not to ask for help or clarification when needed. There is no shame in seeking assistance or understanding, no matter what. Still, at college or university, that is exactly what teachers, professors, and your peers are there for! Don’t struggle in silence. Ask for extra help or support where you need it.
If you are nearing the end of the course and need to bump up your grades, you might also consider a personal tutor to help you through the bits you are struggling with. While it is best not to wait until the last minute, students will be students! Use tools such as campusreel.org to calculate the grades you need and share your goals with your chosen tutor.
Keep Engaged with Your Subjects and Actively Study
It can be easy to open up a textbook, stare at the page for 5 minutes, and reward yourself with a 40-minute break on TikTok for all that hard work you have done. Still, if you are not actively taking in the material, then neither is your brain!
Studying actively means engaging with the material in a meaningful way, which is often unique to the learner. This can include techniques such as creating flashcards, taking practice tests, or explaining your subject to someone else. Active studying helps you retain information better and can also make the process more enjoyable, especially if you choose something you know works for you.
Use Learning Techniques that Work for You
There are several ascribed learning styles and techniques that can help you enjoy learning and better retain the information, but realistically there are probably thousands! It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it works for you and is honest (this means no writing on the back of your hand before an exam!)
Many people will probably mix and match learning techniques to get the most out of their course material; some might even require it. Knowing what you respond well to for understanding and remembering what you need to will help you achieve the best grades.
For example, if you work best by listening, then why not create a song with all of the main points of information you need to remember? Or record yourself talking about key concepts and listen back to it whenever you have a minute or two.
Take Care of Yourself
The pursuit of good grades for a good job is a noble path, but what is more important is looking after yourself.
Taking care of yourself is crucial for both your physical and mental health, and it can also help you perform better in school, which means there are no excuses not to rest! Make sure to do classic health-inducing activities such as eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and not skimping on breaks. Breaks are essential to maximize performance and peace, and if you are struggling in any way, don’t be afraid to seek help.
Staying motivated can be difficult, especially when there are other more interesting things you could be doing. However, there is no way around it. Staying motivated is essential for getting good grades. It can be easy to want to throw in the towel, so find ways to stay inspired, such as setting rewards for yourself when you reach specific goals or grades on a test, and keeping the big picture in mind. Remember to keep a positive attitude and that setbacks are a natural part of learning.