Improving Your GPA in College

Showing up is half the battle when it comes to maintaining a high GPA in college. Whether you have to drag yourself out of bed to make it to that 8 a.m. class on campus, turn off the television so you can log in to your online classes, or find a babysitter to take care of your children, one way or another, make sure you show up. All too many college students try to make up for missed classes by getting notes from a friend, but there’s just nothing like getting the information you need straight from the horse’s (or professor’s) mouth.

For students in their late teens and early twenties, what stands in the way of simply showing up typically has something to do with their social lives. They skip class to hang with friends or sleep through early classes because they were up late enjoying their newfound freedom from being under their parents’ roof. Another reason they may not show up is because of poor scheduling, such as when their work schedule begins to conflict with their college schedule. Older, nontraditional students tend to have trouble balancing the needs of their families, jobs and the demands of college. No matter what’s holding you back, realize that properly managing your time is essential to improving your GPA.

If you show up, take notes and study, yet still find yourself doing poorly in class, you may need some outside help. As soon as you notice yourself slipping, begin to meet with your professor after class or during his or her office hours, asking for tips on how to improve your test scores and even asking if he or she will allow you to do some extra credit work to bring your grades up. Sometimes teacher’s assistants (TAs) can be a big help as well.

Also, ask someone who is doing well in the class if they can help you. Struggling students often make the mistake of asking a fellow student who is also doing poorly in class for help because they feel like they can connect with and relate to that person. However, that won’t help you out nearly as much as getting help from someone who is succeeding in the class. Find out why and how they’re doing so well and try to imitate them.

Finally, sit toward the front of the class. Doing so will help you to better focus on the professor and the information he or she is delivering.

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