five steps to better grades

Posted : November 6, 2008
Last Updated : November 14, 2014
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five steps to better grades

Have your grades always been average or have they started slipping lately? By regularly taking some small steps in a few key areas, you will be able to improve not only your grades but also your ability to learn. Adapt these five steps to your scholastic life and be on your way to academic success.

  1. Participate in class. Participation in classroom discussions is the key to understanding lecture and textbook content. In order to be prepared for classroom discussion, make sure you read textbook assignments before each class meeting. During class, stay alert by always sitting in the front of the room where there are fewer distractions. Speak up during debates and don't be afraid to ask questions when you don't understand a problem or topic.

  2. Take good notes. Taking notes helps you pay attention to the topic at hand. When you just listen to what is being said, it's easy to become distracted. However, when you take notes, you are forced to concentrate on the message. After each class, be sure to go back and review your notes. This will help you remember the content and will allow you to see if there are any gaps in your notes so you can follow up with the teacher/professor during the next class meeting.

  3. Ask for help when needed. Your teacher or professor wants you to learn and succeed. If you are falling behind in class, take the time to discuss these issues with your instructor. He will be able to suggest ways for you to learn more and improve in weak areas. Depending on how far behind you are in your studies, he may suggest that you attend study groups or may even help you find a tutor. Utilize the resources that your teacher/professor recommends.

  4. Study smart. Study smart instead of hard. Don't wait until the night before a test to try and cram everything into your memory. Throughout the semester, you should be studying and reviewing your notes and textbook each night. This will help you retain information better. You will actually be learning info, instead of just memorizing it for a test. Create a study schedule and stick to it.

  5. Complete assignments on time. Most of the time, grades are based on a combination of test scores and outside assignments. Whether these outside assignments include individual projects, group projects, etc., make sure they are of good quality and are completed by the due date. It's easier to keep up with your assignments than it is to dig yourself out of a hole.

These are just a few tips to help you start improving upon your grades. For more information about this topic, read Techniques for Increasing Academic Motivation and Ways to Study Smarter, Not Harder. If you need specific guidance, please contact your high school counseling department or the academic support services center at your college.


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