8 Habits for Better Grades

I'll be honest with you, I'm not the poster child for amazing grades in college. In my four semesters, some have been better than others. There's definitely a few small things you can do to improve your grades and hopefully get you on the Dean's List! I promise they aren't difficult habits to develop, you just have to be consistent.

Choose your Seat Wisely
Set yourself up for success on the first day by choosing a seat near the front and center. Not only will you be able to see and hear better, but you'll probably pay more attention when you know the lecturer can see you as well. It's not a bad idea to sit with friends if you have them in your class. I always do, and typically don't have time to talk to them during the lecture but you can ask each other clarification questions and check their notes if you miss something.

Familiarize Yourself with Material
Before class, check the syllabus and read over the concepts that will be covered in the following lecture. I like to keep a copy of each syllabus in the pocket folder at the beginning of each notebook or in a folder on my laptop. This way, you can reference it quickly and easily and check dates.

Pay Attention
Whether you're taking notes on a laptop or in a notebook, it's obviously important that you're actually taking notes. It's way too easy to open another window and browse Facebook, Twitter, or check on things for other classes. If it's too big of a distraction, keep your laptop on airplane mode. Make sure your phone is on silent or vibrate, and in your bag. Do the same thing when you are studying, and take short breaks so you stay focused.

You don't have to physically sit there with a highlighter and make everything bright yellow, but make headings, vocab words, and key concepts stand out. There's plenty of ways to make text stand out. Write a little bigger, bolder, or add an underline. If it suits you, use an organized system for your notes to make studying easier.

Review Notes
Within 24 hours, go over your notes. Some people like to rewrite their notes after a lecture but I could never find time for that. However, I do like to make study guides for each chapter that I can reuse before the final and other exams. You can also make flashcards with vocabulary and big ideas. 

Attend Office Hours
If there's one thing that makes it likely for a professor to boost your grade, it's recognizing your face and name. Stop by and visit your professor to look over tests or ask questions. Get to know them! You never know when you'll need a letter of recommendation or a reference. Usually, your professors want you to do well just as much as you want to do well. Make an effort and they will do the same.

Manage Time
Use your agenda or the calendar on your laptop to plan out your week. I like to write everything down. Balance between activities and academics is so important if you want to be successful in college. If you know you're going to have a busy week, dedicate some of the weekend to getting ahead on studying.

Only one single thing can mess up all your hard work and progress on it's own. Not getting enough sleep will ruin you. I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. If you don't get a full night of sleep, you won't be able to pay attention in class and stay up to study. I know that's tough in college, but if you're consistently staying up late budget time for naps. 

I know it seems early to be thinking about classes already, but my university's Welcome Weekend is in 6 short weeks. I'm excited to head back but I'm also a little hesitant to admit that I'm a junior now. It's so crazy how fast my college years are going by. I'm really looking forward to this year, now that I've changed my major to Public Relations. What are you most looking forward to this upcoming school year? Leave a comment and let me know!

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1 comment :

  1. These are all so true!! I definitely do better when I sit near the front, it forces me to pay attention!

    Emma | Seeking the South