Organized Charm: How to Get Better Grades In College

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Get Better Grades In College




It's no secret that there is often a huge disconnect between intelligence and grades. Even the most brilliant people can have a tough time with doing well in school. This is because earning good grades requires focus, hard work, listening, organization, and planning... 

Which are things that professors can't necessarily teach

If you check out my About page, you'll see that over the course of my college career, I improved my GPA from a 2.4 to a 4.0. How? Well, once I realized that sitting in class and hoping the information would automatically sink in wouldn't work, I actually started to develop small systems for everything I did (including making myself pay attention during class)! 

Here are some of my fave tips for staying on track!

1. Go to Class
This should be so easy and obvious. I was always shocked to see the class size double on exam days! Like, "Where the heck did all these people come from?". Just put that time into your planner, set it aside, and go. If you have a small enough class, your professor may even give extra credit for perfect attendance! 

YAY for getting extra points for doing the right thing!

2. Do Your Reading
This is definitely one of those things I had to "teach" myself to do. When I first started college, I NEVER read before class. I just assumed I would learn all I needed from the lectures. And honestly, every teacher has a different style, so sometimes you can get away with only studying from your notes. 

BUT if they tell you to read, just READ (aka skim).

 3. Plan your Time
This is what I preach time and time again when people ask for college advice (or basically anything in life). Plan. Plan. Plan. Plan to study. Plan to read. Plan times to go out. Plan workout time. Plan time for doing laundry. Do fewer things. Plan them out. And stick to your schedule! 

 4. Read the Directions
 You know that saying "the devil is in the details"? As far as I'm concerned, that was invented by a college student who lost points for using the wrong sized font on a paper. I highlight every single direction on the syllabus, then mark it out once I complete it. These are EXACTLY where your points come from so follow them precisely! 

Most of earning good grades is just about following directions and staying organized! So, if you didn't make great grades last year or semester, no worries! Just follow these tips, use your planner, and try your best! Professors notice when you work hard and they'll be more willing to help you out when you need it! 

And even though good grades are certainly a great goal, remember that it's C's that get degrees! 

And that degree is the real goal :) 

What tips do you have for improving grades? How do you keep yourself organized during the semester? 
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