How to Get a 4.0 GPA in College
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Description: How to get A’s in College. Here are my tips on how to start your semester off right and set yourself up for a 4.0 GPA.
- Go to Class: In college, no one is waking you up and forcing you to go class so set your alarms and make sure you have enough time to get ready and be on time. Go to class everyday. Professors can cover multiple chapters in one class period so missing a class can put you really far behind. If you have to miss class, contact your professor so that they know why and ask them what you missed. Going to class can also leave a good impression on your professors. Some professors dock your grades for absences and tardies and some schools fail you automatically for having too many absences based on their attendance policies. On the flipside, I’ve been in a class where so many people were missing that the teacher gave those present extra credit so being in class even when you know others won’t be, for example the day before spring break, can benefit you.
- Read your Syllabus: A syllabus is to students what a bible is to Christians. It’s that serious. It has the expectations for the entire class and lays out when assignments are due and when quizzes, tests, and days off are. One thing I like to look for is the grading scale because a 90 is one class can be an A, but be an A minus or B in another class. There may also be hidden extra credit in the syllabus because professors like to test if you actually read the syllabus.
- Get a Planner and Use It: Write down all important dates from class to personal life so you can better manage your time. Plan out study time and time for HW and create lists with the office hours of all your professors. Bring your planner with you everywhere. If you don’t like planners use a Calender App in conjunction with a to do list app like Any.Do to manage everything you need to do. There’s nothing worse than forgetting about an assignment or planning to work on homework the same time your club meets.
- Know your Resources: Your school wants to do good so 9 times out of 10 they already have resources in place to provide you with extra help. Learn where they are, when they’re open, and how to use them. At my school, Winthrop, we have several places that can help you with your work. The main place is the Academic Success Center that offers free peer tutoring in every class that’s known to be difficult. Then both the Foreign Language, Math, and Chemistry Department all have their own tutoring labs. There’s also a Writing Center at my school that helps review documents for grammatical errors. That means they’re no excuse not to get an essay proofread before turning it in. All these places help with improving your grades. Every school is different, but don’t be afraid to ask for help because it could make the difference between a B and an A.
- Ask Questions: Whether it’s in during class or during office hours, ask questions. If something in class is confusing you, ask about it. You don’t want to misunderstand something and then take that wrong information with you to an exam. You’re probably not the only person confused so you’ll be doing everyone a favor. Plus, asking questions is a good way to get your professor to know and remember you, which helps when it comes to grading.
- Read the Chapter before Class: This gives you a basis of information to expand on in class and makes class way smoother. This is really important in your more difficult classes because it gives you less to learn new material in class. Plus, you’ll actually have meaningful questions to ask in class and the professor will know you’re actually prepared, especially when you start a question with “I was reading in Chapter 6 and I didn’t understand what xy and z meant.” Your professor will be very impressed.
- Ask Professor to review your work: You can do your assignments a week in advance and ask your professor to review it for you. That way you can make sure it’s done correctly and you’re not missing anything. This especially helps with essays because every professor’s expectations are different. Getting this extra help also shows that you care about your grade.
- Avoid Procrastination: Don’t avoid doing your assignments because you know they will involve a lot of work. Instead, break your assignments into smaller pieces and set dates to finish each piece so it’s less intimidating. This prevents you from having to turn in a rushed, low quality or unfinished project and helps you maximize the best score possible.
- Take HW Seriously: In most of my classes that gave me daily homework, which was mostly science and math classes, the homework problems mirrored the problems on my exams. This means if you’re not understanding the homework, you’re going to run into problems so make sure to fix these issues before your tests. Also, in a lot of my classes, the professor didn’t grade homework at all or only checked for completion. In those cases, go to the professor’s office hours and ask them to grade yours. That way, you know if you’re actually doing everything correctly.
- Study the way that works for you: It is very hard to tell people how to study because we all have different preferences, but when you’re studying pay attention to what helps you and what distracts you. If friends distract you, study alone. If you need extra motivation to actually study, find a study partner or start a study group to help hold you accountable. If you’re tempted to fall asleep while studying, move somewhere outside of your room like the library, a bench or swing outside, Starbucks, the Bookstore, or any study room on Campus. Always bring snacks, a sweater, headphones, gum, or anything else that makes you more comfortable. Turn your phone on silent and put it face down so you can’t see when you get notifications. Other than those tips, just experiment with the different ways you can study. Utilize Quizlet, flashcards, practice tests, your old exams, quizzes, and homework as guides. If you feel your brain needs a break, get up and take a walk or move to a new location. Me and my friend Bri would often get up and take a few laps around the library when we felt we needed a break.
- Final Tip: Get some Sleep! I fully believe in getting a good night’s rest. My freshman year I made sure I got 8 hours of sleep every night. I went to bed at 12 and woke up at 8 everyday Monday-Friday to get ready for my 9:30 classes. I think I may have done one all-nighter the whole year. I think sleep actually helps your mind retain information better, plus your brain works better when it gets rest. So instead of studying until 2 in the morning, I’d study as much as I could before midnight and then wake up slightly earlier to study some more. I could be wrong, but I really thinking getting enough sleep helped me perform better in class.