Stop the Drop: Take Control of Falling Grades Now

The end of the school year is in sight but it still feels like a marathon ahead. This time of the year can be make-it-or-break-it time. It’s a weird window where things either feel possible and under control or totally unmanageable and already lost. It’s on you to make sure that you experience the former scenario and bust through that finish line with good grades as your medal.

First, understand that all students have moments in their college careers where they look their grades up online and realize with a sinking feeling that the grades aren’t as good as they thought. Never fear; there’s always something you can do to raise your grades, and you don’t have to wait until the very end of the semester and pin your hopes on extra credit or finals. We’ve put together a list of tips that will help you to get your grades up right now.

Figure Out the Obstacles Preventing You from Good Grades

Before you can fix a problem, you need to understand the problem. Once you notice that your grades aren’t quite what you want them to be, take some time to examine which classes are the problem. Then think about why those classes may be difficult for you. Is there something those courses or professors have in common? Look for what’s got you blocked.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I consistently understand the material?
  • Do I complete assignments?
  • Am I making it to every class and really being present?
  • Do I prepare properly for quizzes and tests?
  • Is the reading tough to comprehend?

Once you’ve figured out what the problem might be, it’s time to take the next step and fix the problem. This is where a professor, study buddy, or tutor can help.

Ask For Help

If you notice that you’re struggling with one or two specific classes, it might be the subject matter that’s giving you trouble. If this is the case, it’s time to ask for help.

Buddy Up with a Study Partner

If you know you have the ability to understand the material but maybe you just don’t have the motivation to study, find a study partner. Having someone else to study with can really help motivate you to study more often and more thoroughly. You and your study partner can help each other better understand the material and check that understanding by teaching it to each other. It’s like going to the gym in that you’ll keep each other on track.

Find a Tutor

If you’re struggling with comprehension of the material, it might be time to seek the help of a tutor. Remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, doing so says a lot about a person’s intelligence and flexibility and desire to improve. A tutor can help make sure that you understand the material and are therefore prepared for quizzes and tests. Sometimes it’s just seeing how someone else has mastered the material that makes the difference.

See Your Professor

Pay a visit during your professor’s office hours. This is not to say that you should ask the professor to raise your grade; far from it. Talking to your professor lets him or her know you’re struggling with the material and that you care enough to take responsibility for upping your grades. Your professor might have recommendations for resources to help you learn better or may even offer you extra-credit assignments. Believe it or not, profs really are there to help and they want to see you succeed.

Try Active Learning

We get it — sometimes it’s tough to pay attention in class. Active learning skills can help you improve how you learn and retain material in class. Active learning skills can be taking thorough notes, asking questions, or gamifying your learning.

Identifying your learning style can also help you become a more active learner. Once you know how you best learn, you can seek out information in that style in class or outside of class.

Every student has that moment when he or she realizes his or her grades are lower than he or she wants. We want you to know that there’s no need to panic, because there are many steps you can take to improve your grades and become a better learner for the future.

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