10 Ways to Improve Your GPA

Bringing up your GPA means more than just hitting the books. In some cases you’ll need to think outside the box to pull that average up and get it to a level that will help get you into the right university or set the stage for your dream job. Here we’ve rounded up a variety of ways you can improve your GPA today.

1. Show Up. Improving your attendance may seem like a no-brainer but many students think their grads are based on performance alone. In actuality, professors often look poorly on students who don’t even bother to show up, no matter how great their assignments may be.

2. Choose Your Seat Wisely. Want to show your instructor you’re serious about bringing up your grades? Don’t sit in the back. Get yourself front and center – or at least center – so that you’re more inclined to pay attention.

3. Participate. Sitting in the right spot is one thing, but you’ll need to show a bit of effort as well. Get that hand up and complete the assigned reading so you can be an active participant in classroom discussions. Even if your points aren’t all valid or you flub some facts, showing initiative can easily translate into a few extra points come grading time.

4. Find Out About the Appeal Process. Many schools, including some high schools, offer a chance for students to appeal subjects in which they receive a failing grade. Students can either attempt to argue over the final grade or, more likely, simply retake the course in an attempt to improve the grade.

5. Learn How to Take Notes … Really! Of all the study skills students need throughout their academic career, note taking is perhaps the most important. It’s also the one very few schools teach to young children. Learn how to take notes that will help you remember keys facts, organize your thoughts and understand the material more effectively. There are a number of websites that offer tips and tricks for taking notes depending on your own personal learning style.

6. Get Some Sleep. All that harping your parents did about getting to bed on time wasn’t just because they wanted to be able to watch whatever they wanted on TV. Getting plenty of sleep helps to keep your brain sharp and makes it easier for you to pay attention in class. Also, nodding out in the middle of a lecture won’t do you any favors in the grade department.

7. Make Smarter Friends. Make the time to hang out with friends with a higher GPA. Earning better grades means carving out time for studying and developing academic-friendly habits. Hanging out with people who are doing this successfully will help you to develop those same skills.

8. Schedule Some Office Time. Make an appointment to speak directly with your instructors. They will be able to tell you where you’re falling short and help you refine your essay writing, improve test scores or perhaps even offer some Special Credit assignments.

9. Get Organized. If you’re the type who laughs at Student Planners, that could be playing a big role in your current Grades Crisis. Buy a planner or make your own, but find a system where you can organize assignments, study times and schedule in times for homework, review and, yes, even free time.

10. Be Realistic. Of all the things you can do to raise your GPA, being realistic is probably the most important. You won’t be raising Ds to As overnight, so don’t expect results too soon. Use a GPA calculator to determine the GPA you’ll need to maintain in order to bring the cumulative average up. This will help you stay motivated and gives you a guideline for how well you need to perform.

I Hate Essay Writing

Essays often represent the worst aspects of any homework assignment. You have to be a self-starter to get on top of the research, organized in order to pull together an outline and focused so that you can write everything up in a way that makes sense. The road map for essay success may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. For many students, essays are a nightmare, some even turn to such essay writing services as Write My Essay For Me. But that doesn’t mean they’re doomed to pull down your GPA. Here we’ll tackle a few of the most common problems and offer quick fixes so you can get past the problems and write your essay quickly, easily and with a minimum of pain.

The Problem: I Don’t Know Where to Start

Writing an outline is one of the best ways to write well, but they can be difficult to do. Writers of every skill level know the pain of staring at a blank piece of paper or a blinking cursor on the screen. To get past this obstacle, grab the original essay assignment you received from your teacher. Break the question down into its individual parts and use that as a skeleton for your paper.

The Problem: Research!

Doing research is usually a lot less difficult than people initially believe. When writing an essay, you can often draw on some knowledge you already have about the subject. Using the skeleton you’ve made by breaking down the essay question, begin looking up facts, anecdotes or background information you’re likely to need. Keep a list of website you’ve used but, for now, don’t worry about reworking anything. Just copy and paste or summarize your findings and add them to your evolving essay.

The Problem: How Do I Begin?

Now that you have a rough idea of what you need to cover in your essay, you can treat it like a “Fill in the Blank”. There’s no need to start at the beginning, so jump in with your first paragraph. Working on the body of your essay first will make it easier to construct an introduction after the fact. To begin, write casually, in the same tone you would use in an email to friends, and then go back and polish up the language. Writing in this way gives your brain the ability to be more creative and this can lead to better connections and ideas both n terms of research and how your word your findings.

Now that you have an outline of what your essay needs to cover and the main paragraphs started, the rest of the work is merely a matter of pulling it all together. Reword and summarize the research you pasted into the rough draft, create bullet-pointed lists to break up the text and write both your introduction and conclusion back to back so that they flow well. These three simple steps will let you write your essay in half the time and with surprisingly little effort, all without sacrificing quality or eating into your free time.

How to Grow a Writer in Yourself

For some people, writing comes naturally but, for others, it’s a skill that must be nurtured and grown. Even if you feel as though you have a lot to say, or that your voice as a writer can contribute to the world of literature, that doesn’t mean you automatically have the skills you need to become the writer you know you can be. Conversely, those who feel as though they simply ‘don’t have what it takes’ to be a writer can easily learn the habits and skills they need to develop the writer within. These five steps will take you from blank slate to finished project in no time.

1. Don’t Use a Special Voice. Ever notice how when some people answer the phone suddenly their voice changes? This can happen when it comes to writing as well. Don’t pressure yourself to sound a certain way as you write. Instead, write the rough draft for something as if you are writing an email to a friend. Sure, you’ll need to go back and tighten things up later, but getting the ideas down on paper will give you a jumping off point and helps to get your creativity flowing.

2. Let Yourself Suck. Every writer in the world has written some awful stuff. Just like athletes, writers must practice and warm up. Turn off your inner critic and let yourself go – write about anything you want and if it’s terrible, just throw it away or file in a folder in the depths of your hard drive. Over time, you’ll find that many of these false starts actually bear fruit and inspiration will come from writing sessions that began as nothing more than a warm up.

3. Speak! For many new writers, the act of typing or writing by hand simply isn’t fast enough for them to get their thoughts onto paper. If you find yourself getting tripped up, invest in some voice recognition software and a good microphone so you can simply dictate your thoughts to your computer. This will help to give you confidence in explaining your ideas more fully and means that you can write as fast as you speak which can help keep your creativity flowing.

4. Get a Notebook. There are times when inspiration hits when you’re miles away from a computer. If the perfect opening line, iron clad argument or idea outline for a paper comes to mind when you’re standing in line at a store, have a notebook handy to jot it down. Acting on creative inspiration will encourage your brain to be creative more often and jotting down something in a notebook also makes you look 87% cooler.

5. Read Things You Never Thought About Reading. Of course, the biggest piece of advice to budding authors is to read. Many writers interpret this as advice to enjoy more of the books or magazines they already like but, really, the way to grow your inner writer is to get outside your comfort zone and read the stuff you normally would never touch. Grab that romance novel your best friend won’t shut up about, pick up a gossip tabloid at the checkout or finally break down and read Harry Potter. Getting out of a reading rut will open your mind to new ideas and can give you some insight as to how other professional and successful authors write. If you end up reading something really bad, write a parody of it to get those creative juices flowing.

Distance Learning. Is It Worth Trying?

Distance learning is often the ideal solution for students who don’t have the money for tuition through a traditional university or for those witch schedules that simply cannot accommodate going to classes and commuting to and from campus. Although distance education has been around for some time, it was often seen as little more than a ‘correspondence school’, one that didn’t quite measure up when compared to degrees earned at a bricks and mortar university. The advent and widespread use of the Internet, however, has done a lot to change this perception and now a degree earned online can easily compare to more traditional options. But is it the right choice for you?

Distance education began in the 1840s, when Sit Isaac Pitman offered a course in shorthand through the mail. The success of the course spawned a number of similar courses which were offered by correspondence and, later, on records and over the radio. The popularity of long distance education became so popular over the years that, in England, the government developed The Open University which offered lessons through the mail and lectures broadcast on television.

Although distance education offers a number of benefits and makes education more accessible, there are some serious drawbacks. Since course work can be completed and lectures watched according to each student’s own schedule, this puts increased responsibility on their shoulders. Students must be able to motivate themselves and dedicate the time and energy the courses require. This kind of self-discipline can be difficult for many and, as a result, has resulted in a higher than average drop out rate when compared to students at traditional universities.

The responsibilities for independent students may be greater, but the evolution of online options have helped students to engage more fully. Online lectures, group study sessions and the ability to video chat and collaborate on larger products with students has given more structure to distance education which, many believe, could lead to a greater level of success for at home students.

Learning online has made it easier than ever for students to access education easily and affordably. Many traditional universities are now expanding their own course offerings to include online options. The added responsibility of independent learning, however, makes it an option only for those with skills in studying, time management and organization. For those who are able to meet these demands, however, distance education offers a way to improve their education, advance their career and get the degree they’ve always wanted.

Extraordinary Ways of Learning

Educating people is part science, part art. Theories about the best ways to educate children and adults vary and evolved and changed throughout history. Trends in education ebb and flow based on cultural expectations and scientific research from behavioral medicine, social psychology and other fields. As the way we teach others changes, some ways of learning are exposed that may not be right for everyone but, for those who fit the bill, which can take education to the next level.

Learning by Immersion

Learning a new language is a popular resolution for many adults. Whether it’s to help further their career or help them to attain other goals, taking on a second language offers a number of benefits. Although there are a number of courses to learn a new language, the best way to learn remains jumping right into the deep end. Spending several months in the country of your chosen language offers not only the best access to learning the language, but also a chance to better understand its culture. The pressure of needing to know the language in order to get by supplies ample motivation. For those who don’t have the option of moving abroad, spending time in smaller, ethnic neighborhoods, watching movies and listening to music in their chosen language can offer a similar experience.

Apprenticeships

Talking about apprenticeships usually makes people think of days gone by when boys learned to blacksmith and women learned to use an open hearth. Although the roots of apprenticeship stretch far into human history, it remains an effective way to learn today. Modern day apprenticeship[s range from more traditional careers such as carpentry and metalworking to cutting edge technologies which still require skills that are learned over time such as engineering and HVAC industries.

Collaborative Learning

Some people have found that team building goes hand in hand with education. Many students now find success in banding together in small teams as either smaller parts of a larger class or a small group working through independent education. Courses are developed in order to for students to work as a team for most, if not all, of the required work. This helps to enhance education for every member of the team by encouraging inter-student support networks, developing better communication skills and building interpersonal skills.

The future of education is ever evolving. These changes come about as a result of increased research into the science of learning as well as the results of some experimental ways of learning. Helping students connect to each other, instructors and the course material can depend on the personality of the students just as much as the quality of the material. These extraordinary ways of learning help to highlight methods that have stood the test of time and are able to evolve alongside emerging technologies as well as methods born out of cutting edge research. They can engage students on a deeper level, making education a more vibrant and enduring experience.