10 Ways to Improve Your GPA

Bringing up your GPA means more than just hitting the books or hiring online reading tutor. 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.