How to get Good Grades in College or University

Posted on September 24, 2015 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal
  1. Attend every class: If you want good grades in college, you must attend every class, not almost every class. The importance of regular class attendance cannot be overemphasized. When you miss classes, you miss lectures, notes, discussions, explanations, and assignments. Do not think that missing a class won’t make a difference. You cannot make up what you miss.

  1. Be organized:

    • Use a student planner: take this to each class and record all assignments. Also use your planner to keep track of tests and quizzes, activities and appointments.

    • Break down assignments: large assignments are more manageable if you break them down into smaller parts. Completing these smaller portions over a longer period of time will allow you more time to focus.

    • Use three-ring binders for class notes: this type of note book works well because handouts can easily be inserted and if you end up missing a class you can also insert a copy of someone else’s notes where they belong.

    • Organize and save computer work: make sure that all your work on the computer is saved and saved often, and that you have back up files.

    • Keep returned papers, quizzes, and tests: Have different colored folders for each class to keep all returned materials. Old tests can be helpful study guides in the future.

    • Maintain a neat and organized study area: Set up an area or desk with everything you will need and keep this area clean.

  1. Manage your time well: with good time management, you have more free time, less stress and a feeling that you are in control.

    • Don’t overextend yourself

    • Be organized: see number 2 above!

    • Schedule 90 minute study sessions: set a specific time to get your studying done and make sure you will not be interrupted. During these study sessions, don’t do anything else but study!

    • Make ‘to do’ lists and prioritize tasks: make a daily list of the things you need to do. Rate each item as an A (must do today), B (should do today), or C (would like to do today, but can wait). Listing and prioritizing your tasks only takes a few minutes but it is a great way to organize your time. Focus on one task at a time until everything is completed.

  1. Be Successful in Class: you will enjoy college more and you will get higher grades if you can follow these tips!

    • Do every class assignment: think of homework not as something you should do, but as something you must do. Complete homework on a regular basis so that you don’t fall behind.

    • Sit in the front row when possible: research shows that sitting in the front row is directly related to getting higher grades.

    • Be on time to each class.

    • Participate in class

    • Communicate with your instructors: don’t hesitate to contact an instructor whenever you have a question, concern or a problem.

  1. Take Good Notes: tests usually cover material that the instructor has presented in class. Therefore, it is important to have good class notes.

    • Be an active listener: when your actively listening, your not just hearing the words, but you are also thinking about and trying to understand the information being presented.

    • Taking notes can help you pay attention and stay focused.

    • Recognize important information: anything the instructor writes on the board is important. In your notes, underline or star the most important information so you can pay special attention to it when studying.

    • Take notes that are easy to read: leave extra space between ideas and topics and don’t worry about grammar or punctuation.

  1. Know How to Read a Textbook: Knowing how to scan, read and review will make it much easier for you to understand and remember what you read.

    • Scan: scanning gives you a quick overview of the material you’re going to be reading. To scan, read the title, subtitle, and everything in bold and italic print. Look at the pictures, captions, charts, graphs, and read the introduction, the summary and the review questions.

    • Read: when your reading has a purpose, you have a reason to stay focused and your comprehension improves.

    • Review: to review, first ask yourself ‘what is the main idea’ and then go back to the beginning and go through the same process you did when you scanned the material. This time, as you scan restate the main idea of each passage using your own words.

  1. Study Smart: students who study smart find themselves spending less time of studying and still getting better grades.

    • Find a good place to study: make sure the area is free of distractions.

    • Know your learning style: we all learn differently! Some learn best by seeing the material (visual learner), some learn best from hearing the material (auditory learner), and some learn best by doing (kinesthetic learner). As a rule, the more senses you involve and the wider variety of methods you use while studying, the more you remember.

    • Organize your study time: before you begin, make a plan. Decide exactly what you want to get done. Always allow more time than you think you will need and prioritize your work to make sure that you have enough time for the things that are most important. Do difficult tasks first while you are most alert and fresh and remember to take regular short study breaks.

  1. Know How to Take Tests: in order to do well on any test, you must study hard and be prepared. Having done that, you can further improve your test performance by using these test-taking tips.

    • Get off to a good start: be prepared and have everything you will need. As soon as you get the test, write anything that you will need to remember (facts, dates, equations, memory clues, etc) at the top of the test.

    • Mark the questions you want to return to.

    • Increase your odds on multiple choice by trying to come up with the answer in your head before you look at the options. Always read all the choices and if you are unsure, cross out the choices that you know are incorrect and then make an educated guess with the remaining options.

    • Know how to approach an essay question: reach each question and start with the easiest which will increase your confidence. Before you start writing, brainstorm by jotting down the key words and ideas along with other key points you want to include.

    • Hints for True/False: read these questions very carefully as one word will often determine whether the statement is true or false. Statements with words like always, all, never, every and none are often false where statements with words like usually, most, often, sometimes, many tend to be true.

    • Be prepared for open book tests by going through your notes and highlighting the most important information. Put self stick notes or bookmarks in your textbook to help you located specific information quickly.

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