How to Improve a College Grade Point Average (GPA)

Need to get that grade point average up? Some tips: improve time management, take advantage of campus resources, and choose good professors and classes.

There are quite a few reasons a college student might need to bring up his or her grade point average quickly. For some, this might mean the difference between getting into graduate school, or not. For others, this might mean the difference between failing out or graduating. For many students, improving a low GPA might simply be a matter of pride.

So how does a student improve his or her GPA? The simple answer is this: do better in school. Get better grades. Unfortunately, that’s not always so easy. Read on for some realistic tips for raising that GPA.

Better Time Management for College Students

Good time management is one of the key differences between a poor student and a successful student, so for students who are struggling, this may be one of the first areas to address.

The simple part of time management is this: making more time for school work. Students need to take a hard look at what’s taking up their time, and as much as possible, reprioritize school work. Yes, some things (like extracurricular activities) are easier to cut back on than others (like a part time job that’s needed to pay for school). As much as possible, though, one of the best ways to raise a GPA is to make more time for school work.

The harder part of time management is making the most of available time. By learning to focus better and by cutting down on distractions, students can learn to make every study hour count (or at least more of them). To help maximize available study time, here are some time management tips for college students.

Taking Advantage of Campus Academic Resources

A student trying to raise his or her GPA is not exactly an unusual problem on a college campus. Colleges and universities are well-equipped to help out students who are struggling and need some academic help. One of the differences between high school and college academics is that students need to go out of their way to seek out this help. Nonetheless, help is there. Most campuses offer tutoring, a writing center, and plenty of other ways to get help.

Need advise on where to find available tutoring and other academic resources? Students can start by asking their academic advisor, or by seeking out an academic advisor if one hasn’t been assigned. For students living in the dorms, residence life assistants are good resources. And a visit to a friendly professor’s office is another good place to get advice on what’s available. Perhaps the easiest way to find resources is simply to browse the campus website for academic help.

Choose the Right Professors and Classes

Having an excellent professor doesn’t necessarily mean a good grade, but this can certainly help. Take the time to research the best instructors on campus – and, of course, avoid profs that have a reputation for being excessively hard. Here are some tips for how to choose a good professor.

Another tip: take the time to plan schedules that are manageable. Overloading a semester with tough classes is a recipe for disaster. if at all possible, find ways to space out the difficult classes. This may mean taking a class over the summer, or (unfortunate as this may sound) graduating a semester or two later.

One strategy that students take to improve their GPA – with varying success – is to take “blow off” classes that require little work and that are easy As and Bs. This strategy only works if the class indeed is as easy as expected. Sometimes a class that sounds like a cinch is way harder than expected, so tread carefully into the arena of the blow-off class! A better strategy may be to choose elective classes in areas that a student already has some knowledge of or interest in.

Raising a college GPA is always a challenge, and students truly need to find strategies to find out what works best for them as individuals. However, by improving time management, taking advantage of campus resources, and taking the time to choose better classes and professors, many students may be on their way to a higher GPA.

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