5 Rules for Improving Your Grades

Here are five things you can do before you start focusing on developing a study strategy to achieve academic success.

1. You must want to achieve better grades.
The first rule for improving your grades relies on your commitment to academic success and taking  responsibility for your academic performance. Only you can make the decision to achieve success. Start by attending all classes, interacting with instructors, reading your textbooks, completing all assignments on time, and studying for tests.

2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Realistically review your study skill strengths and weaknesses. Consider  your past academic successes and failures – classroom experiences, conversations with teachers, test scores, and feedback on assignments. What stands out as your most successful experiences and your least successful ones? Think about time management, goal-setting, note taking, concentration abilities, reading comprehension, math and writing skills, and test preparation. Then, divide a piece of paper into two columns, one for strengths and one for weaknesses. Write the appropriate skill down under each heading as to whether you believe it to be a strength or weakness. Compiling this list should help you to focus on those skills that are in need of more practice.

3. Studying requires a daily commitment.
Learning is not a passive experience. The most successful students realize the importance of making and sticking to a regular review schedule. You can train your brain into retaining information more efficiently by studying regularly in small blocks. Studying regularly in small chunks is usually more effective than trying to learn everything at once. Here is a short list of items for a study checklist:

  • Have a specific goal for what you would like to accomplish
  • Make a list of reading assignments and complete it
  • Make a list of homework to do and finish each
  • Create and complete mini reviews for your class material
  • Start to plan any assigned papers/essays early