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As an educationist, I am often asked for my advice on how students can get better grades. And after a couple of years of refining my ideas, I have developed these 15 tips. And by the way, these tips will work for you — whether you are a school student, or studying at a small college or a large university. These tips are for all students.

So, if you are struggling with grades and interested in raising your grade point average, take a close look at these 15 tips for getting better grades in your class.

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1. Motivate Yourself

Don’t get down on yourself when you’re not happy with your grades – try yourself, instead. Trust yourself and encourage you to focus on your work. Choose an objective or a number of objectives and use it for your motivation.

2. Attend All Your Classes Regularly

Now, maybe you believe this was evident. But I talk out of the experience when I say that for one cause or another, many students skip classes. But there are several reasons why you must attend all your classes if you want good grades:

Absorbing material in the classroom. Even though the professor follows the textbook very closely, it helps you absorb the materials while sitting in a lesson and listening to the lectures and discussions.

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Make presence known/participate. One of the advantages of going to college should be that if you don’t attend the courses, you form a mentoring relationship with some of your professors. And often teachers have participating points (or bonus points), so do not only participate in class discussions but also make an effort.

Don’t forget to sit near the front – usually the best students historically.

3. Listen and participate in the class

It may be difficult, especially if you are shy, but your teacher will learn that you really do care and want better grades. Teachers typically base their grades on different factors, including participation.

If you are shy, you can write the questions in front of the class and ask them for more confidence. Another trick is having a seat closer to the teacher, so they can learn more about you.

4. Master Your Professors

Each professor has a different personality and system for studying, so it makes sense to learn what the professor wants early in the semester. Here are a few ways to teach your teachers:

Comprehend the expectations of the course. In the first week of classes many professors issue a curriculum — and you need to know all the courses and deadlines.

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Comprehending personal level teachers. Instead of seeing a teacher at the front of the class, who decides your fate in an abstract way, know your teacher as a person. During office hours, visit him or her, or stay in class.

Contact teachers and teachers when you are in a difficult situation. The professor is not going to know when you struggle, especially in bigger colleges and universities; so, if your course or testing problems, arrange an appointment to meet the professor and get the help you need.

5. Do Not Hesitate to Ask for Help

You can always ask your teacher or fellow students after your class if you have problems with certain subjects. Another option is to ask your parents whether they can provide you with a private tutor.

6. Get/Stay Organized

You may have been one of the lucky few who have never had a planner before, but college works together, and you can easily overcome with due dates, team meetings and other time demands. Here are some tips to organise yourself:

  • Use a planner or other system of organisation. Over the years I have had my day planer and can’t go without it anywhere. Others are like their personal digital assistants.
  • Stay up to date with the timetable. You don’t have a system enough — you must use it! So once you have a system of some sort, get used to it (and it will become a second nature in the near future).
  • Keep homework, tests and classroom documents in the centre. Just not throw your cars back or your dormitory floor with old homework assignments or testing. You will have to study them for future tests, meet your teacher and talk to them in the classroom … So, maintain in a central location all your class materials.

7. Develop a Study Schedule

Even if you’re not the most organised individual in the world, time can be a major enemy in college. Here are certain tips to make wise use of time:

First tackle the tougher job. Yes, first deal with the harder things so you will surely have enough time to finish them. You will feel that the work in this order is more successful.

As reward for work, take breaks. Reward yourself with a break and chat with a friend or watch a TV for completing a major task. The breaks are not only good motivation to help you complete anything. After a break you will also be more refreshed in the next task.

Break larger projects into smaller pieces that are easy to carry out. If at the end of the semester you have a massive period, divide the work into smaller pieces and allocate the deadlines for each piece.

Don’t exaggerate; learn to say no. You will also be asked to be involved in all kinds of clubs and organisations in college in addition to all your academic work, and at any point in time, you will have to learn to say no to some demands.

8. Stay Focused During Your Homework

Find a quiet place to work in an entertainment-free environment with your homework. Place all notification sounds away from your phone or at least mute them in order not to distract you. Apps to lock a phone for a certain period of time can also be used.

9. Become “Noteworthy”

Another reason for the class is that the class notes are recorded. These notes are vital indicators of what the teacher thinks is the material that you need to learn, so you learn to use it more efficiently than taking notes. Here are certain details:

Be an active listener at school. Do not read a newspaper, friend’s gossips or your classmate’s text. Listen carefully and actively instead, and ask for clarification as you need it.

Please take good class notes. Whether you are taking notes from afar or following the contours of a professor, it is important that you get the most important information so you can return to it when you need them.

Rewrite or organise notes outside class on your computer. This suggestion may sound a little bit extreme, but the literature you write to learn show that you can rewrite the material more fully.

10. Studying Together With Your Fellow Students

Group study can sometimes help group members to motivate and become more productive. You can organise such groups or become a member of a group already existing if such a style of studies is right for you. After classes or on weekends you can get together for studying.

11. Use the Textbook

For a reason, professors assign textbooks — not to break you, it is to complement lectures and class discussions. Purchase all the textbooks and take these tips for use:

Read all material assigned. Sounds evident, okay? When a professor assigns a chapter, read everything, including opening vignettes, case studies, tables and displays (unless otherwise told).

Know what is essential. Know what is crucial. At the same time, know the most critical parts of the text. For example, the vocabular is most critical in one of my classes, and the textbook emphasises that it is important that all the terms of each chapter are printed in the margins.

To understand the material, use a contouring system. The material in the texts is only the minimum to be read and emphasised. You should also take notes and outline the material to get the most from what you are reading.

12. Follow Good Rules of Writing

Many classes require a written assignment from short replies to term papers, and if you follow these rules for good writing, you will do better in this assignment:

Before writing, organise your thoughts. A stream of consciousness works in a diary or journal (and might have worked in high school), but the best way to draw a contour is before you begin writing actually.

Comprehension of paper requirements. Every professor needs a special way of organising a paper, and before you start writing it is best to know them. Keep in mind the reference system and all paper mechanics (font, margins, sheet cover, footnotes, etc).

Write a draft (and, if possible, receive feedback). Especially for larger papers, if you can show the teacher a draught at the earliest enough time to make changes, you will have a higher quality document (and a better grade).

Writing, editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting. Learn your friends to edit and rewrite. Nobody is sufficiently good at a single sitting to whip the final draught. A process is passed by the best writers.

Filing, editing, proofreading. Wizards catch errors in orthography, but do not have other difficulties, so learn how to re-read. Or, better, have a buddy system with a friend that re-reads the papers of each other.

13. Study, Study, Study

Here’s another obvious one? Maybe, but the rule is that you should spend three hours out of school for at least every hour. And you will find that you need a lot more time than that to master the material for some classes. Here are also some proposals:

Early and frequent study. Breaking into shorter periods makes less of a task – and gives your mind time to absorb the material before moving on.

Develop and practise good learning practises. Make it a habit and you are second nature to study.

Know how to study best, learn material. Some people need complete silence, others like a little noise to concentrate. Find and stick to what works for you.

Study with friends to gain support, but … do not turn into a social event. Do not turn this into a social event. A study buddy can be a great tool if you are successful in studying.

Before socialising, ensure that work is done. Studying is essential for learning, which is vital for improving grades – so is the work before going for fun.

14. Be a Good Test-Taker

It is important to be a good test person in just about every class of school that passes tests, and sometimes tests are the major components of your final grade. Here’s a few clues:

Know what to expect from examinations. Each teacher has a test style, thus obtaining old copies or asking the teacher. Know the types of questions to be asked and the content to be covered.

Carefully read questions and schedule replies. Take the time to read all the instructions and plan your attack at the beginning of the test.

Pace yourself so that you have enough time to finish all parts. Know the point value of questions, so that the most important can first be completed if the time runs out.

Just ask questions. Just ask. Please ask the professor if you don’t understand anything or need to clarify this. Don’t wait to get the test back and find that a question has been answered wrongly.

15. Polish Those Verbal Communications Skills

Many classes include a display component, so use these hints to improve your communication skills and to maximise your level of communication:

Practice lectures, lectures. The best speeches and presentations are the best ones so you can complete the script and outline it as soon as possible, so that you can practise it (and ensure it falls within the specified deadline).

Always have a back-up when using technology. It’s great technology, but it fails sometimes. Make a copy of it as a handbook when you need it if you have a PowerPoint presentation.

Know the situation of the presentation – and therefore plan. Every teacher has a set of guidelines for the lectures, and many classrooms are different, so be aware of the situation before you go into the lecture.

Final Thoughts

Following these guidelines should help your grades immensely, but here is one other tip. Remember to think of your professors as your allies, not your enemies. And if not your allies, at least your partners. Our goal is for every student to learn and master the materials in the course. And if you master the materials, you should have a good grade in the class. And if you’re struggling with some aspect of the course, just go see the professor. Enter To Study is here to help you become the best you can be.

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