20 Easy Ways to Raise Your Student GPA in College

Published Jul 10, 2008

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A high GPA can be important to landing a good job out of college or if you want to pursue higher education opportunities. Here are 20 easy ways you can raise your student GPA before it's too late.


1. Calculate Your GPA

Knowing how different grades and credit hours affect your GPA is essential if you want to have more control over the numbers. Try pumping a few numbers and grades into a GPA calculator to get your current and cumulative GPA. Then, change a few grades or credit hours to see the difference they can make in your overall average.

2. Go to Class

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's too important to not mention. Skipping class can make you look bad in the eyes of your professor. Since grades are somewhat subjective, it's a good idea to avoid irritating the person who will be handing out the marks. If attendance is an issue, you could be stuck with a B versus the A- you deserve.

3. Don't Get Lost

College lectures tend to build on previous material. If you encounter a lecture or concept that you do not understand, you should address the issue immediately to avoid getting completely lost. Confusing points can be clarified with help from your professors, classmates or library resources.

4. Join or Form a Study Group

Taking part in a study group is one of the best ways to stay on track and raise your GPA. Study groups not only make you accountable, they also force you to become more organized and talk about what you have learned. If you can't find a study group to join, try forming one yourself.

5. Study at the Library

Dorm rooms aren't the best place to study. It's way too easy to get distracted by roommates and visitors. Your study time canl be more productive if you use your school's library or a similar facility. Every time you enter that building, your mind will shift into work mode and stay there until you decide to leave.

6. Keep a List of Resources

The sooner you can get started on your assignments, the better. Try keeping a list of proven information sources, web apps and other dependable resources so that you can find something the second you need it. The saved time can be used to study, have fun or just sleep.

7. Sit in Front

  • Where You Sit in Class and What It Says About You

Horsing around in the back of the classroom is something you do in high school. Sitting towards the front and doing your best to be attentive is something you do in college. When you sit towards the front you are more likely to maintain focus and develop a relationship with the person who will be giving out your grade.

8. Develop a Note-Taking System That Works

Different professors have different teaching styles. Some lecture, some use power point slides and some depend on handouts and textbooks. The inconsistency can make note-taking problematic from class to class. The best way to handle this is to develop a note-taking system that works with each professor's teaching style.

9. Participate in Class

If you're shy or new to the college experience, it can be difficult to muster enough courage to participate in class. Nevertheless, that is exactly what you need to do. Class participation shows the professor you are eager to learn. It also increases the likelihood that you will remember material from class to class.

10. Sleep

Although it's good to spend a fair amount of time studying before a test, it's just as important to get enough rest. Sleep improves concentration, solidifies what you have learned and improves your ability to organize and recall information. Poor performance in school can often be directly linked to sleep deprivation.

11. Take Your Classes Online

Attending class can be a waste of time if you have a long commute or a professor who likes to ramble. For this reason and many more, you may want to consider taking some of your classes online. You'll get to study the same material and save time in the process.

12. Get Organized

Getting organized is one of the easiest ways to raise your GPA in college. When you're organized, you automatically reduce the amount of time and effort that it takes to do well in college. Things you should organize (besides your thoughts) include: your class schedule, notes, study time, reading assignments and handouts.

13. Improve Your Study Strategy

If you don't have a study strategy, you can study all day and night and still not get anywhere. The only sure way to make the most of your study time is to employ a study strategy that complements your schedule and learning style.

14. Befriend Someone with a High GPA

You're bound to make lots of friends in college. If you can, try to spend some time with a study buddy who has a high GPA. Your smart friend will be able to help you out when you struggle and may prove to be a good influence should you feel the urge to slack.

15. Take Time to Prepare for Your Exams

College exams can have a huge impact on your GPA. To make sure you're ready on test day, begin studying as soon as you can. Take a little time to review the subject matter each day so you'll be better prepared than you would be if you waited until the last minute to cram.

16. Read Often

You should read everything that is assigned to you and then some. Reading a lot makes you a better thinker, better writer and, most importantly, better student.

17. Take Every Class Seriously

Although certain classes are more interesting (and more important) than others, it's essential that you take every class seriously. If you can maintain a good grade in each class, it will make a huge difference on your overall grade point average.

18. Talk to Your Professor about Your Grade

If you aren't happy with the grades you're currently getting, you may want to consider talking to your professors. Just remember to be polite. Throwing out wild accusations or demanding that a grade be changed is almost never a good idea. You will be better off asking about possible steps you could take to improve your grade in each class.

19. Set a Goal and Reward Yourself

Good grades are their own reward, but it doesn't hurt to have a little extra incentive. Try setting a GPA goal and rewarding yourself with something that you really want after you achieve it.

20. Take Advantage of Extra Credit Opportunities

Some professors and schools offer opportunities for extra credit. These opportunities are GPA gold mines; try to take advantage of them. Extra credit can boost your average and enhance your college experience.

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