7 Easy Ways to Boost Your GPA
School is hard, especially once midterms and finals roll around. But it’s okay. I’ve done the work for you and asked our very own Associate Dean Academic (Faculty of Humanities) Lisa Surridge for some strategies on how to boost that GPA – even halfway through the term.
So – without further ado – here are seven easy steps to munch your midterms, quash your quizzes, and be un-fazed by your finals.
Step 1: Go to class
Makes sense right? I also have evidence in the form of a UVic study by Allyson Hadwin that says one of the main differences between a student that does well and a student that does not-so-well is class attendance. So get your butt to class. Your GPA will thank you.
Step 2: If it has a screen, turn it off.
Before you get all vindictive, let me hit you with some stats. Every time a notification pops up on your phone, laptop, etc. it takes your brain 3-4 minutes to reset, not including the time you spend responding to the notification.
That means if you receive 10 texts every hour, you’re losing a minimum of 30-40 minutes of valuable study time. Is texting Becky really that important? I mean, you don’t even like Becky that much anyways. Turn the phone off.
Step 3: Ask questions in class
I get it. Sometimes lectures are boring. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions. If you force yourself to think up – and ask – a question every lecture it forces your brain to get engaged with the material, which drastically increases your knowledge retention. Plus, it makes you look smart. Win-win, right?
Step 4: Talk to your prof
Contrary to popular opinion, professors are actually humans. You can talk to them. In fact, talking is encouraged. I’m not saying you should invite them over for brunch, but building a rapport with your prof early makes it easier to ask for things like extensions, clarification, or help on an assignment further in the term. Showing up ten minutes earlier for lecture and saying a quick “Hi. I also enjoy being moderately early for class” can make all the difference.
They’re also a great source for information on resources that can help with academic support or research questions.
Step 5: Recruit knowledge minions
For those who do not know, “knowledge minions” are the same thing as “other students in your class”. Yes, I know that talking to strangers is terrifying and headphones make it so deliciously easy to ignore the world, but this is one of the easiest ways to get that GPA from Troll to Outstanding.
Even if it’s just discussing the lecture material while walking to the next class, that brief conversation will do more for your level of retention than simply reading over your notes. Why? Because when you discuss material – rather than passively listening – it forces your brain to use what you’ve learned, which stores it securely in your long-term memory banks.
Takeaway? Take out your headphones, ignore your inner introvert, and make some friends.
Step 6: Take a nap
We’re students. We have crazy lives, but it’s amazing how often we will forego sleep to meet a deadline, catch-up, or work a late shift. I get that sometimes an all-nighter is inevitable, but try, as often as you can, to get a full night’s sleep. Not only will it improve your memory and concentration but getting enough sleep will also improve your mood and may even cause people to believe you’re one of those fabled “morning persons” we’ve heard so much about.
Step 7: Go for a walk
Not a long walk. Just a walk. Like, to the Student Union Building for some popcorn. If you’re feeling ambitious go down to Cadboro Bay. It may not seem like much, but even a 10-minute walk outside can improve your mood and increase your energy in a way a cup of coffee can never hope to imitate. Sorry, coffee.
That’s it! Seven tried-and-tested methods to boost that GPA. What methods/strategies/recipes(?) work for you when it comes to managing your academics? Let me know in the comments 🙂 <3
Awesome post Jenn! Lots of great ideas from the ED-D101 undergraduate course in here! For clarification, it is Allyson not Allison 🙂