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How to Get Good Grades in College: 7 Tips for All College Students

how to get good grades in college

Being in college is a bittersweet experience. They’re plenty of parties to attend while the assignments start to pile up. You’ll realize that getting good grades in college will require a different approach than high school. Much more is expected of you at this level.

Good grades can help you acquire great scholarships and better your chances of joining graduate school. On the other hand, poor grades can snatch all these opportunities and even result in repeating classes.

Below are 7 helpful tips on how to get good grades in college to ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities after.

1. Attend All Your Classes

College students have more flexibility to skip classes because attendance policies are different for every professor. Yet, this shouldn’t be an excuse to miss class. 

It’s important that you attend class and take notes. This allows you to understand the lectures and the topics they’re likely to test in the exams. You’ll also be constantly exposed to new material—falling behind could start to confuse you a lot.

You might not be allowed to take exams in some courses if you don’t attend a certain number of classes. It’s advisable to inform your professor if you have to miss a class.

Just being in class isn’t enough, either—you should also be participating. 

Pay attention and ask questions. Contribute to the class discussions and bring in more ideas. This is one of the best methods for getting good grades in college.

2. Master Your Professors

Every professor is unique and has their expectations.

Here are simple tips to help you know your professor:

Know the course expectations. Many professors hand out a course syllabus at the beginning of the semester. It’s your responsibility to note the requirements and deadlines of the course. 

Get to know your professor at a personal level. Many students see the professor as the person who holds their fate. Stop viewing them as just an educator and start to have more conversations to learn more about their perception and knowledge of things. 

Talk to your professor if you’re struggling. You may be attending classes and doing all the research yet still having difficulty in your course. Book an appointment with your professor and get help. Sometimes, especially in big institutions, a professor may not recognize a struggling student.

3. Stay Organized

You may have never had to use a planner—but in college, there are multiple deadlines. This could require a lot of multitasking. Keeping tabs on this helps you to never miss assignments.

Some tips to help you stay organized include:

Use a planner. You can either go for the traditional way of paper and pen or get a personal digital assistant. Also, look into bullet journaling as a fun practice. 

Stay up-to-date with course calendars. Having a system will only help if you put it in good use. Start practicing and before you realize, it’ll be your second nature.

Keep your tests, homework, and class papers in one spot. Don’t just throw your assignments at the back of the car or dorm room floor. You’ll need them to revise for your upcoming exams, and discuss with your professor to evaluate your performance. 

4. Work on Time Management

If there were only one answer for how to get good grades in college, that would be time management.

You may be an organized person who never procrastinates and still get messed up by time in college. 

Here are tips to help you use time wisely:

Eat the biggest frog first. It’s important to start with the most challenging task in hand. It prevents procrastination and gives you enough time to complete a task. You will also feel a sense of accomplishment, pushing you to complete the rest of the work.

Reward yourself by taking breaks. Once you complete a significant task, reward yourself with a break. You can watch television or chat with friends. Make sure you’re refreshed for the next task. 

Chunk big projects into small pieces. If you have a project you need to submit by the end of the term, break it into small bits. It makes it easier to work on by eliminating the pressure that comes with the complexity of the task.

Learn to say no. You may be asked to participate in multiple activities. Don’t take in more than you can handle. This is also a great technique for avoiding stress and peer pressure.

Work hard to play hard. The only way to play hard is by putting in the work first. This a great balance.

6. Use the Textbooks

This is one of the most useful tips that many students aren’t willing to follow.

Buy all the textbooks your professor recommends. These books help you get the coursework done.

Follow these helpful tips, too:

Read all assigned work. Read the whole chapter when assigned to research unless advised otherwise. This includes tables, exhibits, and case studies.

Know what’s critical. Understand the essentials of every course and focus on improving them. For example, for English, it might be grammar and writing.

Take short notes. Pick up the most crucial points when reading and note them down. 

Share with classmates. Sometimes textbooks can be expensive. Consider sharing books with classmates to help everyone save money.

7. Use Fun Learning Methods

This tip on how to get good grades in college will probably be your favorite.

Once in a while, it’s important to spice things up to kill monotony and boredom. For example, you can join student forums and participate in their discussions. 

It will be fun learning from the point of view of other students from diverse nations—and you get to make friends in the process.

Another fun way of learning is by incorporating technology into your studies. You can use videos, quizzes, flashcards, and more.

Do You Want More Tips on How to Get Good Grades in College?

It’s never too late to learn how to improve your grades in college.

As much as you’re enjoying the fun part of college, it’s crucial that you have the big picture in mind, like what’s next after graduation. 

The above tips will teach you how to get good grades in college while still having fun. The goal is to find the balance. 

Visit us for information on renting your textbooks to make sure you’re prepared for class. 

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.