5 Sure-Fire Definitive Ways to Raise Your GPA
In my early days of undergrad, I was never that type of college student that went to office hours, attended extra help sessions, or studied with a group. For some reason, I didn’t think it would help raise my GPA. Wow, I was so wrong.
Once I started implementing these 5 actionable things, my GPA boosted up from a 3.4 to a 3.7. My goal was to raise my GPA above a 3.5 and I did. You can too!
If you want to raise your GPA, it is definitely easier the earlier you implement these changes. The more credit hours that you have the harder it will be to raise your GPA to a competitive level. If you are already a senior or junior in undergrad and have a low GPA don’t worry, just focus on getting a high GPA for your last 45 credit hours. This will cause a graduate or professional program to look deeper into your application and see that you are capable of maintaining a higher GPA.
Part of the reason why these 5 things work is that your whole mindset changes. If you set a goal of truly wanting to raise your GPA then it is absolutely possible. Raising your GPA can help you get into college, get into grad school, get into a professional university (like med school or vet school), or just make you feel good!
Tips for Raising Your GPA!
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- Go to office hours! I am serious, find out when the Professor has their office hours and take advantage. Do not just go once and then wonder why it didn’t help. Go every week. Write down questions from the lecture and present them to the Professor. Getting one on one time with your Professor will allow you to understand the material in a new way. The Professor might explain it differently one on one than they did in class. This will also allow you to get to know the Professor and possibly ask for a Letter of Recommendation in the future. I earned an A in Gross Anatomy and Mammalogy (and many other classes) and it was partly due to my weekly office hour sessions.
2. Teach someone else the material. This study published in 4/2018 highlights how teaching others can help you learn. One of my study partners and I would take turns teaching each other key points from the class notes. This really helped with organic chemistry and physiology. For organic chemistry, we would use an empty classroom and utilize the whiteboards and basically teach and work through problems together. If we ran into a roadblock we’d write it down and go to the Professor’s office hours. This allowed me to raise my GPA for O-chem as the semester went on. For organic chemistry, I started out with a B- average and by the end of the semester, I got an A! Even though I got one C on an exam I was still able to get an A in organic chemistry. Everyone loves the online flashcard sites but sometimes the simple act of handwriting the material onto flashcards and then teaching it to someone else, makes it stick. These colorful flashcards with holes punched in will make carrying these around a breeze!
3. “Study smart, not hard!” Says Nora who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, had a triple major in undergrad all while working a paying job! She now attends Colorado State University and is in the DVM/PhD program. You can read the full interview with her here. Nora does this by finding out what the biggest take-home message is for each lecture. Proficiency in the big topics comes first then tie in the smaller details. Nora has mastered the art and practice of studying and all of her accomplishments prove it.
Studying for the GRE is also where “study smart, not hard” applies. There are free GRE practice tests listed here!
4. Do not skip class and record all lectures. Be an active participant in class. This might mean sitting in the front row. If you sit in the front row you are less likely to daydream or check social media and more likely to stay engaged in the lecture presentation. By “active participant” I don’t necessarily mean raising your hand and asking a lot of questions. What I do mean is actively listening, taking notes (if that is what helps you), and jotting down questions to ask the Professor during office hours. I used to listen to my recorded lectures on my way home. This allowed me to re-listen to the lecture while the material was still fresh in my mind. While I was re-listening to the lecture I usually found a few questions that I could ask the Professor or ask one of my fellow classmates. The majority of times I re-listened to a lecture I heard or picked up a pertinent test worthy detail! Being an active class participant boosted my GPA and allowed me to grasp the material so much better.
5. Don’t multitask while studying. This means don’t check Instagram and text your best friend 10 times during your 2-hour study session. If you are going to sit down to study then do it! Turn off all notifications and focus on what you are trying to learn. Turn your phone off so you are not tempted to respond to text messages while studying. In order to retain the information, you will need to concentrate. This study talks about how students text messaging while reading an academic paper took longer to read it and needed much more time to retain the information when tested on it. We only have 168 hours in a week, so if you want to raise your GPA then use those hours wisely during study sessions and don’t multitask while studying.
Attempting to raise your GPA does not have a quick or easy solution. This is a lifestyle change. If you just implement one or two of these items, your test scores will go up and in turn, you will raise your GPA!
Don’t get discouraged if your GPA is low, universities look at so much more than GPA. If GPA is your weak point, then focus on other aspects (volunteering in your field) of the application selection criteria. GPA is just one small aspect of a well-rounded applicant. Don’t let a low GPA get you down but instead let it motivate you to do better on the next exam.