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 five actionable things, my GPA boosted from 3.4 to 3.7. You can work on raising your GPA a few points, as I did. Raising your GPA takes time, effort, and motivation. If you have those three things, I am sure that you can increase your GPA.

If you want to raise your GPA, it is easier the earlier you implement these changes. The more credit hours you have, the more challenging it will be to increase 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. 

Having a high GPA for the last 45 credit hours will allow a graduate or professional program to look deeper into your application and see that you can maintain a higher GPA.

Part of the reason why these five things work is that your whole mindset changes. If you set a goal of genuinely wanting to raise your GPA, then it is 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! Vet school is hard; people often ask how hard is vet school? You will need high grades or a lot of experience hours to get in.

Tips for Raising Your GPA!

  1. 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. 

Attending office hours will 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), partly due to my weekly office hour sessions.

Actionable Ways To Raise Your GPA

2. Teach someone else the material. This study published in 4/2018 highlights how teaching others can help you learn. Teaching someone else the material is one of the top ways to raise your GPA. One of my study partners and I would take turns teaching each other key points from the class notes.

More importantly, this helped with organic chemistry and physiology. We would use an empty classroom for organic chemistry, utilize the whiteboards, and teach and work through problems together. If we ran into a roadblock, we’d write it down and go together to the Professor’s office hours. 

If teaching other students is a passion, you can turn it into a unique side hustle by becoming a professional tutor.

Teaching other students allowed me to raise my GPA for O-chem as the semester went on. I started with a B- average for organic chemistry, and by the end of the semester, I got an A! Even though I got one C on an exam, I could still 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. The colorfull flashcards with holes punched in will make carrying these around a breeze!

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3 students raising their GPA by a group study session.

Raising Your GPA By Following Nora’s Advice

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 most important take-home message is for each lecture. Proficiency in the big topics comes first, then tie in the more minor details. Nora has mastered the art and practice of studying, and all of her accomplishments prove it. Nora knows all about the best ways to raise your GPA. 

Studying for the GRE is also where “study smart, not hard” applies. There are free GRE practice tests listed here!

Raise Your GPA By Recording Lectures

4. Do not skip class and record all lectures. Be an active participant in the class. Actively participating 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 many questions. I do mean 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.

Listening to lectures later on, allowed me to re-listen to the lecture while the material was still fresh in my mind. At the same time, I was re-listening to the lecture; I usually found a few questions that I could ask the Professor or ask one of my classmates. The majority of times, I re-listened to a lecture I  heard or picked up a pertinent test-worthy detail!

organic chemistry study notes

Being an active class participant boosted my GPA and allowed me to grasp the material so much better.

Learning The Ways To Raise Your GPA By Not Multi-Tasking

5. Don’t multitask while studying. If you are serious about learning how to raise your GPA, don’t check Instagram and text your best friend ten 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.

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 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, use those hours wisely during study sessions and don’t multitask.

Attempting to raise your GPA does not have a quick or easy solution. Learning the ways to boost your GPA involves 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.

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