Well, you slipped up and didn’t get the grades you were looking for. You’re only human, after all, and there’s no need to start panicking about your GPA yet. There are actually several ways that you can improve your GPA prior to graduation should you need to. To help you out, here are some of the top tips that we recommend!
Ask About Extra Credit
If at any point in the semester, you feel you aren’t performing well in a class, you can ask the instructor if they offer extra credit. Extra credit will often be given in exchange for something. For example, an instructor could ask you to do an optional assignment for bonus points. The decision to give extra credit is ultimately up to the instructor and this decision will likely be made clear in the syllabus. However, unless the instructor is completely against it, there’s never any harm in asking about it!
Go to Office Hours
Instructors are most likely required to have office hours, a time period set aside for students to be able walk into their offices and ask questions about the course they are taking. You will definitely want to take advantage of office hours if you are struggling with your grades. Meeting with instructors in an office setting outside of class is more personal, allowing you to get more individualized help. It’s also an excellent way to form relationships with instructors which can result in letters of recommendation in the future.
Disorganization will certainly hurt your ability to perform well in your classes. If you’re not organized, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and miss assignment due dates. Planning out your weeks is a great way to get organized. You can either write what you need to do in a planner or put your schedule on a digital calendar. Be sure to set aside lots of time for assignments and studying.
One of the most important parts of college is working with your peers. Getting a study group together with people who are good students is a great way to improve your own grades. With that being said, we definitely don’t encourage any kind of cheating. Working together and cheating are two different things and your work should always be your own as cheating will result in serious consequences.
See a Tutor
Going to office hours is often a great way to improve your grades but not always. If you have already sought help from your instructor and you are still struggling, it might be a good idea to start seeing a tutor. Your institution may even offer free tutoring. Oftentimes, on-campus tutors are students so it may be easier for you to relate to them than an instructor.
Consider Dropping a Course or Making it Pass/Fail
There’s no shame in dropping a course, in fact, we say it’s better to do this rather than having a failing grade on your transcript. There may be a lot of factors contributing to your inability to perform well in a class and sometimes these factors might not be in your control. Don’t hesitate to take matters into your own hands. You can also opt to take a class pass/fail, meaning that it will not affect your GPA. Keep in mind that most institutions will only allow you to drop a course or change to pass/fail for a certain amount of time. For example, the deadline to drop a course in Spring could be in March while the end of the semester is in May. So, don’t wait too long to make your decision!
Consider Changing Your Major
While you might’ve thought you could succeed in a subject area, there’s a chance that you are destined for another path if you can’t find success in your major. If you’ve already exhausted all of the above options, you may want to consider exploring other majors.
These are just some of the ways that you can get your GPA back on the right track. It can be discouraging to not be receiving the grades you expect to receive. But it’s important to remember that you were admitted to your school for a reason and you shouldn’t give up easily!