Even the best college students will occasionally get poor grades. Maintaining good grades is a challenge no matter how bright you are or how hard you work. A few bad test scores and suddenly you are at the bottom of a class instead of the top.
If this sounds like you, it is time to assess what might be at the root of your bad grade problem.
How to Bounce Back from Bad Grades
As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, you should never confuse a single defeat with a final one. In other words, you can bounce back from bad grades with a bit of effort. Like any problem, the trick is to break down the defeat and figure out what went wrong. Then, you take action to fix these issues and build those grades back up.
Determine the Areas You Struggle with the Most
Sometimes you just need to apply some common sense to solve a problem. For example, determine what areas are most challenging for you. You cannot fix an issue if you do not fully understand it.
Take this further than just determining what subjects you struggle with the most. Break down the process, as well. Are your study habits solid? What about personal problems? Are you distracted in some way? The smartest student may still get a bad grade if they have ineffective study habits.
Maybe taking tests is the issue. No matter how strong the knowledge, stress levels may prevent students from recalling information in the manner required in a testing scenario. There may be ways to overcome your test anxiety, but first, you must identify it.
Talk to Your Teacher About Extra Credit
Once you pinpoint the issues behind your bad grades, you need to find ways to improve. Looking for extra credit will show the professor you are taking a proactive approach to avoid flunking a class.
An extra credit assignment might help bring up your score. It might also help you find a different way to learn. You never know what you might discover by doing a little extra work.
Closely Monitor Your Grades Online
College students no longer have to wait for a teacher to post a grade on a board somewhere. Go online and monitor your progress.
Online monitoring goes beyond just looking at your grade. It might help you track down missed assignments or pick up extra credit. Schools want their students to succeed, so they provide tools to help. Online grade and class monitoring are some of the best tools at your disposal.
College is a fun time, and there is plenty to distract you. Some students also believe that they do their best work under the stress of an impending deadline. But according to research, that simply isn’t true.
At least one study found procrastination harms grades. Some students experience a five percent drop when they hand their work in at the last minute.
According to the study, students fail not because of the subject content, exams, or teaching techniques but because of a lack of good study habits and procrastination.
Map out a schedule for your study and stick to it. Do not base that schedule on your deadlines for work. If you learn to study daily for a set amount of time, you will find that you stop procrastinating when studying for exams and completing assignments.
Join a Study Group
A study group allows you to engage in the subject matter actively and learn different perspectives on it. That diversity will give you a better understanding of the material and bolster your analytical thinking.
Also, a study group helps you focus on the subject matter at hand. The other students in the group help hold you accountable for your work, which improves your study habits and gets you on point. At Post, the Center for Academic Success offers students tools, cram sessions, and virtual study groups that focus on the skills and resources needed to excel.
Become More Organized
Better organizational skills will be a positive side effect of improving your study habits and joining a study group. With better organization, you will improve how you take notes during classes, complete assignments, and study for exams.
It also teaches you to look ahead and put together the things you need for the next day. You will go to classes better prepared and study more efficiently.
If you are struggling with organization, get in the habit of carrying a notebook. Write down what you need to do, then sit once a day, organize, and act on your notes. Being organized becomes a hands-on skill once you get used to the process.
Get A Tutor
As with a study group, a tutor is a tool you can use to improve your study and learning process. Online or in person, a tutor is someone with whom you can talk over the subject material and ask questions.
They also keep you on point as you learn. If you struggle with staying focused on your work or studying, a tutor will guide you in the right direction.
A tutor is a practical choice if you are behind on learning, too. It is like having extra time with a teacher several hours a week, so you catch up on what you missed the first time around.
Get Better at Taking Notes
The open-ended lecture style of college can be a difficult transition for some students. It relies heavily on your ability to take good notes. If you are struggling, consider ways to improve. For example, sitting at the front of the class gives you a better view of what is going on, and the teacher helps keep you focused.
Review your notes to see if they are too detailed, as well. The trick to being an effective note-taker is to boil down the key points. Get in the habit of reviewing your notes immediately after a class and writing a summary at the bottom. This allows you to go over them while the lecture is still fresh in your mind. If you wait too long, you will struggle to remember everything. Many schools, including Post, have writing center resources that can help with tips and tricks for key point identification, making sure that your note taking is effective and clear.
Pay More Attention in Class
Learning to take good notes also helps improve your concentration in class. You have to pay attention to get the notes, so the two work together to make you a better student.
Make Learning Fun
As with most things, the more fun you have studying, the more likely you will do it. Set your study to music by developing playlists that motivate you. Also, consider a study partner or working at your favorite coffee shop. If you can study while enjoying a mocha latte, why not?
Give yourself little rewards for a set number of effective study sessions. Maybe you can go to that rock climbing studio you have been wanting to try or spend an afternoon exploring the local bike paths.
How to Get Over a Bad Grade
If you get a bad grade, you want to recover quickly. Give yourself time to process what went wrong, but avoid negative self-talk. This one grade does not define your college career. The sooner you understand that, the harder you will work to avoid getting another one.
If you are getting ready to start college classes or go back to school, consider Post University. You can go online to request information or fill out an application today.
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