Around 15 million people are enrolled in various undergraduate programs, with over 17.9 million enrolled in secondary programs such as their master’s or doctoral programs. With that being said, one thing that is crucial to furthering your education and moving towards your degree is ensuring your college grades are at least passing.
For some, simply passing their courses isn’t enough; it’s more about thriving in your program and doing what it takes to maintain good grades. If you’re struggling with academic success, you’ve come to the right place.
We will provide you with some valuable tips to help you make the most of your college program and achieve the good grades you’ve set out to achieve.
Why Do Students’ Grades Suffer?
Before we get into some of the top strategies that can be used to achieve good grades, it’s essential to understand why students’ grades begin to suffer. It’s important to identify what drives a student and the reasons that can lead to them not focusing on their studies as much as they should.
We have taken the time to dive into these reasons to provide you with a better background. By understanding why your academic performance is suffering, it will be easier for you to move towards choosing strategies that will help you turn things around.
40% of adults were struggling with their mental health during the pandemic. This reached as far as students that typically would attend classes on campus but suddenly found themselves learning in a virtual classroom.
The pandemic forced students to enter a new realm of learning. For some people being able to walk around the campus physically is part of the entire experience.
Interacting with teachers and peers is a massive part of the college experience. When students find themselves without that, it leads to mental health problems feeling overwhelmed or claustrophobic, as if they were shut away from the world.
Many students found it wasn’t enough to spend time texting or on virtual calls. They needed that in-person physical interaction, and without that, things in their lives began to take a turn for the worse.
This includes the way students learn and their grades.
Not Prepared For Course Material
Another reason students get bad grades is that they aren’t prepared for the course material they are given to learn. This happens because there may have been information from the prerequisites students were required to take before making it to the next course level.
For example, as a Science major, the first course on the list is Biology. If the student doesn’t take Biology first, they will be extremely confused if they were thrown straight into Organic Chemistry without having that foundation.
Expecting students to get good grades when they aren’t grasping the material isn’t realistic. Remember, a student not taking steps to prepare for class on their own by studying outside of class isn’t the same as the material being challenging for them to understand.
Too Many Commitments
We understand that college is the time to stretch your wings and fly, but committing to several things can cause something in the student’s academic life to struggle. It’s a lot to have a full course load of classes and to also take on various clubs and extracurriculars that overload the student’s plate even more than it already is.
It’s only natural that something in a full course load has to give and make way for other things. However, this shouldn’t be college grades because getting good grades is the key to earning your degree.
A degree will act as the key that unlocks future career advancements. There are only twenty-four hours in the day, and a few of those hours will need to be spent sleeping and practicing self-care to maintain emotional and physical balance.
The Student Doesn’t Care About School
The truth is there are some students who come to school because it’s what their parents expected of them. It’s not something they want to do, which means that they aren’t going to put their all into their academic performance.
A student not caring about their grades is the first thing that people assume when the grades aren’t good. It’s not always the case, but in some cases, yes, students don’t make good grades because they don’t put effort into studying and putting time into creating sound college study habits.
To improve this, the student will have decisions that need to be made before determining whether or not college is for them. Sometimes it is, and other times it’s not.
But, if a student is going to attend college programs, the effort to make good grades should be put forward.
What Should You Do When You Get Bad Grades?
Getting bad grades can prove to be a struggle for any student. But, we have taken the time to do some research and have created a list of things you can do to help improve your academic performance.
It will take some time, but if you stay the course and put in the effort, you can certainly turn things around.
1. Use a Study App
If you find that your most significant challenge is finding better ways to study. The best study apps will put the control and power back into your hands to control your study experience.
For example, Evernote is one of the top study apps, and the reason it’s so popular among college students is that it allows you to take notes in a way that works best for you and your study style.
You can customize the app so that it is made for you. Not only does the app make it easy to take notes, but you will also find a series of tools that help you to get organized.
When you’re not organized, it can affect the way you study and learn. You can organize things like:
When you remain organized, it’s easier to find the study materials you need, which in turn, improves academic performance. Of course, this is just one type of study app available.
But, just like finding study habits that work for you, it’s important to find an app that works for you too.
2. Don’t Skip Class
We understand it’s easy to wake up in the morning and be too tired to want to get up and go to class. However, when you skip one class, it becomes easier to do it more often, which in turn can take a toll on your grade.
No matter the reason you feel you want to skip class, don’t give in to that temptation. When you skip class, you’re missing out on vital information you need to learn to grasp the course materials.
Some professors will deduct points from your final grade if you make it a habit of not attending class. Not attending class makes it seem as if you aren’t taking your education seriously.
Poor grades can be a direct result of missing classes. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you make it a habit of missing class each week. To avoid this, don’t miss class.
If you’re having scheduling conflicts work with your academic advisor to find a schedule that works for your needs. It also goes back to one of the reasons that might make poor grades, and it’s that you need to ensure you’re not overloading your plate.
Keep things balanced so you’re making time for the important things, which are your studies and self-care.
3. Take Advantage of Office Hours
Most professors are required to provide students with a list of times in which they will be open to answer any questions you might have. Even if you feel like you don’t need to attend, we recommend that you do.
This is because there might be questions that other students attending office hours will ask that you might not have thought of. Being present during office hours allows you to take notes and gain more clarification on some things you’re confused about.
Your teacher is there to help you, and it can be viewed adversely if you’re making bad grades, but not taking advantage of opportunities you have to get more help with your studies.
Even if you’re not able to attend office hours, you should ask your professor if you can schedule an appointment to talk to them. It’s up to you to take control of the issues you’re having with your academics, even if that means seeing your professor throughout the semester.
4. Don’t Turn in Late Work
Life happens, and things that are on your schedule might slip your mind, including your schoolwork. In your syllabus, the professor will outline what happens when you turn in work late, whether that is a grade reduction or a zero.
It’s best not to turn in late work because if it becomes a habit, you might find yourself struggling at the end of the semester to pull up your grades. When you turn in work late, you’re automatically lowering your grade before your professor has a chance to review your work.
If your grade is already at a B, any mistakes in the work you turn in could bring it down to a C. Then, by the time you reach the final, you will find that you have to be nearly perfect to make a grade that is passing.
Especially if it’s a core class, most universities require students to make a B or higher for it to count towards their degree. Otherwise, you will have to retake the course to achieve a higher grade.
5. Extra Credit is Free
Extra credit might seem like extra work you don’t want to put effort towards, but it matters. It’s like receiving a free grade that can be used towards things like your lowest grade or final grade.
When your professor offers extra credit, take advantage of it because you never know when you’ll need it. Your professor might outline several types of extra credit, whether writing a paragraph about something they’ve taught or attended an exterior activity.
Sometimes it’s as simple as answering the extra three questions at the end of the tests you take in classes. Other times it’s answering questions in class and your professor keeping track of the points you accumulate.
Don’t pass up the chance for these points.
6. Retake Classes, You’ve Failed
One thing to know when you fail a course is that when you retake it, you will have to pay out of pocket. However, you should try to retake the course because low grades will impact your overall GPA, and that’s not something you want.
When you retake the course, depending on the university you’re at, it will replace the previous grade, which can be beneficial in boosting your GPA. Before you retake the class, take time to review your university’s policies.
This will bring you one step closer to determining if retaking the course is a viable option for you. In some cases, you will need permission from a specific department before you can move forward with retaking the course.
Or you might find that when you retake the course, it will show on your GPA alongside the previous grade because it won’t be removed.
College Grades: Strategies to Help Achieve Good Grades
When it comes to your college grades, it can be challenging. But there are ways to get the desired grades by using various strategies to set you up for success.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to help you create strong study habits in your college program, we recommend you continue scrolling through our blog for more.