College classes are never easy. In fact, they keep getting harder as the student approaches graduation. Of course, the idea is that new concepts build on previous ones and progressively increase in difficulty. There is also the assumption is that the student has learned a thing or two about studying along the way, making more challenging classes more accessible to manage.
While this works in theory, it goes without saying that things get tougher in your junior and senior years. No amount of experience and preparation will cram new concepts or details of learned concepts into the brain any faster.
There are ways, however, to make the learning process easier. Being confident in how you study is a big one. To achieve that, it is necessary to have a winning studying strategy. The methods we are about to can help build that confidence and, hopefully, raise that GPA to make you more competitive after graduation.
#1 – Assess Your Workload
Gather together every class syllabus and look for test dates and project due dates. Use an app like MyHomework or another planner app for students to stay organized. These kinds of apps allow students to plug in every assignment due date, test date, and more and set reminders when key dates are getting close.
Decide, for example, how much time you will need to work on and hand in your term papers. If the load seems too heavy to bear, it might be a good idea to reach out to an essay writing service like EssayPro to help out. Your essay writer at EssayPro can proofread and edit your papers or even writer them from scratch if time is that tight.
#2 – Take Good Notes
It is far easier to retain information when you do two simple things: go to class and take notes. The benefits of merely showing up to class are self-evident, but pair it with always taking right notes, and it becomes much easier to retain the information in the lecture. Here are a few proven note-taking strategies being used right now by college students around the world to boost their grades with significant success.
#3 – Don't Cram or Pull All-Nighters
Becoming mentally or physically fatigued is not, and has never been, effective in raising grades. This is where a little time management becomes your best ally. Procrastination is the real enemy so don't let it get control of how you manage study time. Begin preparing for tests at least two weeks early. Start by organizing all class notes and creating flashcards to solidify key concepts.
Spend the first week becoming proficient with the flashcards and gradually start incorporating the rest of the details in the class notes and textbooks. A few days before the test, most of the concepts covered on the exam will likely be much more ingrained than expected. The night before, do a simple review of everything that might wind up on the test. Spend about on the hour on this at most and then get a good, full night of rest. Never sit an exam on no or little sleep. A tired brain will never recall information faster than a rested one.
#4 – Set Aside Some Downtime
This is the time to put down the books, stop thinking about exams, and refocus and decompress. This should also be part of the plan during that crucial week before the exam. Leave the flashcards at home (and the phone if you dare) and get out in nature. If that's not your thing, do whatever is. The point is to disconnect from the stressors and reconnect with yourself. Plan to include some social time as part of the equation, too.
It's Crunch Time – Use it Wisely
All of the above strategies can help raise grades and boost your GPA, but only if you commit, right now, to making the best possible uses of the time leading up to exams. It's time for a little brutal honesty and self-evaluation. What sorts of things distract from important stuff like studying? Everybody has at least a few. Some have way more.
Do a little soul-searching and eliminate the things that steal your time. Employers in many industries look at an applicant's GPA when deciding whether or not to hire. Follow the above advice, and your GPA might be high enough to keep your Résumé or CV at the top of the pile.