You’ve made it to every class, you’ve never missed office hours and you’ve spent every free moment studying. Of course when the exam grades get posted, you end up with a “B” while that jerk in the front row got an “A,” the granddaddy of all grades. Your professor may be set on protecting the sanctity of the “A” or your seemingly perfect study routine may be missing a key component. Either way, check out 10 student tips to bump that “B” to an “A.”
1. Do it For the Eggs
“Find ways to make the class interesting for you. For my friend Alec and I, it was rewarding ourselves with omelets after.” – U.K. Musa, Junior, Georgia Tech
2. Find the Diamond in the Rough
“When you focus on what you find interesting about a class and connect with that, it makes you feel invested, which increases your determination to get that “A.” Look at those boring classes as stepping stones to future interesting ones.” – Griffin Shauer, Junior, University of Wisconsin-Madison
3. Find Your Happy (Study) Place
“One of my keys for success is finding a spot away from my apartment/room to work on homework and only homework. So every time I go to that place I know it’s homework time and nothing else. For me, it’s a corner seat at Starbucks that I like to go to.” – Ashlynn Montgomery, Senior, University of Minnesota-Mankato
4. YouTube it.
“I used resources outside of the class to help me learn the material better. For example, if I was confused about something in my physics class, I looked it up on YouTube. I watched a ton of videos, or I searched it on the Internet to find a legitimate answer.” – Rachel Douglas, Sophomore, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
5. See the “A”…Be the “A”
“Don’t settle for anything less than the grade you want. I find it very easy to compare myself to others and be okay getting average or just above average scores. But in order to get an “A,” I can’t settle, and I know that I have to put in more effort. Motivation is huge.” – Mitchell Pagel, Junior, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
6. No Binging. No excuses.
“Not working on things in one huge chunk is extremely beneficial. You’ll come back to the work with a refreshed mind and perspective. Don’t tire yourself out in one go because you procrastinated, or are determined to knock it out all at once.” – Zaire Lanier, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Class of 2015
7. Learn How to Test the Test.
“Concentrate on the type of test giver the teacher is. On the first test, see what type of questions are being asked, how they are being asked and what all is expected in the answer. It makes studying that much easier, and you can make an educated guess on what the next test will entail.” – Vashti Newble, Senior, Wisconsin Lutheran College
8. Professors are People too.
“Go and talk to your professor about what’s going to be on the test or quizzes. Building rapport with my professors helped me like them and want to please them with an “A.” Professors actually do want their students to succeed and talking to them helps you know what to prepare for.” – Sarah Strache, Senior, Universtiy of Wisconsin-Platteville
9. Keep it Fresh.
“When you’re listening to a lecture, you’re so focused on trying to get all the info in your brain that you might not fully understand it all. Going through your notes right away, with the info still in your mind, can help you process all the new info at your own pace without the pressure. Plus, repetition is key. As you read through your notes, you’re creating a kind of story. The more you can look at something and have the storyline in your head, the more you’ll remember it.” – Betsy Boggs, Senior, University of Northwestern-St. Paul
10. When You See the Iceberg, Call the Captain
“Make sure you get help, if you don’t understand the material early instead of waiting until the test to make sense of it. In thermodynamics, structural analysis and statics, putting in an effort to understand the material early on helped me get way better grades then waiting until a week or two before the exam.” – AlTonio Iyasele, Junior, University of Wisconsin-Madison