Digging Yourself Out Of A Grades Hole

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I’m beginning to reluctantly peek at my grades and nervously calculate the lowest possible score I can receive on each of my finals.  If you’re anything like me, I often have a difficult time facing the music when it comes to owning up to a sub-par grade.
 
Take a deep breath and realize it’s not too late to dig yourself out of the holes you’ve dug for yourself.  With the help of some students who’ve been there and survived, I’ve put together a guide to help you salvage your final grades:
 
Teacher’s pet
 
Most students don’t take advantage of professors’ office hours, but take this time to make you and your situation known.  Think of this time as a private (and free!) tutoring session.  You’re not only showing initiative but taking responsibility for your work.  Consider asking for extra credit opportunities as well.  Trust me, they’ll be glad you came.
 
Let your voice be heard
 
Speaking in front of your peers is intimidating for everyone, but professors and students look up to those who do.  Show your professor that you’ve done the readings and the homework by asking questions and providing answers during lecture.
 
“Trying to turn around a poor grade at the last minute is difficult but interacting with your professor is key.  Attend the class and participate because the student can do well in the class lecture but not be the greatest test taker.”
Samantha Lebbos, Bradley University
 
Put in the time
 
Use your time wisely to perfect a paper or concentrate on the exact material that will be covered on a test.  Write out your own study guides and partner up with classmates to make sure you’re focusing on the correct information.
 
“Don't just accept the fact that you have a poor grade now and that is what you will see on your transcript. If you want a better grade kick it into gear and use the time that you have efficiently. Don't give up on topics you did not master in the past, but understand the general concepts since most finals do not cover the details.  My advice: get the rents to load your Starbucks card and pray for the best.”
Hannah Jaranowski, Purdue University
 
And if you must…
 
I don’t condone pulling the all-nighter; but if you’re desperately cramming, it’s better to go down putting up a fight.
 
“The success of an all-nighter and your course grade has a strong correlation to the number of Monsters that you shotgun.”
Josh Cravens, Indiana University
 
Photo: steakpinball at flickr.com

Junior > Journalism & International Studies > Indiana University

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