By Debbie Lechtman > Sophomore > Magazine Journalism > Syracuse University, Photo by Catherine Finsness > Sophomore > Psychology > The George Washington University
Spring GPA Resolutions
New year, new semester, new goals, new you. Sound familiar? That’s not surprising. “Humans are goal driven by nature,” explains Kevin Williams, a psychology professor at University at Albany – SUNY. Williams explains that students are more likely to set GPA goals at the beginning of the semester because it’s the start of a performance cycle.
So now that the holiday extravaganza is over and the novelty of seeing your friends from home has worn off, it is time to set some goals for yourself to boost your GPA.
Get Straight A’s
If you are among the more ambitious out there, make it a goal to get straight A’s this semester. Not only will your GPA skyrocket, but your professors will love you (think future recommendations) and – oh yeah! – you might actually learn a thing or two if you put some major effort into your classes.
To Becca Ames, a freshman at Tulane University, getting A’s is important. “I’m in a very competitive program – architecture – at Tulane, and getting A’s is near impossible,” she says, “Getting all A’s in my first semester just made me feel like I was good enough to stay in the program and continue to do well.”
When trying to boost your grades, it is important to take a look at problem areas and think about effective solutions. For example, if you got a C last semester because you skipped one too many classes – stop skipping! If you simply do not understand the material in class, try to get one of your genius friends to help you out or look into getting a tutor.
Actually Read Assigned Readings
Readings are not optional, unless the professor has explicitly said so. If possible, always read ahead. Doing so will almost always give you a better understanding of the subject.
“Reading ahead can definitely be tedious, but you’ll go into class already knowing what the professor is going to talk about, and that’s an advantage for you,” says Julie Castro, a junior at Syracuse University.
Make it a goal to read ahead on weekends or set a two-hour window block to read every night…and stick to it!
It is so tempting to stay in bed when the weather outside is in the negatives, the professor never takes attendance and you know it’s all in the book, anyway. Regardless, try to get your act together and show up for class. Even if it’s a huge lecture, your professor might get to know your face and he or she may mention something that will show up on the test.
“You have to realize you’re wasting your money if you never show up to class,” says Megan Morat, a senior at Towson University.
Get To Know Your Professor
We cannot stress this last one enough! You should always want your professor to know you (yes, even in big lectures!) rather than just think of you as another name on the list. Having some sort of relationship with your professor will help you when it comes to asking for help and letters of recommendation and you might even score with a better grade!