GPA or Grade Point Average, is the one deciding factor that compares the quality of your work with your classmates and ranks you accordingly. The higher your GPA the better. But sometimes it is much harder to increase this simple number than it first seems. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to boost your GPA. Pick the Brain has provided a few tips on this very topic, but I have found a few more that prove very useful.
John Wesley’s original 7 tips include:
- Go to class – You would be surprised how often this is not followed. When you get to university you will learn that nothing is compulsory, and none of your lecturer’s will care if you go to their courses or not, so it is extremely difficult to stay focused and motizated.
- Sit in the Front Row – Not my favourite place to sit in a class, but it will get you involved, and make it easier to learn more.
- Take Notes by Hand – I am a massive supporter of this idea. I don’t think that you learn as easily just by following through printed notes. Actually writing the information down engages a different part of your brain, meaning that you are thinking about the concept and memorizing it at the same time.
- Do a weekly review – I have never tried this, but I suspect that it would work well. Most of the time you do this automatically however, whenever you are studying for an exam or preparing an assignment.
- Go to office hours – Again, I have never tried this, because I do not think that intruding on a lecturer in their time is of any benefit. If you have any questions, just ask them during your classes or directly afterwards.
- Find smart people to work with – Working through questions, and analysing key concepts can be a great way to fully understand the topic you are studying. It is for this reason that I encourage everyone to get a mentor. Someone older who can help you out, but have a smart fellow student in your same course can often be just as good.
- Avoid all-nighters – All-nighters are not the most pleasant experience, but most of you will do at least one of two in the next few years. Sometimes they are unavoidable, but I would try to eliminate them as much as possible.
My three additional thoughts on how to increase your GPA are of a different thought process, but are still highly valuable.
- Take easier courses – Make sure they are related to your major, but taking a few easy courses is a great way to boost your GPA. You just have to make certain that you will score extremely highly in all the assignments and exams. Remember, most courses are weighed the same, so a quick, simple course can be a great way to increase your GPA.
- Focus on the important assessment – It can be very irritating, but it is often the case that some of the least important assignments in terms of marks can be the hardest and take the most amount of time. Try to focus on the assignments and exams that will have the biggest impact on your overall grade.
- Remove distractions – Acquiring a high GPA can mean a lot of study. This is a very hard thing to do for many people, so you must help yourself out as much as possible. A good way to do this is to remove all distractions from your study area – TVs, computer games, mobile phones…
Having a high GPA can mean a lot when you are trying to get your first major job, or if you are trying for scholarships and academic awards. Often it is not easy to increase this number by a lot, but it is worth a try!