How To Get Better College Grades Without Working Harder
Learn how to get better grades by working smarter, not harder.
For some people, college is a breeze. They earn high grades with very little effort and have hours left over to live their lives. Are these people just remarkably brilliant or do they have a few tricks up their sleeves? Some are undoubtedly brilliant. Others are well-matched to majors they feel passionate about. Even if you feel neither of these is true about you, you can achieve similar results by working smart — not hard.
Look for PowerPoint Slides
Your professor might spend a lot of time trying to convince you to read the textbook. You really should read all the recommended chapters, but how often do you actually have time to do this? If you find yourself running out of time and feeling overwhelmed, use PowerPoint slides. If these are not provided by your university, you can often find them online by googling the name of the book.
Let Google Do Your Homework
Have you ever been just about to go to bed when you suddenly remember you have homework due the following morning? Well, it turns out that Google can do more than just help you find PowerPoint slides. You can even find answers to your homework. Copy and paste the multiple-choice question or math equation into the search engine and watch Google do the work for you.
Get a Planner and Use It
One way to avoid forgetting when things are due is to use a planner. Some people do better with journal-style planners. Others like to-do lists written on chalkboards. Most people now prefer to integrate due dates in their smartphone calendars. Find out what works for you and stick with it. The more organized you are, the less you have to stress over potentially missed deadlines.
Automate Your Citations
No matter what type of citation your professor expects you to use, there is an app or website waiting to do the work for you. Simply plug in the information it requests, hit enter and watch it organize the information in the way your professor requested. Be sure to double-check it with a polished example, though. Not all of these sites or apps are reputable or accurate.
Start Your Projects Early
So, it’s the first week of classes and your professor has already provided you with the information you need to start the final project. Do you start now or wait until a few weeks or even the night before the deadline? Waiting until the last minute, when several other projects are also due, will only stress you out. Start your work early, complete it early and submit it early.
Read the Instructions
Sometimes, students do way more work than the professor asked for because they didn’t read the instructions. Were you really supposed to write a 20-page paper on the three topics provided or were you asked to choose just one? You would be surprised at how often this happens, so read all instructions carefully and follow them exactly as they are. If you have questions, ask your professor before proceeding.
Befriend the Smart Kids
If you aren’t in the A-grades club, spending time with the kids sporting 4.0-plus GPA scores might seem intimidating. Without a doubt, some of these people are A-class narcissists who look down on everyone else. However, most of them are not like this at all. They would welcome the opportunity to tutor you, be your lab partner or help you power through a difficult assignment.
Choose Good Leaders
Some colleges and courses are heavy on group assignments. When you find yourself in this position, choose a leader wisely. Smart kids do not always make good leaders, but they are often good picks. An even better pick is the most punctual and organized person in the group. Another good option is the no-nonsense student who is not afraid to stand their ground.
Students often make college out to be a lot harder than it needs to be. With these and other tips, you can organize your college life, so you can work smart and play hard.