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How to Go from Being a Good Student to a Great One

How to Go from Being a Good Student to a Great One

Interested in taking your academic performance to the next level? A high GPA can give you an edge over fellow job seekers when you go out on the job market. Your commendable grades may even set you up for noteworthy recognition such as the Dean’s List or membership in a campus honor society, which look awesome on a resume.

Studying harder certainly brings results, but other things also contribute to success. Try these seven strategies for rising to the top of the class:

  1. Eliminate distractions.

Quality learning requires concentration, so create an environment conducive to staying on track. Turn off the television, cell phone, and other electronics. Close all tabs on the computer other than the one you’re using. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door, and explain to others the importance of respecting it.

  1. Stop multitasking.

Don’t view reading your psychology assignment, eating, and talking to your spouse about his day all at the same time as productive. Studies show that requiring your brain to attend to many things as once proves a recipe for stress, memory problems, depression, anxiety, AND lower grades.

  1. Get proper sleep.

Forgo the temptation to get one more chore done or to stay up for late-night television. Lack of adequate rest affects alertness, temperament, and, yes, grades. The CDC recommends adults get seven or more hours of sleep a night.

  1. Create a master schedule.

Life is too complicated to expect to remember every detail without reminders, so make a central calendar your new BFF. Whether you favor your phone or a good old-fashioned paper and pencil day planner, record everything related to school, work, and familial obligations. Such a system encourages finding extra pockets of time in which to study, keeps track of when things are due, and reminds which day is your turn to help your son navigate his Zoom classroom.

  1. Clean up.

Perhaps nothing is as frustrating as being ready to buckle down on algebra and discovering your book, calculator, or assignment list is missing. Create a dedicated space in which to keep all your school-related material. The area needn’t be fancy or large, just sufficient for keeping everything at the ready instead of scattered throughout your house.

  1. Make double-checking a routine.

It’s often the “little things” that separate the great student from the good one. Turn in papers that truly represent your best work by spellchecking and proofreading. Note due dates and stick to them. If the instructor has provided guidelines of what needs to be submitted for a project, go through the instructions line by line to ensure you’ve met the qualifications. Losing points here or there because something is messy, late, or incomplete can be the difference between a B and an A.

  1. Go the extra mile.

Lastly, adopt the mindset that you are capable of being an outstanding student. Instead of looking at a syllabus and trying to figure out the minimum that must be done, commit to maximum achievement. Do the extra credit assignment. Get in on the optional study group. Become a regular fixture on the online discussion board rather than an occasional contributor. As your confidence and engagement level increase, so likely will your grades!