Concentrate on improving your grades

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]uestion:  Hello Ms. Teri.  I have hesitated with submitting this question, because I feel it may be too late for me to improve my grades before the term ends.  My name is Justin, and I’m a freshman in college.  I have four weeks to make an improvement in some of my classes.  Can you help me?

Answer:  So my first question to you Justin is, “Are you prepared to roll up your sleeves and seriously concentrate on improving your grades?”  I’m glad to hear it’s just a few of your classes that need intensified attention, so I’m going to assume that your focus needs to be with either two or three classes.  I have three recommendations that could make a significant difference in the outcome of your grades.  First, I want you to talk face-to-face with each of your instructors and request an opportunity to do extra credit work, because you need to improve your grade.  Don’t spend too much time on why you are behind, but acknowledge that you made the error, and that you want the opportunity to show that you can do better.  If your instructors are willing to work with you, you must submit your best work to your instructor by or before the agreed upon date. No excuses.  Just do it!  Second, I want you to pick out the three smartest students in your class and ask them if they would like to form a study group to prepare for finals.  There are plenty of places to study on campus.  Use a public location such as the library, learning lab, writing lab, cafeteria, etc…  Coordinate schedules for meeting to study and be prepared to participate when you meet with your study group.  Meet at least 2 – 3 days per week, since you timeline is short before finals.  Third and final recommendation, I suggest you work at learning your classwork as if your life depended on it.

Think of it as a survival game.  If you are just going through the motions, you will not survive.  If your mind is focused and you are studying you homework as you work through it, you will survive.  Plus, you’ll feel good about the knowledge you just gained knowing that you have actually accomplished something.  Now, when you study or do homework, you need to ensure that you have created a distraction free environment.  This means no cell phones, no television and no music if any of these activities represent distractions.  You also want to select an environment where you can be comfortable for a few hours.

Pick the best time of day that you are most alert to study.  Be clear on whether your best time is in the morning, afternoon or evening.  Capitalize on studying when you are at your best.  I believe you’ll make some remarkable progress if you follow these recommendations.  Good luck Justin!

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