There may be times grades in some subjects in a semester for some odd reason may not be as good as they were in previous semesters. In other words, you may not have aced in all or most of the subjects affecting your overall GPA for the semester. Blaming students for poor grades isn’t the solution though.
Truth is students are more often than not victims of circumstances which directly affects their performance levels and they don’t seem to be able to snap out of the predicament that they find themselves in and gradually turn into underperformers. These students aren’t sure either or are clueless as to what they ought to be doing for their own self-improvement. What the students can do though, is self-analysis to find the reasons leading to underperformance and once the reasons have been analyzed they can formulate the strategy to adopt. This article aims at showing ways of self-improvement for students to get better grades which they truly can.
Positive mental attitude
Students get homework assignments regularly and if they get poor grades, they do get disappointed which is only natural. If the trend continues then a time comes when students may get depressed to the point that they may even accept defeat and ultimately quit. First and foremost what students need to do to improve their grades is to adopt a positive mental attitude replacing all negative vibes. With a positive outlook complementing positive mental attitude students may see light at the end of the tunnel as it were.
To put things into perspective students need to first acknowledge that they did not get good grades but they should have the courage of their conviction and sincerely believe that they can turn things around. Dealing with the situation head-on is a good starting point without entertaining any thoughts whatsoever of being a failure or a loser. Rather, one ought to instinctively believe that one has the potential to do better than what one may have done in the past. Don’t quit is the attitude to have and along with that believing in oneself that one can improve one’s grades would be the way to go.
Why you are falling short of meeting expectations
Between theory and practical applications for example, if the student has a good grasp on theory and not so much on practical applications then the student’s focus areas for improvement should be clearly identified and improved upon. Therefore, the immediate next step is to flag areas that the student may be underperforming and the reasons behind the student’s underperformance.
The student’s grades may not be improving for quite some time and the student obviously may not like that. It might be a struggle for a student in a particular area which could affect the results in general. The emerging trend of the grades of a student in the last few months may indicate or reveal that academic achievements have been generally declining, or grades have suddenly been low in certain areas time and again. The good news for students is that there are solutions available however vague. For a lot more clarity and transparency, a graphical representation of grades is recommended.
While contemplating on the possible reasons of underperformance affecting grades negatively or not being able to perform at optimum levels a student may identify reasons like external factors, a family issue, trying to figure out ways of getting along with peers, so on and so forth. Mastering a few academic skills like writing essays or taking notes may be a struggle for some students which could lead to poor grades.
As soon as the possible reasons a student may be underperforming are analyzed individually or separately, the issue becomes easier to manage. If external issues are the reasons students are getting poor grades, then, in that case, the situation ought to be effectively addressed and remedied by taking appropriate measures to ensure that there isn’t any adverse effect on studies. At this point consulting an academic counselor would be the right thing to do.
Since teachers groom their students, they know them the best. Hence, consulting them would be prudent while considering a plan of action for enhancement of grades. Queries for teachers could be along the lines of identifying specific areas where there is room for improvement and oftentimes teachers would have recommendations and suggestions.
Being more attentive in class and asking questions is the solution
As and when it’s a struggle for a student to understand any chapter of a course, they need help. Daydreaming while a class is in session, speaking with friends, letting the mind wander, so on and so forth are all signs of inattentiveness. Rather, students ought to be attentive in class and listen intently to what the teacher is teaching. Simply copying what the teacher may have written on the blackboard without understanding is a futile exercise. It’s a lot more important for students to understand the teacher’s lecture in class.
Notes should be clearly written to enable better understanding as students refer to them. Students should ideally seek the help of teachers without any hesitation for any clarifications at all. Optionally, students could flip through the pages of heaps of books to try and find answers with detailed explanations to their questions.
Whether it’s home, office or study, if the area is cluttered then that reflects a disorganized frame of mind which directly affects efficiency and productivity. Therefore, getting organized is the key to achieving academic excellence. A neat and clean workspace with notes and textbooks properly organized and not in a haphazard manner so as to be able to find them on demand. For effective time management is vital to prioritize time.
If there are subjects that a student finds difficult to grasp then the student ought to allocate some time for tutoring on the subject. A daily timetable inclusive of school schedule essentially comprises of time slots on any given day and adhering to the timetable and yet finding time for studying is indeed an indication of efficient time management capabilities. Allocating extra time to subjects or topics that are seemingly difficult to understand is necessary as one of the reasons for poor grades most likely may be time allocation on these subjects or topics isn’t enough.
Improve note-taking skills
Legible and well-organized notes are essential as low grades have a correlation with inadequate note-taking. Scribbling college notes when the time is of essence may be difficult for students to figure out later on while notes are revised and essays were written based on notes. Misunderstanding notes could lead to not grasping the topic or subject matter adequately. Good notes should be taken from each class that students attend and from textbooks that students read. Apart from being legible and useful, notes ought to be logically organized. Typed notes, in comparison with handwritten notes, are far better and indeed preferred.
Improve essay-writing skills
Poor essay-writing skills of students lead to academic underperformance. Even if students have the appropriate skills to write essays, that alone may not be sufficient to get good grades. By improving the technique of essay-writing grades can be improved remarkably. A proven technique would include all the aspects of essay-writing; right from initial research to ultimate proofreading, and even for essays written, the response or feedback. If response or feedback is that of a critique then criticism should not be taken to heart, rather underperformance ought to be acknowledged. Constructive criticism from critiques should be solicited as guidance and mentoring to improve oneself.
Key is to find a learning style that works
One more reason students underperform is pursuing a learning style that isn’t effective enough in the sense that it does not yield desired results. When it comes to learning style, it’s not like one size fits all. In other words, there isn’t a single learning style that works for all. Adaptability to suitable and unique learning styles that yield best results is the key. Studying alone may be monotonous after some time. Therefore studying in groups can be motivating and very effective.
For many students retaining in memory what they study before exams is a challenge resulting in low grades. Memorizing facts and figures of what may appear to be an endless list of subjects and topics to learn about maybe a gargantuan task. Therefore a few effective memory aids are stimulating for the memory and as a result, the capacity to retain information in memory is much enhanced.
Procrastination is a vice
Simultaneously watching a movie and getting work done is mostly impossible as its more of a distraction. Watching movie seems more interesting than studying and that takes precedence most of the time which clutters the mind leading to procrastinating on studying. When there is a lot to study and it’s stressful, watching TV on break time is relaxing for sure.
If both timed test and mock test scores are lower than expected, the reason could be revision time simply isn’t enough. Since mock tests aren’t actual tests, therefore students usually do not take it seriously and study hard enough. This is a misconception as mock tests simulate real tests and hence there should not be any sort of slackness when it comes to mock tests. Mock tests highlight or focus on the areas where more time needs to be dedicated so that students get good grades instilling confidence.
Have fun learning
Every now and then one of the reasons students underperform is that they are unmotivated. Therefore students underperforming isn’t a surprise at all and more so during exams when it’s stressful. As students strive for better grades which is their top priority, more often than not learning turns out to be a drudgery as it seems to be more like a chore and the fun factor of learning is missing.
Private tuition as a saving grace
Hiring a private or a virtual tutor for a seemingly difficult subject would be beneficial for students as their grades could improve interacting one-on-one with a tutor in a friendly environment.
Go to a summer school
Summer schools do wonders particularly when a boost is needed to improve grades and for enhancement of overall performance. It’s a lot of fun attending summer school and learning through fun activities in summer is simply great as students are outside of the four walls of classrooms for a change. Students feel rejuvenated and the passion for learning is rekindled. Students are inspired by a summer school and as a result, are doggedly determined to find solutions