Earning a perfect (or near perfect) GPA is an attainable goal for sure — your student just needs a plan. It can’t hurt to be proactive and talk with your student as the new semester begins. The next time you have some time with your student, ask them about school, “Ready for school?” or “How’s school going?” If they’re struggling, share some of the tips below and help them get started.
It also helps to be prepared when your student comes to you with questions or opens up about grades, stress or upcoming assignments.
Here are our best student tips for earning a 4.00.
Keep assignments organized
A monthly or daily calendar, whether digital or paper, is a good way to keep track of assignments. There are endless options available. A few favorite recommendations:
Use the calendar and notepad on their smartphone.
Use a handy pocket planner and organizer that includes a calendar with note section.
Evernote, a save everything app
Don’t forget to add in earlier reminders along with the assignment due date.
Even though we all know it’s not good to put things off until the last minute, it happens. One of the most important things to realize is that putting things off puts your student at a disadvantage. While your student doesn’t need to complete each assignment immediately, they should review it and start planning earlier by documenting what it’s going to take to get it done. This will help your student estimate the difficulty and give them time to seek out resources or help without running out of time. It’s pressure-free and they might even have time to polish up their work!
Take notes in class
Your student should pick the note-taking method that best compliments their learning style. If they’re not sure, they can try them all before settling on “the one”. Don’t forget your laptop or trusty pen(cil) and paper. And of course, get to class on time!
Designate a study area
Studying in a workspace that allows you to avoid distractions, like a quiet area with a table, is often the most productive option. That way, your student can spread out and focus quickly. Students should find and create their go to place to do homework assignments, study for tests and quizzes, plan projects, put together presentations, and write papers.
Prioritize study time
Not all subjects are not created equal. When it comes to studying, focus more time on the harder subjects. If math is harder for you than English, they should spend more time studying more for math than English. Instead of cramming for tests, break study time into daily chunks. They’ll remember the material more easily, reduce stress and do better in the long run.
Class schedule balance
Students should avoid taking too many hard classes in the same semester, or four piece-of-cake classes. Balance allows students to focus more of their time on a couple hard classes and less of their time on the easier classes. See #5 above.
Take advantage of free tutoring
It’s how your student can stay ahead. Tutors help reinforce the things your student knows and can help them understand their academic struggles. And if you spend a little time at tutoring making sure you’re totally getting the concepts, you’re more likely to bounce back quicker if you fall off track in the class.
Go to professors’ office hours
Students should get to know their instructors. Every professor has open office hours for at least an hour a week. They know that students who seek them out are taking their class seriously. Encourage your student to take the opportunity to talk with them about any course material they have questions about.
Eat well, sleep and exercise
A healthy body = a healthy mind. We all realize that the healthier we eat and the more we exercise, the better we feel. The better your student feels, the more ready they are to absorb information and perform well in their classes.
Keep the goal in mind
There’s no way around it — going for a 4.00 means sacrifices will have to be made. Though your student won’t have to give up their social life entirely, they might have to occasionally skip some fun activities with friends. They should just keep reminding themselves of their goal. They shouldn’t freak out if they get a B. They can get some Bs and still earn a 4.00. They can make up for them by getting some A-pluses. If they ace the classes that come easier and do pretty well in the tougher classes, they can still stay in 4.00 territory.