New College Students: Get Straight A's Every Semester with These Tips

Is your New Year's resolution to have grades worthy of posting on the refrigerator - like straight A's? That might seem like an intimidating goal, but it's totally doable. The tips below can help you stay on track and find success.

By Jessica Lyons

grade

1. Attend all of your classes.

It can be difficult to do well on tests and homework if you haven't been in class to hear the content covered. As tempting as it can be to skip classes now and then, resist the urge. Be there and be attentive to everything your professor has to say. Only miss class if you genuinely are too sick to attend or have a serious family emergency to deal with.

2. Complete all of your assignments and hand them in on time.

Handing in assignments late or not at all can have a huge impact on your final grade. Some professors will mark down significantly if you turn something in late. Completely failing to hand in an assignment will severely hurt your overall grade.

3. Seek help when you need it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you don't completely understand a concept or need a little extra assistance with your coursework. Talk to your professor for clarifications as needed or visit your school's tutoring center. It's better to get help as soon as you start to have problems than wait too long and get to a point where your grade has been permanently hurt.

4. Turn off Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

We all want to see the next train wreck that that will come out of the Kardashian family, but guilty pleasure shows can be a big distraction. Fight the desire to watch (after all, you can read it on gossip sites later on) and turn the TV off. It will be far easier to study without hearing the family members yelling at each other in the background. Save any of your guilty pleasure shows to watch during non-study hours.

5. Learn how to say no.

There will be many times throughout the semester when you'll get a call from a friend wanting you to hang out, even though you haven't left time for that in your schedule. Sometimes you just have to say no, no matter how often they call you a party pooper. If you've already earmarked the time for studying or completing homework, stick to it. You don't want having less time translate to a lower grade because it wasn't the best quality it could have been.

6. Don't let your phone be the boss of you.

Every time you hear that little bing on your phone that indicates you have a new text message or e-mail, you usually want to check right away. But when you're trying to complete an A-worthy homework assignment, reaching for your phone constantly and playing with it can be a problem. Show your phone that you wear the pants in the relationship and don't need to answer it as soon as it goes off.

7. Watch out for drinking on a school night.

Remember being younger and your parents saying you couldn't do certain things because 'it's a school night'? Keep that thought in the back of your head when it comes to drinking on a weeknight. A hangover will only make it harder to comprehend what's going on in class, take tests or study.

8. Be organized and keep a realistic schedule.

When you're taking five classes you'll probably start to feel like you constantly have a test to take or an assignment due. Get yourself organized so that you don't forget to complete an assignment, since that could hurt your grade. You then need to put together a realistic timetable to get everything done. When in doubt, budget more time to complete a task to ensure that even if it does take a little longer you don't feel rushed.

9. Do extra credit when it's offered.

Every once in a while your professor might offer students the chance to complete an assignment for extra credit. When this happens, definitely jump on the chance since it could help you get that A you want. Your completed extra credit could off-set any slightly lower grade you get and give you a little bit of a cushion to work with.

10. Take a break from your farming.

Farmville is just one of the ways you can get sucked into Facebook and waste countless minutes of time. Even if your crops happen to wither, there won't be any negative ramifications. However, there could be some serious consequences if you miss studying because you're too busy farming.

11. Know how many commitments you can handle.

Classes take up a considerable amount of your time. Piling campus activities and work on top of them can leave you with hardly any time to spare. Before you take on all these many responsibilities, you need to first determine how much you can realistically handle while still maintaining your good grades.

12. Always check your work.

Grades can sometimes be lowered because of silly mistakes, like a typo in a research paper, forgetting to answer a question on a test or not following all instructions properly. Always look over your work carefully before turning it in to avoid points being taken off for avoidable errors.

13. Never doubt yourself.

There will likely be times when you'll doubt your ability to earn straight A's. When these bad thoughts start to creep into your mind, be sure to push them out and remind yourself that you are totally capable of completing this goal. Staying positive will be a key to staying motivated.

14. Lean on friends for support.

Do you have friends who share your New Year's resolution? If you do, you should all work together to motivate one another and celebrate each other's accomplishments throughout the journey. Having others to share your progress with will help you acknowledge the great work you're doing.

15. Always review graded coursework.

When an assignment or test is returned to you, be sure to examine the answers you got wrong, see what the correct answer was and read any feedback your professor writes down. This can help you learn from your errors and could help improve future work.

Writing great research papers will definitely help you get closer to straight A's.


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