As a college student, one of your top priorities is to maintain a good grade point average (GPA), but when you have work, class, family and so much more to manage, it can be extremely difficult to keep up.
One of the best ways to take control of a busy schedule is to have a routine. By implementing better habits both in and out of the classroom, you can set yourself up for success all year.
Here are five daily habits to boost and maintain your GPA:
1. Take notes
Your professor likely won’t require you to take notes during class, but you need to in order to remember key information at a later date, such as before a test. Some students prefer to type their notes on a laptop, while others will take theirs by hand. There is research to suggest that writing notes by hand is more effective because it requires more focus, making it more likely you’ll remember the information later. If you’re not used to taking notes, it’s OK to experiment with different styles to find what works best for you. Just make sure that you keep all your class notes in the same place so it’s easy to find them later.
Review your notes whenever you have downtime and before important quizzes or exams. You’d be surprised how much regular repetition can help you understand a topic. Reviewing your notes after class can also help you identify areas in which you’re struggling. Be sure to follow up with your professor or research the answers in your textbook. As you prepare for exams and quizzes, you might also find it helpful to rewrite your notes in the form of a study guide.
2. Study on-the-go
Nobody wants to lug their textbooks around all day. Luckily, there are many ways you can take your study materials on the go and have some fun while you’re at it! One example is to make a quiz or flashcards out of your notes. You can do this the traditional way on notecards, or use Quizlet to create an online quiz.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, but keep your lifestyle in mind. For example, if you don’t often have a laptop or tablet with you, Quizlet might not be the best resource. You should try flashcards or printing out a mock quiz instead. The more accessible you make your study materials, the more likely you are to actually study.
Also, be sure that the study materials you create are challenging enough that they will help you learn, but not overly difficult. A good rule of thumb is to make your quiz questions 75% challenging and 25% easy. The easy questions will keep your memory fresh while providing temporary relief from the difficult questions. A well-balanced study session is key to finding success.
3. Make time for homework each day
Homework is designed to test your brain outside of the classroom. It can be challenging, but that’s the point. The more you work on something, the more likely you are to remember it. It can be tempting to wait until the last minute to get it all done, but this not the best way to handle your homework.
Instead, by making time for homework every day. This way, you will be studying and familiarizing yourself with course material far more regularly, and you will start to understand the material better. Additionally, because you aren’t spending late nights trying to finish your homework at the last second, you can give every assignment the attention it deserves.
4. Take time for yourself
Sometimes students struggle to get their GPA up because they are suffering from test anxiety and going overboard with their study habits. If you study too much and worry too much, you won’t perform as well as you would have if you took some time for self-care.
So, take some time to unwind and relax every day. Turn on Netflix, read a book, or just spend some time with your family – whatever you need to do to relax. Of course, you should still be responsible with your time and make sure you are studying at some point in the day. Find your balance and you will do just fine.
5. Use a planner
Many students use a planner to help find that balance between studying, self-care and other commitments. There are many time management apps – some even specifically designed for students – that can help you plan out your days and manage your to-do list effectively. You can find out more about which type of planner is best for you in this blog post. All are equally great resources for staying on track!
While maintaining a strong GPA is important, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to achieve perfect grades. You might not ace every exam, but you can position yourself for success by practicing good time management habits and taking care of your health. Trust that your hard work will pay off in the end, and focus on doing your best!