5 Ways to Improve Your GPA for College Admissions

Colleges consider many different areas when they decide whether they will accept you into their program, including your extracurricular commitments, social media pages, and of course, your grade point average (GPA). You will want to have a GPA of at least 3.0 to show that you are above average and that you have put effort into your studies in high school or at your local community college.

If you are planning to apply to the college of your choice, but your GPA is not where you would like it to be or it is low enough to hurt your chances of acceptance, then don’t fret, as there is still time to turn things around. Let’s look at a few strategies for how to revise your study habits, work with your teachers, and prepare for big exams so you can proudly fill out the GPA section on your application form.

1. Get Help from Teachers and Professors

If you are struggling in a certain class and you aren’t quite connecting with the material, then your teacher is a great resource. Take the time to talk to your instructors after class or visit them during their office hours and ask them how they feel you can improve and if they have any tips for how you can better retain the information. Remember to be polite during this conversation and don’t accuse them of singling you out.

Once you get that feedback, make sure to apply it to your future work. You may also get instructor feedback on your graded assignments, and you should apply that guidance as well. You can also be proactive by engaging during class by asking questions if the current lesson is not making sense. Remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question.

2. Remember That Exams are the Priority

While doing your best on every assignment is important, the exams that you take to assess your understanding of the material are likely worth more points, so they can be a major factor for your GPA. Once you get word that a test is on the horizon, one of the best ways to prep for them is to create a study schedule that outlines exactly what you want to read and learn every day and stick to it. This schedule should include the parts of the coursework that you want to analyze, on what day, and for how long.

These study sessions should be dedicated only to studying. Avoid distractions as much as possible by leaving your cell phone in another room and keeping the TV off until the session is complete. Set a time down the road where you review again to ensure that you retain what you read.

3. Consider Changing Your Learning Style

If you have reached out to your professors and studied excessively, but you still don’t feel that you are retaining the information, then you may want to consider changing your learning style. Everyone learns differently, and research has shown that learning with visuals can be 400% more effective than reading straight text. When we see images, they stimulate our imagination, and it becomes easier to absorb the information.

Students who feel that they may need a change can demonstrate what they’ve learned by taking the information from their lessons and transposing it into a visual format like a PowerPoint presentation or a graph. By doing this, you will not only make the material easier to process, but you will also learn through repetition. Then, when you take the test, you can think back to the presentation you created, which will help you to visualize the answers.

Female student learning through visuals.

4. Get Outside Help

Sometimes, when we study on our own, we can run ourselves around in circles as we try to understand the material. A third party can try to teach you from a different angle, so you aren’t stuck inside of your own head.

It may be wise to retain the services of a tutor because they are typically an expert on a specific subject, so they can comprehend your lesson plans and convey them to you in a way that you may understand. You can find a tutor online, or your school may offer free tutoring services. Since a tutor is hired to help you understand the subject, make sure to ask as many questions as necessary.

Another way to get outside help is to join a study group of your peers. This is a great way to create a sense of community and learn the topics necessary to ace the test with people who may have a different way of comprehending the material, which you could implement into your studies. Plus, having a scheduled meetup is a great way to ensure that you fit in the study time that you need.

5. Remember to Focus On Self-Care

With college admissions coming up, many students feel like school is the one and only priority, and that everything else should go to the wayside. While raising your GPA is important, if you continuously stress over learning the material but you don’t take the time to take care of yourself physically and mentally, then you could experience burnout.

For instance, even though you might think that all-night study sessions are necessary, it is more important that you get enough sleep. If you don’t get your seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night, then you will feel sluggish the next day, and you may even forget a lot of the material that you stayed up all night to retain. It is a good idea to schedule accordingly so that you are done with your studies the day before the big exam, so you can get the rest you need the night before.

You should also take study breaks during the day. These 15-minute breaks provide a great chance to get outside and get some fresh air. You might even add in some exercise, which helps to stimulate your brain cells and provides natural energy when you return to the books. As you can see, there is always a chance to improve your GPA. By practicing the tips above and asking for help when you need it most, you can reach your goals and get into the college of your choice.

Bryce Hall

After graduating with a degree in Communication Studies from San Jose State University, Bryce has worked in sales and marketing. With nearly a decade of business development expertise under his belt in the education industry, he now operates AcceptanceRate.com to help future students get reliable data in the palm of their hands easily and effectively.