A high GPA in college isn't the most important thing, but it definitely comes with certain perks. For starters, the higher your GPA, the more impressive your resume may be to future employers. If you want to continue your education after college, a certain GPA might be a requirement. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to improve GPA.
Attend Your Classes
A good attendance at your classes is the most obvious and most important factor when it comes to a good GPA. If you miss a lot of classes, you'll miss out on detailed verbal explanations from your professor that isn't covered by the basic lecture notes, which you may be able to download or borrow from another student. You'll also miss the chance to ask questions during class to clarify anything you don't understand, and you won't hear important announcements about things that affect your grades, such as opportunities for extra credit.
Attendance is even more important if your grades are somewhat subjective. In other words, if your professor perceives you as lazy, disrespectful or disinterested because you frequently miss class, she may be less likely to round that C+ up to a B-.
Go to Office Hours
Talking with your college professor or advisor is one way to raise a college GPA. Most professors have office hours — a regular time every week for students to ask questions about assignments. This is a great opportunity to clarify areas of your course you're having particular problems with. It also shows that you are putting in extra effort and are keen to do well.
Review Your Work
Reviewing your work on a weekly basis takes a lot of pressure off when it comes to studying for midterms or final exams. It simply involves reading over your notes, from the very start of your course, at the end of every week. This gradual approach makes you more familiar with what you are learning and reduces the risk of cramming at the last minute, which can be stressful and result in poorer exam results.
Join Study Groups
Studying with other people can help with motivation and improve your understanding of your material. However, not all study groups are made equally. Be sure to team up with smart, dedicated students who will have a positive influence on you.
Ask for More Work
It's always worth asking your professor for more work until the semester is over. For example, writing an additional paper or doing a public presentation might boost your score. This also shows your professor that you are committed to your course, even if there's room for improvement in your scores.
Take Extracurricular Activities
In some courses, taking extracurricular activities on campus can contribute to your overall scores. Ask your professor if this is an option in your course, and if it is, look for an activity that relates to the subject matter. For example, joining a book club might help you with your literature classes. However, be aware that your professor may ask for official confirmation of your involvement and commitment to the activity before considering it in relation to your scores.
Change Your Schedule
If you're not doing well in a class, you can drop it and pick up a new one, or simply take fewer classes, to help save your GPA. Make sure you do this before the end of your school's "no penalty" drop/add date, which is close to the beginning of the semester, to avoid financial penalties and/or being stuck with a bad grade. However, don't rely on this option too often because every drop/add shows on your transcript.
Your school may have a "repeat" option that you can use a certain number of times if you fail a class. This lets you retake the class and replace the fail grade with a pass. The failing class will still appear on your transcript, but the F will not count toward your overall GPA.
Use a GPA Predictor
Using a GPA predictor won't increase your GPA, but it will allow you to keep track of your progress and take necessary steps to improve before it's too late. Various college GPA calculators are available online. They're very easy to use; simply input your letter grades and credits for each class.
Claire Gillespie has been writing and editing for 18 years. She has written about high school and higher education for private clients and various websites, including SheKnows and Reader's Digest.