Students often work to earn impressive grades in secondary school so that they can attend their dream college. However, achieving outstanding grades in college can be surprisingly difficult when compared to the high school experience. Although students should be well-rounded, grade-point average is a direct indicator of a student's academic performance. Keeping a high grade-point average in college is helpful because it increases opportunities for graduate school admission and competitive job offers. All students have their own unique learning styles; however, there are five distinct methods you can use to keep your GPA above average.

Course Load

Avoid taking more than four or five courses per semester. Taking a full course load requires a wealth of time and responsibility, so do not overwhelm yourself by signing up for more courses than you can handle. Although students often feel obligated to double major, try to focus on only one major. Each major usually requires 10 or more courses, so work toward completing the major in which you are most interested.


Make it a priority to attend all of your classes. Professors generally share important lectures, assignments and notes during class, so it is imperative that you are present to receive this information. Attending class will provide you with additional discussions and explanations that will help you during test time. Good attendance plays an important role in maintaining a high grade-point average.


Study for every college course you attend. The suggested study time for every class meeting is approximately two hours. For example, if you meet for Spanish twice a week, you should be prepared to study approximately four hours for Spanish alone. Find an area that is free of distractions, and complete your most challenging assignments first. Throughout your study period, take short breaks to help you remain alert. At the end of your study session, ensure that you have completed everything you set out to do.

Time Management

Time management will provide you with more free time and less stress. Set aside the hours you plan to study for each course on a weekly basis. In addition to scheduling study time, make a to-do list including all of your responsibilities and extracurricular activities. As each day progresses, focus on one task at a time until you have completed all of the items on your list.


Use a daily planner to organize all of your assignments, quizzes and tests. Organize and save all notes, quizzes, tests and assignments using three-ring binders. Save and back up any electronic assignments. Keep your study area clean and equipped with all of the resources you will need. Being organized will help you monitor your assignments and academic progress.

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