It’s easy to become fixated on your performance in an individual class in college, but your overall grade point average is what’s looked at most often. Colleges usually operate on a 4.0 scale. This means that if you want to move from a 2.5 GPA to 3.0, you would be changing a C average to a B average. As you set your sights on a particular GPA goal, think about why it’s important to you.
Consider the Purpose of a GPA
A GPA is a reflection of your overall academic performance. Some employers may use it to evaluate your drive, determination and ability to multitask.
Graduate schools use a GPA to evaluate your ability to succeed at the next level. If you’re interested in going to graduate school, you’ll find that moving from a 2.5 GPA to a 3.0 is a necessity. Each program is different, but a 3.0 is a common baseline GPA for admission to graduate school.
Raise a 2.5 GPA to 3.0
The best way to reach your desired GPA is to earn top grades at the beginning of your academic career. It can be very challenging to increase your GPA once you have several credits under your belt.
For example, if you have a 2.7 GPA and have only earned 15 credit hours, a semester of straight A’s will raise your GPA to a 3.3. Conversely, if you’ve earned 90 credits and have a 2.7 GPA, a year of straight A’s might not move your GPA to a 3.0. It’s easier to manage a bump in the academic road if you establish and maintain a solid GPA.
Set Academic Goals
Create an academic plan and corresponding goals to attain your desired GPA. You’ll want to schedule your classes to maximize your time and ability to manage the workload.
For example, if you’re trying to raise a 2.5 GPA to a 3.0, you may not want to pack your schedule with courses that you know will be challenging and time consuming. Instead, space out your challenging classes and pad your schedule with general education and elective courses that you know will give you the best chance to succeed.
Develop Relationships With Faculty
Don’t be afraid to develop strong connections with faculty. It may seem scary at first, but if you take the time to visit with faculty individually, they’ll be more likely to be on your side. Talk to faculty about your academic goals and how important it is to achieve top grades.
If you’re facing difficulty in a class, let them know and ask for help. Developing a personal relationship may tip the scale in your favor if you’re between two grades at the end of the semester.
Retake a Class to Replace a Grade
Some colleges allow students to retake a class and replace a grade. If you did poorly in a class and would like to raise your GPA, look into this option. Retaking a class may seem like a waste of time, but if you can replace a D with a B, you may be able to significantly raise your GPA.
Seek Academic Tutoring
If you encounter a class that is particularly challenging, seek help right away. Most colleges have an academic resource or tutoring center that can provide supplemental instruction. You may also be able to form a study group or partner study with someone in the class who has the material mastered.
The most important thing that you can do is to get out in front of an academic challenge before it’s too late. If you want to raise a 2.5 GPA to a 3.0, you’ll need to do your best in the majority of your classes.
Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Meier is is a regular contributor for The Equity Network and has worked in education for more than 30 years.