Keeping it Reel

15 Easy Ways to Improve Your GPA

Grade Point Average, or GPA is a number that represents the average of all of a student’s course grades throughout their high school career. But if you are looking to raise yours, you probably already knew that. I start with this definition because the answer to the question, “how do I improve my GPA,” should be obvious. Your GPA represents the average of all of your course grades, so to raise it, you need to get better grades in your courses.

I know I am pointing out the obvious, but there is no secret trick to getting a better GPA. There is no “GPA hack.” If you want to improve your grand point average, you need to accept the fact that hard work is on its way.

Now, while there may not be a “hack” there are a few things you can do to make raising your GPA a little easier. Let’s jump into ’em.

1. School comes first

If you want to raise your GPA, the first thing you need to do is commit to the idea that school is one of the most important things in your life right now. It is more important than playing basketball, more important than calling your significant other, and more important than binge-watching Netflix. You can’t let schoolwork take the backseat to your social life and your other non-educational commitments. If you do, it will be incredibly hard for you to raise your GPA.


2. Prioritize classes where you’re slacking

Are there any classes that you don’t usually study for? Are there any classes where you never turn in your homework? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you can probably raise your GPA with ease. Let’s say you are currently giving these classes 50% of the time and energy you could be. By raising that to 100% you could completely turn your grade around and raise your GPA.


3. Take every class seriously

On the subject of slacking off, make sure that you are taking every single one of your classes seriously. You may be getting a C in a class where you could easily have an A for no other reason than you think the class is stupid. If you’re serious about improving your GPA, make sure you’re giving every class your full attention.


4. Take Advanced Placement courses

If you are doing well in the majority of your courses, but would still like to raise your GPA, consider adding Advanced Placement courses to your schedule. Advanced Placement courses can be weighted differently than regular courses. Many high schools grade them on a 5.0 scale instead of a 4.0 scale. This means that in an AP course receiving a B is equivalent to receiving an A in a regular course.

By taking AP courses, you can end your semester with a GPA above 4.0, which will help you raise your GPA more quickly than usual.


5. Sit in the front row

We all know that sitting in the back of the classroom makes it easier to sleep, text, and generally goof off, which are all things you can’t do if you want to raise your GPA. Sitting in the front of the classroom can help you stay focused on your work. You’ll be able to hear better, see better, and if you start to engage in any distracting activities, your teacher will help you get back on track.

6. Take notes in a way that works for you

If you currently do not take notes in any of your classes, start. Taking notes can help you memorize course material, highlight important information, and give you something to reference when studying or reviewing.

It is important to take notes in a way that is effective for you. If you are a visual learner, including images and diagrams in your notes will be beneficial. If you are a read/write learner, taking long, detailed notes may work best for you. If you are an auditory learner, it might be better for you to record lectures so you can spend your time in class actively listening to your teacher.


7. Ask questions

Asking questions can be a scary thing, but when you don’t understand a concept, idea, or problem, it is better to ask questions and gain knowledge than to sit quietly and remain ignorant. When you are having trouble, make sure you ask questions and don’t stop until you understand the current topic.


8. Come in before or after school

Despite paying attention in class and asking questions, you may still need a little extra help. If a course is moving too quickly for you or if you think you learn differently than other students, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher to meet with you before or after school. A little one-on-one time might be just the thing you need to raise your GPA.


9. Join or form a study group

Studying for tests and quizzes can take a lot of self-discipline. If you are having trouble properly preparing yourself for these things, try joining or forming a study group. The odds are that you understand some things that your classmates don’t, and they understand some things you don’t. Together, you can hold each other accountable for the course material, and help each other succeed.

10. Get a tutor

As I just pointed out, your classmates can be a valuable resource when it comes to improving your GPA. In a study group, you may not be able to focus on your specific needs, but with a tutor, you will definitely be able to. Ask your teachers or your counselor if your school has a tutor system in place, and see what you have to do to be a part of it.

11. Do ALL of the course assignments

Nothing hurts your GPA more than a zero. It may seem like not doing a five-point homework assignment is no big deal, but it is. Instead of having five easy points boosting your grade, you have a big, fat zero weighing you down. And once you convince yourself that missing an assignment is fine, you will be more okay with doing it in the future.


12. Participate in class

In many courses, participation counts towards your overall grade. These are easy points that are yours for the taking. All you need to do is participate in class discussion and remain engaged with the material.

In addition to obtaining points, participating in discussions can help you learn and understand the material better, leading to improved grades on quizzes, tests, and homework assignments.


13. Read and understand the syllabus

It may seem unimportant, but course syllabi are your guides to success. A syllabus will give you information on how you will be graded and how many points specific assignments are worth. If you read and understand the syllabus you won’t be surprised by any assignments or by how much they contribute to your overall grade.


14. Talk to your teachers

Your teachers are your most valuable resource when it comes to raising your GPA. If you let them know of your intentions and ask them for help, they will most likely give it. Now, that won’t always take the form of a free extra credit assignment, but having your teacher read over your final paper before you turn it in can be an even bigger help.

Let your teachers know what you are trying to accomplish and ask for their support – they will help you succeed.


15. Talk to your guidance counselor

Your guidance counselor cannot give you the same kind of help that your teachers can, but they can help you plan for the future. If you still have a few semesters left in your high school career, talk to your guidance counselor and come up with a strategy for raising your GPA. They can help you decide which classes to take and which to avoid. They can provide you with study resources and get you involved in helpful programs. And they can give you the guidance you need to reach your goals.

Raising your GPA is hard work, but if you do these fifteen things, you can be on your way to that 4.0 in no time. If you ever need a little break from your studies, check out our Degree Emphases Quiz. By answering a few short questions, you’ll be match up with one of our eight film emphases!

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

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