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How to Turn Your Grades Around at This Point In The Semester

I live by the motto “never give up” and nowhere else does that motto show up more than in my classes. I hold fast to the belief that until my grades are in the BU student portal everything can be changed. I believe in a good comeback and that comeback is usually turning Ds into Bs or Cs into As with just a few weeks left in the semester. Here are my tips for saving that GPA like The Patriots saved the Superbowl: at the very end, and much to everyone’s surprise.  


Get Realistic  

First things first, calculate your exact grade now and how many points are left in the semester.

Based on that, figure out how you need to do on everything else to get the grade you want. There are a variety of websites that can do that but I recommend this one, which tells you exactly what you need.  


Lower Your Expectations 

Upon realizing that you might need a 200% to get an A in the class, it’s time to become comfortable with getting a B.

 Go back to the above website and see what the highest possible grade you can have in the class is. That’s your new goal. If that’s an A great, if it’s a C+ great.  


Get Your Ass to Office Hours   

Professors always say, “Don’t come knocking on my door at the last second begging for a higher grade,” but if you’re struggling, go to office hours ASAP. Your professor might be able to help you or give you study tips, or at the very least, they’ll know you made an effort.

If you’re doubtful, my Dad is a Physics Professor at a small liberal arts school and he always says, “I wouldn’t fail a kid that made an effort to work hard and turn things around.” Granted this is BU and you can’t spell BU without grade deflation, but at least you know you tried.  


Befriend Someone Doing Well  

My first semester Sophomore year I was failing my Physiological Psychology class, and I mean really failing. Like 56% on the exams failing. I befriended a girl in my discussion section that was getting As on the exams and asked if she would be willing to study with me.

I ended up getting As on the next two exams and pulling my grade up to a B in the class. I also made a friend so it was a win/ win.  


Review Past Exams  

Even if your final isn’t cumulative it’s helpful to see where you made mistakes before, if your professor allows you to, take notes on where in the lecture or textbook you’re getting lost.  Are you missing points on vocab? Are the assigned readings you never do catching up to you? Are you focusing too much on the details and missing the big picture? Whatever it is, identify your weaknesses, but also see where you do really well on the exams. 


Turn in A Rough Draft 

If you have a final paper worth a large chunk of your grade, see if you can turn in a rough draft for editing to the TA or your professor.

If not, go to your campus’s writing center to have someone look it over. Even your roommate could provide fresh eyes on a tired subject. Just have someone, anyone, read your paper before you submit it.  


Study by Teaching  

I study by explaining everything to my pet rabbit. She doesn’t pay attention, but it’s helpful to speak out loud and see where the confusion is.

 It can also just be helpful to remember things by speaking them rather than just reading them.  


Make Your Own Study Guide 

I’m in a sorority, and one of the many perks is our note bank, this has notes and study guides from sisters who have taken your classes before, these are great supplementary materials, but nothing beats making your own study guide.

If you can, write it out, because the action of writing helps you learn.  


Change your environment 

If you always study in your dorm try the library, or a coffee shop, or the BU Beach for some fresh air.

Sometimes a change of scenery is enough to spark some new motivation.  


Remain Positive 

It sounds stupid, I know, but continue to aim for the highest grade possible.

Until the very end, getting a 100% on an exam after pulling 60s all semester might seem impossible, but with enough hard work and determination, it can be done.  


Know You are More than Your Grades 

In college, it seems like GPA is everything, especially in a competitive place like BU. But it’s important to remember that you are a person first and a student second.

Never put your grades above your health, and never think that you are less of a good person because you did poorly in a class.  


There you have it, the tips and tricks to making a last ditch effort to turn your grades around. Work hard and ask for help, and it will all fall into place. Besides, if you do poorly, it’s only one class. You’ll be fine. 

Sophie is a junior at Boston University studying Psychology and Education. When she isn't memorizing parts of the brain or writing papers on the philosophies of teaching, she likes to dance, shop, and obsess over her pet rabbit.
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