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Another semester is right around the corner for college students. This means a fresh start. It’s a chance to get better grades and increase your GPA.

Maybe you had a rough last semester or simply want to try to improve from previous semesters. Either way, aside from attending classes and studying hard, there are smalls changes you can make to improve grades.

semester

Image courtesy of ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Follow these tips to get better grades next semester:

1. Improve note-taking

Professors talk and go through slides fast. It’s likely you missed notes or sloppily wrote them down in a notebook, but there are ways to improve note-taking. Better note-taking will give you more study material and writing down notes will help you better understand the concepts while in class. There are a few ways to improve note-taking such as listening more carefully or developing abbreviations. Take a look at your current note-taking style and think about ways you could make note-taking could be easier for yourself.

2. Get organized

Did you feel like you were organized last semester? Staying organized is key to effective studying and meeting deadlines. Keep a binder filled with all your papers and notes for each class. This will save you headache when you’re going over material before a test. If you type your notes during class, keep them organized in a class folder. Also, use a planner to layout homework and test deadlines. Missing a test or assignment is the last thing you want to do. A planner always helps and can even help you plan out studying nights a few weeks before a test.

3. Participate in class

Professors care about participation. Even if it’s a small percentage of your grade, it can make all the difference between a B+ or an A- at the end of the semester. Plus, participating means you are thinking about the material and paying attention in class.

4. Read the books

Usually professors assign chapters to read, but since it’s not an assignment to turn in, college students often neglect to do so.  However, reading throughout the entire semester (and not just before a test) can help you better understand the material. Take time every night to read the chapter your professor is covering the next day. Then while you’re taking notes in class, you will already be familiar with the material.

Maybe you’ve been doing some of these things already, but there is always room for improvement. Essentially, you should think about reasons why you may not have met your goals in previous semesters and make changes. Treat the new semester as a chance for a fresh start and simply do your best.

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