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5 Steps Towards Getting an A

While college will be full of life altering moments, good friends, important life lessons, and self actualization, its important to remember you’re still here to get good grades and higher your education. If you do nothing else towards your school work at least remember these 5 steps and they will successfully put you on your way to getting an A, the rest is on you.

  1. Always Go To Class
  • I can’t stress this point enough. Its college, attendance isn’t as important as making it on time for homeroom, but with most professors it is still noted.
  • If you attend every class your professor has one less thing against you when you try to fight your B to an A.
  • For my entire rant on the reasons why going to class is necessary click here (link to:: Academics – “GO TO CLASS; this entire post is on why you need to wake up and get your butt in that seat”

2.  Raise Your Hand

  • If you can get to class the hardest part is done, but don’t let it stop there. You’re already here so participate. Professors’ love when students ask questions or offer experience it shows them that someone’s awake and listening.

3. Stay On Top of Your Work

  • When you get an assignment, do it. Professors in college often give you most or all of your assignments at the beginning of a course, if you have time on your hands use it wisely instead of watching reruns of Friends waiting to go out for dollar beers.

4.  Use Your Resources

  • Most colleges have peer tutoring centers, places you can go to get help with papers from other students, and who knows you may get a cute tutor, or a new study buddy.

5. Do The Extra Credit

  • In my experience extra credit is rare in college, so if a professor is offering any form of it at least look into it. It could be as simple as attending a seminar in your class subject, or as difficult as reading a novel, either way if you have the time, it will always work in your favor.

Tips For Actually Getting Homework Done

            Its one thing to say you’re going back to your dorm room to do homework, its another thing to actually get anything done. I’ve got a few tips for getting some work done with all the distractions of college. But first lets bring to forefront some of the obvious distractions to homework:

What distracts you while you’re trying to do homework?

  • “I can never get any homework done while my roommate is around. She’s always interrupting me with stupid stories or trying to get me to take a break and go to the dining hall with her.” Stephanie Polardo SJU ‘14
  • “My biggest distraction is my phone. If I already don’t want to be doing homework, having my phone sitting next to me is such a distraction because I’m constantly checking it even if its on loud!” Jennifer Lopez SJU ‘12
  • “Facebook is the anti-homework. I refresh my newsfeed more than I turn pages in my textbook.” Karyn Jacobs SJU ‘12
  • “My bed is my distraction. I can’t study at my apartment because studying always puts me to sleep, and when my bed is so close I think “Well I can take a quick nap.” But my naps are never that quick. Especially if it’s between napping and studying.” Mark Hardwell SJU ‘13

So here are some tips to avoid all that:

  • SHUT YOUR PHONE OFF… or if that’s too much for your put it on silent in the next room at least.
  • Refrain from having anything open on your computer other than your assignments that means no Facebook, no, no, nothing other than the assignment.
  • Don’t study in your living space, this will take care of the nagging roommate and the lure of your bed. The library is a better idea. It always makes me work faster doing homework in the library cause I want to get out of there as soon as possible.
  • Get some fresh air before you start an assignment, maybe take a walk and clear your head. Focus your mind on the task ahead of you.
  • Its not a bad idea to take a little break between assignments. Study breaks shouldn’t last longer than 15-30mins, after that they’re just another distraction.

My Go-To Academic Websites

The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers over 200 free resources including: writing and teaching writing, research, and grammar and mechanics.

Rate My Professor online data base of over 1.5 million professors, you can read comments and ratings by students who have already taken a particular professors class. This is a big help during registration time.

EasyBib is an automatic bibliography and works cited generator. Instead of having to remember that crazy MLA format of punctuation on your works cited, just use this generator and copy and paste! So easy!

Google I know i don’t need to explain the importance of Google to you, but its important to know that Google is becoming evermore advanced and there are a lot of new features for refining a search.

Controlling Your Stress During Finals Week

  1. Watch your coffee intake, try decaffeinated I know its gross but we drink enough coffee while we’re studying that half of the effect is a placebo.
  2. Remember to eat. Don’t lock yourself in your dorm for too long you’ll run low on energy a quick PB&J should do the trick in between your RedBulls.
  3. Use what you learned in high school we spent 4 years memorizing vocab words and taking notes on general subjects, so get your flash cards out and study old school.
  4. Have a party and trade the booze for books studying with other people is always more productive. Its good to be able to talk aloud about what you’re learning and trade ideas and explinations about subject matter. You never know your friends could be able to explain Chemistry to you in a better way than your professor.
  5. Constantly remind yourself of whats at stake and have something to look forward to. Don’t over stress about the outcome of your studying but remind yourself of the necessity of studying to excel. And it’s good to have a reward for making it through finals, like a special event the weekend after finals..