• Strengthen Your Chances
  • Academics Matter

Tips to Improve Your GPA

Students attending lecture in library

Your chances of college admission depend in large part on your academic performance. Research shows that these study strategies will help you succeed.

Fostering good study habits now will pay off in high school—and prepare you for the challenge of college classrooms.

Get Ahead in Class

  • Take notes. This helps your brain sort out what is important and makes the information easier to retrieve. Go over your notes each day while the lecture is still fresh in your mind.
  • Sit near the front. Students that do get better grades.
  • Speak up. Ask questions and join discussions. You'll retain content much better than if you stay quiet.
  • Keep up. Don't fall behind on assignments. Ask for help if you do.
  • Improve reading and writing skills. This will not only help your high school grades but also help you create strong applications and do better in college.

Get Organized

  • Plan your time. Whether you use a personal planner or a spiral notebook, note assignments and due dates. Create a weekly schedule that prioritizes time for study (and relaxation).
  • Dedicate a daily study time. Students who follow a daily study schedule tend to get better grades than those who study based on test dates and deadlines.
  • Make a priority list of tasks every day. This will help you avoid procrastination and do your most important tasks first.

Study Effectively

  • Quiz yourself. Research shows that self-testing, such as with flash cards, helps students retain knowledge more effectively. The results are even better with a friend or study group.
  • Vary your study locations. This keeps your brain alert and allows better retention of the material.
  • Don't cram. Short study sessions and varied study topics are more effective than intensive, last-minute studying on a single subject.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Get enough sleep. Your brain needs rest to function at its best.
  • Reward yourself. Celebrate your achievements, big and small.
  • Ask for help. If you feel you're floundering, get advice immediately from a teacher, counselor, or parent.

What's Next?

Go beyond your GPA. Impress colleges with the challenging courses you are taking. Challenge Yourself: Show Colleges You're Ready describes the types of courses colleges look for.

Impress colleges even further by taking a college class. Taking College Classes in High School shows you how to sign up for college classes and work with your high school to add college credit to your transcript.