Students who have completed a first semester of studies will generally have been assessed and graded on some aspect of the course – an assignment, task, homework, exam, essay, practical work or other. Whether good or bad there is always room for improvement in the second semester.
What are some tips to help improve grades?
1. Ask for lecturer feedback. Asking for lecturer feedback is one of the main ways of improving grades. Often a mid-year grade comes with formative feedback about where improvements can be made, and, if this is not included it should be one of the first things a student asks for. A grade alone does not help. Feedback from a lecturer can be a great asset in making improvements at all levels. The lecturer will be able to go over mark-schemes for specific assignments and homeworks (past and future) and help a student understand just what sorts of skills or knowledge have to be demonstrated in order to shift grades upwards. Formative feedback from a lecturer can be a great asset and once a student knows what is being looked for in grading they can make a better attempt to achieve it.
2. Ask for study support. Asking for study support is another way of improving grades. This is especially the case if there is a particular issue – like working with English as a second language, housing troubles, financial problems, personal health concerns or other general life matters that are impacting study. Many colleges have staff for pastoral care and student groups can also provide support in a wide range of areas that can also lead to improved grades.
3. Start or join a study group. Getting some peer support is also a good way of helping to improve grades. Getting to know other people on the course and working with them can help improve grades. It may be possible to share resources – like expensive texts that are over-booked in the library – or simply go over material together. And it is always helpful having peers working to the same schedule for work and play since timetables are in synchronization.
4. Make a personal review. Making a personal review of progress can also be a key to unlocking better grades. Personal review involves asking hard questions about many aspects of life – from whether personal study habits are up to shape, to whether this is really the right course done for the right motivation after all. Understand strengths and weaknesses and get help to make changes where necessary.