Did you know that every year more than 17 million students enter college but only half of them will actually graduate? Believe it or not, according to the education department, 45% of students who attend college will drop out or fail out. When these students enter college, they all have high expectations and aspirations of making good grades and graduating. Every semester I see students make simple mistakes that, unknown to them, jeopardize their grades. More and more students are dropping out or failing out of college each year because they lack essential information that goes beyond the typical classroom skills. Here are 5 suggestions for students who need and want to make better grades:
1. Go to class the first day. Many students make the mistake of missing the first class because they think it's a waste of time. But it is a mistake that will cause many problems throughout the semester. When you miss the first day of class, not only do you miss pertinent information, but you also create a first bad impression.
2. Before you go to class, find out what books or articles the professor has written. Buy a copy of their latest book, or borrow it from the library and take it to class with you on the first day. If there are no books, find an article by the professor and read it. This will impress the professor and will show that you have an interest in the material and the professor's work.
3. Introduce yourself to your professor on the first day and make a comment about their book or article. Just because you're familiar with your name do not assume that the professor will know and remember it. It's your job to make yourself stand out from the rest of the class, and the first way to do that is to get the professor to associate your face with your name.
4. Schedule a personal appointment with your professor during the first two weeks of school. Most students wait until there is a crisis in their lives to schedule an appointment with the professor. Take the initiative and meet with the professor before a crisis. It helps create credibility and ground the relationship between you and the professor. During the appointment let the professor know of your interest in the subject, and ask what you can do to receive a top grade from the class.
5. Ask your professor how he or she became interested in the subject matter of the class. Asking this simple question will do more for you than you will ever imagine. It will make you stand out from everyone else, and it will help that professor remember you. Ultimately it could work to your advantage in receiving a better grade. Don't underestimate the power of this question.
While these tips may seem innocent on the surface, they can make a big difference in the results you receive if you apply them.