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Hacking College: 10 Tips on How to Boost Your Grades

If you attend a college or auniversity in Europe, you know how hard studying can be. You may experience constant stress from tight deadlines, hard assignments, and rigorous professors. On the one hand, you are full of energy and want to have fun. On the other, you worry about how not to be kicked out. If you want to know how to handle your homework and spend less time on your studying routine, there is a way out! In this article we want to share with you tips that will help you become more effective in school or college and get better grades.

1. Study every day

Does it seem impossible? If you stop checking your social media and talking on the phone, you will find out that you have lots of free time you can use with purpose. Routine is highly important to increase results. Schedule the time for studying in your timetable and strictly follow the schedule every day. Scientists say that it takes one week to make something a habit. So, try to follow your schedule at least for a week, and you will see that you will do your homework more effectively.

2. Improve critical thinking skills

No matter whether you need to write an essay or read a book, critical thinking skills will be with you for your entire life. Critical thinking skills involve reading attentively, doubting facts and opinions, finding weaknesses in arguments, working with concepts, and reasonably expressing thoughts. It doesnít mean that you need to immediately take a course of critical thinking or get an appropriate book to read. You can start implementing and practicing critical thinking skills into your daily routine. For example, you can write your thoughts and analyze your day before you go to sleep. Itís a quick way to understand the source of problems, analyze situations and your reaction, and understand your fears and dreams.

3. Take procrastination seriously

Yes, we all procrastinate from time to time. We catch ourselves scrolling Instagram instead of writing a research paper or reading Facebook during breakfast and missing the bus. On one hand, itís a normal way of things and nothing bad will happen if you procrastinate sometimes. But it may become a cruel habit that will make you postpone really important things. Some scientists even think that procrastination is similar to alcoholism, as it may be extremely hard to overcome such behavior.

How do you deal with procrastination? First, try to understand why you procrastinate. The reasons why we procrastinate are versatile, but mostly itís connected with boredom, difficulty with concentration, fatigue, lack of motivation, and fear of failure. Then you can move to the next step. Start planning your day and set realistic goals. When you will start moving from one task to another, a goal that seemed impossible will be within reach.

4. Involve experts

There is nothing wrong in asking someone to help you. Most of the students who get high grades have a habit of asking questions when they need assistance. The best way to ask the teacher is sending an email or scheduling a meeting in the teacherís office. Choose the most convenient way to communicate and start asking questions.

If you have never visited the college writing center, the time has come. This center helps students improve writing skills, use the services of proofreaders, and overcome writerís block.

You can also use various tutoring services and additional online courses to understand a particular topic or subject. If you fail to understand something or need help with your research, one-to-one communication with an expert should help.

5. Find your place for studying

Living with a talkative roommate? Having trouble concentrating because of a messy room? Itís time to take care of your workplace. Look for a quiet place where you can study: at home, a library, a coffee shop, etc. Make sure that no one will distract you from studying.

If you prefer to study at your own desk, itís important to have everything important at hand. Equip your desk with storage systems and get rid of dead weight. Make a big cleanup of your desk every month to keep things neat.

Also, take care of your laptop. It may seem hard to organize all the files you have carefully collected over the years, but donít be afraid. It may be much faster than you think. Start cleaning desktop files and then move to other files.

6. Set goals

Improving grades is not the right goal. Even setting a goal to reach a 4.0 GPA also wonít work. Itís your global aim that you want to reach, but what should you do to reach it? The right approach is dividing your goal into small manageable tasks. Make up the list of actions you should take and divide them into long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals. For example, you need to take more time with complex or less favorite subjects, or use mind mapping to successfully prepare for the exam.

Also, a good practice is creating a study plan that will include deadlines for every subject and exam. Stick to your study goals, motivational plan, and timetable. Write all tasks and time spent on each of them.

7. Prioritize classes and assignments

Knowing the basics of prioritizing will make your life easier. In your study plan you can see which assignments give you more scores. Also, some classes will take more time for understanding a topic or conducting research. The right prioritization will help you deal with the workload and not lose those important points.

8. Learn to relax and take care of yourself

Itís important to have an inner resource for putting your efforts and succeeding in something. The following things we are going to say are obvious, but many students forget about their needs in the long run for good grades. <
● Think about your eating habits and try to eat healthy meals and snacks. Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. The brain consists of approximately 90% water. Even a small water deficit in the body may lead to decreased mental activity.

● Sleep well. A lack of sleep may influence your ability to remember and store information. A person who experiences a lack of sleep has trouble with concentrating and studying.

● Go into sports. Even a bit of stretching and a dozen regular sit-ups will increase your productivity and metabolism. Make a habit to make 5-10 minute exercises every day to get energized and strengthen your body. During physical activity the blood starts to move into the brain and brings nutrients and oxygen vital for its functionality.
9. Improve communication skills and actively participate in class

Getting along well with people may be quite hard, especially if you are an introvert. Unfortunately, humans are considered to be social animals, and good communication skills will serve you well both at college and work. Learn the basics of nonverbal communication, look through available online courses, and practice your skills on people you donít know.

This also applies to presentation skills. If you need to deliver an oral speech to your class, take time to become a better speaker. Find out whether you have a speaking club on campus or if students have organized speaking clubs in a local pub or cafeteria.

Better communication skills may also affect your relationship with your teacher. You will be more confident and active during lessons and extracurricular activities. In the result, you will see the positive effects of your new skills.

10. Get your notes organized

How much time do you spend to find the right notes? If you frequently struggle to find the information that the teacher has given you during the lecture, itís time to stop writing on napkins. You may lose motivation while searching for the recommended list of literature or important tasks to do when you donít have a properly organized notebook.

Firstly, you need to analyze how the teacher structures each lecture or class. Look through the questions in the lesson plan and read over the books that will be discussed during the lecture.

Secondly, record the lecture. If you canít concentrate during the lecture, use your phone or sound recorder to save everything the teacher says.

Thirdly, you should find the most convenient way to store your notes. Take a notebook with sections that you can use for multiple classes or divide your notes into categories. Also, you will need to use dividers, stickers, and markers to highlight themes and important information.

If you prefer to type instead of write, take your laptop to the lecture. It will be extremely helpful for students who have bad handwriting or for those who type quicker than they write.


All of these actions will influence your productivity and academic performance. If you canít implement all of them in your daily routine, start with small steps. Even practicing several actions from our list may improve your grades. And the last recommendation is to stay positive! Your grades may not be as high as you expect, as it will take time to see significant results. We wish you strength and high scores!