How to Get Good Grades in College

Monday, October 16, 2017

I decided to add a new section to Pretty as a Peony titled College Tips. I get a TON of questions asking about my major and other college tips, so I wanted to make a more accessible section of my blog with all types of information relating to college.

 To introduce this section, I wanted to talk about How to get Good Grades in College. This question gets asked a lot, because isn't that one of the biggest struggles in school is maintaining your grades? And this is true across all majors.

So to begin, to have a successful semester, you need a strong foundation. This begins as soon as you receive your syllabi, bringing us to tip #1...

#1: BUY A PLANNER, as soon as you get your syllabus, fill in all important dates

This means assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, EVERYTHING. In a lot of the upper level computer science classes, our syllabi do not have dates on them, they get announced in class. This just means I have to listen carefully and fill them in as soon as they are announced. This brings us to #2...

#2: Take notes on your syllabi during syllabus week
I say this for a very specific reason. During this first week, professors will announce these great things such as I DROP YOUR LOWEST QUIZ GRADE and not so cool things like THERE ARE NO OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE UP MISSED HOMEWORK. These are not always in their syllabus, so I always write them down on the syllabus. Trust me, you will forget them. 

There are a few methods of doing the next tip, however I prefer to have one large notebook with dividers for each class. This way if I am commuting or don't want to carry a lot, I easily have all of my notes in one place. A lot of people, however, prefer to have one notebook per class and that works great for them too! 

 #3: Handwrite your notes

There are a lot of studies linking handwritten notes and memory retention. I have tried both typing my notes and writing them and definitely have better results when I write them. Also, write everything. Don't skip class. Ever. You will miss something important and it's totally not worth it.

#4: Find a study group

This is so so useful. I have both a friend group and a study group. Most of my friends are some sort of education major or a nursing/medical major, while I am computer science. This means we study very differently and very different material, so I had to find people in my major or with a more similar major for study help. This has been so incredibly useful. By meeting people in your major, you open up so many doors and different perspectives on class and test material. It also let's you meet people who may have already taken a class you may be currently struggling in. There are just so many benefits to it. 

A lot of campuses also have study halls or study rooms for specific majors. I feel as though I am the most productive when I am surrounded by other people in the computer science department. I highly recommend finding out where your major's study hall is. This kind of brings us to tip #5

#5: Know where your tutoring center is

Most colleges offer free tutoring at some sort of tutoring center. Usually this includes help for core classes, however some offer tutoring for upper level classes as well. On the flip side of this, most of the tutors are students who have met certain class requirements. If you are looking for an on campus job, this is useful info as well.

#6: Don't Procrastinate

Everyone says this and there's a reason. If you procrastinate an assignment or an exam, you will not do as well. This is where the handy dandy planner comes in. Use it to schedule out study times and plan ahead with papers.


Blogging for me is one of my study breaks. Sometimes I go walking around different parks in Savannah, or I go antiquing. Try to make it something unplugged to give your mind a break. Taking frequent breaks has actually been proven  to help with memory retention. If you don't have much time for a break, grab a quick coffee and get back to studying.

#8: Make flashcards

This doesn't work for everyone, however I have found that making flashcards helps me remember terms and equations much easier. I love that you can just tie a rubber band around them and carry them around in a purse or notebook to study on the go.

I hope you all found these tips useful!! No matter what your major is, college can be tough and the way you manage time can make all the difference.

Let me know in the comments any more questions you may have and check out my college Pin Board: Pretty as a Peony College Prep Pin Board

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