As the Spring semester of high school continues on, many students may be worried about their high school GPAs. Most students apply for college early in their Senior year of high school, so in theory, only have three years to build their GPA for college.
Here are some tips to ensure your GPA and other academic factors are in great shape before (and even after) applying to colleges:
Do well freshman and sophomore years: These early years are so important in building a strong foundation for your GPA. Once you are a Junior or Senior, it is much more difficult to improve a poor GPA. If you are a Junior or Senior, you'll still want to put in the time and effort to maintain or raise your GPA, but your main focus should be doing well on the SAT and ACT in order to have those positive scores to bolster your college applications.
Consider summer school or retaking a class the following year: If you did poorly in a class, consider re-taking it during the summer or the next year. Talk to your high school counselor first, to make sure the course is available and will replace the other class.
Know how AP classes affect GPA: If your Advanced Placement (AP) classes are weighted more than regular classes, you want to ensure you take enough AP classes and do well in them. Generally, AP courses score on a 5.0-point system, as opposed to a normal 4.0-point system. So, doing well in an AP course is important, as it can raise your GPA significantly. Also, note that a B in an AP course is as good as an A in a regular course.
Work with your teachers to improve a grade: Ask your teacher if you can do an independent study or other work to repair a poor grade. Or ask if you can turn in missed assignments for partial credit. If you had a situation in your life that contributed to your poor performance, it might be worth your time and effort to discuss this situation with your teacher. Or simply go ask for help, if you are struggling in a class. Teachers want you to succeed.
Change your study habits: Get a calendar or planner and write down all your upcoming tests, quizzes, and assignment due dates. Also, set aside specific time during the week to study and do homework. Make it an appointment that you cannot miss. If needed, ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Eliminate distractions by studying in the library or a quiet place away from social media and other interruptions.
Get a tutor: Hire a tutor to help you in specific subject areas (Christianson Tutorials tutors can help you!) or check to see if your school has a tutoring center. Getting one-on-one help might be just what you need to help everything fall into place. If it means getting into the school of your dreams or getting a valuable scholarship, the extra cost will be worth it.
References: How to Save Your Grades & Improve Your High School GPA