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GPA: Myths, Mistakes, and Tips

Need advice? Starting now, a new topic will be shared every week with advice for how to manage it. These topics will range from advice on leadership, college, careers, and growing up in general. This week will be about maintaining your GPA, including myths, mistakes, tips, and advice for how to maintain it.

5 Myths:

MYTH 1: GPA is the only thing that matters.

TRUTH: Though GPA is very important, it is not the only thing that will matter for college admissions. SAT/ACT scores and extracurricular activities like sports and clubs are also vital.

MYTH 2: Unweighted GPA isn't important.

TRUTH: An unweighted GPA is the average grade on a 4.0 scale no matter the difficulty level of a course. A weighted GPA takes into account the difficulty level of a course and is the average grade on a scale that can go over a 4.0. Since weighted GPA is usually higher than unweighted GPA, many people focus on how weighted GPA will matter for college admissions. Unweighted GPA will still be considered, so it is important to pay attention to also keeping up your unweighted GPA.

MYTH 3: GPA doesn’t matter freshman year.

TRUTH: Something that happens regularly is people do not pay attention to their GPA freshman year as they think that they can just bring it up later or that it won’t matter until they want to apply for college. GPA matters throughout high school. It is important to recognize that freshman year has a big impact on your GPA in the future.

MYTH 4: It is easy to bring up your GPA.

TRUTH: After your GPA drops it is very difficult to bring it back up. Therefore, it is important to always pay attention to your grades and GPA.

MYTH 5: You can only get into college with a 4.0.

TRUTH: Though a 4.0 GPA is great, it is not the only GPA that will get you into college. You should strive to get the best grade you possibly can, but one C won’t ruin your dreams to get into college.

3 Mistakes:

MISTAKE 1: Not asking for help.

Asking for help when you need it is one of the most important things you can do. Sometimes it is hard to ask, but not asking for help can really hurt you in the long run. If you are struggling to understand something, ask for help! It will be a huge benefit for you.

MISTAKE 2: Procrastinating.

Procrastinating is one of the worst things you can do. Waiting to finish an assignment or study for an exam until the last minute can leave you stressed and exhausted. It also can cause you to turn in an assignment that isn’t your best work or do worse on an exam that you might have been able to do well on. Make a schedule for yourself to help you do things before the last minute and it will greatly benefit you in the long run.

MISTAKE 3: Not trying hard freshman year.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not trying hard their freshman year. It is very hard to get your GPA up after a bad year, so trying your best throughout high school is an absolute must.

3 Tips:

TIP 1: Get enough rest.

Being well rested is very important to get and maintain good grades. If you are not well rested, you will not be able to put in your best effort and do the best you possibly can. Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining your GPA.

TIP 2: Use a planner.

Using a planner is a great way to stay on track with due dates and to make sure that you are not missing anything. A planner will help you schedule your weeks so that you can do all your assignments ahead of time and also get enough rest while doing them.

TIP 3: Study ahead of time, not just the night before.

Studying ahead of time is very important. Cramming the night before an exam or pulling an all-nighter to finish homework is not as beneficial as doing work ahead of time. Studying material is much easier to do and remember if it is done in smaller chunks leading up to the exam rather than studying all the material in one night.

General Advice:

There are many ways to make sure that your GPA is the best it can possibly be and two of the biggest ways are to pay complete attention in class and take notes on what is being discussed. This will help you retain the material and make it easier when it comes time to do homework or take tests. Another way to maintain your GPA is to ask questions. Asking questions will clear up any confusion you may have had with the material and can keep you present in the conversation which will help you to pay more attention. Studying is also a huge part in keeping your GPA high. Spending time studying the information after class by reading over your notes or making flashcards will make a huge difference in how much of the information you remember. This will help you tremendously on understanding the information and doing well on exams. You can find more information here:


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