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5 Important Steps to Take If You’re Unsatisfied With a Subject Average

Not getting the grades you’d like to get around the middle of the quarter? Reassess and improve your subject average with this simple five-step plan!

It’s midway through the quarter and you’ve decided to take a peek at your grades so far. Whether you’ve had a stellar start to the school year or are still adjusting to new teachers and subjects, you probably have at least a class or two you’d like to boost your average in. Here are five tips to help you finish out the grading period strong!

1. Thoroughly review your classwork and homework

If you’re striving to ace a class and aren’t looking over your graded classwork and homework assignments after you receive them, you need to begin doing so! Repeated exposure to course material—particularly to any mistakes—ensures your knowledge “sticks” and reveals which topics you need to study most. This can also help prevent errors on test day and help you boost your final grades.

2. Change up your study habits

Adjusting the way you study can sometimes be a simple remedy for poor performance in a class. Even if a certain technique like flashcards, note reading, or rewriting worked in the past, so-so grades are often a sign that it’s time to try a new learning strategy. Experimenting with different study methods may help you discover the most effective approach for your current coursework and learning style.

Related: Infographic: Find Your Learning Style and Study Smarter

3. Talk things out with your teacher(s)

Whether you’re struggling to grasp course material or making more mistakes than usual on tests, quizzes, and homework, talking through those mistakes and details with a teacher can make a world of difference. It’s well worth your time to do so, even if that means coming in early for extra help, staying after class, or visiting them during a free period. Ultimately, teachers are a resource for you, so take advantage of their assistance and expertise!

4. Find some study buddies

Even if you’re more of an individual learner, connecting with friends and peers who are taking the same courses as you can help you stay up-to-date on notes, assignments, and due dates. In addition, they can often answer questions you have outside of school hours via email, text, or group chat. Try reaching out to your friends, classmates, or teachers to see if there are any established study groups you can join, or just ask if they’d like to form one.

Related: Video: How to Effectively Handle Group Projects

5. Take care of yourself outside the classroom

Not every subject in school will come naturally, but when dealing with unsatisfactory grades, it’s important to consider whether other physical, mental, social, or emotional factors are impacting you as a student. Exhaustion, poor sleep quality, social drama, and/or anxiety surrounding a class may be to blame rather than academic issues. If you’re faced with personal challenges like these and want to improve your overall well-being, consider seeking help from a parent, friend, or trusted adult like a school counselor or therapist.

Bonus tip: Don’t pester your teachers about extra credit

Even when you’re distraught over your average in a subject, begging for extra credit doesn’t endear you to teachers; they may even find repetitive inquiries like this insulting or annoying. If a teacher feels extra credit is warranted, they’ll assign it or offer it to you. But if you can’t help yourself, ask once politely then accept the answer they give you as final.

Related: 6 Smart Tips for Processing and Turning Around a Bad Grade

A low average can feel like a foregone conclusion as the marking period wraps up, but there’s still plenty you can do to lift your quarterly grade! Every test, quiz, and assignment has some impact, but don’t give up. In the end, no number or letter on a piece of paper defines you. What matters most is that you’re proud of the effort you put into a course and worked to earn the best grade you could.

Learn how to maintain your grades, boost your averages, and make your academic life easier with Our Best Advice for Homework, Studying, and Tests!

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About Hunter Maguire

Hunter Maguire is a rising sophomore at Garden City High School in New York. He is a straight-A student, eager to learn and excel in all academic subjects, and is taking three AP courses this school year. Hunter is interested in social justice and environmental issues, reading up on related topics, and participating in the environmental club at his school. His other hobbies include running, genealogy research, creative writing, and discussing literature.


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