How to Boost Your Second-Semester Grades

Want to end the second semester strong? Check out these essential study tips, plus a handy video that will help you become a memorization master.

Want to end the school year strong? Check out these essential study tips, plus a handy video that will help you become a memorization master.

New year + new semester = new game plan! As you embark on your spring semester, you may be reflecting on your fall performance. Perhaps you got overwhelmed and saw your math grade drop. Or maybe your New Year’s resolution was to finally bring home straight A’s (yes, please!). Whatever your academic goals are, kudos to you for trying to improve. And we’re here to help!

Here are some strategies for how to boost your second-semester grades:

Work with your teachers

You always want to build good relationships with your teachers/professors. Though there are many strategies for boosting your grades, no strategy will replace the relationship you have with your teacher. After all, no one is more uniquely acquainted with the course material, your performance in the class—or what ends up on your transcript.

Discuss your goals with your teacher, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you find yourself struggling. Teachers love seeing improvement over time, so if you work to raise your grade from a B to an A during your second semester—and you’ve met with your teacher to assess your progress—there is a good chance you will see an overall A for the class.

Figure out how you learn best

Many traditional classrooms cater to auditory learners, aka people who process information best by listening. But, unfortunately, we are not all wired the same way. Some students are visual learners (who process through seeing) and others are kinesthetic learners (who process through doing). Most people combine these three learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—but usually lead with one of them.

If you are searching for strategies to raise your second-semester grades, you should start by thinking about the classes you felt most engaged in (they’re often the classes you get the best grades in too) and see if there are any commonalities in the course structure and lessons. You can also take free online quizzes to figure out your learning style (here’s one).

Then, once you’ve discovered your learning style, use it to your advantage. If you are a visual learner, try to incorporate images into your studying. If you are a kinesthetic learner, engage in interactive and hands-on study approaches. And, going back to our first tip, share your discovery with your teachers to see if they can offer any tips or maybe even modified lessons.  

Revamp your studying environment

Your study environment is everything. If you don’t have an optimal study space—one that works for you and your specific learning style—you will have a tough time focusing and thus boosting your grades (whether it’s your second semester or not!). However, this does not necessarily mean that you should study in a silent library. Many students actually thrive with music and conversation in the background.

We recommend finding out what study environment works for you through a series of trial-and-error “experiments.” For example, perhaps you work best when sitting on the floor at the coffee table with the TV playing on low in the background. Maybe you do best with classical or ambient music playing. Or perhaps you need to work in complete silence. Try different settings and find out what works best for you!

Stay positive

Final exams often account for 20% (or more) of your final grades. And, yes, that’s a pretty high percentage. But instead of worrying about how bombing the exam might bring your grade down, what if you were excited about how acing it might bump your grade up? The point is to remember to stay positive, because mindset is everything—and often more powerful than you realize.

Use new studying techniques

When was the last time you picked up a new studying trick? You might be surprised by how many techniques are out there! For example, you can enhance your studying skills using things like mnemonic devices to memorize facts and details; these can range from catchy acronyms (e.g., “PEMDAS”) to short songs. It also helps to pump up your note-taking skills.

Looking for more tips to raise your second-semester grades? This video will help! It covers even more innovative study hacks and memorization tips. You’ll learn how to create personalized mnemonic devices that will allow you to remember just about anything—no matter how long the list. (Ever wonder how some of your friends seem to be able to memorize anything? Meanwhile, no matter how many times you Google the order of the planets, it somehow never sticks? Never again!) Together, these strategies are the ultimate enhancement tools to boost your second-semester grades, so don't wait to get started! 

We at GATE wish you all the best as you tackle your second semester. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
GPA grades how to improve your grades improve grades second semester study tips

About Pamela Donnelly

Pamela Donnelly

Pamela Donnelly is a #1 bestselling author (SWAT Team Tactics for Getting Your Teen Into College), speaker, and educational expert whose work can be viewed at www.pameladonnelly.com. As Time magazine's go-to college admission expert, she has appeared on regional and national television, and Larry King has endorsed her recently published book, 4 Keys to College Admissions Success.

Donnelly is a frequent speaker at live events throughout the greater Los Angeles region and a passionate advocate for education reform. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with degrees in literature/writing and secondary education, and she has been called "the Suze Orman of education." A professional educator for more than 20 years and a former on-camera talent under contract to ABC-TV, she is the academic expert trusted by some of the most discerning and notable parents in Los Angeles.

A mother of three, Donnelly leads a team of Ivy League educators, helping parents go the extra mile to ensure their teens' transition to colleges of their dreams.

Her brick-and-mortar business, Valley Prep Tutoring Services, Inc., is the hub from which all of Donnelly's brand-related products and services flow. You can visit www.valleypreptutoring.com and gatecollegesystem.com for more information.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Alexandria

Alexandria

High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Ariyane

Ariyane

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.

Josiah Kegg

Josiah Kegg

High School Class of 2021

I want to sincerely thank you all for this amazing website that's legitimately helped me find so many different scholarship opportunities. I've been stressing out for the longest time about paying for college since I would rather stay out of debt and have been working days trying to find any scholarship opportunity. When I found CollegeXpress, I discovered many easy scholarships that have given me hope for the future. Thank you and God bless!

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

Samantha Fils-Aime

Samantha Fils-Aime

High School Class of 2019

I love that CollegeXpress has helped me find some scholarships to apply for but also helped me succeed in school with lots of tips. I also really like how they consistently email me about webinars that teach me a lot of things from the comfort of my home!

College Matches