Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shaylene's Tip of the Week: Do you know how you're doing this semester?

Now  that we're five weeks into the semester, you may find yourself preparing for upcoming exams or papers. Perhaps you've even had your first exam already. Either way, it's a good time to start thinking about how you're doing this semester as far as class grades are concerned. It can be easy to find yourself so overwhelmed with work that you forget to keep track of your grades, but it is very important to do! College is not like high school where you had a bunch of small assignments and tests. Here, each exam, paper, and homework has great weight when it comes to your final grade. Here are some tips to figure out how you're doing and how to stay on track.

1. Talk to your professors
Talking to your professors during their office hours is the easiest way to find out your grade in the class. Simply stop by and ask them how you're doing in the class. It's good to know where you stand, so you can formulate a plan for keeping your grade up in that class. For example, if your participation grade is low, knowing that now will prepare you to participate more in class and help raise your grade. It's also a great opportunity to get feedback on exams and papers, which will help you prepare for future assignments.

2. Look at your syllabus
On every syllabus, professors list a grade breakdown as a guide for how much a certain assignment or participation is worth. Don't just brush this off as part of the syllabus and never look at it again. Since there are often few assignments in college classes, each assignment is worth a significant amount. Keep this in mind when you're studying for a test or writing an essay. If you are confused about how you are being graded based on the syllabus, ask questions!

3. Keep track of grades on exams
As you begin to have exams, make sure to keep track of the grades you receive. Again, classes often have few exams, so each exam is often worth a large portion of your grade. By keeping track of your exam grades, you are able to determine how well you need to do on your next exams and will be able to study accordingly.

4. Double check due dates 
With all the snow days that have taken place, it is very likely that some of the due dates on your assignments have been changed or moved. Keep track of this! You want to make sure to give yourself ample time to complete an assignment in order to receive the best grade possible.

5. Make sure to study and understand the material 
If you're struggling to understand the material or didn't do as well as you wanted on your first exam, don't just brush it off. There are many resources available to help you! Talk to your professors if you have questions in class or stop by the Learning Resource Center (LRC) located on the tenth floor of the library for tutoring help in any of your classes. These resources are there for you to take advantage of and it's a great way to make sure you do well this semester.

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