Grade point average, or GPA, is a number that follows students through high school and college. An often accurate representation of a student's academic performance, GPA is always changing, giving students constant opportunities to improve as a result.
A GPA is a cumulative number that represents grades as a numerical value divided by the number of courses taken. The higher a student's GPA, the better that student has performed in school. Colleges may base acceptances on high school GPA and additional aptitude tests, including the SAT exam. Once in a college or university, a student's GPA can earn him or her academic awards and advancements. Students hoping to boost their GPA should keep the following tips in mind.
* Keep course load in mind. High schoolers may not be able to dictate the number of classes they take, but they can limit their extracurricular activities or extra-credit projects. For college students, don't try to pack your schedule full of classes. Too many classes can make it difficult to devote adequate study time to each class. Taking six classes and getting a C in each is less beneficial than taking five classes and earning straight As.
* Focus on the big picture instead of just the grade. When in class, do your best to pay attention, learn and study. Changing your approach to focus on learning, rather than having a specific grade in mind, will lessen the pressure and make your goals more attainable.
* Don't procrastinate. Do assignments promptly to allow for proofreading and reworking, if necessary. For example, if you have a writing assignment due, give yourself time for rewrites. Chances are if you edit your material, the final copy will be better than the first draft. Doing the assignment the night before it is due gives you little time for revision.
* Ask the instructor for assistance. Use your teacher as a sounding board for ideas. If you do assignments early, you can get the teacher's feedback on whether you're taking the right path or should explore another angle. Many teachers will be willing to give advice or steer you in the right direction. This can easily boost your grade and show him or her that you're putting in the effort.
* Give all classes equal attention. Some college students pad their schedule with one or two "easy" classes in an effort to boost their GPA. However, most times there's no such thing as an easy class. Taking Introduction to Astronomy or Horseback Riding 101 simply because you think it will be a breeze may backfire, especially if you don't put the same level of effort into the course. That "easy" course can quickly turn difficult if you're getting Ds because of lack of effort.
* Participate in class. Many teachers and professors factor class participation into their grading method. So while tests and homework may be important, the extra factor can be class participation. Don't expect to sit mum all semester and get a great grade. Your teacher wants to hear from you. Participation also can make absorbing the material easier because you're actively involved instead of playing a spectator's role.