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Insights on high GPA - for nonprof blog

  1. Dec 21, 2011 #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm a 3rd year studying mechanical engineering. I blog for a nonprofit that helps first generation students get access to higher education; in my next blog, I'd like to have a community created list of advice, tips, tools, and quirky methods of how other students have achieved a good GPA (3.5+). There has been plenty of trolling, but I thought a thread might attract some more responses!

    So, if you'd like to share, please post on some ways you've achieved your good GPA! Odd habits are certainly welcomed and I'll give full credit to the user in the blog post.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2011 #2
    odd habit: do every practice problem you can until you know the material.
  4. Dec 21, 2011 #3
    Tutor! It's much easier to learn new stuff if you've got the old stuff down pat. Teaching others is the best way to reinforce things in my opinion.
  5. Dec 21, 2011 #4
    My advice would be not to care much about GPA.

    Caring about it gives you a lot of stress and fear. Learning becomes more forced, hence less satisfactory.

    Not caring about it too much makes learning without any fear and stress. You learn because you want to, because the subject interests you, not because you want a higher number. Learning becomes much less forced, hence much more effective and productive. What is more, you don't feel much stress writing important exams, because you're not afraid of a low mark, so your mind is much clearer. To sum up, your GPA even raises when you stop caring about it.
  6. Dec 21, 2011 #5
    Most important thing is time management. You need to know how much to study for each class, and allot enough time to accomplish it.
  7. Dec 21, 2011 #6


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    Attitude is a critical element.

    You have to have the mindset that you will learn what you have to learn even if its not "interesting", be able to work with other people if you have to, be willing to take on risks from time to time (i.e. do hard classes even if they are "GPA killers"), learn from your mistakes (it's ok to make mistakes), and be persistent. Also don't make excuses for poor performance if this happens: also if this is the case treat it as a valuable learning experience.

    Chances are if you have a good attitude, all of the above will be fulfilled and not only will you strengthen personal character, but employers will also value these qualities too.
  8. Dec 21, 2011 #7


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    1) Use sites like ratemyprofessor.com to find the easiest instructors
    2) Take classes that you already know you'll do well in because you know the material already
    3) Take plenty of mickey mouse courses such as bowling and other recreational courses
    4) Bug professors for every little point and beg for grades


    1) Learn nothing
    2) Give universities lots of money for said nothingness
    3) Find out at the end that GPA doesn't matter nearly as much as it did in HS and you went crazy for nothing

    Moral of the story, emphasizing GPA in college is the wrong way to go. There's WAY more important things most students should worry about.
  9. Dec 21, 2011 #8
    This is a good post. Never take a class for an "easy A" or because it's a "GPA booster", if you don't think you're gonna get anything out of it. GPA is important, but make sure you're challenging yourself. It's a lot more impressive to get a 3.7-3.8 with tough classes rather than a 4.0 obtained by taking BS classes. Why are you even at college if all you're looking for is shortcuts?

    Another piece of advice would be to not let yourself fall behind in class, otherwise you'll be playing catch up all semester. I let that happen to myself in one of my easier classes this semester, thinking "I'll just catch up later" and before I knew it finals were here and I still had to learn a chapter or two. I ended up with a B+ in it whereas I did well in my other much harder classes. Always read ahead and view lecture as reinforcement rather than the place where you learn the material for the first time.
  10. Dec 23, 2011 #9
    Great tips, guys. I definitely agree about the GPA business. Many students do get obsessed with their GPA and lose sight of, in my mind, the true goal of education - mastering the subject.

    So maybe we should retitle this to "Mastering your Major" :P

    One thing that helps me when I'm studying is running when I face a problem I can't easily solve. Some fresh air helps my brain a lot.
  11. Dec 26, 2011 #10
    Thinking in this way can also hurt you. One problem is that if you obsess over your major, you can become siloed, and this turns out to be a bad thing for many reasons.

    Figuring out what the "true goal of education is" is a pretty deep and philosophical question.

    What happens is that often the "game changes." Undergraduates end up being obsessed about GPA because that's the way things are done in high school. Once you play the undergraduate game, you find that the game changes in graduate school. Once you get out of graduate school, you find that the game changes yet again.
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