Three tips to boosting your grades
- Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. With all the classes and care plans and tests, it’s easy to get into a study rut, studying the way that makes you feel most comfortable. But if you keep studying that way, and you’re grades aren’t improving… change it up! Don’t drive yourself insane by studying the same way over and over again if it isn’t helping you understand the information. So what do you do when you’re not up to par with your grades? Whether it’s that you aren’t maintaining your GPA for scholarships or financial aid, or you’re collecting enough C’s to make your own Coach bag, something’s got you stuck – but how do you get out? Here are three ways to help yourself out of the sticky-grade situation.
- Learn how you learn – I’ve found that one of the most important things to think about before figuring out how to study is figuring out how you learn. If you learn by repeating information, try reading it, and then teaching it to a family member. If you learn by hearing information, try recording the lecture and listening to it in the car, or having a class mate teach you the information during a study session. If you are like me and are a visual learner, it might help to write out your notes. Personally, I have to write them over and over and over again until my hand cramps up and I’ve practically re-written the book. It’s not always the most practical way of studying, and it’s definitely not the fastest, but it works for me, and so I do it, even when it’s driving me crazy. Some schools offer classes to find out what type of learner you are, or you can do some quick research online, but finding out how you absorb information will help you figure out how to tackle the books.
- Talk it out – Another important factor to consider is talking to the teacher. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people tend to avoid teachers outside of the class room. Talking to your professor really shows them that you are trying hard and concerned about your grades, not just slacking off and not caring. After all, nurses have to care about what they do! Obviously you care, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered getting here in the first place, but your professors want to know that you still care and that you want to succeed at becoming the best nurse you can be. And you never know – striking up a conversation could be the start to a potential extra credit assignment.
- Buddy up – Yes, study groups are helpful, and yes, your classmates and friends want to help you out, but that’s not always the way to go. Try meeting up with someone from your class (or even a class about you) that knows their stuff. See if they will help you review. Chances are they’ll be open to it since teaching you the information is going to help them too! But by working with someone you’re less familiar with, you’re more likely to stay focused. Plus, studying with someone new means learning the information in a different way, which helps your brain start to process and apply the information.
- Sometimes life catches up with us and our study habits go out the window, or we get stuck in a studying rut and can’t find a way out. But just because you’re having to work harder to keep the grades doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be here! I’ve hear too many stories of people changing their minds about nursing because a teacher didn’t believe in them. Believe in yourself, remember why you want to be a nurse, and apply some new strategies to your studying. It’s not going to be easy, but you can make it – and make the grades! Good luck!
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN