When it comes to getting good grades in college, most students think they need to spend longer stretches in the library and read every page of the textbook. They’re not wrong. Although not the most efficient strategies, these behaviors will certainly help students do better in school. When it comes to improving their grades, there are 3 simple goals that college students can add to their weekly repertoire that will help them be more successful on a weekly basis.
Office Hours Goal- I like goals that incorporate other, smaller components into them. Attending office hours is one of those goals. Students need to make a goal to attend a certain percentage of their office hours. I think one per class per week is great. So what are the other things that are incorporated into this goal? Class attendance, note taking, and attention. When students regularly attend office hours, it puts pressure on them to be prepared. There is a certain amount of peer/societal pressure that students feel to not look like an idiot in front of their professor or TA. When students are regularly getting to office hours, they are not only getting additional help, but they are able to use it as an accountability tool as well.
Writing Center Appointments- There is no reason for students to not set up a writing center appointment for each paper they write. It’s effective to set an appointment a few days before the paper is due. The writing center will review and edit the rough draft as well as give suggestions. This is a great resource that all colleges have. This is a great tool to improve the quality of a student’s work, but like office hours, it is a great accountability tool that can help students get their papers written in a much more timely manner, avoiding the last second scramble the night before.
Sunday Organizational Moment- College students should have the goal of planning their week every Sunday. This is a simple task, but it helps to have a goal of accomplishing this each Sunday. In this moment, students can take the time to outline their tasks for the week, get their materials organized, and plan and manage how they will have a successful week. This planning time, which can take only a few minutes, is extremely valuable and will help college students prioritize and manage their work.
These three goals are not the typical “study more” or “read more” goals, but they can go a long way toward helping college students maintain good habits and stay on top of their work. If a student does each of these three things, they will have a much better chance at finding success in college.