How to Get Better Grades on College Assessments

Sometimes having the knowledge to do well in an assessment and actually achieving that grade can be two very different things. Ideally, knowing the subject matter would be enough to get the marks on offer but far too often students let other factors get in the way of the best results they can achieve. We’ve pulled together our top tips to help ensure you get the grade you deserve when your paper comes back to you:

  1. Attend all of your classes. Lots of professors directly grade attendance and participation but those who don’t will still consider both when they grade your work. Making a good impression and being a likeable student count for a lot. A teacher will help you if they are invested in you. Plus, you won’t miss the extra bits of supplementary information, which don’t fit onto the slide notes. These are the bits that get the top grades or cement your knowledge.
  2. Know what your professor wants from you. Listen to what your professor wants from each assessment and take note of what winds them up when marking papers (they will usually drop hints to try to guide the whole class away from making the same mistake).
  3. Organisation is very important to achieve top grades. Take charge of your time and your own learning. Pick the right courses or modules to get you where you want to go after graduation. Don’t fall into classes that seem easy. At the end of the day, this is your future and your job prospects. You chose what future and job prospect you set yourself up for.
  4. With any large workload, tackle the hard bits first. Psychologically, it’s the best motivational boost, so the rest will fall into place afterwards. Make a plan so you don’t overload yourself. This will help the hard bits seem manageable.
  5. Break up your workload and reward yourself for doing it. Having the right work-life balance makes you a better student. You are able to focus better and you’re less grumpy to work with in group projects. The right motivation and group dynamic are half the battle with getting decent grades in group work. Joining communities helps with the work-life balance and making connections and support networks for now or in the future always bring unexpected benefits.
  6. Use your textbook and wider reading list. They are given to you for a reason. All the information you need to smash you assessments are in there. Read further around your subject to make your assessment more personal but make sure you get the information you’ll be marked on first and use it. Your textbook is practically a cheat-sheet for doing well with the set curriculum and marking criteria.
  7. Make sure your written assessments are clear and easy to read. You can’t get marks if the professor can’t read what you’ve written. This extends to your writing style. Make it coherent and link all of your points back to the question to get maximum marks. Rambling tangents waste time, lose the examiners interest and don’t get you any marks. If you know your assessment criteria, you can make a plan to hit all the points the examiners are looking for and then write to include them all.
  8. Set study time and focus during it. Do-overs are a waste of time, so pay attention in your lectures and participate in seminars and group work. Research legitimate sources and do the ‘extras’, including wider reading. It pays off and professors will make an effort for those who make an effort. Treat being a full-time student as a full-time job. After all, you’re paying to be there and you’ve worked hard to get that place on your course.
  9. Practice the exam style with old test papers. Familiarise yourself with the format and structure of assessments, so the formalities and question styles don’t obscure what’s really being asked of you.
  10. Practice your presentation and public speaking skills. They are good transferable skills for most jobs. When speaking to the group, don’t just read off your slides. Know what you have to say, so you can make it engaging. Otherwise your teacher will switch off and miss your important, mark grabbing points. Not everybody is born a great speaker but you can fake confidence. Convince your audience you’re confident and eventually you’ll convince yourself. Self belief goes a long way with life after college too. Instead of dreading a presentation, look at it as a good way to hone those skills.


By using this checklist, you can avoid losing marks over silly things and focus on showcasing your knowledge to the best of your ability. Following these tips will let you produce assessments of a higher quality and should make the whole process far less frustrating.


More Tips To Help You Ace Your College Grades

In today’s world where every field has become outrageously competitive, the importance of getting good grades in exams has become profound. Students have become more serious as good college grades increase their chance of getting a good job. Scoring well in exams is every student’s dream, but the one not everyone is able to live. Here are some simple yet effective ways that if put to use (consistently) would definitely produce positive results.

  • Staying Attentive: It is extremely important for the student to remain highly attentive when attending a lecture. It establishes for him a foundation of thought-processing and brainstorming. Attentiveness helps in keeping note of important guidelines and tips for scoring well in exams.
  • Planning: Developing a detailed study plan helps in studying in an organized and systematic way. The student should break down large projects into smaller units to make it easier to carry out.
  • Combined Study: Studying in a small group usually helps. The group mates are able to solve problems collaboratively and this action is conducive to learning.
  • Learning Aloud: This helps in remembering things. Taking on the role of a teacher and teaching invisible pupils in the room is an effective learning strategy. This way the student is better able to understand and question the concepts that he is trying to convey to his invisible class.
  • Wearing A Watch: This should be made a habit. During the exams the student should be able to time his paper accordingly and for this, keeping a watch surely helps.
  • Avoid Overburdening: Students should not become careless in trying to get through with their degree by overburdening themselves with more than they can bear.
  • Smart Study: Smart study is the most effective way of studying, especially when the time is less. The student should strictly avoid cramming as it would only confuse him and waste time.
  • Choosing Right: It is very important that the student makes the right choice of courses. He should consult with his teachers and seniors in order to decide which courses would be suitable for him. Choosing courses that interest the student and the ones he is familiar with is the right move.
  • Experimenting: It is not necessary that the student is able to get it right the first time. He should keep on experimenting with the various techniques of studying before deciding which one to stick to.
  • The Internet is an important entity when it comes to studies and homework. The following article looks at how it helps.
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