Students and young professionals, listen up: if you are disappointed by your most recent grades or performance reviews, there are ways to start improving TODAY.
Please don't resign yourself to being a sub-par student or employee. Grades, tests, exams, and reviews do not necessarily reflect your talents, skills, and potential, and a bad grade sure as heck doesn't say anything about your value as a person.
Regardless, poor grades or reviews can do a number on your confidence, motivation, and how your professors or boss perceive your ability to succeed. Give them a reason a root for you by demonstrating a commitment to improving right now, starting today.
1. Reevaluate how you study
Have you figured out yet what time or times of the day you are most productive? If you know that you can't pay attention to anything by late afternoon, it might be time to consider setting your alarm for 1-2 hours earlier and getting in some work before class.
Next, take a look at your working environment. If clutter, music, noise, or food distract you, go find an isolated cubicle on the 8th floor of the library.
And get really honest with yourself: how much studying do you actually get done if your doing it in Student Center with your BFF, eating fries and having someone stop by every 7 minutes to say hi?
However, if you are usually a solo studier, reach out to classmates and organize a group study session. This way everyone can help each other out by adding what you each individually remember the professor saying, brainstorming possible exam questions, and offering feedback on your ideas for paper topics.
2. Ask for feedback on Previous assignments
Except she doesn't, guys. In most cases, an instructor is frustrated when students' work reflect that they weren't listening, trying, or understanding. But she hasn't written you off as hopeless.
So go to talk to her. Prove you care about doing well. Ask how you could have improved your work and where you need to look to brush up on the information you missed the first time.
And if you're really worried about what your instructor thinks, make sure you're not doing any of these little things that annoy teachers big time.
3. Get advance and ongoing help
Start with your instructor himself. He may volunteer to help you outside of class, set up with with a tutor, or point you in the direction of useful resources.
Make an appointment with on-campus help if you need ongoing assistance: a writing center, an academic advisor, or a peer tutor will all help you identify and strengthen your weakness.
So many schools have helpful online guides with subject-specific help. Check out what your library's website offers or look at Aim High Writing's downloadable guides.
If you're struggling with getting good grades, remember there are concrete steps you can take, starting right NOW, to turn things around.
And if you are noticing that the problem runs a bit deeper - like you really need to develop some core competencies in order to do well in any of your classes or at work - get assistance and start improving!