How to raise your grades if you're underperforming

Even the brightest students can sometimes find themselves underperforming. If you find yourself in this situation the first step is to get serious about tackling the problem.

Stay positive

It's very likely that you are feeling very disappointed and discouraged if you are not performing according to your expectations. However you can't afford to stay down. Firstly acknowledge that you are not performing and take control of the situation. Instead of thinking "I'm a failure," change your thinking to "I will do better, I won't give up, and I will improve." After all it all starts in the mind.

Identify the problem

Figure out which areas need work and why. Are you underperforming across all subjects or is there a particular area that needs attention. Are there external factors that are influencing your grades negatively, such as a family problem or situation at school, is it combination of factors?  Once you know the problem, then you can start tackling the issue.

Speak to your lecturers 

Schedule a meeting with your lecturer to discuss how they think you can improve. They can offer some guidance on where you should focus.

Pay attention and ask questions

Make the most of your time in class by asking questions and paying attention. Listen attentively and avoid talking to friends or allowing your mind to wonder. Think about what it is you are writing when taking notes and make sure it makes sense to you. Asking if you don't understand will save you more time than trying to figure it out yourself.

Get organised

Clutter inhibits our ability to operate effectively, so get organised. Keep your workspace tidy and all your notes and textbooks organised. Plan your time too, and prioritise effectively, making time for problem subjects. Allocate time to the subjects you struggle as this may be why you are underperforming.

Find your learning style

Perhaps you haven't identified the right learning style for you. We are all different and we all have our own way of studying to offer the best results. If you have been studying alone for example perhaps consider joining a study group for motivation will help.  

Hire a tutor

If all else fails consider hiring a private tutor to help with that tricky subject. This may be just what you need. Private tutors will also give you that one-on-one attention and offer you the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need.

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