At some point during your college career, you’ve probably wondered if your struggle to maintain a high GPA is really worth the hard work. Perhaps your older brother coasted through college with a C-average and still landed the job of his dreams. Or maybe an overachieving friend earned a perfect GPA and remains jobless months after graduation. Even still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Your grade in college shows that you value your learning experience. Employers and graduate schools prefer students who put forth an effort to get the most out of their educations. It’s reasonable to assume that students who performed well in college are more likely to perform well at the next level. When it comes to landing a job or gaining admission into grad school, your GPA could be what sets you apart from your peers. Usually, 3.0 is the cutoff for many employers and most respectable grad schools. Sometimes they’ll give more attention to how you performed in your junior and senior-level classes. If you dug yourself into an academic hole during first few semesters in college, an upward trend of your grades through later semesters will show that you’ve matured. For example, a 2.9 cumulative GPA that was achieved with a 3.3 GPA in upper-level coursework is just as – if not more – impressive than a 3.1 GPA with a 2.8 in upper-level coursework. So if you fell behind, not all hope is lost.
Achieving a high GPA takes a commitment in time and effort. It’s important that you attend your classes regularly so that you stay up-to-date on the material and assignments. Grades for the most part are subjective, and your professor probably notices when you skip classes. Be sure to participate in class discussions, ask questions, take good notes and stay on track with the assigned readings. You’ll better understand the topics, which means you won’t have to study quite as often. This will help you manage your time more efficiently. When you do study, give more attention to your difficult classes. One poor grade can ruin your GPA for a semester. If you’re completely in over your head, consider withdrawing from the class and retaking it during the next semester. A high GPA will always overshadow a “W” on your transcript. When you graduate with that high GPA, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment you wouldn’t have felt if you had underachieved during those four or five years of school.