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How did YOU get your 3.5 - 4.0 GPA in Community College?

PisallerPisaller 61 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I've spent some of my time researching extensively on a variety of study tips to get and maintain a 4.0 GPA in community college. Now, I've found lots of different perspectives roaming around online, but I'd like to hear from people here who received a 3.5-4.0 GPA in intermediate or rigorous courses and was able to receive a top grade. I'm looking for more ideas, as I, want to also receive a 4.0 GPA during my stay in community college.

What were you study habits?

How did you study smarter and not harder?

Were you taking multiple classes at once or just solely focused on one to two classes?

Any other alternative factors that could perhaps contributed?

May I pm you for further additional questions? :)


Please share experiences or habits that YOU developed or done, and feel free to include whatever you'd feel is relevant that is not listed. Thanks CC! :)
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Replies to: How did YOU get your 3.5 - 4.0 GPA in Community College?

  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons 3934 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    I took community college courses at night and worked full time during the day. I was on the dean's list every semester.

    It wasn't rocket science; I did all my homework, I read everything that was assigned, I studied for the tests, and I showed up to class. I can't tell you how many kids simply didn't show up for class-it was astounding. Half the battle is just showing up.

    It was very hard, and very tiring. There is no magic, and there are no shortcuts. And very worth it to get that associate's and lock in those credits.
    edited June 2016
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  • danfer91danfer91 467 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 2016
    I took 5 classes per semester (15-17 hours). You can pm me but I'm not sure what I can say that a few hours on the internet wouldn't tell you.

    1. You need to get out in front of your reading, especially if you're full time. Be sure to read the syllabi you get on the first day of class, they're usually posted online the night before classes start as well. Buy a planner and write down all of the assignments and readings for every class on every day. This will allow you to see when you have weeks or days where you have a lot of work or reading due, maybe you have 3 tests in a week, etc. It really helps to visualize the whole semester like this. Like I said, be sure to get ahead of your reading so that you're not stressed before tests. Some people suggest reading after a class so you know what to look for, but there will be days where you have 100+ pages of reading due and it's just not feasible to attempt to read it all that evening when you get home; you will fall behind and get stressed.

    2. Study for tests at least 5-7 days in advance. Procrastination is going to stress you out to no end, and you will get better grades if you devote some time earlier on to outlining what will be on the test and making a review sheet rather than trying to rush everything the night before. There are a lot fewer grades in college courses. Your entire semester average might be made up of 2 or 3 assignments depending on the professor, so it's extremely important you're ready and not stressing yourself out.

    3. If your major isn't STEM related the majority of your grade for many classes will be essays. For this reason, writing is probably the most important aspect of doing well in college courses that aren't heavily math based. I've rarely seen a multiple choice test in all 4 years of college. At my former CC the two most failed classes were Composition 1 and History 1301 and 1302 (the 2 basic US history courses). Many high school and college students have been led to believe they can write, but when it comes to crafting an essay over weeks or months they're absolutely abysmal. If you have any issues whatsoever, buy a style guide and try reading some essays by well respected writers. You can buy used volumes of assorted essays on Amazon for just a few dollars plus shipping. If you aren't writing almost every day you're probably not as good of a writer as you think you are. And if you are writing every day, you still may not be good enough to pull off a 4.0. If you're not getting A's on every essay, it's tough. If an essay is worth 50% of your grade and you get an 85, it's going to be hard to get your grade to an A. This is one of the reasons time management and staying on top of your work is so important though.

    4. Be sure to go to office hours if you're having any trouble. They have those for a reason, and for some people it's extremely important to get 1-on-1 time with a professor. Don't think you're imposing yourself on them. They do their research at other times. Those hours are devoted specifically to helping students.

    5. Figure out if you study best alone or with a group of people. Some people find the group thing helpful, I personally always preferred studying alone.

    6. Really focus on note-taking, it's so important. If you take extensive notes and study them properly it will be really hard to make truly poor grades. Unless you have some kind of learning disability. I personally take notes by hand because I find there are less distractions without a computer in front of me. I try to just write down everything that the professor says, literally. I figure out what's important later and highlight it so that I can study it more easily. You might find it easier to rewrite your notes in a more organized way when you get home anyways. I wouldn't try to worry about organization of my notes during class, but that's just me.

    Edit - Aha, and I write some extensive essay when MotherofDragons swoops in and says basically exactly what I was going to say but using 10% the amount of words :P. Very right though, so much of it comes down to just being mature, going to class, and doing your work. As long as you're reasonably intelligent and stay on top of thing's you'll do fine.
    edited June 2016
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  • SpaceshipSpaceship 286 replies53 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 2016
    Honestly, I only studied when I had an exam, and then I just Googled everything on the study guide, and I only skimmed textbooks and readings. Biggest thing was always showing up to class, always taking notes, and taking part in discussions. Also, do all your assignments on time. Those four things got me a 3.8.
    edited June 2016
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  • elena3142elena3142 203 replies29 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I've kept a 4.0 after a year of community college. The largest thing for me was time management. I always made sure I had enough time in a week to study three hours for every credit. Balancing my schedule was a huge factor. I usually have 1 class with tons of reading, 1 class with lots of math, 1 class with lots of writing. I pick my schedule based on getting the best teachers. I spend way too much time in the schools free tutoring center. I plan out my schedule every week and make sure to include exercise and social time. There is a balance generally I slack in a writing class because i know i always come out with a high A and spend much more time on a physics class. Most of the grades are generally what you put into it.
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  • OhSorryYoOhSorryYo 248 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I crammed an hour before my exams and spent all my free time playing online games, just like how I did it in high school. Few times I had a TRULY difficult class in community college, during those times I swallowed my pride and crammed for 2 hours before my exams.
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  • albert69albert69 3191 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What courses are you looking at taking?
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  • PisallerPisaller 61 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @albert69 English 101, POL 101, Speech 101 and a PE course.
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  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons 3934 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Oh, the speech 101 nearly tanked my gpa-the teacher was southern and I (a yankee in the south) mocked her for putting too many vowels in words (thee-ay-tuh). No matter what I did for the rest of that class, I got a B.

    So, yeah, that was an instructive lesson. Don't argue with your professors in front of other students, no matter how stupid and ignorant they are-and you will run into some SERIOUSLY idiotic professors, and ones that love to cram their ideology down your throat. And they have a lot more power than the high school teachers, and more autonomy to behave in ways no high school teacher would dream of.

    My older wiser advice is to smile and nod, take the A, and talk about how bad they are to the people who love you.

    edited June 2016
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  • PisallerPisaller 61 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all for giving me your input, so what I've complied based off all your responses are:

    1) Attend class on time.

    2) The teacher is always right even if they're stupid. - Nod head and smile

    3) Time management is important, make sure to balance my time.

    4) Practice writing essays to become more proficient .

    5) Get ahead of the game - read extra textbook readings - don't procrastinate.

    6) Study in advanced, and if you're struggling, attend extra help review sessions, or speak to the professor 1-on-1.

    7) Take extensive notes.


    Thank all for the responses! Anyone else is free to post to introduce your perspective on how you achieved high grades and what you've done! :)
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