level, especially when you’re looking beyond graduation. Getting passing ones or even respectable ones should be a priority. When you realize you’ve let that priority slip, here’s how to get back into the groove of good grades.
It can hurt to look at the numbers, but generally speaking most teachers are more than willing to help if they’ve seen you falling behind. Stay a few minutes after class or ask your teacher to print out a document of all the assignments you’ve done in class so far this grading period. Looking at a list of low grades and zeros might make the situation seem hopeless, but you’re ready to get going once you know realistically where you stand.
Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve really goofed and you’re looking at a failing grade. The question at that point is how badly you’re failing. Most schools follow a semester long grading period with smaller periods inside. If you have two nine-week grading periods, your true average for the semester – the one that matters most – will be calculated based on your first nine weeks, your second nine weeks and your semester exam.
Even if you failed a nine weeks, you can still pass the course, providing your failing grade is high enough to average well with a decent exam grade and previous nine weeks grade. (Six weeks grading periods are three per semester instead of two for calculation purposes.)
If you’re failing, and you’ll still be failing even if you make up every missing assignment or low test grade you have, still go for it. There is a huge difference between a 55 and a 68 when it comes time to average out those semester grades. Think of it in the long term.
Tackle Old and New
If you’re going to clean up your act, you’ll have to attack old and new simultaneously. Take notes and stay up with your class on any new material covered, especially reviews you’ll be having before the semester exams. At the same time, ask your teacher for new copies of the old material and get it home to clean up and redo. You’ll have double duty with homework and responsibilities for a time, but that’s part of the process during a cleanup effort.
Work against a Deadline
Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll be working against a deadline you didn’t set to finish up any missing or incomplete work. See your teachers during their tutorial periods for a quiet place to get things done. Letting your teachers see how hard you’ve been working has the added benefit of impressing them with your new found devotion to grades.
Within the deadline you already have set by exams and semesters, set intermediate goals to be sure everything gets done in a reasonable manner. Perhaps take a day of the weekend to do assignments for Monday or just do one assignment a day until they are finished. However you structure it, when you’ve caught back up, stay at that energy level going forward to ensure you don’t get behind again.