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Tips And Tricks To Raising Your Chapter’s GPA: PART 1

[This piece was written by Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB [Pearl Clu5]. Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe]

By now, you are set into a school groove. You’ve re-established your core set of friends while meeting some new ones. You’ve attended a few key parties and a handful of student org events. Classes are…well classes, except for the ones you really enjoy – those are bliss. Speaking of classes, you know what time of the semester is coming up, right? You know what I’m talking about. Midterms! (Or finals if you’re reading this later in the year.)

Yup. midterms/finals are right around the corner and that test anxiety is starting to kick in. As a Greek student, not only is it important for you to keep your grade up for your own personal reasons, but now, your GPA affects your chapter’s GPA too (no pressure).

So, to keep that GPA up and the momentum high, we would like to give you some interesting, creative and practical studying tips to bring in those money-making grades. Once those grades hit your inbox, you’ll be cheesing harder than Meek Mill basking in Nicki Minaj’s presence.

It’s Okay to Be Basic…Sometimes

There is so much overwhelming information about studying available, it’s ridiculous. Although it’s extremely redundant, there are a few things that are important to note. After skimming through several publications and taking notes from personal experiences, here are the basic takeaways you need to remember:

  • Don’t miss Review Days: Bruuhhhh DON’T MISS REVIEW DAYS! These days are crucial! CRUCIAL. Okay. Enough with the all caps. But seriously. Don’t miss these days. Too many times, out of pure laziness, folks skip Review Day because they figure it’s not a real class, they’re going over things you already know, and aint nobody gon be there. LIES! Review Days are like cheat sheets. Professors will often tell you EXACTLY what to look for on test day. It can be the test structure, specific topics that will be covered, how curves are going to work, dos and don’ts of answering certain questions; the list goes on and on. Bonus: they just might give away extra credit! Review Days also allow students to talk to professors one-on-one to get clarity about topics they’re having problems with. Now is the time to ask the stupid questions you were too afraid to ask in front of the whole class (although there is no such thing as a stupid question). Take advantage of this day. It could possibly save your grade.
  • Start studying as early as possible: I know this sounds cliché’, but do it. Trying to cram information you’re not even vaguely familiar with the day before a test is pointless. From time to time, review your notes, just for a refresher. It doesn’t have to take long. Just skim through it, make sure you identify key terms, phrases, equations and what not. That way, when you get into your deep studying, everything doesn’t look so foreign. Plus, it gives you more time and energy to focus on your problem areas and breeze through your strong ones.
  • Use what you got: Going through your old assignments, quizzes and past test can save you a lot of time and worry when you’re studying. It’s not unheard of for professors and/or TAs to take the same information from your past work and insert it into a test format. When you receive your work, look at your grade and immediately identify the things you got wrong. Most importantly, find out WHY! The next time you see this question, you’ll immediately recognize what you did the last time, and choose the right answer. If you never look up why you got a question wrong, you’re bound to continue to make the same mistakes. Reviewing your old stuff helps you affirm the things you do know, pinpoint the things you don’t and allows you to get familiar with the kinds of questions that might be on the test.

Study Squad

It’s important that you’re aware of how you learn. Being knowledgeable of how you obtain and retain information can help you eliminate stress, boost your concentration, and help you think clearly.  Everyone has different learning styles that work best for them. Once you identify which style increases your productivity and ability to learn, run with it!

  • Real G’s move in silence: Some people like to study by themselves. Some tips you want to keep in mind when you’re studying solo dolo is:
    • Identify when you have the most free time. During that free time, point out when you are THE MOST awake and energized. Capitalize off this window of time! You will be able to retain information better. It will also make you more productive and allows you to get your studying done faster.
    • Be aware of your environment. Different environments help stimulate your brain more than others. For example, when I’m really trying to concentrate, I go outside, find a patch of grass, throw on my headphones and get to work. When I’m working on things that don’t take too much concentration, I’ll go to the library. When I work alone, I work best with a good amount of background noise. It’s weird, I know. But I know how I work. Immersing yourself in the right environment during the most productive time of the day can really set you up for success.
    • ‘No’ is not a bad word. Sometimes when it’s almost cram time, people will want to study with you, especially when you’re the Urkle of the group. But if you focus better by yourself, don’t be afraid to say no thank you to a study group. At the end of the day, it’s your grade, not yall’s grade. If you still want to participate, give them another time and date where you’ll be able to contribute to the group study. Use your private time to focus on topics that give you the most trouble or classes where the grades are weighed heavier than others. Then, join the gang later.
  • Lil Kick Back: If you like to study with a few people around, ask 1-2 other people to be your study accountability partners. Before you go picking your friends all willy nilly, make sure that person(s) is:
    • Hard on you! Don’t study with someone who’s going to be lax with you. This is a permanent grade man. You need someone who is going to help you not only drill this information into you, but help you understand what it all means.
    • Familiar: It’s best to study with people who have the same class, taken the class before, or who are just good at the subject matter at hand. Sometimes, they’ll be able to explain concepts to you better than your professor. TA’s and tutors are great for this. But if they are too busy, especially during testing season, finding a good friend who’s knowledgable about the topic will be a great asset to your study squad.
    • Willing and Reliable: Sometimes when you want to study with others, they can either bring the study momentum up or down, depending on how much they studied prior to your meet up. Make sure that person is willing to study with others and is reliable. And vice versa! I hated when people came to study groups and hadn’t even cracked open the book nor attended ANY classes. Those kind of individuals slow down progress. While they’re playing catch up, the group can get easily frustrated because one individual so far behind. Don’t be THAT guy/girl. And if you are…WELP…(See instructions for solo-dolo study.)
  • It’s a Partay, it’s a partay, it’s a partay: For those of you who function better in a large study group (4+ people), it can get really interesting when you study together. Although you do want studying to be fun, you want to ensure that education is still at the forefront of your activities. In order to do both, here are a few ideas to make it happen:
    • Let’s Play a Game: If you’re in the same class with several different people, you can easily make a game night of your study group. Get some snacks, some music and your study materials and make it a party. You all have the same (or similar) information for the class. Everyone has a general idea of what the subject matter is. Turn it into a game.
      • Mix & Match: Yall remember that Matching game when yall were little? Where you had to take turns flipping cards to match the cards with the same image? You can do that with definitions, vocabulary, concepts, etc. Write the name of the terms on one card and the definition/explanation of the term on another. Whatever individual/team gets the most matches wins!
      • Gameshow Style: Creating a Family Feud or Jeopardy version of a review game can help get everyone energized about studying. Get 2-3 people to meet up prior to the game night to develop the topics and appropriate answers. Hosting an event like this could help jog everyone’s memory and encourage team work.
  • Concentration: Because I’m a big kid at heart (and real life) I thought this idea was clever whereas many of you may find it cheesy. But the Concentration game was my ISH back in the day. You can still use it as a study game today. Granted, you don’t have to use it as a hand game, but you can use it to recall certain terms, phrases or concepts. You know you want to relive your childhood. I won’t tell.

I hope these study tips resonated with you! Tweet us at @DPTaughtMe to let us know what you think! Tag us on IG at #DPTaughtMe if you end up trying any of our suggestions. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this installment.

We’re trying to get everyone one the Dean’s List! You won’t want to miss it. Be blessed yall.