The Secret To Good Grades in College

After a summer filled with internships, summer classes and vacations, every college student claims they are ready to be productive in the fall semester. However, this is the farthest thing from the truth because most students take their easiest and best shot at good grades for granted.

Syllabus Week is notorious for skipping and partying because the course load is at its lightest. To compound matters, some professors don’t even bother to take attendance due to the influx of students switching to and from classes. The majority of students end up slipping behind during this time and the class quickly progresses while you fight to stay afloat until the end. 

Nevertheless, there is a way to avoid all this and get ahead of the curve. The secret to all good grades is being proactive and taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. 

Syllabus Week is a perfect time to get on top of new topics since the first few days are generally review and essentially, the simplest the course will ever be. If you’re ever stuck on the material, you don’t have to wait until after your first failed test to reach out for help. The workload will only get tougher to learn, so start getting help as soon as you can. 

First rule of thumb: Do not skip. The weather may be nice, and the class may be empty on the second day, but no matter how tempting it may be to skip class during the first week, do not do it. Although attendance might not be much of an issue in the beginning, teachers definitely will take note and will form a negative opinion of you early on.

Along the lines of first impressions, meet with your teachers as soon as possible whether you understand the material or not. Forming good relationships with your professors is at its most effective during this time. No professor wants to be bombarded in their office during the last two weeks of the class by desperate students asking for help. Professors generally won’t help these students much or even at all.

Having a good relationship with your teachers throughout will only help you due to the fact that they know that you are taking the class seriously and are willing to put the work in to succeed. A lot of my highest grades were in classes where I had a good rapport with the professor. 


Not bothering to read the syllabus is probably one of the biggest freshman mistakes that students make and will cost you in the end. The way a professor grades and the weight of each assignment varies a lot and it is worth reading thoroughly.

If a professor only gives three exams and nothing else you should probably drop the class. The upside to syllabus week is that you can switch classes and not be penalized at all, unlike trying to switch in October where it will affect your GPA.

This may seem fairly mundane, but many students do forget how effortless getting a good grade in a course truly is. If I learned anything in high school, it was how not to study. Throughout college, I’ve learned the art of getting high grades really isn’t studying longer, but studying smarter.