Getting (And Staying) on the Dean's List: 6 Outstanding Tips
When you get to college, you’ll discover that your school probably has a Dean’s List that recognizes academically accomplished students. Most schools require you to be in the top percentage of your class in terms of GPA in order to earn this honor. But how do you make sure you do well enough to make the Dean’s List each semester?
The trick to academic success isn’t staying up all night or cramming like your life depends on it. In fact, making good grades is actually much simpler than that. Read on to learn how you can stay on the Dean’s List all the way through college without burning yourself out.
1. Plan Your Schedule
One of the biggest advantages of college is that you have complete control over your schedule. You can decide what classes you want to take when and how many classes you want in a day. Take advantage of this flexibility to arrange a schedule that works best for your needs.
Try to make sure you spread your more challenging classes out with classes that are a little easier for you so you don’t get overwhelmed with work all in one semester. If you know you’re more productive in the morning or afternoon, schedule your classes for then. And try to space your classes out so you don’t have more than three or four in a day; this will give you time to do homework and rest.
2. Pay Attention to Grade Weights
At the beginning of each class, your professor will give you a syllabus that outlines everything you’ll be covering in the semester. Most of the time, this will include all the assignments you’ll be doing that semester, too. And it will tell you how much each assignment, test, or project will count towards your final grade.
Try to focus your efforts toward the things that will affect your grade most. If you have a test in one class one week and a paper due in another class, you may want to spend more time studying for the test. Of course, you should work as hard as you can on all your assignments, but when you hit the time crunch where you’re having to decide between doing two different things, remember those grade weights.
3. Prepare for Class
In college, it can be easy to show up for class without doing any preparation work at all. Sure, your professor asked you to read an essay or boo, but that was just a suggestion, right? It is possible to squeak by in those classes without doing the prep work, but that’s not a way to get on the Dean’s List.
If your professor asks you to have something read before your next class, make it a priority to do that. Even if they don’t assign you specific homework, try to read ahead in your textbook. Taking just a few minutes to skim a chapter before you cover it in class can put you ahead of the curve.
4. Rewrite Your Notes
In most of your college classes, you’re going to be taking notes while a professor lectures. Having these notes to study is wonderful, but it’s a good idea to rewrite your notes after you leave class. Doing this within twenty-four hours can help raise your retention rate exponentially.
Go back through all your notes for a class period and try to get them down to a page or less. When you get ready to study for a test, review those notes again and try to get them down to half a page. The night before the test, reduce those notes to a note card that you can memorize and you’ll find you can remember all the rest of the information that was in your original notes.
5. Show Up
In high school, you are required by state and federal laws to attend class every day. In college, few professors take attendance at all. If you want to skip class every day of the semester, you’re perfectly free to do so — however, that’s a good way to wind up failing out of a class.
Make sure you show up to all your classes unless you have a serious emergency arise. Also, go to your professors’ office hours. This will give you a chance to talk to them about any questions you have, as well as giving them a chance to know what a good student you’re working to be.
6. Study Smarter, Not Harder
In college, you’re going to hear a lot of people talking about pulling all-nighters to study or finish projects. They’ll cram for tests, take medications they aren’t prescribed to stay awake for hours on end, and develop crippling caffeine addictions. And in spite of all of that, most of them won’t make it onto the Dean’s List.
The trick to academic success is to study smarter, not harder. Start preparing for your exams a week or two before they arrive, and don’t leave papers and assignments to the last minute. Keep reviewing your notes after every class, and then leave time for yourself to do a little studying every day before your final exams.
Learn How to Stay on the Dean’s List
The Dean’s List is an important academic honor that you should strive to achieve every semester. Just remember to be smart about how you approach your schoolwork, from how you arrange your schedule to where you designate your time. Don’t get wrapped up in the panic cramming culture and you’ll sail through college with wonderful grades.
If you’d like to find more tools to help you succeed, check out the rest of our site at The Honor Society. We have information about scholarships you can apply for and a career center to match you with the perfect job. Join today and start down the path of success in school and in life.