How to Bring Up Your Grade Near the End of the Semester

Three Methods:Getting Good Grades at the EndCompleting Your AssignmentsDoing Extra Credit

If you're nearing the end of the semester and your grade isn't where you'd like it to be, don't panic! You still have some time to improve your grade before the term ends. Focus your energy on getting the best possible grades on your final exams and projects, handing in all current and late assignments, and completing as much extra credit work as you can.

Method 1
Getting Good Grades at the End

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    Look at your old work. If you have a final coming up or a paper that's due soon, it's a good idea to take a look back at the work you've already done for the class. This will help you identify your weaknesses, so you can work on improving them.[1]
    • If you look back at your old exams and you still don't understand why you got the questions wrong, be sure to consult your book or ask your teacher for a more detailed explanation.
    • Consider asking your teacher what she thinks you should do to get a better grade on your next assignment. She may have more advice for you than what she wrote on your last paper.
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    Improve your study habits. If you really want a good grade on your next exam, you're going to have to commit yourself to studying. Be sure to set enough time to go over all of your material in detail, and don't procrastinate.[2]
    • Start studying well in advance so you don't have to cram and you have plenty of time to take breaks. You will be much less stressed and much better able to learn if you allow yourself to get up and stretch or take a walk every half hour or so.
    • Make sure you know what kind of learner you are. Some people learn better from reading and writing (visual learners), while others learn better from listening and speaking (auditory learners). Also, some people benefit from studying with groups, while others do not. If you know which methods work best for you, you will be much more successful.
    • Having a dedicated space for studying that is well-organized and free of distractions is very helpful. If you don't have anyplace to study at home, consider staying after school or going to your local library.
    • If you have a study hall, use it for studying and completing homework assignments instead of socializing. This extra hour of work can make a big difference in your grades.[3]
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    Understand the grading system. In order to have the best chance getting good grades, it is essential that you understand how you will be graded and how much each assignment is worth. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask your teacher right away.[4]
    • Whenever you are working on a project, be sure to understand the rubric that will be used to grade it. This should outline exactly what the teacher is looking for in your work what it will take to get an A. If your teacher didn't give you a rubric, ask for a detailed explanation of how the assignment will be graded.
    • It's also important to know what else you can get points for. For example, some teachers offer points for participation, so you may be able to get some extra points simply by raising your hand more in class.
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    Start working on big projects early. If you have a large project like a research paper to do, don't wait until the last minute to get started. This project will most likely have a huge impact on your final grade, so take your time and make sure you do your best work.[5]
    • If your teacher has not broken the project up into smaller steps, consider asking for advice on how to do so. This will help make it feel much more manageable and less overwhelming. For example, you can break the large task of writing a research paper into the smaller tasks of choosing a topic, finding supporting sources, creating an outline, writing a rough draft, and writing a final draft.
    • Consider asking your teacher for help along the way. Even if you are not required to hand in a rough draft, ask your teacher to look it over and give you suggestions for how to improve your work.
    • If you have trouble managing your time, give yourself due dates for each step. Plan on working on the project for 30-60 minutes each day, depending on how much you have to get done.
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    Get help if you need it. It's important to get extra help as soon as you feel like you're starting to fall behind, rather than waiting until it's too late. Addressing the issue right away will help ensure that you will understand the material when it comes time to take a test.[6]
    • If you have questions about anything that was discussed in class, be sure to ask your teacher right away. If you can't ask during class, try to stay after class, show up early, or visit your teacher during a free period.
    • If you need more help than your teacher can offer you, get a tutor. Many schools offer free tutoring for their students, so be sure to find out what is available for you. If this is not available or if it doesn't work for you, you can also hire a private tutor to come to your home or visit a tutoring center.

Method 2
Completing Your Assignments

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    Spend some extra time on your homework. If you have been getting poor grades on homework assignments, it's time to up your game and put a little more effort into them. Even if each assignment is not worth that much, your cumulative grade for homework can be a big chunk of your final grade.[7]
    • Be sure you understand what you are supposed to do before you leave class. If you have any questions about how to complete the homework assignment, ask your teacher for clarification.
    • Always read the directions (or listen to them) and follow them precisely. Don't be lazy and write fewer words than were asked of you or neglect to show your work.
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    Turn your work in on time. Always write down when each assignment is due and hand it in on time. There's nothing worse than getting points off for handing in an assignment late because you forgot that it was due![8]
    • If keeping track of your assignments in a planner or a digital calendar helps keep you organized, then be sure to record all of your homework assignments there.
    • Try planning out a specific time to complete each assignment, and be sure to take other obligations into consideration. For example, if you know that you have a basketball game on Thursday and will only have one hour to work on homework, don't put off any assignments until Thursday that can be completed on Wednesday.
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    Ask about making up missed assignments. If you missed any assignments because you were absent or because you simply didn't do them, ask your teacher if you can hand them in late. While you may only get partial credit for make-up work, it's definitely better than having a zero for that assignment.
    • Ask about the possibility of making up in-class assignments that you missed as well as homework. Offer to come to the classroom during lunchtime or a free period to work on them.
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    Ask to re-do old assignments. Try asking your teacher to revise an essay, re-take a test, or re-do a project that you got a bad grade on. You could suggest that the teacher could replace the grade or average the two grades together. Your teacher may be willing to let you do this if you seem committed to bringing your grade up.
    • Try to focus on substantive assignments that have a bigger impact on your overall grade rather than smaller assignments such as homework that may not make as big of a difference.
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    Prioritize. While you may want to do whatever you can to improve a specific grade, it's important to be smart about it. Do not bring up one grade at the expense of another, whether it's for the same class or another one.
    • Focus the majority of your energy on the assignments that will earn you the most points. For example, if your final project is worth 50% of your grade and your homework assignments are worth 10%, spend more time studying for the final than working on your homework. This does not mean you should not do your other work, but simply that you should not spend as much time on it.[9]
    • Never neglect a current assignment in favor of make-up work unless you are sure that you will earn more points for it.
    • Don't neglect your other classes either. You shouldn't end up with a bad grade in one class because you were focusing all of your energy on trying to improve your grade in another. This will have a negative effect on your overall GPA.

Method 3
Doing Extra Credit

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    Don't be afraid to ask. Just because your teacher has not announced extra credit opportunities, does not necessarily mean that there are none. If you feel you would benefit from extra credit, always ask your teacher what you can do to improve your grade.[10]
    • If something is going on in your life that has affected your grades, make sure your teacher knows about it. She may be more willing to work with you if you have a legitimate excuse for falling behind in the first place.[11]
    • Be sure to communicate that you are genuinely willing to work to improve your grade. Teachers are not likely to change your grade unless you put in a lot of effort.
    • Understand ahead of time how much of an effect extra credit can have on your grade. This will vary from class to class, so never expect that you can turn your C into an A by writing one additional essay just because that worked in another class.
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    See it as a gift. Some teachers offer lots of extra credit opportunities, but some don't offer any at all, so don't expect it. If your teacher does give you the chance to complete extra credit assignments, be thankful for it.[12]
    • Do not complain about the amount of work that is required or the number of points you can earn for it. Your teacher didn't have to give you any extra credit opportunities at all.
    • Do as much extra credit as you can, as long as it isn't interfering with your other assignments. You should always complete the required assignments for your class before you move on to extra credit.
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    Commit yourself to it. If you've been given an extra credit assignment, it's up to you to make the most out of it. In order to show your teacher that you really care and get the best grade possible, you need to put your all into your work.
    • As with all other assignments, make sure you understand the expectations. Don't be afraid to ask your teacher to explain the requirements if you don't understand them.
    • If your teacher gives you the option to choose your extra credit assignment, make it something that you are passionate about. For example, if you have to write a research paper about a controversial issue of your choosing, pick a topic that you find interesting. You will have a much easier time completing the assignment (and you will probably do better work) if you enjoy learning about the topic.
    • Always hand your extra credit in on time. Do not disappoint your teachers again by turning in your work late.


  • Extra credit is much less likely to be offered in college. If you are in college, it is probably in your best interest to focus on getting the best possible grade on your final exams and papers.
  • Stay focused. If you're stressed out, try doing some meditation.
  • Be respectful to your teacher and be grateful for any second chances.
  • Make improving your grade a priority in your life.

Article Info

Categories: Improving And Maintaining Grades