Okay, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants to make good grades in their classes, but not everyone is willing to put in the work it takes to secure an A or a B. Most students are constantly looking for a shortcut – the magic bullet or hidden key to a great grade. By the time they figure out that there is no secret to success, it’s often too late to pull off a passing grade in the course.
However, there is one thing that you can do to bring you closer to the grade of your dreams, and it’s not a secret. In fact, it’s something many of your professors will tell you the very first day of class – and yet, it’s something most students ignore, or simply feel too intimidated to follow through with. That one thing is meeting one-on-one with your professor.
It’s difficult for your instructors to know anything about you as an individual. They teach several courses that are sometimes filled with hundreds of students, some of whom are committed to the material, many of whom aren’t. On the first day of class, your professor will hand out a syllabus that indicates their office hours – days and times during which he or she is available to meet with students. Avail yourself to this as soon as possible, if only to establish communication. Express that you are looking forward to learning more about the class and ask if there’s anything you can do above and beyond what’s listed in the course requirements to succeed. Do not mention wanting an A … this only indicates that you’re more interested in the final outcome, not the learning process.
Continue meeting with your professors throughout the semester to familiarize yourself with them. Do not just meet when you have a grade you’re unhappy with or other complaints. Regular meetings where you discuss the coursework in greater detail will help you if you do end up with a problem in the class. And, while not guaranteed, it never hurts for your instructor to know how hard you’ve worked throughout the semester … if you end up with a borderline grade, it might be just the extra nudge you need to wind up with the grade you worked to get.