10 Ways to improve your grades

If your marks have dropped or you’re failing classes, you may be starting to lose self-confidence and your hopes for a successful school year could take a nosedive. But don’t despair and give up. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

You first need to figure out why you’re doing badly at school. In order to cure a disease, doctors often need to find the root cause of the problem, instead of just treating the symptoms. You need to do the same with your schoolwork. Find out what is the root of the problem first. There are many reasons why your marks may be dropping, you could have poor studying methods, maybe you’re not getting enough sleep or you don’t pay enough attention in class. After you have found the cause, try to find ways that can help you solve the problem.

Here are a few ways to improve your marks if you’re underperforming at school.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Don’t practise until you get it right, practise until you can’t go wrong. Practising your work will enable you to walk confidently into the exam room. When you go to the gym for the first time, you don’t just come out with ripped muscles or a six pack. It takes weeks of hard work and painful crunches to sculpt those perfect biceps. And it’s the same with studying. For example, if you’re writing an accounting paper, you need to go through as many problems as you can in your textbook so you know how to solve them confidently. Try to get past papers, they’ll help you know what you can expect in your upcoming exam and give you a general idea of how your lecturer sets their papers.


Make sure you use your time wisely. If you choose to study last minute, it could be the reason why you’re doing badly. In order to perform well in your tests, it’s better to study in advance. Draw up a study timetable which will help with time management and staying on top of your tasks so by the time your exams come you’re prepared and less anxious.

Positivity breeds success

You could become depressed and demotivated because you’re underperforming. Change the way you view things. Instead of visualising yourself failing, rather think positively. Henry Ford was quoted as saying whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.  It may be hard to approach a subject you hate with a positive attitude. But adjusting your thoughts will help you try again and eliminate stress.


Listening in class can be difficult, especially if you’d rather be anywhere but in class. But doodling hearts, catching up on your friends latest escapades or scrolling through your phone will not get you good marks. You need to concentrate in class, even if you feel your lecturer is giving one long, boring monologue.

Visit your lecturers

If you’re struggling with schoolwork, go to your professor to ask for help. Professors set time aside during the week in order to offer assistance to their students.


For many varsity students, sleep is a luxury. Between working part time, countless assignments and trying to have a social life, who finds the time for sleep? If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, it could be the reason you’re not doing well at school. Sleep is important because it enhances productivity, improves concentration and helps you learn and understand the work better. Whatever you do while at varsity, don’t neglect sleep.

Extra lessons

Ask someone to give you private lessons. This could benefit you considerably because you get the undivided attention you won’t get in a class full of other students.

Take breaks

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. There is no end to the books and a person may study so much that it affects their body. Everybody needs a break at some point. Try watch a movie or simply take a walk to help you distress.


Search Youtube for in-depth tutorials about the subject you’re studying. The benefit is that you can replay the tutorials until you feel you have an extensive understanding of the subject you’re preparing for. Whether you’re studying an HR management course or an accounting course, there’s a tutorial out there for you.


Start your assignments on the day you’re given the topic to work on. If you leave all your assignments until the very last minute, you might feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Try to excel at your assignments because they can boost your semester mark.

Excelling at school isn’t always easy. But if you learn to overcome failure, work extremely hard and visit your lectures, you could see a huge improvement in your marks.

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