How to Attain the Grades Needed to Get Into College

Preparing for college can be a stressful process.  Although there are many things that concern high school students as they prepare for college, making sure they have the grades needed to get into college is pretty high on their list of concerns.

The topic that we’ll be tackling in this article is: How to Attain the Grades Needed to Get Into College.

In addition to looking at your standardized scores on the ACT, SAT, etc., the college admissions committee will also want to see that you have a strong academic background.  Typically, a high school student should try to strive for a GPA of 3.3 or higher.  Maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher will make you a strong applicant for a wide variety of colleges.  Selecting a college is a huge decision, so having a lot of options to choose from is important and will make the application process a lot less stressful.

So, without further ado, here are 3 things that you can do to attain the grades needed to get into college:

1.  Know Your GPA

As a high school student, you should ALWAYS be aware of your GPA.  Not only is this just a good habit to have in general, but keeping track of your GPA on a consistent basis (monthly at a minimum) will keep you focused on maintaining the 3.0 or higher that most colleges look for.

Calculating your GPA is easy.  Remember, all high schools assign a number to each letter grade.  For high schools who base their GPA’s on a 4.0 scale, these numbers are usually as follows: A=4.0; B=3.0; C=2.0; D=1.0; F=0.  Let’s practice calculating a GPA using Suzy’s grades below.

Suzy’s Progress Report

Math: A (4.0)

Science: C (2.0)

History: B (3.0)

English : A (4.0)

Spanish: A (4.0)

Calculation Steps:

Step 1: Add all Suzy’s scores together.

(4.0 + 2.0 + 3.0 + 4.0 + 4.0) = 17

Step 2: Divide Suzy’s total score by the number of classes she took and calculate the result.

17 / 5 = 3.4

Suzy’s GPA is a 3.4.  Based upon this example, we’ve learned that maintaining at least a 3.3 or higher will require that you receive A’s B’s, and not very many C’s.  These are the grades that are needed to get into college.

2.  Develop Good Study Habits

Developing good study habits in high school will not only help you get the grades needed to get into college, but it will also be a good skill to have when you’re juggling multiple classes in college.  What does it mean to have good study habits?  Let me simplify it for you.  Having good study habits means that you are organized and that you do not procrastinate.

A student with good study habits is always prepared for class.  He or she knows exactly when assignments are due and when exams/quizzes are scheduled.  This allows him or her to set aside the appropriate time to study.  As you can imagine, these are the students who usually do well in their classes and attain the grades needed to get into college.

3.  Go To Class

Each day you miss class, you become further behind your classmates and miss out on valuable material that could later be tested by your teacher.  Why does this matter?  If you consistently miss class, your grades could be negatively impacted and you could be in jeopardy of not getting the grades needed to get into college.  And, over time, your GPA will drop.

What if I’m sick?  Of course there are some exceptions.  If you’re sick or have other personal reasons for missing class, which will happen throughout the course of your high school career, then it’s okay to miss class.

Missing a few classes here and there shouldn’t be an issue, just try not to miss class on a regular basis.  Students who miss class on a regular basis generally have a harder time maintaining the grades needed to get into college.

If you follow these 3 tips, you’ll be well on your way to attaining the grades needed to get into college.

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TheCollegeHelper

TheCollegeHelper

Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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2 Responses to “How to Attain the Grades Needed to Get Into College”

  • BOBBY on June 22, 2011

    I have a really low GPA, is there any chance i could get into St. Cloud State?

  • TheCollegeHelper

    Hi Bobby,

    It depends on what you mean by “really low.” To give yourself the best shot at getting admitted, you should try to score high on the ACT exam — shoot for a score of 24 or higher. Here are some admission statistics from St. Cloud:

    Freshman Admission: 6,025 applied; 5,241 admitted

    Test Scores:
    ACT scores over 18 – 88%
    ACT scores over 24 – 26%
    ACT scores over 30 – 1%

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