Columns / Discourse / April 8, 2015

Spring cleaning: Raising your GPA

The Spring Term has begun, as everyone expected. All of the students have spent their own short Spring Break to refresh their ideas and minds. My biggest concern has been the same thing as always: to upgrade my GPA effectively. During the spring break, I only thought of how to improve my GPA overall, because it has been improved so far, just not as much as I wanted. The most challenging aspect of Knox for me has been to find the most effective way of studying and preparing for exams in each specific course.

During Winter Term, I determined my major (economics), and my two minors (business and studio art) after being confirmed by my new academic advisors. I have been very worried about this Spring Term’s courses, because I thought I must get all ‘As’ in every course which relates to my major and minors. I’d like to think of effective ways for preparing for exams both in class and outside class.

In classes, the most important thing is to listen carefully to professors. It is a basic step for us to know how to approach the right way of getting an ‘A’ in classes. For example, in economics, like other social sciences, it is important to understand economic terms according to professors’ definitions. Sometimes, what professors teach us can be different from what we know from reading the textbooks.

The next step to understanding what we have learned in class is to participate in classes. As we ask any questions about what we are learning in classes, we can grasp the new concepts or new ideas from professors’ teachings clearly. Sometimes, it is hard to understand new terms at first. By questioning other students after class or professors during office hours, we can understand new terms clearly.

Outside classes, there are more things to do for preparing both homework and regular exams such as mid-terms and finals. Participating in class is very helpful, but work outside of classes is significantly important as well. For example, in accounting class, there are usually a lot of readings about each topic. If there is a lean accounting system topic during week one, students have to read not only the reading materials given from a professor, but also must try to understand how the concept is applied to the real examples in our world.

Students who are researching about each topic’s keyword by themselves before the deadline of the homework and regular exams are able to perform well on their evaluations. As we go one step in front of the class schedule by preparing for the next upcoming homework and exams, we can be ready to take quizzes or exams with full understanding about important concepts that are going to appear on the exams.

Lastly, between work inside the classroom and study time, we need to understand new concepts from the classes by trying to relate them with the realistic things. As we are human beings who easily forget about new concepts day by day, we should try to memorize what we recently learned with real world phenomena. For example, in Roman art history class, we are learning about new architecture and artwork that remained in Roman culture through each art trend period.

While we are alive in the modern society which is different from the Roman culture, we should try to know how Roman culture and artwork are still influential on modern art trends. When we think of understanding the ancient Greek sculptures, sculptures were becoming more elaborate about human body with more details shown on the sculptures. When we are given problems about comparisons between ancient Roman art and modern art, the answer can be found in our everyday comparisons.

In conclusion, we should be interactive with classes, both in the classroom and outside the classes (the real world) in order to understand new concepts clearly. This way of learning new concepts will help us to prepare for new-stylized questions on quizzes or in exams, because new concepts are usually related to the real world in some ways. This preparation strategy for exams this Spring Term will help Knox students to catch up with raising their GPA effectively.

Josh Ji

Tags:  art asking classroom economics education GPA learning

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