How I Got A 4.0 My 1st Semester of College

Second semester is right around the corner, and that means more late nights with friends, more dining hall dates, and more… classes. Although they are the worst part of college, classes are also the most important (my mother would be so proud to hear me say that). So here are a few things I did last semester  that got me that coveted 4.0! Note: everyone studies and learns differently, these are just a few of the things that worked for me!


Make a friend in every class. Whether this means coordinating with your BFF to take a class together or talking with the new girl sitting next to you, it is really helpful to know someone in all your classes! Make sure to get a few people’s phone numbers and emails. This gives you someone to study with, ask questions, or get the lecture notes from if you ever miss class. Plus class is just a little more enjoyable if you have someone to laugh at the teacher with.

Clear your schedule the day before a test. I know you think you won’t procrastinate & you will be studying weeks before a big exam… but let’s not kid ourselves. College is crazy busy and even if you do prepare ahead of time, most of your studying and reviewing will be done the night before. Make sure not to plan any big events the night before, no matter how “prepared” you feel.

Stay organized.  Write down all of your homework, due dates, and exams in your planner and commit to keeping it updated all semester. Sit down and write down all the major dates the day you get your syllabus. Also add in any sports events, sorority functions, or club meetings so you can see which days are busy and when you will have the most time to study. That way nothing sneaks up on you and you can plan your busy weeks. Here are a few more planner organization tips!

Study with a friend. Memorizing facts and equations is one thing, but actually applying them is another. After you have studied for a while, find a friend in your class and take turns quizzing each other, asking questions, and explaining concepts. Even when you aren’t the one being tested, you’ll learn as you help your friend!

Go to class AND pay attention. Going to class is only half the battle. Once you are there, put your phone away, close any distracting sites down on your computer, and actually pay attention! It’s pointless to show up if you’re only going to watch BuzzFeed videos all class. Here are some tips I found on how to get the most out of a lecture.

Use your resources. Take advantage of any free tutoring, workshops, practice tests, and professor office hours. In high school, I always thought I was “too good” for tutoring, but I have come to realize that is NOT true. Whether you have one specific question or don’t understand an entire concept, don’t be afraid to ask questions and use any tools your school provides.

Bonus Links:
15 tips to succeeding academically
Helpful resource list for 25+ subjects

What is your best studying advice? Good luck this semester- make it the best one yet!


2 thoughts on “How I Got A 4.0 My 1st Semester of College

  1. Grace @ Cultural Life says:

    Congrats on getting a 4.0 in your first semester!

    Your study tips all sound very sensible to me, especially paying attention and taking advantage of the resources that are available to you. When I was in college (I graduated last July with First Class honours — in the UK, that’s equivalent to a 4.0 GPA), I focused on going above and beyond with everything.

    Even with classes that I didn’t enjoy as much, I tried to find something interesting about them — some perspective or angle that made me want to find out more. As I wrote in my post,On the Difference Between Pursuing Grades and Chasing Interests, “I find the more I fixate on pursuing grades, the less creative I become in exploring ideas”.

    It was hard work and at times it was tough, but t was worth it! Good luck. 🙂

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