Maintaining a 4.0 in college is not easy. It will require a lot of time spent reading and preparing for daily classes as well as studying for exams. I did not personally maintain a 4.0 in college, I decided to weigh the cost-benefit of where my time was spent. I enjoyed club activities and intramural sports to become a well-rounded student.
- Be sure to go to class and interact with the material. When you go to class you allow yourself to commit and be responsible over your schoolwork. Sometimes missing class can make you not prioritize the assignments and you can fall behind. So try to attend every lecture!
-When attending lectures make sure to either record them or take good notes. I didn't record my lectures but my good friend did in Biochem and she would listen to them before exams. I liked taking notes though and highlighting which helped me a lot. However, sometimes my friend would tell me an important thing that our professor said from the lecture in her recordings and that would help me on exam day. So, it can go either way or both!
-Read! Basically for most if not all classes you will purchase some reading material, whether it's a textbook or pdf file so it's important to read whatever material you have. Lectures and exams are based off of readings for the most part and sometimes the textbook can help when a professor's explanations or lectures can seem confusing. I use to read before going to class and would take my own notes, then in class I would compare my notes with the lecture and make additions to them if needed.
-Set up a study group if you can! In Biochemistry a few of my friends would meet up and study together, we would go over notes, quiz each other and even offer different perspectives based on lectures. Sometimes one friend can understand a topic better and clarify it for exams.
-Make sure you have time to study, the main thing about forming good study habits is giving time to them. So it's important to give yourself time every day to study for class whether you read, take notes, listen to the lectures, or solve problems. Whatever it is, you need to commit a good number of hours per week to each class.
-Tutoring. There are tutoring services free of charge for students based on a number of subjects so be sure to use them. Also professors sometimes offer study hours before exam days where students meet up and go over topics and ask questions, if there is one be sure to attend.
-Office hours are also important because if you are confused by a topic or have a question you can see your professor and get extra help you didn't during class. Most professors love seeing their students during office hours because it shows that you care and are committed to the class. Also in the future you may need a reference/recommendation letter from one of the professors and office hours help the professor get to know you better and build a better relationship so they can vouch for your work ethics.
*** as a note if you can't make office hours because of time conflicting with work or another class professors can also set up different time appointments. You can always ask a professor if you can't make it to the original office hours.
-Make sure to have a planner! Every semester I always carried a planner with me because you want to write down what's due and what you need to do in order to complete everything in time. Also use the planner to space out your tasks and studying because you don't want to try to do everything at once. For example if you have a research paper you need to write there are certain things you need to complete before. So one day you can write to check out articles, get your topic approved and then draft a copy before submitting the original thing. The point is a planner helps keep you organized and in check because sometimes there will be a lot to handle at once. Don't worry though if you plan ahead and stay committed you will do fine!
However, just some advice: maintaining a perfect GPA is difficult, it's doable but it will strain you. My classmate was the hardest studying person I knew and she had an almost perfect GPA however sometimes it would become too much for her too and she knew when she needed to take a break and relax. That being said, be sure to spend time with friends, do hobbies you love and stay active with clubs/events. If you are planning to apply to dental/medical school, they look at your whole application, any graduate school or even with college applications review your credentials holistically. So while test scores/GPA are important, be sure to stay active and do other things as well. Don't strain your abilities either and find time to relax, because in order to do well you need to be well!
Best of luck!!
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