Drinking An Important Predictor of GPA

College freshmen usually step on to campus for the first time with the expectation that their new endeavor will be a greater academic challenge than that of their high school experience. The fear of new demands motivates students to diligently hit the books; at first. Recent studies evaluating how college students spend their time demonstrate decreased time studying and explore how varying activities affect grade point averages.

Working, volunteering, student clubs, Facebook, and watching TV are all activities that distract students from studying; but nothing indicates grade point average more accurately than alcohol consumption. The evidence was found through a survey administered by Outside the Classroom, a company addressing health and wellness issues affecting college students.

Tom Wyatt, director of research, intended to continue research where most journals stop. It’s not a surprise that college students get distracted or that they drink, but the relationship between the two is what Wyatt found interesting.

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What Is Academic Probation?

failing gradeNo matter who you talk to, college is often looked at as a great way to better yourself. Some things that aren’t talked about as much are the negative aspects of college.

Granted, there is a rigorous process for getting into whichever college you attend: you must submit standardized tests, transcripts and, in some cases, sit for interviews. With all that work to get accepted, there are some people that don’t put as much focus or thought into staying in school. The temptation of skipping class, staying out late partying, socializing and drinking can be a lot to handle. Or sometimes there are unexpected problems that arise that make it impossible for you to keep up with your assignments. Money, family and personal issues can quickly shift your priorities.

Not going to class or turning in homework, for whatever reason, can lead to bad grades. If you keep up with that routine, you will soon find yourself on academic probation. Each student attending school is required to maintain a certain grade point average to be in good standing with the school. If you fall below that grade point average on a cumulative level, you will typically be placed on academic probation. Academic probation serves as a warning to students that if they don’t raise their grades, they could be kicked out of school. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Raise Your GPA

Raise Your GPACollege and high school are drastically different. Once you go to college, you’ve got a lot more freedom. It’s totally up to you as a student to go to class, remember to do your homework and study for tests. Sometimes that level of responsibility can be good, and for some, it can spell trouble.

Your level of attentiveness and class participation translates directly into your grades. If you miss class, or constantly show up late, you miss out on assignments, important notes the teacher might give, test dates and your grades can suffer. Having a high grade point average (GPA) in college can translate into getting into better graduate school programs, getting a better job or even being eligible for the best internships.

For those that find they have a need to try and raise their GPA, there is hope. These tips can even be used by those just starting college to keep their grades top notch. Whether you plan to go to graduate school or not, having a high GPA can be a helpful tool to show you’ve mastered your curriculum.

Go to class: Being in class shows your professors that you care enough to be there. Being in class will ensure that you never miss out on a surprise quiz, project or participation points. Many teachers have chosen to give students credit just for going to class. Those points can make the difference between letter grades. Also, if you’re constantly in class, you’re bound to absorb more of that information that’s being tossed around, whether you mean to or not. Read the rest of this entry »

What Your GPA Means

report-cardThere are a lot of different terms that are thrown around when you enter college and many of those terms come in the form of acronyms. From entrance exams like the ACT or the SAT, to degrees like a BA or BS, all those letters can get confusing. One acronym that has followed you from high school, however, is your GPA, or grade point average.

A grade point average is a way to universally measure student performance on the same scale. Usually on a scale of 0 to 4.0, with 4.0 being the highest, each grade you receive is assigned points and averaged out. (It is possible to receive higher than a 4.0 if you complete extra credit in addition to your perfect grades.) Typically, an A is worth four points, a B is worth three points, a C is worth 2 points and a D is worth one point. For instance, if you take five classes, and earn three A’s and two B’s, your total points would be 18 for that semester. Then you would divide your 18 points by the five classes you took for a grade point average of 3.6. Read the rest of this entry »

Law Schools Practicing Grade Inflation

Image via

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Can you imagine waking up one morning, logging on to your school account, and realizing that you GPA had jumped 0.333 over night? I’m sure I would celebrate, but also be completely confused. However, if I went to Loyola Marymount Law School in Los Angeles, I would not be surprised at all. In fact, I would have been expecting it.

Since 2008, at least 10 law schools have altered their students’ GPAs by making their grading systems more lenient, according to the New York Times. These are major universities we are talking about also. Some of the schools practicing this grade inflation include New York University, Tulane University, and Georgetown.

Why would they do this?

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Private Colleges Give Higher GPAs than Public Colleges

a-gradeA recent study showed that students who attended private colleges had higher grade point averages than those of public school students.

According to a study by Stuart Rojstaczer, of Duke University, and Christopher Healy, of Furman University, the average private college GPA is 3.3 while the average public college GPA is 3.0. Rojstaczer and Healy based the study on current grading data they had compiled from 160 schools.

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Recharging Your Batteries Before Exams

This time of year is one that induces stress in both high school and college students alike. Exams are around the corner, with that comes the late nights and loss of social life. I am here to give you some advice from my college experience. Recharge your batteries. students-relaxing

Something can be said about the benefits of studying 72 hours in five days, but when does it become too much? Studying is an important part of getting good grades, but what use is working your brain to the nub when you are too tired to recall the information you have learned. Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook Users’ Grades Worse than Non-Users

For college students spending too much time on Facebook, the results will show on your report cards, according to a new study conducted at Ohio State University.facebook-profiles

The study’s co-author, Aryn Karpinski, clarifies that there are “many third variables that need to be studied,” but defends that a relationship does exist. Her study found that students who use Facebook tend to have GPAs in the 3.0-3.5 range and study one to five hours each week, while those who do not use Facebook have GPAs in the 3.5-4.0 range and study 11 to 15 hours each week.

She says Facebook might not be the guilty party, that this could be an indicator that students who in general study less and enjoy their free time will see a hit to their grades. The study also found that those who have jobs spend less time on Facebook, whereas those involved in more social activities and organizations are active on Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »

John McCain’s GPA and College Records

There’s no doubt that John McCain’s military record is exemplary.  The same cannot be said for his academic record.  McCain won’t release his Naval Academy GPA or his transcripts, but he did admit to graduating fifth from the bottom of his class!  That’s 894 out of 899.  Here’s what he had to say:

Good for McCain for being honest about his record, but wow, that’s pretty low.

Read more about John McCain’s university background, and check out the college records of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin.

Common Misspellings: John Mcain, John McCane, John Macain, John McKane, Jon McCain

Should You Load Up on Extracurricular Activities in High School?

If you’re applying for college, you’ve probably heard that colleges want to see a record of extracurricular activities on your high school transcript. But how many extracurriculars do you need—and can you participate too much?

Yes, you can participate too much—if your extracurricular activities are interfering with your ability to get the best grades possible. While schools are looking for activities, what they’re looking for most is grades. They want to see that you’ve taken the at least some of the most challenging classes available to you in your high school, and that you’ve done well in these classes. And they want to see an outstanding GPA. If you have to choose between an A and an activity, the decision should be a no-brainer.

As for the number of activities, you don’t have to join everything in sight. What colleges like to see is commitment to one or a few activities over the course of a few years. Ideally, they like to see that you’ve taken on leadership positions in these activities. For example, writing extensively for the high school newspaper for four years, and then becoming the editor, looks fantastic, even if that’s your only activity. Belonging to a dozen activities for shorter periods of time with no leadership position doesn’t look nearly as strong.

In addition, colleges like to see activities that relate to other parts of your application, including your proposed major, if you have one. If you’re the editor of your school newspaper and want to major in English or journalism, that looks great.

This doesn’t mean you can’t join activities just because they sound fun, or that you can’t try out a bunch of stuff until you find something you like. However, keep in mind that some extracurriculars look better than others, and that you can overdo it if your grades suffer.


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