Tag Archives: grades

Does Race Affect Academic Performance?


It does. And so does gender. Exactly how it effects your test scores totally depends on the thoughts floating around in your head, no matter what color it is. In fact, race and gender aren’t really the culprit; for that we have to look to stereotypes.

In the classic study on stereotype threat researchers Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson looked at the performance of African American and White college students. The African American students’ performance on the GRE test varied markedly when they were primed to think of the test in two different ways. When the GRE was presented as a measure of intelligence African American students performed Continue reading Does Race Affect Academic Performance?

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Fast, Easy Way To Make Great Grades Without All The Hard Work!


Check out this great study skills video revealing six of my most powerful (and immediately useful) study skills.

Revised and Updated

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Smile your way to an “A”


Cute kid smileSmiling at the right time can actually improve your grades!  So brush those choppers and start grinning. Here’s how …

  1. Come to class a few minutes early to avoid being part of the herd.
  2. Make eye contact with your professor as you walk in.
  3. Smile warmly (Hint: imagine s/he’s your long lost cousin.  If you don’t like your cousin, imagine it’s your long lost cousin being attacked by rabid ocelots.) Continue reading Smile your way to an “A”

How Important Is Your GPA?


[hidepost]Most employers and graduate schools use a 3.0 GPA as a cut-off point for applicants. Once it’s above that, the exact number usually becomes less important. If your GPA is below the 3.0 threshold, you may wonder about the negative effects your GPA can have on your career or graduate school applications. However, there are ways to overcome a low GPA and minimize its possible damage to your future employment prospects or graduate education opportunities.

Do I Have to Tell Employers My GPA?

Yes, and you should be honest with them. If you don’t put your GPA on your resume, particularly for your first job after graduation, you can expect to be asked about it during the interview.

The trick is where you put the emphasis. If your GPA within your major is higher than your overall GPA, tell them: 2.9/4.0 major GPA, 2.2/4.0 overall GPA. Likewise, if your GPA has improved you can emphasize that: 3.3/4.0 since fall 2008, 2.5/4.0 overall. Finally, if you had to work while studying, employers may take that into account, so it’s worth mentioning: 2.5/4.0 GPA, worked 20 hours per week throughout school year.

How Low Can My GPA Go?

While many employers may 3.0 as their cut-off point, some may be more flexible than others depending on your skill set.

Yet, when asked to rate the qualities employers find most important in a candidate, in the 2007 Job Outlook Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), GPA was ranked number 17 of the top 20. This means a low GPA isn’t necessarily insurmountable–you have 16 other qualities you can enhance to overcome it.

The top 5 most important skills to employers are, in order:

1. Communication skills 2. Honesty/integrity 3. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 4. Motivation/initiative 5. Strong work ethic

Best Way to Overcome a Low GPA

Written and verbal communication skills have consistently been ranked as the number one quality employers seek since 1999. However, they have trouble finding candidates with those skills, as they also ranked good communication the hardest quality to find in job applicants.

Graduates who can express themselves clearly, both orally and on paper, may have a significant advantage over the competition. You can prove your communication abilities both on your resume and in the interview, giving you two chances to shine.

GPA and Graduate School

Graduate schools do put significant weight on your undergraduate GPA, but again it’s not the only factor they consider. First of all, not all graduate schools look at your overall GPA. Many only look at your GPA from your junior and senior years, while others only look at your GPA in your major.

The weight each graduate school puts on your GPA also depends on several variables, including:

* The competitiveness of the graduate school * Whether the school places greater value on work experience, internships, or a portfolio of work * The undergraduate school’s reputation: a student with a lower GPA from a highly ranked university may get accepted over a student with a high GPA from a lower quality school * Strong test scores. * Excellent letters of recommendation

The bottom line is that while employers and graduate schools traditionally look at your grades, mitigating circumstances and strong skills in other areas can certainly help you overcome a low GPA. So put your energy into the other areas they find important.

Author’s URL: http://www.Edu411.org
Edu411.org is a career education directory for finding colleges and universities, training schools, and technical institutes. For more information about careers, online and campus based career programs, please visit us at http://www.edu411.org.

The Best Study Schedule (updated)


(this is an updated version of a post from January 2008)

I’ve posted quite a bit on how and when to study in order to maximize recall, but putting it all together may be a bit daunting.  Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be well on your way to the top of the class!  These may seem deceptively simple, but every one of these steps is supported by research.  Start following these steps NOW to boost your grades and recall.

Best Study Schedule

  1. Study every day rather than studying for long periods on one or two days a week
  2. As far as it is possible, establish a regular daily study schedule
  3. Study early in the day as much as possible.  Most (but certainly not all) brains function better earlier in the day.
  4. Study between classes during time that would normally be wasted
  5. Study in short sessions, from twenty to forty-five minutes each
  6. Take frequent breaks from two to fifteen minutes long between each session and do something completely unrelated
  7. Review at the beginning an end of each study session
  8. Study new material within fifteen minutes of learning it, and again within twelve hours.  Aim for 100% mastery
  9. Study the cumulative class notes at least once per week
  10. Don’t study at night or on the weekends when it can be avoided.  Rest is just as important as study!  Exception: A brief review right before bed can cement information in.  For example, if I spent two hours going over new notes during the day, I might take ten minutes right before I close my eyes to mentally rehearse the material.