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 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.)
  4. Say something witty and clever like, “Afternoon, Dr. Fungalschplott.” (Hint: Replace “Dr. Fungalschplott” with the name of your professor.)
  5. At the end of class, repeat.  Change up the wording a bit.  Use your imagination.  “Later, Dr. F.”

So easy Britney Spears can do it!

How does this lead to better grades?  I and my fellow teachers and professors can tell you that no matter how hard we try to be fair in our grading, bias still seeps through.  It might be on that ambigumously spelled word in your essay that leaves us scratching our eggishly domed pates.  Should we give full credit?  “Ambigumously?”  Are they kidding?  Is it an actual misspelling or a joke?  Must be a joke. Shazzam!  Full credit for you!

It gets better though.  The end of the semester rolls around and your class average works out to an 89.3, but a semester’s worth of smiles can easily be worth eight tenths of a point.  “A” for you, young padawan.

Feel too much like sucking-up or brazen manipulation?  Puh-leeeez. If that’s the case immediately cease your personal grooming regimen too you manipulative weasel.  Imagine the effrontery!  Trying to dress yourself in such a way as to be perceived as a competent and likable adult.

For Powerusers:[hidepost]

In bigger classes, where the prof may have a hard time connecting faces with names, look for a good excuse to talk to the professor either before or after class so you can introduce yourself.  “Hi Dr. Kungpao, I’m Dagmar Thimple.  Great lecture today, but I had a quick question about what you said on eructational sonic blasts.  Do you have a second?”

Next, go by their office (during their office hours of course) with a follow up question or two.  Introduce yourself again if they don’t call you by name.  Make the pertinent and short.  You don’t want to wear out your welcome.  It often helps to take a returned paper or and ask a question about that … nothing confrontational, of course … just looking for advice.  They’ll see your name at the top, reinforcing it in their mind.

You’ll know you’ve landed the gold medal when the prof begins greeting you by name and smiling when they see you.[/hidepost]


No matter how much they like you, most prof’s won’t give you an “A” for “C” work, and don’t ever skip their class, because they’ll notice it now for sure.

P.S. You did take a look at my study skills ebook, didn’t you? Don’t miss out on all the slick tricks and powerful techniques for the best grades ever (with less work).
Updated Oct. 2008 post



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