True or False Part II: Tackling Common “Advice” on How to Get a 4.0 GPA

This is part two to “True or False Part I: Tackling Common ‘Advice’ on How to Get a 4.0 GPA” where I tackle some common “advice” for getting a 4.0 GPA and show which ones are false and which ones are true. Let’s get down to unmasking the imposters.

Whale of a Tale
Some of these pieces of “advice” are just whales of a tale. Okay, fine, I know that this is a koi fish and not a whale, but you get my point. Photo By: Elizabeth Preston

1.  “Become an effective reader (Above 500 wpm at 100 percent reading comprehension rate).” – False. I found this one on HuffPost, and I find it ridiculous. First of all, who the heck knows their reading rate? Second, the reading rate will and SHOULD change from text to text. You may read a nonfiction history text quickly and then read something theoretical slowly. Theoretical material NEEDS to be read slowly. For example, I don’t know anyone who reads Derrida texts quickly. Also, it’s okay not to be at “100 percent reading comprehension” when reading. In fact, you’re probably not going to be at that on most of what you read. That’s why you go to class and discuss ideas or passages that may be a little unclear to you with your classmates and instructors.

2.  “Prepare three weeks in advance and study for the exam 48 hours before the test date.”— False. This is from HuffPost too, and this advice is utterly impractical in my opinion. Teachers aren’t done teaching students the test material three weeks before the exam date. So, how on earth are students supposed to study for the exam three weeks before the test? Look, if you want to know how to study for a test the 4.0 GPA way, here are my posts on it: “It’s the Final Countdown: Surviving Finals,” “How to Study for a Test the 4.0 GPA Way: Part One,” How to Study for a Test the 4.0 GPA Way: Part Two,” and “How to Study for a Test the 4.0 GPA Way: Part Three.”

Leapfrog to the Wrong Conclusion
Some of this “advice” leapfrogs to the wrong conclusion. Photo By: Elizabeth Preston

3.  “Be nice to the professor.” – Kind of. Yes, there are instructors who give leniency and maybe bump up a student’s grade when the student is nice. Yet, instructors don’t like sucking up. We can see it from a mile away. Also, instructors will still flunk “nice” students if their grades put them in the flunking range. Honestly, this advice should be changed to “don’t be a jerk to the professor.” Being a jerk guarantees no leniency. So, there’s a balance here. Just be a kind, honest, and respectful human, and you’ll be fine in this regard.

4.  “Get up early.” – False. I was always a night owl, and I would study until 3 or 4 in the morning. This was because my brain worked best (and still does) starting at 9 p.m. It’s quite inconvenient, but my brain is often inconvenient for me. When I tried getting up early and going to bed early, I never did the same high-quality work. So, study when your brain likes it best. If that’s at 6 a.m., cool. If that’s at 1 a.m., then do your best to accommodate that.

5.  “Get help.” – True. Absolutely. *clap* Positively. *clap* True. *clap* Everyone has a weak subject, and your school has resources to help you—a tutoring center, probably a writing center, teaching assistants, the instructors themselves, and your classmates. Many sororities and fraternities also have in-house tutors and study groups. Use these resources. Remember that earning a 4.0 GPA does not mean that you have to be naturally good at everything.


2 thoughts on “True or False Part II: Tackling Common “Advice” on How to Get a 4.0 GPA

Add yours

  1. Interesting post! I’d say to find a method that best suits you. Some people are night owl and some found its much more effective studying in the morning.

  2. Thank you, and thank you for reading! I completely agree. There’s no use in forcing yourself into a habit that your brain just doesn’t like when there are better alternatives.

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