How do I improve my GPA?

Improving a poor grade point average (GPA) is not “Mission Impossible”. Before moving forward, please know that your GPA is not reflective of your self worth. Everyone has different skills, strengths, and talents that they rely on, and a poor GPA does not diminish your self worth.

Here are several steps you can take to help improve your GPA:

Step One: Understand your academic weaknesses and strengths.

It is important you first understand the root cause of the problem before you address it.

If you are having trouble pointing to a specific problem, sit down with a trusted advisor, professor, mentor, or family member to discuss the topic. Ask them for their candid opinions on areas for improvement. Sometimes you will learn about a weakness you had not noticed before.

Perhaps more importantly is understanding your strengths. When your professor assigns a programming challenge are you thrilled? Do research essays brighten your day? Is a tough math problem a joy to solve? Take note of your strengths.

Step Two: Capitalize on your strengths.

Identify courses that will help you improve your strengths. If you are a technical person, consider enrolling in GAME 101 (Introduction to Game Design) vs. DANC 145 (Ballet I) to fulfill your Mason Core Arts requirement.

By enrolling in courses that naturally capitalize on your strengths, you are more likely to excel in coursework.

Step Three: Nurture your weaknesses.

Part of college is improvement. As a non-math person, you will not be able to escape algebra all your life, even if you major in a non-STEM field. Do not be afraid to ask for help!

Luckily, Mason has tons of free services to help students. The College of Education and Human Development has put together a comprehensive list of student success services. You can find it here.

Step Four: It is a process; have patience.

Raising your GPA is a process that requires time. It is best that you practice good habits early on in your academic career, as it is more difficult to raise your GPA the more credits you accumulate.

There is no magic tip that will set you on the path towards an improved GPA. It comes down to reaching out for help where you need it and putting in consistent effort.

Student Government is dedicated to helping you. If you ever need help find resources or just want to chat, please reach out to