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Suggestions for Improving Academic Performance

St. John Fisher College provides many resources for students interested in improving their GPA or academic performance.

Forming a relationship with your professor is the best way to get the support you need. To stay on top of your academic progress, consider going to office hours at least once every few weeks to discuss your concerns, reviewing coursework, and asking questions about an upcoming exams. You may also wish to consider the following, perhaps with the help of an academic advisor.

If You Are Not Earning the Grades You Want

Consider factors that may be interfering with strong academic achievement:

  • Are you attending class?
  • Are you devoting sufficient time to coursework?
  • Are work, other activities or personal problems interfering with your ability to complete assignments, study, and/or concentrate?
  • Do you need more support in math, reading, writing, or studying skills?

Take advantage of academic resources early and often:

  • The Math Center provides support not just for formal math courses, but can sometimes help with statistics and other quantitative/technology courses.
  • Visit the Writing Center. Good writers have their work reviewed by editors. All writers can benefit from working with a tutor in the Writing Center.
  • Peer tutoring is available for most 100 and some 200 level courses. Time and locations are flexible, and peer tutors can work with your schedule.
  • The Center for Academic Excellence offers workshops each semester on topics such as writing and research, study skills, career preparation, technology, academic advising, and more.

Consider a change of major:

  • If honest attempts to improve academic skills and study habits haven't produced results, perhaps your current course of study isn't a good fit for your interests, skills and abilities?
  • Get help with this decision by working with the Center for Career and Academic Planning.

Tips for Improving GPA

  • Take courses at the appropriate level (courses numbered 100-199 are considered introductory, 200-299 are intermediate, and 300-499 are upper-division courses for juniors and seniors).
  • Be aware of registration dates and enroll in courses as early as possible.
  • Pay attention to withdraw dates. You have about one month to withdraw from courses with no grade and another month to withdraw with a grade of "W."
  • Adhere to recommended prerequisites, and then some. For example, ACCT 102 requires completing ACCT 101. But is a "D" in ACCT 101 enough preparation to be successful in an even more advanced ACCT 102?
  • Repeat* grades of an "F" at Fisher. The only way to change a Fisher grade is by repeating it at Fisher. While you may earn credit for a course in transfer credit (with a grade of "C" or better), that grade is not factored into your Fisher GPA.
  • Consider repeating other low grades, especially if you'd benefit from doing so as in the example above. However, be aware that the grade most recently earned serves as the active grade on the academic record. For example, if you repeat a class that you previously received a "C-" in, and then receive a "D," your GPA will drop. Also, if you fail the course on the repeated attempt, you will lose the credit previously earned.

*Repeating previously passed courses may affect eligibility for financial aid. Check with the Office of Student Financial Services to avoid these problems.