How to Pick Yourself Back Up When Your Grades Begin to Fall

Anyone who has suffered from a bad grade knows that it's a whole lot easier to drop your GPA than to raise it up.

After just one bad test grade or a few sick days off from school, it can seem like an entire year of hard work was just flushed down the drain.

Mariana Foster walking to next class in deep thought

(The Fosters via Freeform)

If you're currently experiencing this downward spiral, we have some tips on how to work your way back up to GPA greatness. The below advice is sure to get your grades back on track:

Talk to Your Teacher

Unless you have been cursed with a teacher you simply can't stand, it's likely that your teacher's main goal is helping their students succeed. Have a chat with your superior about your grade and possible solutions. If there's a topic you just can't master or if your extra-curricular schedule is getting in the way of a demanding workload, explain that to your them. They may have some advice or, at the very least, sympathy. It never hurts to ask about making up past uncompleted assignments or retaking a test you totally tanked. The worst that can happen is they say "no," but you may just get lucky. It's worth a shot!

Still of The Fosters' Timothy teaching class.

(The Fosters via Freeform)


Act on Every Extra Credit Opportunity 

Do all of the extra credit you can. This is no joke. By doing every extra credit assignment available, you're ensuring that you not only saved yourself from your last bad test grade, but also that you created a buffer in case a nasty flu has you bedridden down the road. Extra credit is also the perfect little boost you need to take that 89.3% in English up to a bright and shiny A.


Join a Study Group

Study groups are a great way to combine learning with hangout time. Of course you need to stay on scholarly topics in order to get your grades up, but at least you can do it together with friends and classmates. Don't know of any study groups? Start your own. Look, as long as you advertise free pizza you'll have a big gang in no time.

PLL girls Hannah, Spencer and Aria studying together.

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)


Make a Life Pie

Sometimes we don't realize that we spend too much time on one thing and inadvertently let other things, in this case academics, slip. Follow these steps to make a life pie in order to reevaluate the way you spend time.

On a piece of paper, draw a circle at least 6 inches in diameter. Now draw three lines sectioning the circle into six equally sized pie slices. Label each of the pieces with these six categories: friends, free time, school work, extracurricular activities, work (if you don't have a job, consider this section "chores" or other miscellaneous jobs) and family. In each pie section, make a dot to indicate how much time you spend doing these activities per week. For example, a dot closest to the point that all of the lines meet means "very little" and a dot closer to the outer rim of the circle means "very often." When you've finished, connect all of the dots. This will give you a visual for how much time you spend say, on Facebook (during free time) versus how much time you spend studying (school work).

By evaluating the way we spend our time, we can improve the areas that need help by pulling the reins on areas that are hogging most of our hours.


Keep Calm and Study On

Stressing never helped anybody. Yes, you could sit there worrying about your past grades and how you should have studied harder on that Civil War test, but that brain energy won't suddenly make a time machine materialize. Instead, keep calm. Focus on working harder in the present to better your grade little-by-little. You may not be given the opportunity to retake that one devastating test or pile on extra credit in order to fix the low grade all at once, but if you kick it into gear and study hard for future assignments, your GPA will begin to slowly rise. Instead of getting distracted by your errors, keep calm and study on.

Girl at a coffee shop doing work on her laptop

(via Shutterstock)


Add Some Perspective

The truth is, even if you aren't able to get your GPA up to its previous status, you're going to be fine. Grades seem like the end-all be-all, but in reality, grades are given way more attention than they deserve. The most important thing is that you're learning something, so if your mad dash to raise a grade is simply for the status, then add a little perspective and remember that the entire purpose of the education system is to provide students with knowledge. Taking a little pressure off of the A-F student alphabet may just re-motivate an old studying habit or help you find some joy in the sometimes torturous activity of school.


Grades can be a real downer, but they aren't the only part of school life that can make you feel low. Add some more perspective by checking out THESE 10 high school struggles that won't matter in 10 years.