DANG those online report cards.
Nowadays we have access 24/7 to our teens’ grades and GPA scores. And I’ve gotta tell ya, it’s a little stressful.
I kinda liked not knowing about my kids’ grade offenses until those quarterly progress reports came out. Call me irresponsible (go ahead, do it).
I’d rather just stick my head in the sand sometimes.
But of course, as a college planning coach and former teacher, I know a few things about encouraging good grades from my girls.
And they were acutely aware from the very first day of high school that every grade they received would count toward the infamous Grade Point Average.
(No pressure, daughters.)
Over the years I’ve learned some effective ways to help students improve those GPA scores.
I hope these tips will help to guide your teen in an upward direction, too!
1| DON’T take advanced courses.
Advanced high school courses include AP, honors, IB or college-level courses. These are typically “weighted,” meaning that the grades count for more points toward your teen’s GPA than regular courses do.
For example, a B for a regular course grade is equal to a 3.0, while a B for an advanced course can be weighted at a 4.0. (Check with your kid’s high school for accurate conversions – they can differ.)
If your teen’s receiving C’s or lower in an advanced course, have her consider taking regular level classes – especially if she can earn an A in that class. It’ll boost her GPA.
I typically recommend that students take advanced courses when they’re sure they can earn at least a solid B.
2| Take advanced courses!
Bear with me here.
Maybe your teen started the year off on the lazy side, earning lower-than-optimal grades. But now…
Huzzah! Something clicked and now your teen’s gung-ho to improve GPA scores!
(Don’t laugh. It happens.)
If your teen’s now motivated to enhance that GPA, taking more challenging (AP, honors, IB or college) classes is the way to go for a couple of reasons:
- Admissions folks will look at how your teen has progressed during high school, and even if she’s starting with a lower-than-ideal score, it’ll be noted that academic rigor has improved along with grades.
- Taking more advanced courses often translates into a higher “weighted” GPA score.
3| Take MORE courses.
Okay, another seemingly silly recommendation, I know.
This seems a little counterintuitive, but if your teen has a free period and can add an elective course at that time, it can often be an easy little boost to the GPA. Electives aren’t typically as challenging as core classes.
This said…these grades won’t replace the regular course grades that count toward GPA, of course. Your teen needs to keep working toward higher grades in other courses, too.
4| Get one-on-one support for your teen, especially in more advanced courses.
A lower-than-desired GPA can always benefit from some dedicated, one-on-one support from a teacher or tutor.
Consider getting this help early in the semester for courses you know your teen may struggle with. Many times parents look into this after too much material has been covered and their teen is buried under poor results on quizzes and tests.
And if there is more than one or two courses that your kid needs help with, start with the advanced courses. They count for a higher GPA than regular courses, so support there will result in a higher boost, quicker.
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