16 Ways to Lower Your Grades

Dennis Congos University of Central Florida

Tired of school and all those late-nighters? Try these sure-fire ways to ease the load, lower your GPA, and increase your chances to flunk out of college! We know from experience that these techniques work. By knowing them, you can avoid them.

Eat an unbalanced diet.

Eat lots of sugary things and fatty foods. “When I don’t eat right, I don’t feel like studying. I often get sleepy or restless.“ Shay Dalton.

Choose not to review and recite notes regularly.

No review, no learning. “I reviewed for tests by rereading the material 2 to 3 times a day or two before a test.” Rod Henry - An academic suspension statistic.

Choose to have negative and limiting attitudes.

Have negative attitudes about learning, instructors, and your ability to succeed. My negative attitudes about learning and my ability to learn were my biggest obstacles to succeeding in college” James Singer – Burger maker at Wendy’s.

Don’t get enough nighttime sleep.

“Fighting sleep in class kept me from concentrating. I thought naps would help, but they didn’t. Because I was sleepy in class, I didn’t have good class notes so I failed several lecture quizzes.” Senta Walsh.

Study where it is noisy.

“I studied with the stereo or TV on or around noisy roommates. I seemed to study much more than other students but I kept getting low grades.” Tory Sellman.

Don’t use a calendar book.

Don’t organize your time for classes, study, tests, papers, recreation, social activities, work, etc. I thought I could always make time to study when I had to so I didn’t need to write anything down. It didn’t work. I would forget assignments and forget to study for tests. Wakesha Mosley - academically dismissed and applying for readmission (SAT score - 1270).

Do not go to class or do arrive late repeatedly.

This lowered me from a C to a D because I missed so much material and the professor thought I didn’t care. Barry Longly- on academic probation.

Be like everybody else.

Our counselor told us that about 60% of our classmates won’t graduate and that to be successful we had to be different than they. I didn’t believe her. Maralynn Weekman – cashier.

Don’t do what is required.

Don’t do homework, or turn in papers and projects late. I found this a quick and easy way to flunk out of college. Tom Marlinski – Unemployed.

Don’t take notes in class or from textbooks.

I tried this and spent 2 semesters working in the fast food industry before I could to re-enroll in college. I was embarrassed and my parents were disappointed in me. Cynthia Stall.

Overload yourself.

Take too many classes, work too many hours on a job, participate in too many student activities, and/or let your social life dominate your college life. John Deidrich – Business graduate with a 2.2 gpa. Still looking for a job in my field 2 years after graduating.


I got myself to believe that everyone did it until I got caught. I got an F in the course and was placed on probation. It would have been easier to learn the material…..and smarter. Eric Johnson.


I waited until I felt like or had to study instead of making time to study daily. My 1st semester GPA was .09. Hadly Martin.

Don’t use campus learning resources.

Don’t see a learning skills counselor; attend learning skills workshops or classes. I thought learning skills were only for remedial students. I found out no one learns well in college without good college level skills for learning. I worked hard to develop my learning skills and my grades went up far enough to consider medical school. Dr. Jim Beal, MD.

Study by reading….reading….reading.

This worked in high school but killed me in college. Del Clyburn - short order cook.

Don’t choose to set clear goals.

Avoid short-term goals (like a specific GPA) or long-term goals (like a certain degree or career). When I realized how much motivation I got from setting goals, even simple ones, I set them daily on my “to do” notecard. Nelson Scopes, a 3.89 graduate student (once a 1.3 GPA undergraduate student).

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