9 Ways To Maintain Good Grades While Avoiding Burnout - Tips From A 4.0 GPA Student

Online school has been very hard on students causing a lot of burnout. These tips can help you push through that burnout.
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Online classes have put a great strain on a lot of students. With professors endlessly assigning work, it can feel hopeless to continue trying your best especially during uncertain times, and lead to burnout. I am going to share few tips that helped me maintain good grades and achieve a 4.0 GPA.

Follow these steps to maintain good grades without burnout while you are studying online.

1. Take on the number of classes that you can realistically handle

take online classes that you can handle
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A lot of people try to take a lot more classes than what they can handle on the basis that they think they'll finish early and therefore graduate earlier. Some people can actually manage just fine with a lot of classes but the reality is that some just can't.

It's ok if the most you can handle is two or three classes when you were able to handle a lot more. It is not worth stressing yourself beyond belief by taking on more than what you can handle. Taking longer than the standard four years is not the be-all-end-all and it's normal to have to take a few more years.

2. Make sure to look up the professors before enrolling

check your professions profile before enrolling to online class
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The website or app, Ratemyprofessor is a great tool to make sure that the professor whose class you are taking, is actually good. Due to the pandemic, you might want to pay close attention to reviews because even if a professor was good in person, they might not have been great online.

A lot of professors continue with the same curriculum as they did when school was in person and it doesn't translate well online because a lot of people have responsibilities at home now and can't dedicate the same time as they used to.

If you are taking a general education class that isn't really related to your major, then you should be fine with taking a class that is rated easy and the professor grades easy. However, if you're taking classes that are related to your major, if the professor is rated average or hard, look into the reason as to why that is.

Professor's job is to help students go beyond and strengthen abilities and just because a professor is hard, doesn't necessarily mean they are bad. It could be hard because they are challenging you to grow which is beneficial to you in the long run.

Although, make sure the professor is also understanding of the pandemic because some won't care that you face extra obstacles due to this and that is not good for your mental health. 

3. Use the syllabus and plan out ahead

The most useful tool in staying on track with your classes is by using the syllabus professors give you. The majority of professors should give you a syllabus first week of class at the latest, and it's a very helpful guide on what to expect in the class.

You can write down important dates so you aren't surprised when all of a sudden you have three papers due in a couple of hours. Some professors announce dates for extra credit which is useful if you are falling a bit behind the class and need the extra help.

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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The syllabus is not always followed in some classes and you need to be on top of announcements to know when there has been a change in an assignment. A good way to be on top of that is having your notifications on if your school uses systems such as Canvas.

4. Calculate what is necessary to pass

You don't need to do everything in the class in order to pass with an A. Sometimes you only need to do a couple of assignments and get a certain grade that isn't a 90 or above to get that A. 

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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Not all quizzes, assignments, and tests are accounted for. There are professors who drop your lowest grade or provide opportunities to make up for the missing assignment or failing test grade.

Be smart in what is necessary because if you get too comfortable in not turning in everything, you might have missed one assignment that could've been the one that pushed you from an 89% to a 90%.

5. Reach out to your professors

Professors are not as scary as people make them be. A lot of professors are genuinely passionate about their professions and are eager to answer any questions you may have. Check what their office hours are and prepare a list of questions that you may have about the class.

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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If there is a topic or text that you are struggling with, it helps to read it and write your interpretation and ask your professor if what you understood was correct. If not, then they should lead you to the correct answer. Plus, it shows professors that you genuinely care about their class and that can work in your favor. 

Professors can be lenient about turning in your assignments or making up a test if you consistently show that you are participating in their class and are putting in the work. The work you put in may not be the best, but professors can sometimes let it slide because it is the effort that counts on occasion.

6. Make an outline of exams

Usually, professors will give a study guide on what you should expect to see on the test. Make an outline that covers all the topics that will be on the test and go through the section piece by piece to make sure you have gotten all the information you need.

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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You can sometimes come across a question that was not in the study guide at all and can be worth a lot of points. To avoid that, make sure you get all of the main points or listen to your lectures where a professor might say, "This will be on the test."

If you are a person who finds it difficult to pay attention to audio-only, you can use websites such as Notiv.com where it can transcribe audio. The only downfall to this is that it only allows for forty minutes at a time.

7. Be realistic about your study goals

A lot of people say you can study for long periods of time if you give yourself some breaks and while yes, that can work for some people. Other people just simply can't sit for more than twenty minutes either because their mind wanders off or because they have responsibilities to attend to.

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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Don't feel guilty if you can't do the popular methods of studying because you can't focus for longer than twenty minutes. Perhaps you need a break every twenty or fifteen minutes. The point of studying is that you get information and if that's the best way you can remember things, then that's what you should do.

While this is not really recommended, some people do really well with cramming a lot of information an hour before their test. If this method works well for you then, make sure you have your outline ready and give yourself enough time to cram it. 

8. Reach out to a mental health services

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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Sometimes even taking a break or easy during school won't help at all because the problems might not necessarily be school. The problems that cause you to not put in as much effort might be something else and it's ok to reach out for counseling.

Schools typically offer four to six sessions of free counseling although, spaces might get filled up quickly there are other services that your school can give you information about if you need long-term counseling. 

9. Acknowledge that it's ok to fall back a bit

9 ways to maintain good grades from a 4.0 GPA burnt out student
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You are not less intelligent than others just because you are unable to get straight A's or because you got a bad grade on an assignment. You are not a failure if you're not doing as well as you used to be. Everyone goes through a period of time where they are not able to do what they could and it doesn't mean they'll never get back on their feet.


It's important to realize that you will fail at times but how you learn from it and move on is what matters. A failure now doesn't mean a failure forever. I am very confident that following the above tips will not only help you avoid burnout but also maintain good grades even while you are attending online classes.

A coffee addict and a corgi enthusiast.

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