Education is one of the most important parts of your life.
Your education is one of many attributes that will shape your perspective on the world around you.
Grade school was the free trial, but college is its own expensive monster.
Between the importance and the price tag of a college education, many students are driven to reach the peak of their potential, but not everyone has what it takes to achieve the coveted 4.0 grade point average.
How Hard Is It To Get A 4.0 In College?
Most people know someone who graduated with a grade point average of 4.0, whether it was in high school or college.
This can mislead people to assume that it must not be that difficult.
Getting a 4.0 GPA in college is like trying to paint a bedroom with just your hands.
You can get the job done, but something is most definitely going to be ruined, whether that is your social life, mental health, or normal sleep schedule.
In order to achieve a GPA of 4.0, a student must get straight A’s their entire college career, in every class.
Even if you got an A- in all of your classes, that would drop your GPA down to a 3.7. A 4.0 demands nothing but perfection.
If you want the perfect grades in college, it is achievable, but it is incredibly difficult.
Your education is going to have to become your primary focus, and you’re going to have to give up a lot of time doing things that you want to do in order to get done what you need to do.
There are so many roadblocks that can also get in the way of your perfect grades.
Here are 7 things to know.
1. Heavy Hitters To Your GPA
Your grade point average, or GPA, isn’t the perfect scale to show what you may be capable of.
The scaling of grade point averages has some major faults that potentially put you at a heavy disadvantage when compared to other students.
These flaws can make it nearly impossible for some students to achieve the golden 4.0 status.
If you are studying at a school that teaches in a language other than your native language, your GPA may take a hit.
Bilingual people know the struggle of seeming absent-minded or slow to understand things.
The problem isn’t you.
When learning a new concept in your second, third, or even fourth language, it can slow down the process.
You have to listen to what you’re hearing, translate in your head, and then remember the whole concept well enough to be able to write notes or just memorize it then and there.
This all needs to happen while the teacher is continuing to talk, and you have to start the whole process over again.
If you need more support, see what your school offers in the way of assistance.
This is why it is highly recommended that if you struggled at any point in school with learning, focusing, or reading, you should see a learning disability specialist or mental health professional.
Although learning disabilities are not taken into consideration when you receive your GPA, they are heavily considered when applying to colleges and universities.
For example, if you were to have a GPA of 3.5 while having a learning disability, you are put into the same group of eligibility as neurotypical students with grade point averages of 3.8.
2. Discipline Is Key
Ambitious students will laugh in the face of adversity when trying to achieve their grade point average of 4.0, but all that ambition must be matched with discipline.
Discipline is what turns your delusions of grandeur into an accomplished goal.
Your self-discipline must be consistent at all times, as well.
If your friends invite you to go to a party and there’s a test the next day, you’re not going to that party.
Instead, you will be home studying, and then you’ll get a good night’s rest to prepare for that test.
That’s an easy example because tests and parties aren’t frequent, and not every college student is a partier, especially if they’re after a GPA of 4.0.
Instead, consider the idea that you have some homework that needs to get done and some notes to take, but your friends are inviting you to play an online game with them.
If you want to even consider the possibility of joining them, you had better get your homework done first and make sure that you feel comfortable with the material.
Properly disciplining yourself isn’t just cutting yourself off from your friends and any fun.
You need to see your friends and enjoy some leisure time in order to keep yourself sane, but your education needs to come first.
The best way to keep your friends from feeling like you’ve blown them off is to message them during any short breaks you take and inviting them to do things with you when you have all of your work done for the day.
3. Keep A Schedule For Your Sanity!
The greatest way to relieve the stress from the college workload you’re about to endure is by writing out your plan of attack for it all each week.
Plan your schedule around your workload, not hourly, to avoid any time crunching.
If you’re taking online classes, you can typically see each week’s worth of due dates.
Make sure to do your homework as soon as possible.
If you’ve done your assignments and aren’t confident, you will need time to find a tutor or reach out to the professor.
The sooner you get homework and studying done, the sooner you’ll quit stressing out about having to get it done.
A schedule will also keep you from forgetting to turn in assignments and when test dates are coming up.
While you should definitely study the night before a test, there should be multiple times throughout the week for studying for a particular test.
The best way to figure out how well you have mastered a topic is to try and teach it to someone else.
If you know someone who likes to learn or ask a lot of questions, they’re your perfect candidate.
You can also study with other students if you’re a social butterfly.
Making time for your education doesn’t have to be grueling.
4. Balance Your Time
If you can learn how to balance life properly when you’re young, you’ll be a beacon of enlightenment among all your friends.
One of the biggest struggles all adults deal with is balancing the many aspects of their life.
While your education does need to be your main focus for this part of your life, you can still balance out the rest of your time.
Most college students have a plethora of aspects to consider like school, work, social, and time for themselves.
Those categories can be broken down even further into many time-consuming tasks and activities.
If you write down down your schedule or plugging it into your phone, you will be able to see just how much time you have.
Spending all of your free time on one thing, like hobbies, social gatherings, or even one person, can become exhausting.
It can be easy to fall into daily habits and just go with the flow of life.
While it may not affect your grades, it will affect your mental health and the other aspects of your life that you are currently neglecting.
One of the best tactics you can use when trying to find balance in life is to combine your activities.
If you have a friend who is taking the same courses as you, then study together!
According to Washington University in St. Louis, students learn more effectively when working in a small group.
It’s recommended that you keep your group study sessions between two and three hours long because, after that point, many study sessions will start to let their conversation topics wander.
5. Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help
The worst mistake a college student can make is being too afraid to ask for help.
Although many students fear that their request will be met with a negative reaction, that is so rarely the case.
Most professors love students who ask questions because it shows them that the student genuinely cares about what the professor has to say.
The only way you want to avoid asking for help is by only telling the professor that “you don’t get it”.
Try your best to figure out which part of the topic you don’t understand.
If you’re having a tough time putting your finger on what is so confusing to you, tell your professor that you aren’t sure where the misunderstanding is, but narrow it down to a specific point in the lecture or in your notes when things quit making sense to you and show your professor.
Most professors teach because they want people to learn how to do things the right way and they understand that as your professor, that is their responsibility.
Colleges often offer more than just academic support.
If you don’t have enough money for food at school or groceries, there are programs in place to help you.
No one wants you to starve.
If you’re feeling that school or life is taking a toll on your mental health, your school has ways to help you through your struggles.
Reach out to your counselor’s office if you need any type of assistance, including academics.
6. Play To Your Strengths
How hard it is to achieve a grade point average of 4.0 can be difficult to guess because each degree is different.
The easiest level of degree to achieve a 4.0 in is your Associate’s degree.
An Associate’s degree is only two years’ worth of education and typically requires lower difficulty classes.
The longer you’re in school, the harder the courses will get.
Each class you take holds the risk of you not getting a perfect grade, taking you out of the running for that perfect grade point average.
If you’re getting a degree that you’re passionate about, you will be more likely to excel in it.
Passion fuels ambition and discipline.
Everyone is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses.
You can’t expect a monkey to dive as well as a fish, and you can’t expect a fish to climb up a tree as well as a monkey.
If you’re an amazing writer and a poor scientific mind, then go into a field that plays to your writing strength.
If you are a horrible reader while also being an excellent programmer, then follow your talents.
Don’t let someone else impose their dream for your life onto you.
You are going to be the one who is studying, putting in endless amounts of hard work, and making the sacrifice of your time to study whatever field you go into.
Then, once you finish your degree, you’re going to be the one looking for a job in that field and working that job.
Base your choice of degree on what brings you the most joy to do or choose something that can supplement it.
7. It Was Never Going To Be Easy
If you’re still pumped and ready to chase after your dream of a perfect grade point average, then you are more than ambitious and passionate enough to try.
You’ll be giving up being able to stay up late and sleep in even later.
You’ll be sacrificing the majority of your waking hours to your degree.
You’ll miss out on a few parties and hangouts with friends.
This could easily be one of the most stressful tasks you have ever undertaken or ever will undertake.
As long as you ask for plenty of help and balance your schedule and life properly, you’ll make it through.
When things get hard—and they will—remember to stay determined.