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The Transfer Guide To Finals

We know the end of the semester can be hard, especially if this is your first time in college. Getting prepped now is the best way to make sure that you are ready for finals, because the grades you earn now have an impact on your future.


Why do grades matter?



We know you are more than your final transcript, and many colleges use several criteria for determining if a transfer student will be admitted. However, most colleges are going to look at your GPA, and to earn micro-scholarships you will need to make sure to keep your GPA in check so you don’t miss out. Check the GPA criteria to earn micro-scholarships from the colleges you are interested in so you have a goal in mind going into finals.


Also, if you are receiving financial aid and your GPA gets too low you risk losing your grants and loans. Here’s how you can keep your GPA on point.


Get some help.



It’s never too late (or, too early!) too seek out tutoring. Many colleges have online options for tutoring if your schedule is tight, or your faculty member might be able to set some time aside for you. Studies have shown that tutoring has a positive influence, especially for students who are freshman that might be feeling challenged (Russ, 2015), so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try!


Double check, and then check again.



A lot of times colleges operate on a special schedule for finals, which means your exam may be in a different room, or at a different time, than you are used to. Research the finals schedule now so you know if you need to change your work or child care schedule ahead of time. If you don’t follow the schedule you could miss your exam, which could drop your grade.


Don’t cram!



It’s tempting to push off studying (especially when you are full of turkey), but studying over time is shown to help us retain more information. Also, we remember more when we write, read, hear, and say content, rather than just reading it. Try reading your notes out loud, writing them out by hand, or listening to a lecture that you recorded. Knowing the best way to study that fits your learning style will help you maximize your comprehension.


Treat yo’ self.



Give yourself something to look forward to after exams are done. Maybe it’s dinner with your friends, a sweater you have been eyeing up, or a Netflix night at home, but whatever it is make sure to carve out some time to recharge.


Check your grades.



Don’t forget to check your grades to make sure everything looks accurate, and so you can log them into RaiseMe to see how much you have earned! Most schools won’t mail grades, so you will want to log into your school’s academic portal to double check everything. Haven’t met with your advisor yet? Finals is a great time to review your academic plan, make sure your financial aid looks good, and iron out your courses for the next semester.


Tara Zirkel, Ed.D, is Senior Manager for Community College Partnerships Manager for RaiseMe. Tara has over a decade of student affairs experience in community college settings, including as the Dean of Distance Education and Education Centers at Westmoreland County Community College and as the Director of Admissions, Interim Dean of Students, Adjunct Faculty, and Interim Associate Academic Dean at the Community College of Allegheny County. She holds a doctorate of education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she researched enrollment habits of community college students.

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