Here's a list of things common to people who regularly get good grades. Note which things you already do, mark the ones you don't, then pick two or three of the don'ts as personal goals for the semester.

The obvious:
  1. Go to class every day.
  2. Be on time for class.
  3. Read and understand the course syllabus.
  4. Do all the assigned reading, by the time it is due.
  5. Take part in class discussion.
  6. Takes notes during class.
  7. Revise all papers.
  8. Print your drafts and proofread from the hard copy.
  9. Follow directions carefully and precisely.

The less obvious:

  1. Sit near the front of the classroom, or where the instructor can see you clearly.
  2. Become an expert on the course grading system (see number 3, above).
  3. Come to each class session with a question about the material
  4. Visit the instructor during office hours.
  5. Study for tests over as long a period as possible.
  6. Take notes recording your thoughts and reactions as you're doing the course reading--not after.
  7. Write in your textbooks--highlight, underline, jot marginal notes.
  8. After all assigned readings and all class sessions, write answers to these questions:
  • What was the point?
  • What am I supposed to learn from it?
  • Why does it matter?