Tutor Doctor | Feb 3, 2014

Bad Grades? Here's What to Do

Categories: Tutoring, In-Home Tutoring, Find a Tutor, Study Tips

If your student is getting bad grades, you want to be supportive, but you also want to ensure that their academic performance improves. While it’s natural to get upset by bad grades, your student may lack the skills they require to do a better job. You can help them to take responsibility for their academic performance and provide them with the much-needed tools to get the job done.

What’s the problem?

Every student has a bad test from time to time, but if you notice a marked decline in a particular subject or in overall grades, it’s time to take action. First speak with your student to try to ascertain what the problem is. Don’t be discouraged if they can’t tell you; it may be that they just don’t know why they aren’t doing as well as their fellow students.

Speak with their teachers; your teachers are the best resource for finding the root of the problem. Problems may range from getting distracted in class, not being organized, lacking study skills or simply forgetting to complete assignments. You should also investigate the possibility of social issues like bullying.

Fixing the foundations

If your student has gaps in their knowledge, then the more their teachers build on these foundations, the less they will understand. If you suspect that this may be the issue, then get an in-home tutor to evaluate your student’s knowledge. They will be able to tell what kind of an understanding they have of the subject matter and help to fill in the gaps.

In-home tutors are able to work individually with your student so that they are able to catch up and show rapid improvement. They are also able to work in a situation where your student feels comfortable and confident. As they progress, they will feel more confident, and will be more likely to ask and answer more questions. They may be too intimidated or shy to ask questions in class.

Study skills

Teachers don’t always have the time to teach both the course material and study skills. Your student may need help with the way they study. Start by asking your tutor or teacher to ascertain what learning style suits your student best. Then show them how to convert their course materials into a format that is more accessible to them. For example, if your student is a visual learner, they can remember material by creating a mindmap, flashcards or an inforgraphic. Ensure that your student knows how to properly study, summarize and revise and how to estimate how much time they should leave for studying.

Get organized

Being organized isn’t something that comes naturally for most students. If your student often forgets about assignments and tests, loses items or doesn’t hand work in, they may need help with organizational skills. Find a calendar that works best for them. This can be a diary, a smartphone app, a whiteboard; anything that helps them to member important upcoming events.

Ensure that you check their calendar every day and help them to fill in the tests, exams and assignment’s they have coming up. Block out time between extramural activities when they are set to do their homework or study. Ensure that they have enough time to complete their schoolwork and help them to prioritize tasks.