academic probation
Some alone-time dedicated to studying may just be what you need to get off of that dreaded probation list (Image via Fresno Pacific University)

4 Tips for Dealing with Academic Probation

Academic probation isn’t the end of the world. Arm yourself with the following four tips in case of this unwelcome situation.

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academic probation

Academic probation isn’t the end of the world. Arm yourself with the following four tips in case of this unwelcome situation.

Getting a letter in the mail telling you that you are on academic probation is never a good way to enjoy your winter break with all its festivities. If you happen to be one of the students who receive such a letter, don’t panic. Your college career is not over. With the right dedication and time, getting off of academic probation is simple.

Academic probation should be taken seriously since it is a warning from the college to its students about their underwhelming performance at schools and the danger of dismissal if there are no improvements. As a result, progress in your academic standing is all it takes to get you out of that much dreaded list. Help is ready on campus so that you can achieve that goal, including tutors, advisors and college readiness courses. On top of that, you need to make certain effort to improve your standing.

1. Keep a planner and use it regularly

Keeping a planner in college seems pretty obvious, but many students who keep one don’t use it regularly or they forget to look at it. If you are on academic probation, your planner is going to play a very important role in keeping you on the path to getting off the probation list.

Developing a habit of regularly checking your planner will ensure that you keep up on your assignments and even possibly ahead on readings. Staying on top of your assignments is one of the first steps in improving your academic standing.

2. Meet regularly with your professors and tutors

Meeting regularly with your professors and the tutors for your classes could help show how serious you are about your education. Some colleges require regular meetings with your advisor or professors, others may require that you attend weekly tutoring sessions. Even if your college doesn’t require such meetings, tutoring services provided by the school is still a good resource for improving your academic standing and checking in with professors will keep you aware of your progress in class.

academic probation
Peer tutors want to help others succeed in the class, so don’t be afraid to go to them for much needed help (Image via Flickr)

Keeping track of your grades in each class will help you plan how much work you need to put into class assignments and how frequently you need to visit the tutors. Your professors can help you understand what you didn’t understand from the class or even go over material in the textbook that wasn’t covered in class.

Some professors will allow for extra credit in exchange for an extra assignment as a way to get your grade up in the class. Tutors can also help clarify any questions you have about the materials, or at least point you to the ones who can provide an answer.

They can help you properly study for an upcoming test and ensure that you are prepared. Most of the time tutors are peers who have already taken the class and emerged with a good grade. These peers want to help other succeed in the class, so don’t be afraid to go to them for much needed help.

3. Consider how your “free time” is spent

The free time in your day is going to be the time you spend outside of class, sports and work. How much of that free time do you spend doing homework or studying? Is it enough time to complete your homework to the best of your ability? Are studying enough that you are confident about your upcoming exam?

You are the only one who can answer these questions, so be honest with yourself if you really want to improve your academic standing and get off of that probation list. You may need some adjustments and prioritization in order to achieve this goal. This could mean spending more time on homework and studying and less time with friends. It could also mean giving up going out or partying on weekends to study instead.

Whatever it is that you usually do during your free time, you may need to stop and start devoting it to homework. Prioritization is key when you are a student on academic probation. Homework and studying needs to come first, which means it comes before your friends or any activity you usually do in your free time.

4. Get rid of distractions

Distractions come in all forms and can mitigate your effort to prioritize your study. They can be anything from your phone, TV, laptop or even friends. If friends are a primary distraction for you, clear your schedule for a no-contact time dedicated to homework and studying. You may get some protest at first, especially if you used to be a party person, but explaining how important it is for you to have that time dedicated to your school work will do the trick.

If your phone tends to be a major source of distraction, keep it out of your reach during your study time or keep it off until you are finished with your work. The library may be a good place for studying if you are easily distracted by the TV or your laptop. The atmosphere at the library will help you concentrate on your study only, not the millions of headlines that jump our every time you scroll the screen.

It is important to remember that as long as you are on academic probation, your course work has to be your top priority. As long as you keep up your effort, your grades will improve in all classes and you will be out of the danger zone within one semester.

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