How to save your semester after an ugly start

online tutoring get better grades

Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college, it’s possible to drop the ball in a class and get off to a poor start. Your wake up call could come in several different forms: a lower-than-you’d-like grade on your report card, a string of unfavourable assignment results, or the feeling that you don’t understand nearly even close to enough of what your instructor is talking about in class. Regardless, it’s not how you intended to begin the semester. The good news is that it’s not too late to salvage your grade(s) with a little bit of commitment  combined with some personalized instruction from a professional educator.

When I was in college, there was a tiny extra step I took to start earning better grades on my exams, papers, assignments, and in classes overall: I started spending time in a one-on-one setting with someone who was an expert in the area in which I needed help. Often, this person was my professor or teaching assistant. Other times, it was a friend who’d done well in the course in the past. These interactions helped me fully develop ideas for essays and understand complex concepts entirely; and since I was the only person on the receiving end of these lessons, they were delivered in a way the instructor knew I could grasp. Compared to asking questions in a larger group setting, like in a classroom or lecture hall, asking questions in a one-on-one environment is much more comfortable and convenient. Personalized learning opportunities – even if they were only fifteen minutes or a half hour in length – made a significant positive difference in my academic performance.

Although this tactic for performing better in school was effective, it wasn’t always available. If the professor or TA had somewhere else to be right after class, if office hours were booked by other students, if I had no contacts who would be able to help me, or if I needed help when I was off campus or even on campus at abnormal hours, it wasn’t possible to connect with someone who could actually help me grow my toolbox and produce better work.

If I was to seek that sort of help now, though, things would be a lot different. From my desk at home in the middle of the night, I’d be able to hop online and instantly connect with a professional educator who has the right experience and expertise for my specific academic needs. I’d be able to find an online tutor right then and start an instant session or I could have scheduled the session days ago because I knew I’d need help in the middle of the night.

This is because technology, ed-tech in particular, has come a long way in a few short years. Online classrooms (demo the Skooli Online Classroom here!) are now fully functional spaces with trustworthy connections. And since these spaces have become dependable resources for students, they’ve attracted some of the best educators from across the continent and around the world. Online classrooms can also accomplish a number of things that can’t be done (or are almost never done) in person, like save interactive session recordings to be re-watched later or exchange documents for reference and further studies while the tutoring session is in progress.

Saving your semester

Saving a semester, whether it’s one class or multiple classes that need a boost, is entirely doable as long as you have a positive attitude, desire an academic recovery, and have a strategy to perform better. Anecdotes aside, my advice for a better performance strategy is to seek expert academic help. If you’re in middle or high school, spend one-on-one time with your teacher and A+ peers. If you’re a college student, reach out to your profs and supporting instructors for time between you and them to focus on how to make your work better and to know what you need to know to be successful on exams. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions, even if you think the answer is something you should already know. On top of these important in-person learning experiences, you should also bolster your performance by connecting with a tutor online. Remember, these online tutoring sessions can be regular maintenance type sessions or simply a resource for when other academic support isn’t available. Not sure if online tutoring is for you? Email me at, let me know what subject and level of study you need help with, and I’ll be sure to get you started on Skooli with a free half hour session! 

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