SPUSA 20 years


Let’s face it, sometimes keeping all your grades up can be a challenge. From training, to attending class, to meeting friends, to grocery shopping – we are very busy people! Often, we find that school work can be pushed aside for many other activities.

However, we can’t forget that good grades are integral to a successful college and sports career in the US, and it’s something we can’t ignore.

We thought we would put together our top tips to help you stay on track of college work and make life as easy as possible!

Tips from Study & Play USA on how to get good grades consistently

Being Present in Class

Well firstly, this means actually attending class! (Which you should be doing anyway)

By being present and active in class you can achieve so much. Even if a professor follows the textbook pretty closely, sitting in the classroom and listening to the  lectures/discussions will help you absorb the materials.

As an active student you can also help develop great relationships with your teaching staff and friends who can help support you if you have any issues with learning or understanding problems.

We also want to remind you that all colleges expect and track 100% attendance, so you can have a direct impact on your grade simply by attending!

Organisation is key!

College is all about multitasking, and you can easily get overwhelmed with due dates, team meetings, and other demands on your time.

Get yourself a good day planner or calendar and get busy! Stay on top of due dates and key course activities, and make sure you keep this up to date. Some prefer online organisation systems, that’s fine, just make sure you be consistent.

Make sure you keep all your documents together and well structured, nothing worse than not being able to find your course notes when revising!

A key tip is also to keep all your old homework assignments or tests as you might need this for future tests, for meeting with your professor to discuss them, and for figuring your grade in the class… so, keep all your class materials in a central location.

Become a time management wizard

Procrastination is a little evil animal that creeps in every now and then and can ruin even the most well-intentioned person! So how can we try and keep it away as much as possible?

Start by always tackling the hard work first! A few of us think that we perform best when we leave things to the last minute, but this isn’t very productive. We should try and take on the work challenge when information and instructions are fresh in our heads.

A good tip is to learn how to break larger projects into smaller, easy-to-accomplish pieces. If you have a massive term paper due at the end of the semester, break up the work into smaller chunks and assign deadlines to each part.

It’s important to also learn how to say no to other commitments if you know that you have important deadlines due. When it comes to good grades – social activities can wait!

Learn how to use your educational material

Professors assign textbooks for a reason! These are just not magical text books that they make you purchase, they are actually full of material that help you succeed! Don’t let them just collect dust on the shelf.

However, it’s all very well having the right reading material, but learning how to use it is a different subject. Always listen to instructions on what chapters and areas are most important and make notes to remind yourself later.

Another key tip is that when you are reading material, instead of just using BULK highlighting – rewrite what you read in note form or bullet point key facts and figures to help you process.

Use Your Free Resources

As a student-athlete, tutoring is free so make sure you take advantage of this when necessary. You will also be assigned your very own academic advisor which is there for your whole four – year journey to help schedule the right classes for the right semesters. For instance, you can take easier classes during your main season of competition when you may be jet setting around the USA with your team for parts of the semester. Then, in the off season, it is time to tackle those harder subjects when you have more time available to you.

And don’t forget, the US college system is designed to support student-athletes by scheduling half of each day to academics and the other half to sport. So if you take these tips on, you should expect to do well in and out of the classroom!


Essentially, college life is what you make of it. If you want to succeed it’s important to come up with the right strategies and methods to help you be the best you can be. If you are organised enough, you can actually have a better social life!

We leave you with a very appropriate quote from one of our favourites:

The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”– Dr. Seuss

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An Aussie's Transformative
US College Journey

By Study & Play Director, Chris Bates