Increase Your GPA

Academic Probation is used as a warning to allow students time to recover their GPA before they reach the level of Academic Suspension.  The most important goal while on Academic Probation is to increase your GPA.  Take some time to plan your GPA recovery strategies with your advisor or probation counselor.

Probation Recovery Strategies

Identify or determine what caused your grades to fall which led to your being placed on Academic Probation.  Personal issues, stress, missed classes, lack of study skills, test taking skills, lack of time management, inability to concentrate, procrastination, or poor study environments, are common difficulties for students that may have been factors affecting your grades and academic performance.

Make a written plan to recover your GPA and calculate what grades you will need to earn this semester in order to increase your GPA to 2.0. Calculate your GPA.

Consider these three potential recovery strategies:

Strategy 1: Consider the number of hours you are taking.  For example, if you took 15 hours last semester and struggled, you may want to try taking 12 hours instead and see if you are more successful.

Strategy 2: Apply different study skills, methods. Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) results, and on campus resources. On campus resources may include, The Academic Development Center, Alpha Scholars Program, academic coaching, and tutoring.

Strategy 3: Repeating courses is the key opportunity to most quickly move your GPA to good standing.


Example

In boxes where you see multiple hours or GPAs, these hours and GPAs are represented as “before repeating courses/after repeating courses” to show the significant calculations that occur when courses are repeated.

Student: Joe X. Ample

Fall Freshman Year

Academic Standing: Good Standing

After his first semester, Joe is considered to be in good standing as he has a semester GPA above a 1.5 and a cumulative GPA above a 2.0.

Subject Grade Credit Hours Quality Points R
BIBL 101A3.0012.00 
ENGL 111B3.009.00 
*BIOL 101F3.000.00E (Excluded)
SOCI 111B3.009.00 
CORE 110C3.006.00 
 Earned Hours Attempted Hours GPA Hours Quality Points GPA
Term:12.0015.0015.00/12.0036.002.40/3.00
Cumulative:12.0015.0015.00/12.0036.002.40/3.00

 

Spring Freshman Year

Academic Standing: Academic Probation

After his second semester, Joe is considered to be on academic probation as he has a semester GPA below a 1.5 and a cumulative GPA below a 2.0.

 
Subject Grade Credit Hours Quality Points R
BIBL 102WF3.000.00E
ENGL 112C3.006.00 
PSYCH 120C3.006.00 
*GEOL 111D3.003.00/0.00E
MATH 120D3.003.00 
 Earned Hours Attempted Hours GPA Hours Quality Points GPA
Term:12.0015.0015.00/9.0018.00/15.001.20/1.66
Cumulative:24.0030.0030.00/21.0054.00/51.001.80/2.42

 

Fall Sophomore Year

Academic Standing: Good Standing

After his third semester, Joe is considered to be back in good standing as he has a semester GPA above a 1.5 and a cumulative GPA above a 2.0.

 
Subject Grade Credit Hours Quality Points R
*BIBL 102B3.009.00I (Included)
*GEOL 111B3.009.00I
*BIOL 101B3.009.00I
CORE 210A3.0012.00 
 Earned Hours Attempted Hours GPA Hours Qulaity Points GPA
Term:12.0012.0012.0039.003.25
Cumulative24.0042.0042.00/33.0093.00/90.002.21/2.72

 

*If Joe had not repeated any courses his sophomore fall semester and he made different grades, such as three Cs and one B, Joe’s cumulative GPA would be 1.92 (below 2.0 for the second semester in a row), resulting in academic suspension.

How did Joe do it?

By taking fewer classes to devote more study time for each class, as well as repeating classes in which he earned a D, F, or WF (withdrawal failing) as his final grade, Joe was able to dramatically increase his GPA and get off of Academic Probation in one semester. 


How does repeating a class make a difference?  

When a class is repeated, the quality points of the new letter grade replace the pre-existing quality points of 0.0 for the Fs and 3.0 for the Ds.  Also, when a class is repeated, the previously attempted credit hours for that course are no longer calculated into the GPA Hours for both the semester in which the class was repeated and the semester in which the class was originally taken.  This results in a change in semester GPAs and cumulative GPAs for both semesters in which the repeated course title appears.


How are multiple semesters affected?  

Take a look at Joe’s fall semester of his freshman year where he made an F in BIOL 101.  By repeating the course in the fall semester of his sophomore year, the 3.00 attempted credit hours of his BIOL 101 class are no longer calculated into his semester GPA.  36.00 Quality Points ÷ 12.00 GPA Hours= a new 3.00 semester GPA.  By repeating this course, it is as if he never took the class in his fall semester!

Now take a look at Joe’s spring semester of his freshman year where he made a WF in BIBL 102 and a D in GEOL 111.  By repeating these courses in the fall semester of his sophomore year, a total of 6.00 attempted credit hours are no longer calculated into his spring semester GPA or cumulative GPA hours, and the 3.00 quality points from his D in GEOL 111 are eliminated in his spring semester because he replaces them with 9.00 quality points in his fall semester of his sophomore year! 15.00 Quality Points ÷ 9.00 GPA Hours= a new 1.66 semester GPA and a total of 51.00 Quality Points ÷ a total of 21.00 GPA Hours= a new 2.42 cumulative GPA.  By repeating these two courses, it is as if Joe only took three classes in this spring semester!


What does it look like in the big picture?  

Take a look at Joe’s fall semester of his sophomore year where he repeated three classes: BIBL 102, GEOL 111, & BIOL 101.  By making three Bs and one A, Joe has a strong semester GPA of 3.25—a major difference from his previous semester GPAs of 2.4 and 1.20!  Because he repeated three classes, Joe’s previous F in BIBL 102, D in GEOL 111, and F in BIOL 101 no longer have an effect on Joe’s cumulative GPA.  The 9.00 hours of total credit for those three classes are not calculated into his GPA Hours and the 0.0 Quality points for the Fs and 3.00 for the D were replaced giving Joe a grand total of 90.00 Quality Points.  90.00 Quality Points ÷ a total of 33.00 GPA Hours= a 2.72 cumulative GPA.  By repeating these three courses, Joe increased his cumulative GPA drastically and is now close to a 3.00!

Please Note: If a course is a graduation requirement for a student, they will have to gain credit for this course either by retaking the course at ACU (recommended) or taking the course elsewhere and transferring the credit to ACU.  Note that classes must be repeated at ACU to affect a student’s GPA.  While a grade of a D is enough for a student to pass the course, many majors require their students to make a C or better in their major’s courses.  This may require students to repeat courses where they earned a grade of a D.


What if Joe didn’t repeat any classes?  
                 
Had Joe not repeated any classes, his 39.00 Quality Points from his sophomore spring semester would be added to his previous total of 54.00 quality points, totaling 93.00 Quality Points.  By not repeating any classes, all of Joe’s attempted hours are calculated as his GPA hours.  Joe’s 12 earned and attempted hours from his sophomore spring semester would be added to his 30.00 previous attempted hours, totaling 42.00 GPA Hours.  90.00 Total Quality Points ÷ 42.00 GPA Hours= 2.21 cumulative GPA.  While his semester GPA would remain 3.25 had he earned the same grades, his cumulative GPA would have only increased by .4 (1.80 to 2.21) instead of .92 (1.80 to 2.72) a difference of over .5 points!


What if Joe didn’t go back to good standing?  

                  If Joe had not improved his GPA to the required score, he would have been placed on academic suspension.  This means that Joe would be dismissed from the University for at least one long semester.  Joe would receive additional information from the Registrar’s Office at the end of the fall semester during which he was placed on academic suspension.