College is basically a four-year unpaid job that allows you to pretty much do whatever you want (within reason). Because of this freedom sometimes students find it difficult to manage school and social life. There are days when you can’t quite decide if you should go to the party that everyone is talking about or stay in your dorm and study.
There are about three different types of students. The ones who only occasionally go out but mostly focus on their school work. The ones who split their time 50/50 and equally prioritize social life and school and the ones who almost never show up to class because they are hung-over from the night before.
This is where extra credit becomes essential in college. Most college professors don’t accept late work and if they do, it’s probably because they are going deduct a large portion of your grade on the assignment.
If by chance you have a teacher who offers extra credit, this can be a great opportunity to save your grade from that time you decided that you really only needed to read half of the chapter for the quiz.
If you’re the student who always goes to class and makes good grades you probably think you don’t need extra credit, but it could actually make a big difference in your GPA overall. If you go to a school that differentiates between a 90-100 and sorts A’s into A-, A, and A+, extra points on assignments can make the difference between an A- and an A+.
If, however, you attend a school where there is no difference between a 90 and a 100, these points will drastically affect your GPA. Imagine your final grade in a class in an 89.4.
That’s considered a B and will count towards your GPA as a 3.0, but then your teacher offers a last minute extra credit opportunity where you can discuss what you’ve learned in the course. The requirements are minimal, and it will boost your grade up by 1 point. This would automatically give you an A in the class and a 4.0 will count towards your GPA.
These extra credit opportunities don’t just work for students who make all A’s though. Students who commonly make C’s and D’s benefit as well.
Let’s say you’ve worked your hardest all semester, but you just don’t understand the concepts in the class, so you haven’t made more than a B on any of the assignments but mostly C’s and D’s. If you’ve worked hard in a class, it isn’t really fair to fail it just because you didn’t understand the material. Extra credit opportunities can save you from receiving those lower grades.
What I’ve noticed while being in college is that the assignments that most professors give for extra credit almost never directly have anything to do with the concepts you’re learning in class. Sometimes they just want you to go to an event on campus or get involved with the community.
They might just want you to write an essay about what you learned during the semester or things you would change about the class. None of them ever take much time and they are something you can finish while you’re having dinner or watching a movie in your friend’s room. Whatever the case don’t be afraid to take advantage of these opportunities because they do not come often.