Semester Priorities

Start of the Semester Priorities

  • Assess your grade point average deficit. The greater your negative balance, the harder it will be for you to clear probationary status. The "How to calculate Grade Point Average" section of this website will help you determine the severity of your deficit. NOTE: Not all copies of transcripts indicate grade point balance. You may need to check with an academic adviser to obtain your grade point balance.
  • Develop a plan to clear probationary status. A careful review of your individual situation (including understanding the severity of your GPA deficit), carefully selecting courses for the probationary semester and connecting with available L&S and campus resources you will be better able to put together a plan of action for clearing probationary status.
  • Assess the causes and/or contributing factors to unsuccessful academic performance. Did study techniques, course load or other factors such as illness or personal issues play a part in poor academic performance?
  • Re-evaluate your overall academic plan. Academic probation sometimes calls into question some of the choices students have made while in college. For some they may have over committed themselves to extracurricular activities, for others the original course of study may have proven to be uninteresting and unfulfilling. In either case, a reassessment of one's overall goals and ambitions may be necessary to improve academic performance.
  • Approach future semesters in a proactive way to avoid probationary status in the future. For probationary students, it will be important to aim for generally improved and consistent academic performance in the future. This will require that student's proactively approach each and every future semester with careful program planning and create a strong support network both academic and personal.

Tips for a Successful Semester

  • Know the specific deadlines, policies, and procedures of the College and University and plan out your semester accordingly.
  • Prioritize and organize your study and personal time into daily and weekly patterns of effectiveness. Maintain regular study hours and establish study environments in order to be productive throughout the entire semester.
  • Develop timelines and keep semester, monthly and weekly calendars for dates when course assignments are due. Plan and prepare for exams and papers in advance.
  • Go to office hours, ask questions, and talk with instructors to make the course material more alive.
  • Anticipate, preview and review continuously in your courses. When you get exams and papers back discuss them thoroughly with your instructor or Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Studying for final examinations begins now!
  • Develop a network of resources. Make a list of phone numbers and email addresses of your faculty, TA's, advisers, tutors and at least 1 other student from each class.
  • Communicate, collaborate and correspond with your family and friends as well as your campus support network.
  • Bookmark the Berkeley home page and explore the web sites of campus organizations that may be able to help you achieve your academic goals.
  • Find at least one mentor each semester (a faculty member, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), staff member, or experienced peer) and develop those relationships throughout your years at Cal.

Instructions at the End of the Probationary Semester

The Office of the Registrar sends official grades to the College well after the close of the semester, thereby causing an unavoidable delay in notifying you of your academic status. Make it a priority to obtain your final grades as early as possible. Provide each professor with a "grade postcard" at the final examination (grade postcards are available at the ASUC store). When you receive your grades assess your situation as soon as possible. If your final grades do not bring your GPA above a 2.0, see a college adviser immediately to discuss the results.

The Dean's representatives will carefully review your academic record. Most students who do not meet the conditions of their probation are dismissed. Any information you relay to an academic adviser prior to this review will be considered during the decision making process.

While dismissal is considered permanent, the College may consider readmitting a dismissed student who has subsequently performed well at another institution (i.e. a community college). Meet a College Adviser to discuss this option.

Find out how to e-mail us with academic advising questions.

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