You probably know who your guidance counselor is, but knowing what they do and how they can help you succeed can be tricky since this role has changed so much.

There was a time when the job of a guidance counselor was to simply discuss students’ future plans, or work through fights between kids. These days, this job requires a master’s degree in school counseling and the energy to guide students through school years and prepare for adulthood. In addition to helping students, a guidance counselor works with teachers and parents to make sure kids grow up and learn in an environment that is best for them to reach their potential. Keep in mind that your school’s guidance counselor can help you discover solutions for many different issues, including helping to answer the following five questions.

1. How can I improve my GPA (grade point average)?

guidance counselorA guidance counselor can’t provide tutoring, but he or she will be able to help uncover the reasons your GPA isn’t as high as you would like. Through reviewing your personal test performance, speaking with teachers and parents, and looking at strengths and weaknesses, your school guidance counselor can identify ways to improve your GPA. Solutions could involve getting extra help with the classes you’re enrolled in now or altering your schedule for next year to include AP courses that are worth more than the typical 4.0 if you do well.