10 Study Habits of Successful Students

By on April 13, 2017

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Any student can be successful, it just take a little bit of effort and planning to develop good habits for studying, time management and learning. If you need some help getting back into the groove of spring semester or just want to develop some better habits to make class loads easier, here are some habits which may help boost your grades.

#1 – Make a Study Plan and Schedule Out Your Sessions

If you want to become a successful student then it’s not enough to just know your test and paper deadlines, you need to have a clear plan and balanced schedules so you aren’t stressed or pulling all-nighters. When you get your syllabus for each class, sit down with your calendar to record each major deadline. Then divide up your study sessions into manageable chunks in between those deadlines.

Students without a study plan typically do not perform as well as students who have a set schedule. Not only is it important that you plan when you are going to study but that you also create a consistent, daily study routine.

By studying over shorter periods throughout the term you will avoid having the cram the night before a quiz or stay up until 3 a.m. to finish your homework. Overall, you may find each study session will become more productive so you are are mentally and emotionally more prepared for class.

DO NOT Procrastinate on your planned study sessions. Putting things off will make you less and less effective at getting things accomplished. If you do make time for an unexpected party on Saturday, make sure you make up study time in the library on Sunday.

#2 – Study Where You Will NOT be Disturbed

Successful students manage their surroundings to ensure they can get real studying done. Find a place where you can study and have access to the materials or tools (computers, printers, etc.) without being distracted.

When you’re disturbed while studying you may loose your train of thought and your ability to retain information. Before you start studying find a place where you won’t be disturbed. And be sure to turn off or silence your phone or social media apps — you can’t be that focused if you’re are constantly checking your twitter feed.

#3 – Set a Goal for Each Study Session

You should have an idea for what you want to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying set a goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. make an outline of the important names, dates and/or themes of a reading assignment.)

#4 – Don’t be Afraid of a Challenge

Successful students are up for an intellectual challenge. When they read, they think actively about what they are reading. When they go to class, they engage in discussion and answer questions thoroughly. They also tackle the difficult subjects or assignments early in the semester.

Difficult assignments or classes will require the most effort and mental energy to earn above a B grade. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult work will greatly improve the effectiveness of your other study sessions, since your are probably less stressed about time management with the tough stuff off your plate.

#5 – Read the Class Material and Review Notes BEFORE Class or Studying

Successful students review what they learned during the week so they are well prepared to complete assignments, learn new concepts and engage in the next class.

Obviously, before you can review your notes you must take good notes. Review your notes and other class materials thoroughly before each study session so that you complete the assignments correctly. Finally, read the material for the NEXT class so that you are prepared to interpret the material or ask engaging questions for clarification.

#6 – Engage Professors, TA’s and Peers

Demonstrate a genuine interest in the material that the professor has devoted their time to mastering and explaining. Ask questions in class go to office hours or chat with the professor before (or after) class. Email your TA for clarification on assignments or materials. And use study group time effectively.

Engaging in class discussions or working in study groups enables you to get help to understand a concept or help others understand while you internalize the subject matter. Successful students will take advantage of these resources and any advice they may offer.

#7 – Manage Your Feelings and be Open to Feedback

It can be difficult to excel in a course when you feel inadequate or discouraged after reading the comments from your TA on last week’s paper. Students who know how to focus on their own positive achievements and use any criticisms or mistakes as a guide for improvement will have a leg up on the rest.

#8 – Be Consistent and Persistent with Your Studying

The successful student does not shy away from an uncertainty or putting in a little extra effort to achieve a good grade. Don’t cut corners with your time or assignments. And if a particular class or assignment is giving you hard time, keep at it and you are bound to have a breakthrough.

#9 – Don’t Ignore Your Health and Fitness

Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleeping, a proper diet and some light exercise. As basic as it may sound, staying healthy is a crucial part of a successful semester, because sick days are no excuse when it comes to test time.

#10 – Aim for the Stars and Expect Success

Top students know that the majority gets a B minus, at best; however, a B minus is putting you toward the bottom of the class. Aim high and visualizing yourself achieving it.
This will give you the motivation take action and be consistent to make it happen.

If you develop the habits outlined above you are bound to see a major improvement in your academic success. It just takes a little planning, the right attitude and a consistency to make habits which will help you earn that A with your professor’s today and your bosses’ tomorrow.

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About Amanda Jensen

FSN college advice columnist - Amanda gives parents and students knowledgeable advice on college planning, tuition financing and scholarships. With up to date and accessible information covering everything from personal finances to federal government policies, she is determined to make the college experience a painless one for all party's involved. You can find Amanda on !

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