Academic achievement is important for students, especially those seeking a degree and further education. But, sometimes it can be difficult to find success. Students who struggle may feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and lack motivation or effective study techniques.
It is important to set goals, be organized and use campus resources like the Learning Center. Also, it is helpful to take small breaks and celebrate your successes!
1. Set Goals
One of the first steps toward academic success is to set goals. Students should think about the reasons they want to succeed in school—perhaps they want to explore a subject area of interest or pursue a degree that will help them with their career aspirations. Whatever the reason, the goal should be specific and measurable. It’s also important to make sure the goal is attainable; otherwise, it will only frustrate a student.
Students should also be realistic about the time commitment needed to reach a goal and consider other factors that might interfere with academic achievement (e.g., work and family obligations). It’s also a good idea to establish a study routine. Students should set aside a block of time each day to read their textbooks, review notes and complete assignments.
To stay motivated, students should reward themselves when they accomplish a task—even if it’s something small, like completing an assignment or attending a study session. In addition, they should avoid distractions and find a place to study that’s conducive to learning (e.g., the library or their dorm room).
2. Create a Study Schedule
Creating and sticking to a study schedule is a key component of academic success. Start by assessing how you spend your time each week (ie, class, work, social/family/club commitments, sleep, etc). Next, add these weekly responsibilities to your calendar using a tool like Shovel or an online daily planner, such as Google or Apple. Finally, add in study time, especially prior to exams and other big project deadlines. A good rule of thumb is to study for 2-3 hours for every hour spent in class.
Once you’ve established your weekly study blocks, prioritize studying by subject to make sure you cover all the course material. For example, Mondays and Thursdays can be devoted to math, while Tuesdays and Fridays can be focused on English. It’s also helpful to study in small chunks of an hour or less, as studies show that this is more effective than cramming for long periods of time. Finally, be sure to include break times for snacking, stretching, and relaxing. Finally, it’s often useful to have someone hold you accountable to your study schedule (ie a tutor or study partner). They can help keep you on track and encourage you when you are struggling.
3. Stay Organized
One of the keys to academic success is staying organized. This includes having a dedicated study space that is free of distractions and clutter. It is also important to keep track of all of your assignments and exams. It is helpful to break large projects down into smaller parts and to schedule when you will work on each part.
Another way to stay organized is by creating a weekly or daily planner that lists all of your tasks and commitments. You can use an app on your phone, a physical planner, or a website that lets you set reminders. Having a plan will help you avoid procrastination and it will also allow you to create a balance between your classwork, homework, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities.
It is also important to attend every class and to see your professor during office hours. This will help you get to know your instructor, find out what they expect from you in class, and be able to ask questions when necessary. It is also important to get involved in campus organizations and to participate in social events.
4. Practice Patience
The practice of patience helps students develop a more effective problem-solving mindset, which can help them navigate through challenges and obstacles that may arise on their journey to academic success. Patience also cultivates perseverance and determination, encouraging students to stay focused on their goals and work diligently towards achieving them.
Practicing patience can be challenging, especially in a culture where attention spans are short and instant gratification is celebrated. However, students can use tools like mindfulness practices, meditation, and deep breathing to strengthen their ability to remain patient. Additionally, they can try to focus on the long-term benefits of practicing patience and reward themselves when they achieve their academic goals.
Additionally, students can make an effort to get to know their professors and attend office hours. This will not only allow them to learn more about the course material, but it will also show that they care and are invested in their studies. In turn, this can lead to better grades and a more positive relationship with the faculty member.
5. Make Time for Fun
It’s a common misconception that academic success is all about studying all the time. While it’s true that successful students have a knack for focusing on their studies and making the most of their study time, they also know when to take breaks. Whether it’s doing yoga, hanging out with friends or getting a good night’s sleep, making time for fun can help refocus the mind and give you the energy needed to succeed.
Get Organized – It’s important to develop an organization system for yourself. Whether it’s using a planner, writing down assignments in a journal or even posting to-do lists on your refrigerator, having a system that works for you will ensure that you turn in assignments and attend review sessions on time.
Go to Class – While it may be tempting to skip class to study for a big exam, missing classes can mean missing out on valuable feedback from professors and TAs and it will make it more difficult to catch up on material later on. Plus, skipping class will likely negatively affect your grade.