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Student Success Tips

The top 10 suggestions for enhancing academic success are:

  1. Attend classes.
  2. Study every day; don't wait until the last minute.
  3. Manage your time wisely; a planner/organizer might help.
  4. Set realistic, positive, measurable goals.
  5. Understand how you learn best.
  6. Find a study environment that works for you.
  7. Read your textbooks in small, manageable amounts.
  8. Get involved with a group or organization that matches your interests and values.
  9. Talk to people in your classes; find study partners, get to know your instructors, and be an active participant in your education.
  10. Seek the help of advisors and instructors, before little problems turn into huge problems.

Study Strategies:

  • Use a regular study area.
  • Avoid distractions (phone, friends, TV, e-mail).
  • Take a 10-minute break each hour.
  • Break up your subjects (one or two hours on one subject, then study something else).
  • Study little bits every day -- cramming is not effective.
  • Avoid all-nighters -- you'll just be sleepy the next day.
  • Don't panic if your first grades are lower than they were in high school.

Time Management Strategies:

  • Create a realistic schedule.
  • Balance school, work, and free time.
  • Set deadlines and plan your week ahead of time.
  • Use "waiting" time to review notes or further prepare for classes.
  • Use only one centralized tool (like a day planner).
  • Allow for flexibility - unexpected events do happen.

Note-Taking Strategies:

  • Use a separate notebook for each class.
  • Leave a wide left margin for adding more notes, diagrams and textbook page references later.
  • You must review your notes by the end of the day or they become relatively meaningless.
  • Rewriting your notes can be an effective study technique.
  • Write down words you don't know in the margins and look them up later.
  • Develop your own set of symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms.

Test-Taking Strategies:

  • Review daily, before and after class.
  • Create a study "checklist" of major points.
  • Create lists and sequences your mind can understand.
  • Develop flashcards of practice questions.
  • Know the format of the test (multiple choice, essay, etc.) - ask the instructor.
  • Review old tests, if available.
  • Get enough rest prior to the exam.
  • Read instructions carefully and check your work.