Ever wondered why you just can’t seem to reach your full academic potential? It’s likely that your brain isn’t the cause but, rather, your lifestyle.
Review the following steps, which outline simple changes you can make and soon you’ll be on your way to becoming the student you’ve always wanted to become.
1. Set goals
Goals, both short and long-term, are a great way to measure your success. If you don’t have goals in sight, you have nothing to achieve or strive for in your courses.
If you set concrete goals for yourself, it’s easier to become motivated and measure your success in those goals.
Make sure your goals are realistic! While you should challenge yourself, you shouldn’t set yourself up for failure, either.
Remember, you can always set higher goals once you’ve achieved your first set.
2. Adopt and stick to a study schedule
Scheduling is vital to maintaining a healthy learning balance and keeping up with rigorous courses.
3. Stay well-rested
If you’re awake and alert, you’re certainly more likely to absorb information given in class, during study sessions and in class activities and participation. Think of it as an equation: awake + alertness = A’s.
4. Take advantage of educator resources
In addition to attending class, there are a variety of resources available to aid students in thriving and achieving in class.
TA’s, office hours and study review sessions are amongst the resources offered within specific classes.
Additionally, many high schools and colleges offer tutoring sessions free of charge to students who seek extra help with their courses.
5. Healthy study techniques for proper exam preparation
Study techniques considered “healthy” include balance, time-management and avoiding all-night study “cram” sessions. Information is certainly easier to absorb when reviewed in increments, rather than procrastinating until the last minute.
6. Develop note-taking skills
Listening and taking notes actively during class not only ensures the recording of accurate information, but also reinforces the information through recording the information as you take it in.
Have you ever gone back to your notes when it comes time to study for the exam and find that they are illegible or difficult to understand? It’s helpful to go over your note after class and either rewrite them or outline the key information while it’s still fresh in your mind.
You’ll find it’s much easier to utilize your notes and retain clearer information, come exam time. Clearly, it also provides you with any important information that was only mentioned in class when it comes time to review and study the exam material.
7. Extracurricular activities
Try to create a life outside of academics, like participation in extracurricular activities, such as intramural sports or college clubs.
Contrary to popular belief, extracurricular activities increase a student’s overall college experience, contribute to the learning process and aiding in balancing scheduling skills.
8. Study buddies
Collaborating with other students is a great way to learn – as long as you’re sure to choose students who you’ll stay on task with. Try finding various students in your class, rather than friends you already have. It can expand your social group and you’re more likely to stay focused on the school work.
Students who form study groups with one another can often learn more through learning by teaching. When students explain concepts to one another, they are able to learn and absorb the information more easily.
Inversely, students that may need clarification on areas of study are able to ask peers in order to be able to better understand the course materials.
9. Take advantage of school resources
Utilizing school resources for setting goals and creating positive study habits tremendously aids in a student’s success.
School resources are abundant and students who take advantage of such resources are much more likely to succeed.
Such resources include the utilization of school libraries, career centers and school centers that provide tutoring and knowledge (for example: student writing centers, math centers, etc).
10. Take on a manageable course load
When taking on a well-balanced course load, students are more likely to succeed because of realistic expectations in the work load that can be handled successfully.
This should be common sense – if students go to class, they will likely become more successful in the course.
Obviously, the course material is presented during class periods and students that are paying attention tend to learn while in class and, thus, are more likely to perform well on exams.
Going to class is one thing but paying attention and participating in class is another. If you listen to the lessons, questions are likely to arise. If they come up in class, ask!
If you’re too shy in a large class, wait and ask the professor after class or during office hours. It’s important to know, however, that if you’ve got a question, it’s likely that other students have the same question as well.
Whatever you do, DO NOT wait until it comes time to study for the exam!
What other tips do you have to become a better student?
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Most incoming college students are understandably concerned about going into debt to pay for their education. The good news is you can reduce how much it costs you to earn your college degree. Follow these simple tips to earn lots of scholarship money, and you’ll be well on your way to lowering your college costs.
1. Start early. There’s no need to wait until junior year to start applying for scholarships. Starting early gives you more time to research and complete scholarship applications. Plus, starting early shows those who are awarding scholarships that you’re a motivated student!
2. Use a scholarship matching tool. Sites like Scholly, Cappex, Unigo, and Fastweb search through vast databases of the latest scholarships and deliver you a list of scholarships that are best suited for you. Before you apply, carefully read the scholarship rules. Focus in on the scholarships you’re a good match for, and rule out the ones where you don’t meet all of the requirements. Not to worry—there will be plenty to pick from where you’re a good fit!
3. Apply for scholarships, big and small. Don’t overlook scholarships with smaller awards. The more you apply to, the better your odds of winning. And they can quickly add up to help cover college expenses.
4. Don’t be afraid of scholarships that require essays. Many students shy away from scholarships that require essays, but a well-written essay can be your ticket to standing out from the crowd. If you don’t have great writing skills, consider working with your high school guidance counselor or attending a writing workshop to help you develop a memorable essay.
Hint: You may be able to reuse portions of your essay for more than one scholarship application. Just be careful to follow the scholarship rules, including essay word count.
5. Look beyond your grades. You don’t have to have a 4.0 to qualify for scholarships. In fact, some scholarships don’t take grades into account. Regardless of whether you have top grades or not, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd on your scholarship applications. Before you start filling out the application, think about why you should be that scholarship winner.
What special talents or skills do you offer? Perhaps you can demonstrate your perseverance in the face of adversity as a first-generation student or your leadership skills on the basketball court are what make you unique. Whatever it is, make sure you highlight your strengths and personality in the application. You can also reinforce this message through letters of recommendation from teachers and community members who know you best. This could include your employer, pastor, coach, high school counselor, or other adults who know you well.
6. Network. Ask your parents to check with their HR department about scholarships for family members. Also, get the word out to your parent’s friends, your employer, and others in your community that you’re looking for scholarships to help pay for college. Your odds of winning are likely to be higher if there’s already a personal connection. There are usually a lot of scholarships offered locally that are not particularly well advertised. You can often find these through your high school counselor, in the local paper, or at the library.
7. Keep applying. Keep looking for new scholarships each year that you’re in school. There are scholarships available for high school students, undergrads, and graduate students. Some scholarships allow you to enter multiple times. For example, you can enter to win CollegeWeekLive’s $1,000 scholarship once a month.
8. Follow your passion. Don’t just do extracurricular activities for the sake of looking good on your applications. Find an area where you excel or that means a lot to you and focus on that. Your passion will shine through when it comes time to describe your extracurricular activities in your scholarship applications.
9. Ask for help. Your high school counselor is a great sounding board when it comes to scholarships. They can help you choose which scholarships are the best to apply for, and they often will take the time to review your submissions and provide guidance on improving them. You can also learn a lot by checking out who won the scholarships in previous years.
10. Practice your interview skills. Many scholarships require an in-person interview. Being a good interviewee takes time, so practice answering questions about your background, interests, achievements, and aspirations. Remember, an interview also requires a certain degree of social skills, so the more comfortable you are chatting with the interviewer and answering questions, the better the interview will go. Don’t be nervous though. There’s no right or wrong answer. Your interviewer wants to get a real feel for who you are, so ultimately, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself!
Tip: Be sure to also check into grants that can further reduce your college costs. Discover winning strategies for getting college grants.
CollegeWeekLive is the leading website where students and colleges chat online. This live chat enables high school students to have conversations with college students and admissions counselors from hundreds of colleges and universities. Students, parents, and counselors visit CollegeWeekLive to engage directly with universities at every stage of the enrollment process.