Making the Grade – The Habits of Successful Students

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Are you worried about going back to college? Keeping a positive mental attitude can be so important and can be what separates the failing from the successful students. To help you on your studies, we’ve compiled our top tips when it comes to achieving academically.

The Habits of Successful Students

When you arrive at college, it is natural to get caught up in the initial frenzy of fresher life. Making new friends, finding accommodation and even your way around can take up a large chunk of your time during the first couple of weeks. However, it is a good idea to turn your mind to study as soon as possible.

Don’t Lose the Head

Studying in college is a very different prospect to studying for the Leaving Cert. Remember, college lecturers aren’t going to chase after you like your teachers did. If you don’t keep up with your work, you could find yourself desperately scrambling to survive during exam time and ultimately having to explain to your parents why you have to transfer your degree to Burger King College.

Planning is Key

The ability to study independently is a key skill for the college student – it is not enough to simply attend lectures and tutorials. You will have to study around topics on your own time, pay attention to reading lists, pick up on exam hints and generally build up a comprehensive understanding of the subject(s) that you are taking.

Actively Listen

It is also important to participate fully in your lectures and tutorials (if you are asked to, that is – it’s best not to interrupt when a professor has hit his/her full stride). Try not to be shy. If you answer and ask questions during these times, then you will not only get yourself noticed academically but you will also improve your knowledge of the topic at hand. As well as this, try to take notes right throughout the class; don’t just wait to be told to take something down. As well as giving yourself a valuable study aid, you will also have a pen in your hand if the lecturers drops any exam tips.

Get Involved

Being assertive outside of class is important, too. If you don’t understand something, feel that you are falling behind or just have a question about coursework, then be sure to make an appointment to talk to your lecturer or class tutor about it. They will usually run a “clinic” for their students at certain times during the week – take advantage of it. Lecturers prefer that you come to them in good time with any problems or queries you may have – telling them two weeks before finals will not do you much good. They are well used to being asked questions and you shouldn’t worry about feeling stupid. If they can help you to understand the subject better, then it will be well worth the trouble.


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