Academic Guides

Student In Class with Teacher
What Successful Students Do
  • Go to class
    • sit in the front and center of the classroom
    • make notes of key ideas
    • ask questions and participate in discussions
    • get involved in a weekly study group
  • Have self-authored goals for their college experience
  • Are curious
  • Think about what they must do to be successful
  • Think about how they will spend their time
    • set priorities
    • create a daily list of things to do
    • do a syllabi dump to list the dates for all assignments and tests, and refer to it daily
    • make productive use of time between classes and while waiting
  • Self-manage and self-regulate
    • delay gratification
    • create and stick reasonably to a study schedule
    • reduce distractions so as to remain focused
    • know how and when to say “no”
  • Make use of or learn academic skills
    • make notes during class or when reading and review them often
    • preview reading assignments
    • relate classroom knowledge to personal experience
    • make a distinction between materials that must be read as opposed to skimmed
    • discuss course materials with a classmate
    • get help when needed
    • know where to get help
    •  prepare for tests eight days in advance
    • divide large assignments into smaller, more manageable parts
    • create a study space to do academic work
    • schedule study time when at your best
    • develop connections with professors
  • Make use of strengths and learning style
  • Find balance between academics and all other things
  • Take care of themselves.
    • make time to relax
    • get adequate sleep
    • get regular exercise
    • eat a balanced diet
  • Are grateful for the opportunity to be in college

Most important, good students understand that not everything comes easily and that to be successful often requires working hard and sticking with something that is difficult. 

Student Self-Awareness Questions

Academic Skills 

  1. What are my study habits? Do I have a study plan or schedule?
  2. How helpful is my quality and quantity of studying?
  3. What do I do to avoid distractions?
  4. What is my approach to prevent procrastinating?
  5. What are my academic strengths?
  6. What academic skills require improvement?
  7. How useful are my notes?
  8. How strong is my reading comprehension?
  9. Do I make notes when reading assignments? How helpful are they with respect to understanding and remembering?
  10. Do I review my notes? How often? How well does it help with remembering and understanding?
  11. How strong is my writing ability?
  12. How well do I perform when writing essays or research papers?
  13. How effective is my preparation for tests and exams?
  14. How strong are my test-taking skills?
  15. How likely am I to ask for help?
  16. Do I know the best environment and ways for me to learn? 
Practical Skills
  1. How good am I at setting priorities?
  2. How strong a time manager am I? What techniques do I use?
  3. How well do I do at self regulation: impulse control, remaining focused, being disciplined?
  4. How organized am I? How much structure do I require to be successful?
  5. How useful are my self-management abilities: reducing stress, balance, exercise, sleep?
  6. If I set goals, do I know what steps to take to achieve them?
  7. How strong are my coping skills?
  8. How do I react when an assignment is unclear or difficult?