Successful students have study habits that make them successful. Come to think of it. Every year, universities admit thousands of students but only one emerges successfully as the best graduating student from each department. Do you know why? It is because such successful students have come to understand that there are certain habits that must be strictly adhered to, for academic excellence. And they practice these habits.
These habits are what separates the best from the rest. They are what differentiates a student struggling to pass exams from a student excelling effortlessly. The habits push you to cross over that thin line between an average B and an excellent A.
Without reservations, I’m about to open your eyes to these habits.
To be an excellent student, you need to drop certain poor habits like trash! Similarly, you need to imbibe these success habits day in and day out to become a part of you.
If you’re ready to become an excellent student, then I’m ready to teach you what successful students do. Let’s cut right to the chase!
1. READ EARLY ENOUGH
Many students are guilty of starting to read when its exam time. But successful students do not wait until the exam timetable is pasted before they get motivated to read. Instead, motivate yourself to read as early as the semester begins. Read without the pressure of having to think about how prepared you are for the next day’s exam. The more you read, the more you become familiar with your notes and the course material.
When you read in this manner, you enjoy every bit of it. You can even play music to take a break and take enough time to ask yourself about what you have gained at the end of the day.
2. DO NOT READ UNDER PRESSURE
Following on from my first point, reading under pressure makes you understand less. Pressure makes you want to put so much information into your brain than it can easily absorb at the moment. You only end up reading to absorb temporarily. Asked about what you just read, it may take you several minutes to recollect.
Why? Because you read under pressure, hurried your reading, rushed and didn’t take your time. You want to cover your course material or note within the limited time you have within your grasp.
Successful students understand that it does not work that way. Keep calm. You need to understand how to read to absorb at your convenient pace. The only remedy to avoid this pressure is to read early enough.
3. JOT DOWN FROM YOUR BRAIN
As a student, after you might have finished reading, jot down what you have assimilated in a separate book; if you want to be successful. By doing this, you task your brain to recollect information you just put into it. And you effectively tell your brain that the information is important. That way, your brain knows it should store the information.
You could name your jotting book whatever you deem fit. It could be “my preparation book”, “my memory book”, “my success book”. What you write in the book is what flows out of your mind naturally; it sticks better because you wrote it from the understanding of what you have read.
Now, compare what you have written in your success book to what is in your lecture note, if it is not out of line or context, then you are a genius already. This is how successful students study.
4. TAKE A BREAK SOMETIMES
To become a highly successful student in the university, you need to learn to read at length. Reading for five to eight hours or more is no big deal as long as you have your goal in mind.
Your goal here is to be a highly successful student. Have that in mind!
However, when you get tired of reading, you should take a short break; make a call, chew on something, drink some water, stretch your legs, then continue from where you stopped until you have exhausted the number of hours you planned to use. Taking a break helps to ease the brain and helps you refocus when you get back studying.
If you take breaks in-between your study time, going five to eight hours becomes easier. In that time, you must have covered or almost covered your lecture notes.
5. LEARN FROM OTHER STUDENTS
I’d like to think that there are other serious-minded students in your class apart from you. Amazingly, these students think in the same direction when it comes to academic goals and they also love to discuss with people who think in their direction.
If you want to be a successful student, your obligation is to discover such people in your class. Most of them are not the loud extroverts that you see hanging around the classroom all the time, they spend more time in the library or to themselves; they use their time judiciously and ensure they are not distracted by too many events.
Reach out to them, know what they are also working on, rub minds together on your latest findings and it wouldn’t be bad to become a friend to a fellow outstanding student. Remember, birds of a feather flock together.
6. RELATE WITH YOUR LECTURERS
It is your lecturer’s job to teach you what you need to know as a student. That’s why they get paid. You need to open up to them if there is something you do not quite understand about their lecture notes or explanations.
More than 70 percent of students do not bother about having a relationship with their lecturers, but not you. Because you want to be a successful student. Visit their offices to know more about what you were taught in class; you could go with a friend if you do not feel comfortable going alone.
This will portray you as a serious-minded student to your lecturer and most of them will be willing to spend more time explaining the details to you. All you need is to assemble your thoughts and know why you want more explanations before you finally show up in his or her office.
7. SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS DO THEIR PERSONAL RESEARCH
Your lecturer can only say so much in class. Successful students go ahead to do their personal research using library books or online information. They go the extra mile!
The internet is a valuable resource for information. Pick two or three online sources and add their examples, definitions, charts, graphs, pictures, explanations and illustrations to whatever has been given to you in class.
If you prefer to use the library, pick books related to the topic and read wide, compare and contrast, add to the knowledge you already have and pen it down into your success book. Remember point No. 3?
With this, when your lecturer sees the extras in your exam sheets, he will be quite impressed that you went further from what he has given. The truth is, no lecturer or examiner will see such extra work and not try to take note of such intellectual student. And even if they do not recognize your extra efforts, you have learnt it for yourself.
8. HAVE A GREAT STUDY GROUP
Study groups are one of the best communities to belong to in a university. Some people have gone on to build great lifetime relationships from such groups.
There are other students that are keen about becoming highly successful. All you have to do is to locate them and speak to them to form your study group. Make sure the purpose of the group is spelt out from the onset.
When you get a positive response, you can agree on a meeting spot and time for your reading schedules. It is also important that highly successful students in a group adhere strictly to the rules of the group to ensure its sustainability.
I understand that different things work for different people. If studying in a group doesn’t work for you as a person,you could forgo this idea.
9. DO YOUR ASSIGNMENTS ON TIME
If given an assignment in class, do it on time. Use every available resource; research in the library or go online for more information on the assignment. If that does not help, refer to your reading group and discuss with others. Who knows who might be of help in your group.
The point is, make sure to finish up your assignment on time and don’t allow them to pile up. This will make sure that you are not under unnecessary pressure to deliver on your assignment a day to the deadline. It’ll also give you time to cross-check your work and correct errors if need be.
10. LEARN FROM YOUR TESTS
Failing your test is one thing. Failing the same tests again is another thing. It means you didn’t learn from the first failure.
If after you receive test scores, you still sit relaxed like nothing happened; and you don’t make any efforts to learn what made you fail your test, then you are not ready to be a highly successful student.
To be a successful student, learn from your tests, and use them to improve your exam scores.