10 Habits That Successful Students Cultivate
- September 5, 2017
- Mine Sherefali
To be a successful student, you first need to build a few key study habits. Before you know it, they’ll become part of your study routine and you won’t remember the meaning of inefficient work!
Before you even sit down to start studying, you need to get organised. This means knowing what topics you’re going to study, for how long and in what way. Just casually opening your notebook and browsing through your notes won’t cut it and it’s not as effective as studying with a plan in mind.
A good study habit to get into is to organise your workload into small, manageable chunks. If you have a test coming up, you need to have some idea of what you’re going to be tested on. Once you know what type of questions you may be asked then you can break down your studying to focus on each topic.
To make the managing side of it easier, some people download apps such as Trello that let you organise and prioritise your studying in a more creative way.
Create a timetable and stick to it
Successful students don’t just study when they feel like it. They plan their day to make sure it’s an efficient one.
Creating a timetable doesn’t need to be complicated; even a simple Excel spreadsheet would suffice. You can also find timetable templates online. Include what topics you’re going to revise and ensure you schedule regular breaks. A balance is important when creating a timetable; don’t overload it.
When it comes to planning when you’ll study, you need to be aware of when your concentration levels are at their peak. Keep this in mind and assign the hardest topics to your best times of day.
Be realistic with your goals
Can you really revise three chapters in 1 hour? If you divide the large tasks into small ones, you’re more likely to hit the targets you’ve set yourself.
Revise the hardest topic first
You probably avoid revising the hard stuff first because it’s too much to do straightaway. Usually students start with the smaller stuff to warm themselves up. However, by the time you complete the smaller tasks you are way too tired to focus on the big important one.
Mark Twain once said that if the first you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse thing that is going to happen for the rest of the day. In other words, always start off by revising the hard stuff.
Get rid of distractions
A good study habit to adopt is to get rid of anything in the room that could deter you from revising. If you’re studying in your bedroom then make sure you switch your phone off and disconnect your TV, as well as anything else that will distract you.
You can even download software onto your computer such as Cold Turkey to temporarily block websites that may distract you – we’re looking at you, Facebook! You can also use this programme for when writing essays; it will block everything until you’ve written a certain number of words.
The work environment is everything
A common study habit of successful students is working in an environment that motivates them rather than the opposite. Everyone’s favoured work environment is different. For some it’s a coffee shop. For others it’s their local library. Being in an environment where other people are doing the same thing as you can inspire you, so a fantastic location leads to better concentration.
At the end of every revision session, try and get into the habit of testing your knowledge to see what you’ve learnt. Whether you re-read your notes or complete a practice test, make sure you review your learning to ensure your revision technique is working for you.
If you’re having trouble trying to revise regularly then maybe you should introduce a reward system. Giving yourself a reward for each time you complete a specific task can motivate you to study.
Always ask for help when you need it
If you struggle with a certain topic or have one question that you just cannot find the answer to, never feel like you can’t just ask. Your lecturers are there to help you. Though they expect you to do majority of the work yourselves, they don’t expect you to know everything about the course.
Just because you ask for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Even the smartest students need trouble sometimes.
Take care of yourself
There’s no such thing as a healthy mind without a healthy body. Eat right, work out, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Don’t sacrifice your sleep for more study time. If you’re tired, that means you need to give your brain a rest.
Ready to nab that 2.1? Let’s get it started, people.
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