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How to Be a Better Student

The reason many people decide to go to college after they graduate from high school is to find a better job and be more successful in their lives. College serves as a preparation for the "real world", and it should be taken seriously if you want to reach your highest potential. Sure, there are a lot of distractions, but the main point is to put a little effort in to maximize your payoff, in school and in the years to follow. Right now, being a student is your job, even though you are not actually getting paid for it. It is far more important than that, because you are paying for it, so if you don't do your best, you are wasting your money and your time. Here are some useful tips on how to be a better student that will pay off for the rest of your life.

To be a better student, you should know your schedule so that you can make a plan that works for you, because making a plan is the first step in being a better student. Once you make a plan you have to commit to it and follow it consistently. It might be hard to get used to having a plan and following it, but it will soon become second nature. Time is very valuable, and managing it effectively is very important and necessary in being a good student. So budget your time wisely; know how long it will take to get up, get ready and get to class. Leave extra time so you don't have to rush, and you will do a better job with less stress.

It always seems like you have more time than you actually do, which is why it is important to start to do your work as soon as it is assigned. Always leave extra time to account for unforeseen delays, such as the need to do additional research, to verify sources or to clarify any details you do not understand with the professor. Allowing yourself more time will enable you to work at a comfortable pace and avoid conflicts with assignments from other classes.

Another useful habit to develop is that of taking notes in class, because no matter how well you listen, it has been shown that the very act of writing will help cement things in your memory, making it a lot easier to retain the information. When you have notes, you can always go back and review what is not clear in your memory.

In preparation for exams, it is better to study with someone else instead of by yourself. Study with a friend-it is easy to wander off to the Xbox or facebook if no one is there to keep you accountable! Also, you will both learn the information in the same amount of time, and you can help "fill in the gaps" for each other if one person understands any given concept more thoroughly and can explain to the other. Prepping for quizzes is much easier as a team, as well.

So, the basics boil down to this: In order to be a better student, start with the right attitude, show up, and do the work. It's actually pretty simple!

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DWDavisRSL wrote on January 23, 2016, 9:32 PM

When my middle school students complain about taking notes I explain to them that taking notes is important because if they hear it, see it, and write it, they are 3 times more likely to remember it. That may not be technically true but I do know that note taking engages the audio learner, the visual learner, and the kinesthetic learner.

markgraham wrote on January 23, 2016, 9:39 PM

Actually I found it better to study by myself and I did better. Accountable for myself. Taking notes and outlining chapters helped me to study and sometimes even copying my notes over again helped to cement what was taught in the class.

Paulie wrote on January 23, 2016, 10:33 PM

When I was a college student in my junior and senior years, I hurt myself by drinking too much on Friday evenings and then cutting the classes I had on Saturday morning! If I had drunk less and gone to fewer parties, I would have done better in many classes. And yes, it does help studying with others, especially when preparing for final exams.