Do you want to be a smart, successful and also excel as a student?
Do you want to excel in your academics and in life generally?
Any student can be successful and any student can excel if you put your mind to it. From your freshman year, you come into college with high hopes expecting to come out with good grades. This is every student’s dream but after sometime, you begin to doubt your ability and lose focus due to some challenges we face in school.
These challenges could be inability to balance study and socializing, not being able to study effectively or finding some subjects difficult to understand. We have written some articles that can help you overcome these challenges and become a better student and this article is not an exception.
Well, being successful as a student requires a lot of hard work and focus. It goes beyond being intelligent though its part of it but you have to be disciplined, focus and motivated. Most times, we advise students to study smart so as to complement studying hard.
Anyone can be an A-student if only you do some things right and do them well. There are skills that you should develop as a student in order to perform well academically and even in life generally. You might spend a lot of time studying but yet you don’t get the results you want, these skills will make you work smart and achieve better results.
You should also know that excelling as a student doesn’t stop at doing well academically; you also have to be able to manage your finance properly. A smart and successful student is not extravagant. You should be accountable for every penny you spend and be financially disciplined.
We are going to be sharing some things that you have to do if you want to excel as a student and also do well in life generally. Graduating with good grades or a very good result in college will make it easy for you to fit into the world after graduation and do well as an individual.
You can be a successful student, if you do these things we will be sharing with you in this article and these things can also help you proceed in life.
So as a student whether you are a freshman or upper level , you should learn from what we will be discussing…
- Set out an academic goal
Anyone that wants to excel in life needs to set goals and as a student, you need to set academic goals so as to stay focused and motivated.
Setting goals for yourself before studying will help you to stay motivated and study well regardless of how you feel. The goal might be about coming out with straight A’s or understanding a particular subject perfectly. Just be sure that your goals are specific, realistic, clear and challenging. This goal will help you stay focused and give you a reason to study.
You can write down your goal and paste it where you can see it everyday; it can be on your reading table or door post. Seeing this will always remind you of what you want to achieve.
- Prepare a study schedule
Your study schedule can be the time you set to study. It can be the number of days you intend to study and the hours you allocate for studying along with the subjects or topics you want to study. This will help discipline you and stop you from procrastinating.
Your study schedule will help make studying a normal part of your daily routine and gradually turn studying into a habit. Your study schedule should be flexible and be able to balance your activities.
In your study schedule, you can allocate not more than 2 hours to a subject.
As a student, you should first know and understand your activities so as to know how to organize and set your study schedule. You could decide to study for one hour everyday maybe at night or early in the morning.
- know and understand your priorities
In order to organize yourself and your activities, you have to know what is more important and less important too. You have to know how to arrange your activities according to how important they are so as to know how to carry out these activities and the time to allocate to each activity.
You should know that time is a valuable but limited resource and so you have to spend more time on things that are relevant so as to yield better results. This is why you should know your priorities.
- Know the best time and best way to study
For you to get motivated to study regardless of how you feel; you should know the best time to study. This involves understanding what time you assimilate better and set your study schedule according to that.
When you study at a time you assimilate easier and better, you tend to focus and study for a long time. Therefore, you should know the best time to study. It could be at midnight, after school or in the morning when you wake.
But note that the brain assimilates and absorb information faster and better when it has rested or recharged.
Everybody has different ways to study. Some people prefer studying with music while some others love studying in a very quiet environment. You should know the best way to study as it will help you stay focused and motivated.
If you love reading with the music on, then let the music play but if you love reading and read better in a quiet place, then use the library or look for a quiet and peaceful place with little or no distractions.
This will help you study smart and study well.
- Have a positive attitude towards studying
Having a positive attitude towards studying will help you study for longer hours. You should always remind yourself why you need to study and come out with good grades.
Never see studying as a duty or difficult task. Enjoy the process and never doubt your ability to study, assimilate and also remember. When you want to study, have a positive mindset as it will help boost your confidence, determination, motivation and focus.
- Don’t spend all your time studying but always study
When we say always study, we mean that you shouldn’t spend the whole day studying but make sure you study everyday. You have your study schedule with subjects you want to study, you can allocate 2 hours to each subject and you study hours could be 5-6 hours everyday so you can have time for other activities.
You cannot study all the time and leave certain things left undone like extracurricular activities, relating with family and friends. Your education is important and so is your social life.
There should be a balance between your education and social life. You should try to know the best time to study; it could be at night when the brain is settled from the day’s activities or in the morning hours after you have rested and the brain and mind is fresh and ready to assimilate.
Knowing the best time to study will help you to study smart.
- Find the best place to study
One way to stay motivated and focused when you study is studying with little or no distractions. When you study without distractions, you concentrate better and study effectively. It is very important that you look for a place will less distractions where you can concentrate on what you are studying easily. Find a quiet place that is peaceful and convenient for your studying.
Everyone has an ideal place to study; you have to find yours as it will help you prepare for studying.
- If you procrastinate, find out why you procrastinate
This is one bad habit that most students develop which is really bad for your academic success and also success in life too. Never leave a day’s work for another day because each day comes with its own task.
Procrastination comes as a result of laziness and lack of self-discipline. Always make sure you complete any assignment given and do not postpone it to another day so as not to increase the stress and activity of that day.
When you procrastinate, you get forced to do hasty work which might lead to not doing the assignment well or looking for a short cut to success. Remember that there is no short cut to success. Avoid procrastination and do the right thing at the right time.
You have to first be honest to yourself and acknowledge that you procrastinate. Then ask yourself why you procrastinate. There are many reasons you procrastinate your study session.
- You feel that the topic or subject is boring
- You feel studying is tedious
- Your find it difficult to sit at a place for long
- You are waiting for the best time to start studying
For you to get motivated to study, you have to understand why you procrastinate and see how you could come out of procrastination. Reflect on your study goals and reassure yourself on why you want to achieve the set goal.
- When studying, always concentrate
You can never do well as a student if you are easily distracted. Distractions hinder your success in school. There are many things that can distract you and you have to try to overcome these distractions and study focused either in class or while studying. You need self-discipline and concentration to overcome distractions.
We are in a digital age where a lot of things can distract us; mobile phones, computers, television and many other technological devices. All these can easily distract you while you are in class or when you are studying.
You have to…
- Turn off the television set when studying
- Turn off your computer
- Restrict your internet access when you are using your phone or computer to read
- Put your phone in another room and turn off notifications
- Organize your time properly
Time management is a skill that is essential for every individual and student are expected to develop this skill while in school. Having this skill will help you stay organized and do things at the right time without procrastinating.
Time is limited and should be managed properly. Every student should manage his or her time properly. For you to be successful both in your academics and in life generally, you have to develop time management skill. It will help you manage you time wisely.
You get to know how to allocate time to everything you do and discipline yourself on sticking to the time allocated for each task or assignment. Even when studying, time management will help you allocate time to subjects you want to study and how to work with the time. You have to manage time properly as this has a way of making you a smart student.
- Be self-disciplined
As a student, you have to be disciplined in everything you do. It helps you know what you should do and why you should do it. Every student needs to be self-disciplined. It helps you stick to deadlines, dates, time allocated for activities and your priorities too.
Self-discipline is a skill that is also needed to succeed in life. You have to be able to control your feelings and overcome your emotions and weaknesses. With this skill, you tend to perform tasks that you planned to do but might not want to do them due to laziness and time mismanagement.
Self-discipline will help you to focus, concentrate and be organized when studying and relating with others.
- Don’t multitask
Multitasking only makes you finish activities fast but it reduces your efficiency ad productivity. Multitasking also distracts you from what you have at hand. Always finish one task and move on to another.
Do not do two things at the same time. If you want to eat, eat before reading; do not eat and read. This can be distracting. Do not try texting or watching TV while reading. An effective and smart student will focus on one thing at a time.
- Ask questions in class when you don’t understand
Being inquisitive helps you to understand a lot of things. Curiosity helps you become creative and innovative. Never hesitate to ask questions when you do not understand; ask open ended questions so as to make the teacher or lecturer explain better so that you can understand better.
Asking questions doesn’t make you a dullard, it means that you want to know and understand better. If you are studying and come across a problem and you are confused, meet your professor for further explanation.
Always ask relevant questions; do not ask for the sake of asking questions. Listen attentively, concentrate and ask for clarification when you don’t understand.
Never be afraid or shy to ask questions; you will be surprised that someone else has the same question in mind.
- Review and study what you have learnt at the end of classes each day
For you to remember what you have been taught for the day and allow it to stick with you, you have to always study your note when you get home each day. Study what you have learnt for the day. While doing this, you will remember all that was discussed in class and this will help you remember the key points that were made in class.
- Study to learn and not just to pass your exams
Many students study to remember and pass their exams which make them resort to cramming and forget what they have studied after their exams. Well, the best way to study and learn is to study to understand. When you study to understand, you tend to remember what you have read easily and can still put them down in your own words.
Studying to understand will help you retain the information for a long time. When you study to understand, you try to find connections between different concepts and this will help you understand the topic better.
Cramming is a bad reading habit and no students should employ this technique. Remember we advised that you prepare a study schedule; make sure your stick to this schedule to avoid cramming your note a night before exam.
When you study on a regular basis, you get to familiarize yourself with the subject and read ahead before exam time. What you just have to do is revise when exam comes and every thing comes rushing back. When you cram, it becomes hard to understand and assimilate information.
- Write down what you have studied in your own words
One way to understand what you have read is to write it down in your own words. After studying, try to write down all you have learnt in your own words; this will help you remember what you have read.
When you write down what you have read in your own words, you gain solid understanding of what you have studied and you create a connection and relationship and this will help you recall what you have read.
- Always learn from mistakes
It could be your mistakes or that of others, the most important thing us learning from the mistake. In as much as we don’t want to encounter failure in anything we do, failure is bound to happen.
Mistakes or failure makes you better and experienced. Like we have always heard that failure is a stepping stone to success. You have to always learn from every misstep and come back better and stronger. If you failed a particular subject or course, do not see yourself as a failure. You have to ask yourself…
- Why did I fail?
- What did I not do right?
- Where am I lagging?
- What did I do that helped me in other subjects?
- What is the difficult aspect of the subject or course?
- How is my studying skill?
- How can I study smart and effectively?
You do not have to be harsh on yourself but see the positive aspect of failure. If you do not fail, you will not learn and this ideology will also help you excel in life. Be good at failing but better at learning from your failures and improving.
- Create or join a study group so as to share ideas
Reading with friends will help you understand what you are reading better. When reading with friends or study group, you share ideas, opinions and discuss what you understand from a topic or subject and this will help you understand the subject even more and even remember what you are reading.
Challenge yourselves to study a topic and discuss among yourselves. This has a positive effect on your ability to understand the topic or subject, remember what you have studied and make studying the subject interesting and fun. This is a good way to study easily and learn faster.
- Understand your cash flow and be in control
Excelling as a student doesn’t just stop at doing well in your academics, your finance is also included. For you to become a successful student, you also have to be financially intelligent and disciplined. This will help you in school and also life after school.
If you really want to start saving money as a student, you have to understand your cash flow (that is how money comes in and goes out of your pocket). Understanding your cash flow will help you prepare your budget and know how to spend so as to keep reserve for savings.
You should be accountable for every penny you spend as a student whether for rent, grocery, clothes etc. It is very important that you understand your cash flow so as to manage your finance properly and be in control.
Understanding your cash flow will help you stay away from debts and live within the money that comes into your pocket.
- Prepare a budget
In order to manage your finance and save up money you have to create a budget. You are not too young to plan and have a budget. Your budget will help you curtail and monitor your spending.
You can create daily, weekly or monthly budget depending on the individual but we advise that you create a rough weekly budget and a comprehensive monthly budget. In this budget, create a portion or space for savings and allocate a certain amount to it depending on your income. This budget will give you control over your finance and help you save money monthly.
Your budget also help you prepare for unforeseen events as you reserve some money for miscellaneous in your budget.
- Cut down your expenses or spending
If you actually want your budget to work and you want to save money, you have to cut down your spending. Try spending money on your needs rather than your wants but for you to do this, you have to be able to differentiate your needs from your wants and arrange your needs according to how pressing they are.
Don’t be extravagant in your spending. If getting new products are expensive, try buying second hand products at cheaper prices; it will help you save a dollar. Do not live a show off or luxurious life if you want to save.
- Don’t engage in impulse spending
One thing that makes you overspend as a student is impulse spending, that is, spending money on things you didn’t plan for. If you really want to control your finance and save up money, you have to avoid impulse spending and you can do this by sticking to the budget you prepare for yourself.
Some items we buy by impulse turn out to be a waste so you should have self-control and discipline as not to engage in impulse spending.
Being a successful student means that you have to be work smart and also work hard. We have tried to make you understand from this article that you have to be sound both academically and financially.
It doesn’t stop there, you have to be able to balance you academics with other activities, this will help you to excel.
We have highlighted some tips that will help you excel as a student and we are hoping you do these things we have talked about. Every information in this article was carefully researched and analyzed to help make you a better, smarter and successful student.
READ MORE: Why Students Should Study Smart And Not Hard
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