10 Steps To Succeed In College
I have been teaching college success courses for many years to both at-risk students who are taking developmental courses and to students who are beyond the need for developmental or remedial courses. There are some basics or fundamentals which enhance success in high school and college. Here is my list of ten important steps to avoid failure and to achieve success in school:
- Be in class. Being on time and maintaining good attendance are important. If you are not in class then you are not learning what is being taught, will not be able to take notes and will not see what subject matter your teacher or professor thinks is important. Obviously it is also important to pay attention when you are in class.
- Take notes. You cannot review the information that is being taught without class notes. Unless you review your notes several times most of the information is unlikely to get into your long-term memory and will be forgotten. It is best to learn and use a note-taking system such as Cornell, think link, outline or another system.
- Turn work in on time. Start early on assignments and break them into smaller chunks. This is how to make the difficult easy. Use a planner/calendar to record upcoming assignments so that you can keep up with the work load.
- Take pride in yourself and your work. Do quality work. If something is worth doing it is worth doing well.
- Set educational and other goals. This will give you a purpose for going to school and this provides self-motivation. Remind yourself why you want a good education and what you want to achieve in school.
- Set aside enough time to study. To excel in college you need to study at least two hours for every hour you are in class. Do important assignments first. Then reward yourself with play and you will have a stress free mind because you know the important school work is done. Study with concentration for short periods of approximately 30 minutes followed by short breaks in between. Say no to friends who want to play when your school work needs to be done and schedule another and better time with them.
- Explain lessons to yourself. This is self-teaching. Read a paragraph in your text and then explain what you learned out loud in your own words. Read it again if you did not understand it. Do not go to the next paragraph until you think you understood the preceding one.
- Create practice quizzes and tests. Self-testing is powerful. Go through your class notes and textbook. Write down every question you think could be on the test. Then give yourself your own quiz and grade it before you take the one in class.
- Focus your attention. Do not multi-task and divide your attention in class or while reading your textbooks. These are the times when your full concentration and focus are important.
- Take care of your brain. Getting enough sleep, exercise, water and good nutrition are important for optimum brain functioning. Avoid using recreational drugs and drinking much alcohol because they can impair your brain’s ability to function well.
There are many more strategies for succeeding in school, but without these ten basic steps your success is less likely. You can start following these ten steps now for better grades and enhanced learning.
Raymond Gerson is the author of Achieve College Success and Achieve Career Success. He teaches college and career transition and success courses for Austin Community College. He also trains high school teachers how to teach success strategies to their students. For more information go to: http://www.collegereadinesstraining.com