Secrets of Academic Success

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By Light Chigereokwu

Many people often think that being a good student means just attending classes, taking notes, reading the textbooks, and studying intensely before the tests. However, learning, like many other activities, involves a complex set of skills that require practice according to a publication by the Pennsylvania State University, USA. For you to excel you must practice the following:

Don’t Miss the Class

When you pay attention in class and take good notes, you are starting the process of learning. Do you have trouble paying attention in class? Are you sitting next to a loud person? Is it hard to see the board? Make sure you’re sitting in a good seat that lets you pay attention. Tell your teacher or parents about any problems that are preventing you from paying attention and taking good notes. Attendance is essential for passing any class, and becomes more important in a class where participation may form part of your grade. Make sure that you are present in body and mind whenever you attend your class.

Please note:

  Never sleep in class.

 Switch off your cell phone and always hide it away during class.

  • Avoid chatting with your classmates, especially when your instructor is talking.

Your Note Is Important

Note taking is a vital skill to a student’s success. Start by writing down facts that your teacher mentions or writes on the board during class. Try your best to use good handwriting so you can read your notes later. It’s also a good idea to keep your notes, quizzes, and papers organized by subject.

Because much of what your instructor talks about during lectures will end up as your tests and exams for the course, make sure that you take good notes during class to earn as many points as possible on class assignments. • Write as much as you can during class to help you retain the information. Things that your instructor writes on the board or includes on a PowerPoint may be even more important to remember, so be sure to write these things down. If you have trouble keeping up, then you may consider recording lectures (with your instructor’s permission) or asking a friend to compare notes with you after

Be inquisitive

Make sure that you speak up when your instructor ever says something that does not make sense or that you’d like to know more about. Raise your hand and ask your instructor to repeat, explain, or expand on what he or she just said. • Keep in mind that most instructors are happy to elaborate on a point if it will help you to understand it. Just make sure that you are listening closely because an instructor may find it annoying if you are always asking him or her to repeat things that have already been explained.

Confused? Ask questions

You can’t study effectively if you don’t understand the material. Be sure to ask your teacher for help if you’re confused about something. You can check yourself by reading through your notes. Does it make sense? If not, ask your teacher to go over it with you. If you’re at home when the confusion occurs, your mom or dad might be of help.

Be ready to overtake

If you really want to excel in your class, then look for ways to go above and beyond your instructor’s expectations. If your instructor ever says that something is a good idea, but that it is optional, do it all the same. Those extra assignments can help you to increase your knowledge and that may improve your grade. Some instructors even offer extra credit for completing optional assignments.

Have a strategic plan

You don’t wait until the eve of a test or exam to start reading and being studious. That will be so awful. It also makes it hard to do your best. But one of the best ways to make sure that doesn’t happen is to plan ahead. Have your personal study/reading timetable, write down your test and assignment due dates. You can then plan how much to do after school each day, and how much time to spend on each topic. After lessons and extracurricular activities make sure you find time to study. Your parents or guardian could be helpful.

Always revise what you learned daily

The more days you spend reviewing something, the more likely it will stick in your brain. When you’re trying to memorize a list of things, make up a phrase that uses the first letter of each. Studying regularly instead of just the night before your examination or test is worthwhile. You can always review your notes and read over the chapters you’re working on. If you’re studying mathematics or science, do some calculations, solve mathematical problems. You must rest your brain Because most brains can only concentrate for about 45 minutes, there is need for break. So if you’ve been working for a while and find it hard to pay attention, take some water or a walk around the house but resist the temptation to turn on the TV or go online. Your brain needs time to digest all the information you’ve given it. Try to get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be surprised by what comes back to you in the morning.

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