Guidelines and Thoughts for Academic Success
Successful students exhibit a combination of successful attitudes and behaviors as well as intellectual capacity. Successful students . . .
1. . . . are responsible and active.
Successful students get involved in their studies, accept responsibility for their own education, and are active participants in it! Responsibility is the difference between leading and being led. Active classroom participation improves grades without increasing study time. You can sit there, act bored, daydream, or sleep. Or you can actively listen, think, question, and take notes like someone in charge of their learning experience. Either option costs one class period. However, the former method will require a large degree of additional work outside of class to achieve the same degree of learning the latter provides at one sitting.
2. . . . have educational goals.
3. . . . ask questions.
4. . . . learn that a student and a professor make a team.Most instructors want exactly what you want: they would like for you to learn the material in their respective classes and earn a good grade.Successful students reflect well on the efforts of any teacher; if you have learned your material, the instructor takes some justifiable pride in teaching. Join forces with your instructor, they are not an enemy, you share the same interests, the same goals - in short, you're teammates. Get to know your professor. You're the most valuable players on the same team. Your jobs are to work together for mutual success. Neither wishes to chalk up a losing season. Be a team player!
5. . . . don't sit in the back.
Successful students minimize classroom distractions that interfere with learning.Students want the best seat available for their entertainment dollars, but willingly seek the worst seat for their educational dollars. Students who sit in the back cannot possibly be their professor's teammate (see no. 4). Why do they expose themselves to the temptations of inactive classroom experiences and distractions of all the people between them and their instructor? Of course, we know they chose the back of the classroom because they seek invisibility or anonymity, both of which are antithetical to efficient and effective learning. If you are trying not to be part of the class, why, then, are you wasting your time? Push your hot buttons, is their something else you should be doing with your time?
6. . . . take good notes.
Successful students take notes that are understandable and organized, and review them often.Why put something into your notes you don't understand? Ask the questions now that are necessary to make your notes meaningful at some later time. A short review of your notes while the material is still fresh on your mind helps your learn more. The more you learn then, the less you'll have to learn later and the less time it will take because you won't have to include some deciphering time, also. The whole purpose of taking notes is to use them, and use them often. The more you use them, the more they improve.