"Perhaps the greatest joy is learning how to motivate yourself"
— Floyd Maxwell
Why are some students academically successful and some not? Students who do well in their coursework and earn good grades share common characteristics. If you are struggling to achieve academic success, try adopting the following characteristics and putting them into practice in your daily routine.
Attend Classes Regularly
Academically successful students attend class regularly and are on time. Not attending 2 hours of class, can set a student back 2 days or more of catching up. If they miss a session, they let the instructor, professor or teacher's assistant (TA) know why, and their reasons are legitimate and reasonable. They make sure they get all assignments they missed and understand what is covered in class. A missed class also means wasted money used for tuition.
Pay Attention in Class
Successful students are attentive in class. They don’t chat, read, text, surf the web, sleep or stare out the window. Be mindful of your peers, you can also distract their learning with your own distractions. Be respectful of the learning environment.
Participate in Class Discussions
Academically successful students speak up in class, even if their attempts are a bit clumsy and difficult. They ask the questions that the instructor, professor or TA know many students in the class are bound to have, provided they are listening. This is a critical part of being a part of the discussion; ask many questions.
Use Office Hours Effectively
Although speaking to your instructor, professor, and/or TA outside of regular class hours can be intimidating, it is a necessary and recommended practice to engage in furthering your learning, understanding, and mastering the course material. Go prepared with questions as necessary; or just make it a point of going to office hours as a regular part of your week, not just as an option.
Complete Work Assignments
Turning in your best work is always ideal. Turning in nothing is much worse than turning in a less than stellar assignment. There are rarely extension or exceptions to late work; keep that in mind if you think about procrastinating.
Turn In Professional-Looking Assignments
Taking the time to produce a final product that looks good is a reflection of a successful student's caring attitude and pride in their work. Each class is teaching you something, the effect is cumulative. You are layering your education a piece at a time; give each subject the attention it deserves for the grade you want. Place importance on every assignment, quiz, discussion and exam.
Take Advantage of Extra Credit
Extra Credit is hard to find, but academically successful students take advantage of opportunities to earn extra credit if it is offered. They care about their grades and are willing to work to improve them. They track their grades in each class, review the syllabus often, and calculate their GPA to set academic goals.
Stay Organized and Productive
Successful students are organized and make productive use of their resources and time. Time management skills and daily practice are essential to enjoying success in higher learning. Losing track of time is a sure way to miss out on staying productive. In not mastering good time management skills, it will be hard to stay on track and focused. Using a planner or electronic calendar is a MUST. Time is one of the most important commodities during college.