Ten Habits of Successful Students

Some people believe that successful students are just born that way. However, the vast majority of successful students achieve their success by developing and applying effective study habits. The following are the top 10 study habits employed by highly successful students.

1.   Don't try to pack all your studying into one session.
Successful students typically space their work out over shorter periods of time and rarely try to pack all of their studying into just one or two sessions. If you want to become a successful student then you need to learn to be consistent in your studies and to have regular, yet shorter, study periods.

2.  Plan when you're going to study.
Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to complete their studying -- and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study infrequently typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule.

3.  Study at the same time.
Not only is it important that you plan when you're going to study but that you also create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week you're studying will become a regular part of your life. You'll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive.

4.  Each study time should have a specific goal.
Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal.

5.  Never postpone your planned study session.
It's very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done first or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT postpone studying. Postponing also leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors.

6.  Start with the most difficult subject first.
As your most difficult assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy you should start with it first. Once you've completed the most difficult work it will be much easy to complete the rest of your work. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult work will greatly improve the effectiveness of your study sessions and your academic performance.

7.   Always take good notes in class
Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session and before you start a particular assignment review your notes thoroughly to make sure you know how to complete the assignment correctly.

8.  Make sure you're not disturbed while you're studying
When you're disturbed while you're studying you (1) lose your train of thought and (2) you get distracted -- both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Before you start studying find a place where you won't be disturbed.

9.  Make the information meaningful
Students often struggle retaining information because it is unclear or confusing. It is difficult to remember concepts that are not completely understood. In order to remember new information presented to you, re-summarize the information you’re learning in your mind into your own words. If you are unable to do this, it is a good sign that you do not fully comprehend the concept you’re attempting to learn.

10. Review your notes, schoolwork and other class materials over the weekend.
Successful students review what they've learned during the week over the weekend. This way they're well prepared to continue learning new things and are constantly aware of how much they have finished.