February 21st, 2017

The 7 habits of successful students

Tricks and tips for people who want to excel at studying

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while and you’re out of practice, embracing these habits will help you retain more information in fewer hours – and sit your exam with greater confidence. If you’re just out of school, this article is a great refresher that will keep you focused.

  1. Think positively

That whispering voice in your head – the one that says you’re not good enough or smart enough – is lying to you. Stay positive and remind yourself of your strengths. These study habits will also help you stay positive throughout your studies.

  1. Set SMART goals

First, map out the content that you need to know and when you need to know it. Then set goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. This tried-and-true approach will boost your information retention and reduce the number of hours that you need to study.

  1. Study actively

Whereas reading and highlighting is passive, active studying involves testing and self-assessments. In most IFSE courses, you’ll find exercises, quizzes, and/or  sample exams, which is a great help. You’ll also benefit from self-assessments (or quizzes), which will identify gaps in your knowledge that you can focus on in the future.

  1. Work in a group

Find study partners to help you work through the materials. Good groups have camaraderie without excess socializing, stick to course content and hold everyone accountable for meeting goals.

  1. Create a study zone

Routine is an important part of studying as it gets you mentally and physically prepared for the work ahead. A distraction-free study zone should be a part of that process. That means a clean desk and no internet, TV or phone calls.

  1. Study methodically at a reasonable pace

Although a perennial favourite among students worldwide, cramming for an exam is a poor approach. The old saying “in one ear and out the other” rings true as long, last-minute study sessions tire you out and may lead you to forget what you had “studied.” You’ll retain more if you give your brain time to absorb and process the information.

  1. Stay healthy

Eat healthy foods and well-balanced meals, drink lots of water and get lots of sleep. Although our busy lives may make this difficult, studies show that eight hours of sleep a day is ideal. So, try and get close to this as your exam approaches. Also stick as closely as you can to your regular exercise schedule.

Armed with these seven habits, you’ll be more confident and prepared for your next exam.

Keep reading our blog for more study tips – and good lock on your exam!