How to Be a Successful Student: 25 Tips

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Do you ever wish you had better grades in school, but you don’t know how? Are you about to enter college and want to make straight A’s? Becoming a successful student is easy once you know the steps involved. With some careful planning and the right motivation, you can become the student you always dreamed of becoming.

Why Being a Successful Student is Important

Why Being a Successful Student is Important

Why Being a Successful Student is Important

There are many reasons why being a successful student is important. Your future depends on whether you can support yourself or not.  Not all jobs require you to have a college degree, but most high paying jobs require some form of education beyond high school. Attending college can pose a problem to some high school graduates who cannot afford tuition. Becoming a good student can relieve some of the stress that entering colleges can cause.

1. Colleges are expensive.

It is no secret that college is expensive. Both state and community colleges can take a huge toll on your finances. Learning how to become a successful student in high school will increase your chances of receiving some, if not all your college tuition.

Academic scholarships can be awarded by the government or by business and organizations. Regardless of who you apply with, grades will certainly be a deciding factor in receiving scholarships. Read this post to learn about the best sites to find scholarships.

Earning good grades in high school is not the only way to get college tuition covered. Tuition and campus housing can potentially be paid for if you receive high scores on tests such as the SAT or ACT. Studying for standardized test and taking them until you receive a high score can help you pay for college.

2. Colleges are competitive.

Colleges are not only expensive but competitive as well. Your chances of getting into the college you want to attend will be easier if your GPA is high.

Most colleges have a minimum GPA requirement. Because all schools are different, you want to check out their requirements before applying.

Competitive schools often look at extracurricular activities as well. Joining clubs, such as Beta and 4-H can also increase your chances of being accepted to colleges.

What Makes a Student Successful

What Makes a Student Successful?

What Makes a Student Successful?

Knowing what you want and going after it is the first step in becoming successful. While everyone defines success differently, successful students have many characteristics in common.

1. Successful students are goal-oriented.

Students with goals know what they want, and they know how to get it. Most straight-A students start school with certain goals. Whether it is receiving straight A’s, getting into a specific college or getting scholarships, your goal will ultimately drive you to work for what you want.

If your goal is to get into an Ivy League school, your grades will have to be near perfect. Striving for perfect grades at the beginning of your high school or college career is necessary if you want to graduate with a 4.0.

If you want to go to school with little to no out of pocket expenses, getting straight A’s in school will help you achieve that goal.

There are numerous academic scholarships that you can receive based on your grades. For most scholarships, the better your grades are, the more money you will receive. Students with perfect academic records have been known to have their full tuition paid for. In some instances, campus housing is paid for too.

2. Successful students are self-motivated.

Successful students need no hand-holding. Having successful student habits come easy to self-motivated students. Their goal drives them to succeed. Habits can include prioritizing, organizing, keeping a schedule, being honest, and studying a little every day.

How to Become a Successful Student

How to Become a Successful Student

How to Become a Successful Student

Successful student habits produce successful students. Do you want to be a great student but don’t know where to begin? Habits of successful college students and high school students tend to be the same. By following these tips, you can learn how to be a student with impeccable grades.

1. Know how to prioritize.

To become the best student you can be, you are going to have to make school a top priority. By putting high school or college first, you put your education before everything else. This does not mean that you cannot have a life outside of school. It means that you should focus on your studies first and put everything else second.

Skip the parties if you have a huge exam the next morning. Cancel your date if you are behind on an assignment. Study instead of binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix. Keeping your eye on the prize and putting school first will become second nature.

2. Be organized.

Being organized is a must if you want to be a good student. Organize your schoolwork, your study space and your time.

Separate your subjects by using notebooks or a binder with tabs. Keep all your assignments and notes in the right place. Keep your textbooks in the same place so you don’t risk losing them. Have a special place for assignments that need to be turned in.

Create a space that is just for studying.

Keep all your school supplies on a desk or shelf. Study in a well-lit, quiet area. If you need music or a tv on when studying, keep it low and make sure it is on to help you, not distract you.

3. Keep a schedule.

When trying to be the best at anything, consistency is key. Becoming a great student takes work every single day. By keeping a schedule, it will be easier to prioritize and put school first.

Set aside time every day to copy your notes, study or work on assignments. Making school a part of your day will feel so natural that not doing schoolwork will start to feel strange.

Keeping a schedule will keep you from having to work on last-minute assignments. Work that is planned out and completed with enough time and care often produces better results than work that is rushed.

4. Be honest.

Successful students are honest students.

Never copy from another student. Never plagiarize. Never turn in another student’s assignment and pass it off as your own. Work hard and earn the grade you receive. Your integrity should be as important as your grades. Be the best that you can be and accept failure when necessary.

5. Study a little every day.

One of the easiest ways to get a good grade on an exam is to be thoroughly prepared for it.

Successful students rarely cram for a test.

Studying a little every day makes it easier to retain information. It also decreases stress as there is not as much information to study in the days leading up to the exam.

Incorporate studying into your daily schedule. In doing so, you will find that the amount of information on one test is not as much as you think. If you study a little every day, the night before an exam will be a simple review rather than studying.

How to Succeed in the Classroom

How to Succeed in the Classroom

How to Succeed in the Classroom

Few students succeed in school without having a plan first. By being on time, taking notes, asking questions, submitting assignments in on time, study a little every day, and doing extra credit work, you will be well on your way to becoming a straight-A student.

1. Be on time.

One of the worst things you can do as a student is be late to class, or worse, missing class altogether.

Teachers often give important information at the beginning of class. Projects are assigned. Important dates are given. Getting to class on time ensures that you get all the information needed to succeed in school.

Some teachers take off points for missing class. If a teacher gives participation points and you are not in class, you will be penalized. This could negatively affect your grade. Not attending class could jeopardize your chancing of getting straight A’s and receiving scholarships.

If you must miss class due to illness, get a note from your doctor’s office. Some teachers accept these reasons for missing class and may not penalize your grade for missing class.

2. Take notes.

Memory is faulty. Learn how to take good notes in class. Outlines and numbered lists are a great way to take notes. Learn to title your notes and use headers. Highlight important information such as dates and vocabulary words.

If allowed, consider bringing a recorder to class and tape the lecture. When time allows, jot down notes from the taped lectures for easy reading.

Taking notes every day will make studying for an exam easier than trying to gather all the information at one time.

Keep your notes organized in individual notebooks or folders with tabs. Separating each subject will help you keep up with that days’ assignment and notes.

3. Ask questions.

Students are not expected to understand everything.

If something your teacher said went over your head, raise your hand and ask them to repeat themselves.

If you didn’t hear the teacher or didn’t comprehend the instructions, speak up!

If you are not able to speak to the teacher after class, email them or make an appointment to speak with them during their office hours.

When you get back graded work, review what you missed. If you do not understand why you missed something on a quiz or test, ask your teacher. Knowing what you did wrong will help you learn from your mistakes.

4. Submit assignments on time.

Points are often deducted on late assignments. Make sure you get all the points you can by turning in assignments on time. Homework, papers and projects should always be turned in by the deadline.

If allowed, try to turn in your assignments early. Some teachers may check over your work and give you feedback before the due date. This could give you an advantage as you can check over your work with your teacher’s suggestions. Making corrections before the deadline can increase your chances of getting a good grade on that assignment.

5. Do the extra credit.

If extra credit is offered, do it!

Even if you currently have an A average, take the time to do the extra bonus work. You never know when something may come up and you wish you’d had. You could miss a pop quiz, or worse yet, flunk it. You could forget your assignment at home and receive a 0 for not turning it in.

So many things can go unplanned in school. Think ahead. Hope for the best but prepare for the worse. Doing extra credit will give you a little cushion so if you miss an assignment or bomb an assessment, you will have a little wiggle room.

How to Succeed Outside of the Classroom

How to Succeed Outside of the Classroom

How to Succeed Outside of the Classroom

What you do outside of the classroom is just as important as what you do in the classroom. Scheduling your day, keeping a to-do list, studying every day, joining study groups and taking a break are all essential parts to becoming a successful student.

1. Keep a consistent schedule.

Attending class, studying, writing essays and completing projects becomes a lot easier when you keep a consistent schedule.

Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.

Plan your meals and when you are going to eat.

Schedule a time when you can exercise into your week.

Try to study at the same time every day. If you have a paper or project due, plan to work on it a little every day.

Everyone needs some downtime. Don’t forget to schedule in some time to relax. You are not expected to eat, live and breathe school. Include time for your family and friends. Taking a break can give you a new perspective on projects and papers you are writing and can actually help you catch mistakes that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

2. Make a to-do list.

Most high school and college students take in between 4-7 classes per semester. Teachers rarely take this into account, and each are inclined to assign homework, papers, quizzes, projects, and tests at the same time.

Keeping up with numerous important dates can be overwhelming. Make a to-do list or use a planner to keep track of upcoming assignments and test dates.

Calendars are a great way to keep up with assignments. Planners can also keep your day organized and give you more room to include the needed information. Numerous apps can help you keep track of important dates and assignments. Apps can also notify you of an important date or assignment coming up.

3. Study a little every day.

Good study habits for students is a must. If you wait until the last minute to study, you may end up cramming. Cramming for a quiz or test is never a good idea.

Studying a little every day will help you to retain the information and stress less come test time.

4. Join a study group.

There are many benefits to studying in a group.

Studying with your peers is a fun and easy way to study.

Collaborating with others can help you if you missed class and need to copy notes from someone.

Studying with others is also a good way to get ready for a quiz or test. Students can quiz each other and learn from each other’s mistakes.

If you did not understand something from a lecture, another student may be able to help you understand the information.

Studying with others can also break you out of the dull routine of studying alone.

Organize a study group or ask to join one already formed.

5. Take breaks.

The easiest way to get burned out on school and lose momentum is by attending class and studying 24/7.

Successful students know how to balance school and outside activities.

Schedule breaks when planning out your day. Your eyes and brain need the rest! Eat, go out for a walk, spend time with your family or friends. Making school a priority does not mean you have to give up everything and everyone.

Other Healthy Habits of Successful Students

Other Healthy Habits of Successful Students

Other Healthy Habits of Successful Students

Taking care of your physical and mental health is imperative if you are to become a successful student. High schoolers and college students must attend class and consistently perform well on graded assignments for four years. Eating healthy, getting an adequate amount of sleep and incorporating exercise in your weekly routine is essential if you are going to make it through the long haul.

1. Eat healthy.

Eating a well-balanced diet can ensure that you stay healthy. A proper diet can lessen your chances of getting headaches and feeling fatigued early in the day. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat lunch every day. Have a well-balanced dinner. Eating three meals a day is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

If you are in class during meal-time, carry a snack with you and eat whenever you can. Something is always better than nothing. Cars cannot run without fuel. Neither can you.

Students are often busy and unable to cook every meal. This leads to students eating fast-food for mere convenience. While it is fast and easy to eat out all the time, it is not the healthiest choice. It can also get expensive. Plan your meals and make your lunch whenever possible. This will be easier on your stomach and your pocketbook.

Drink water whenever possible. Scientists suggest that people drink 64 ounces of water a day. Even if you cannot drink that much, drinking some water each day will help you to stay hydrated and healthy. We cover more on what to eat before a test here.

2. Sleep.

Sleep is important for your physical and mental health. You will be able to remember the material you studied easier if you’ve had a good night’s rest. Your assignments and grades will suffer if you are sleep deprived. Your health may also be in jeopardy without an adequate amount of sleep. Try to get in between 6-8 hours of sleep a night if you can.

It is normal to have long nights when trying to complete an assignment or studying for a test but don’t make a habit out of it. When you make time to study and work on projects daily, you will keep your all-nighters to a minimum.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will make sticking to a schedule easier.

3. Exercise.

Physical activity is important. Exercise should be a part of your weekly routine. It is not necessary to work out at a gym. If you cannot find time in your busy schedule to work-out the traditional way, try walking or riding a bike. Park away from buildings to walk further to the front door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every step counts!

4. Reward yourself.

You don’t have to be in school and study 24/7. Take time out. Treat yourself to a special lunch or a movie. Plan to do something when you accomplish a certain task, such as finishing a project or writing a paper. Having something to look forward to may motivate to keep going,

Wrapping Up How to Be a Successful Student

Becoming a successful student is not hard or impossible if you are truly motivated. If you want to know how to do better in high school or how to be a successful college student, follow these steps. With a little motivation and planning, you will be on your way to becoming the student you’ve always dreamed of being.

1. Prioritize.

Becoming a successful student starts with making school a priority. Always attend class. Arrive on time. Work on assignments, projects, and papers a little at a time. Study daily. Put school before extracurricular activities. Knowing the right time management tips can help.

2. Take care of yourself.

Remember to eat well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water. Exercise whenever possible. Get an adequate amount of sleep. Take breaks and reward yourself. You deserve it!

If your goal is to become a successful student, these tips will help you get started. With the right attitude, motivation and consistency, you can become a great student. Whether you are in high school or college, straight A’s, scholarships, college acceptance, and job offers will be in your future.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you may like our other high school study tips.

You can also learn things like how to use close reading strategies and how to get motivated to study.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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