6 ways to get started for successful study

Successful study and how to get started for academic success

Ever wondered how some students get perfect marks? Check out these effective study habits of successful students.  

The start of a new semester of study can be both exciting and intimidating. Exciting because it signals the beginning of a wealth of new opportunities and hopefully brings you one step closer to the start of a promising career. Intimidating because no one can really predict their ability to cope with the pressures and expectations (social, academic and financial) it will bring. In every great campaign, however, the best defence against mediocracy (or worse, failure) is a good offence.
Here’s what you need to know:

1. Be realistic

Start by blocking out every commitment you can’t change in your diary: classes, work hours, family, social and study time, and make sure everything fits. A common reason for failing, or not completing, university is too many demands from other areas of your life. It’s better to take an extra six months, or even a year, to complete your studies than end up dropping out because you can’t cope.

2. Organise your workspace

Make sure you’ve got a quiet, distraction-free space to study in and you’ve stocked up on all the essentials like folders, pens and paper. Get your folders ready for each class and start thinking about a filing system that will help keep upcoming assignments and exams top of mind.

3. Give yourself a gold star 

Set specific goals to measure your success over the course of the year, and take time to review last year’s results to highlight any problem areas. Reward those successes – including those assignments you finished early – with great motivators, like a dinner out, or another treat you enjoy. Kids aren’t the only ones who thrive on positive reinforcement.

4. Still pining for the beach? 

The semester is about to begin, but if your head’s still riding the waves – there’s one easy way to retrieve your focus. Why not use a beach outing, or similar, as one of those reward incentives for good behaviour? Cutting out all of life’s pleasures will only leave you feeling rebellious, resentful and dissatisfied.

5. Audit your education

Are you on the right career path? Before you dive back into study, do a health check on how well your current course and career aspirations match. Things can change and, before you commit to the subjects you’ve selected for the year, it’s worth taking a bit of extra time to make sure you’re still on the right track and have covered all your bases. Found a gap? It’s easier to add an extra unit to your degree now than come back to it after you’ve completed it. Or think outside the square. A short course or workshop could be just what you need to improve your resume.

6. Dive in

Start the year the way you want it to continue: organised, early and excited. Make sure you also introduce yourself to other students and your lecturers – you may wind up needing their help – and keep an eye out for other study groups, or connections that can give you an even bigger head start.

Get the best university marks with these tips:

  • Be realistic with your time
  • Make sure you’re on the right career path
  • Give yourself incentives to succeed
  • Begin with a positive attitude
  • Organisation is the key to success


CPA Career Mentor


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