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10 Habits that Top Students Practice

by Shirley Erasmus

Ever wondered what sets the average students and top-performing students apart? All it takes is a few simple habits that gets the brain working that much better.

The sooner you start working on these habits – the better!

  • Top Students Work Everyday

Studies have found that students, who work consistently throughout the year, often perform much better than students who work all night when they have a test to prepare for the next day. You’ll thank yourself later, for getting into a habit of spending two or three hours every day to go over your lecture notes, do readings and to memorize key concepts. This way, when tests arrive you don’t have to spend one night trying to cram it all in!

  • Top Students Test Themselves Regularly

Remember those unprepared tests you had at school? Remember the feeling afterwards when you promised yourself you would never feel unprepared for a test again? Well, this is where your daily work and regular tests will come in handy. By testing your own knowledge you are able to see where you may have gaps in your understanding. This means you will be able to speak to your peers and lecturers way before exam crunch time sets in.

  • Top Students Study in Short Bursts.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but studying in short time spans rather than all night long helps you to focus intensely because you know there is at least a short break coming soon rather than an endless night with no sleep and no joy!

  • Top Students Sleep!

It’s well-known that the daily routines of top performers, in any field, consist of periods of intense work (about 4-6 hours per day) followed by some serious, high-quality sleep (9 hours per night). Sleep is essential to humans and surviving off of 5 hours a night is not healthy! So learn to alternate periods of intense work with rest, so that your brain can create loads of new connections, and then allow adequate time to assimilate that knowledge (you know- by sleeping!)

  • Top Students Make the Most out of Lectures

For these students, lectures are not a break in their busy schedule of watching TV all day. Rather, they are aware that they will be at their lectures no matter what, and thus look for the best way to use their time while in the classroom. This means that they will prepare questions, bring the required material into class and focus on the important theories to copy down in their notes; they will make notes of anything the lecturer puts an emphasis on as a potential exam topic. All of these things make attending lectures more productive and interesting!

  • Top Students Use Past Exam Papers.

Students at University will quickly discover that past exam papers are an essential way to study. By testing your knowledge on these papers you can prepare yourself for the exam! Make sure that you speak to your lecturer about problems you may not understand, rather than hoping that he/she won’t put it in the exam.

  • Top Students Don’t Wait Until They Feel Motivated

Unfortunately, motivation comes and goes depending on how we are feeling on a daily basis; however studying for a degree requires persistence and consistency. Similar to how Olympic athletes train even on their worst days, the best students figure out how to get their coursework done when it’s the last thing that they are in the mood to do.

  • They Take Responsibility for Learning.

The best students quickly realise that they and only they are really responsible for their own education. By waiting to be spoon-fed by your professor and leeching off your peers will not get you anywhere! Take the initiative to make the most of this time of your life and do the very best that you can!

  • Top Students Know The Best Way to Study.

It is important to know the best way to study for yourself. Do you need pictures? Sounds? Study better in quiet or noisy environments? Figure out what works best for you so that you can make the most out of your study time.

  • Top Students Play Hard.

We all know that a balanced lifestyle is the best way to stay mentally and physically healthy! Top students don’t spend all day in the library grafting (contrary to what you might think!) Rather, they take the time to put their studies aside and do something which is fun and exciting!

EduConnect 2cents

Having the right mind-set and attitude towards your studies will make a huge difference on how well you perform and how you stay motivated to do your best achieve your best results. Your education is YOUR responsibility.


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