Top Ten Tips for Success at University

  1. Location, Location, Location...
  2. Serious about getting work done? Find a good location. Use the libraries, study rooms, or empty classrooms.

  3. Make It a Habit: Do Coursework Every Day
  4. Cramming is not conducive to understanding and retaining large amounts of information. Time on your courses each day is the best way to learn. Use the time between classes to stay on top of readings.

  5. Help Exists! Seek It Out and Improve Your Grades
  6. Whether you're an 'A' student or a 'D' student, you can strengthen your skills. Check out SDC's Learning Skills Services. Get to know your professors and tutorial assistants. Use study guides and help centres.

  7. Write It Down
  8. Use a day planner or wall calendar. Plan time for coursework. Plan ahead for assignments and exam periods.

  9. Get Energized - Eat, Exercise, Sleep
  10. Fatigue and stress weaken memory and comprehension. Eat properly, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep.

  11. Perform Like a Pro: Go to Class Prepared and Take Thorough Notes
  12. Don't miss class. Someone else's notes aren't going to be as good as having gone to the lecture yourself. While taking notes, listen for emphases and examples. Questions after the lecture? Go to your professor's or tutorial assistant's office hours. Learn as you go and you won't find yourself unprepared the night before an exam.

  13. Lectures and Textbooks: What's the BIG Picture?
  14. University learning requires understanding how pieces of information fit together to form a "big picture." Use course outlines, tables of content, and headings and subheadings to organize information.

  15. Do Something to Remember Key Information
  16. Be active! Generate examples, create mnemonics, make summary notes, identify key words, highlight textbooks, or add margin notes. Improve your memory by being creative and interested.

  17. Think You'll Remember Key Points? Prove It.
  18. No matter how well you understand something, without practice forgetting will occur. Before a test, recall information without looking at notes or textbooks and by doing practice questions.

  19. Be Test Smart
  20. Don't lose marks because of test-writing errors. Use strategies to tackle different types of tests (e.g., multiple-choice). Read instructions, budget time to marks, and do less difficult questions first to build confidence.

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Information disclosed by students to SDC's Learning Skills Counsellors is confidential. It will not be shared with family, faculty, staff or others without written consent and will not become part of academic records.

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