10 Habits of Highly Effective Students

At the Department of Engineering Department we are committed strongly to student success. We also believe that the vast majority of successful students achieve their success by developing and applying effective study habits. The following are the top 10 study habits employed by highly successful students. So if you want to become a successful student, don’t get discouraged, don’t give up, just work to develop each of the study habits below and you’ll see your grades go up, your knowledge increase and your ability to learn and assimilate information improve.

  1. Don’t try to cram all of your studying into one session.
    Successful students typically space their work out over shorter periods of time and rarely try to cram all of their studying into just one or two sessions. If you want to become a successful student then you need to learn to be consistent in your studies and to have regular, yet shorter, study periods.
  2. Plan when you’re going to study.
    Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to complete their studying – and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule.
  3. Study at the same time.
    Not only is it important that you plan when you’re going to study but that you also create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week you’re studying will become a regular part of your life. You’ll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive.
  4. Each study time should have a specific goal.
    Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. memorize 30 vocabulary words in order to ace the vocabulary section on an upcoming Spanish test.)
  5. Never procrastinate your planned study session.
    It’s very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done first or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. If you procrastinate in your study session, your studying will become much less effective and you may not get everything accomplished that you need to. Procrastination also leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors.
  6. Start with the most difficult subject first.
    As your most difficult assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy you should start with it first. Once you have completed the most difficult work it will be much easier to complete the rest of your work. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult work will greatly improve the effectiveness of your study sessions and your academic performance.
  7. Always review your notes before starting an assignment.
    Obviously, before you can review your notes you must first have notes. Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session and before you start a particular assignment review your notes thoroughly to make sure you know how to complete the assignment correctly.
  8. Make sure you’re not disturbed while you are studying.
    When you are disturbed while you are studying you (1) lose your train of thought and (2) you get distracted – both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Before you start studying find a place where you won’t be disturbed.
  9. Use study groups effectively.
    Ever heard the phrase "two heads are better than one"? Well this can be especially true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from other students when you are struggling to understand a concept, (2) complete assignments more quickly, and (3) teach others whereby helping both the other student and yourself to internalize the subject matter. However, study groups can become very ineffective if they are not structured and if group members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively.
  10. Review your notes, schoolwork and other class materials over the weekend.
    Successful students review what they have learned during the week over the weekend. This way they are well prepared to continue learning new concepts at the beginning of each week that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.

We are confident that if you will develop the habits outlined about that you will see a major improvement in your academic success.

(Adapted from Education Corner)