Monday, January 26, 2015

Useful Tips to help Ace that Course

As the New Year comes along, many of you may be thinking of changing your studying techniques in order to boost your grades. This can easily be done by following a study pattern that works for you. For this blog post, I will be outlining effective ways to help you stay on track of all your course work and master the ability to retain and understand the course material.

Create a Schedule

To be on track of all your scheduled readings and assignments, it is useful to write everything down in a journal or mark everything on a calendar. You can also choose to add multiple reminders on your phone so that you don’t miss an important deadline. In my experience, writing down important dates on sticky notes keeps me on track with everything that I have to do. Once I am done with a particular task, I take the sticky note down. The physical act of throwing the note away gives me satisfaction that I have successfully completed a task on time. You can also check out the Academic Advising and Career Centre’s Daily Task Planner and Journal tip sheet: 

It is a wonderful resource to help manage your time and get you started on a proper studying schedule.


It is highly important that you create a studying environment with minimal distractions. The more distractions around you the harder it will be to focus on the task that you wish to complete. It is also very difficult to retain information effectively if you are studying in a place where there is a lot of noise and devices that can make you drift away. I tend to switch off any unnecessary devices during the time that I am studying. This helps me focus entirely on studying rather than wasting my time texting and constantly checking Facebook. Self-discipline is crucial in motivating yourself to study and spend the extra time towards increasing your grades.

Class Attendance

As university students, we are swamped with deadlines and commitments and it becomes very hard to attend each and every lecture in the course of the semester. However, merely attending a lecture can drastically increase your performance in the course. Being physically present and writing notes down helps you retain the information the Professor conveys in class. I have noticed that writing down short notes in point form helps me remember what the Professor said at that moment in class. This makes reviewing the material easier later on. Another important thing to note is that there are some courses where attendance is considered part of your final mark. In that case, going to class may help to boost your grade up.

Good Luck for the Winter Semester!

- Ayesha Haq

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