3 Effective Ways to Stay Ahead in School

In post-secondary and upper-level high school courses the increased study load can easily result in students falling behind in their studies. ⁣

With the right study habits and mindset students can catch up on lost work and keep up with the workload in advance.⁣



Here are 3 tips to help you stay on track. ⁣

Focus on the Process

It is important to create process-orientated goals, rather than result-oriented goals. ⁣

While it is good to have a goal to get a high grade, simply focusing on the result is counterproductive. Take the result goals and break them down into process goals (ie. Aim to study 30 minutes of math every night).⁣

This mindset also helps to build resilience. When students put more emphasis on achieving a goal, they may feel devastated and discouraged if they fall short. However, if they work towards the small milestones, they are more resilient to setbacks because they are continuously working towards the end goal.⁣


Rewrite/Summarize Class Notes Each Week ⁣

While this may seem redundant keeping up with each week’s study material is an  essential part of staying ahead in school. The biggest shock for students entering university is the teaching pace in their classes. There is a lot of material covered each week and it is important to start studying on the first week of school. ⁣

Later coursework often builds upon the previous material presented. This means if a student has difficulties with one week’s homework, it is much harder to understand the next few weeks. This is why doing a weekly review is important because it helps you address areas that may require greater focus.⁣

Prioritize Study Material ⁣


When under a time crunch, it is important to know which parts of the material are considered "high yield" subjects (areas that will make up a big portion of the exam). ⁣

Focus on definitions, formulas, equations and take note of  the subjects that your professor or teacher repeats in class. If they are spending a lot of time on a concept, it is likely that it will be tested. ⁣

One way to find out which material is most important is by working on practice exercises and the highlighted material at the end of each unit in your textbook.⁣

Use those exercises to find which concepts are important and determine if there are areas you wish to focus on more heavily. Spend more time studying these high yield concepts rather than trying to cover everything. ⁣

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