Do you want to become the top of your class? The key to understanding and retaining information, getting good grades, and becoming a better student is all in the types of habits you build.
In this post, I’ll be revealing the 9 life-changing (yet super simple) habits you must build and follow daily to truly be on your way to becoming the top of your class.
Remember to check out my Complete Guide to Habit-Building to learn how to make these habits stick! Now if you’re ready, let’s get straight into the 9 daily habits you can build to become a better student.
Be active in class
You can’t expect to learn and retain any knowledge from your class if you do not participate and listen actively. Listening carefully, taking good notes, and asking questions are crucial to making sure you’re getting the most out of your class.
Every class, make sure you’re awake and alert (this is where a healthy sleep schedule would be helpful), prepared with a notebook or your laptop, and ready to make connections and ask questions.
Taking good notes is extremely important, but it can backfire if you don’t follow the right steps. Make sure you’re taking down relevant information and not overthinking about aesthetics. Try to make the proper connections when they come up and write them down as well.
I have a post dedicated to taking notes here: How To Take Notes You’ll Actually Use. Be sure to check that out to be super prepared and engaged in your next class!
Get it done early
Procrastination will not get you anywhere; it will only bring stress and a visibly-hurried final product. Whatever assignment or project you have, you should start on it as soon as possible and try to get it done early.
Of course, a long and tedious assignment will be a horror to try to finish in one sitting. This is where planning comes in.
When you are first assigned your task, give it a quick preview and break down what you need to do. For example, you might need to break a packet down into pages, or a project down into sections.
Once you’ve broken down the big assignment, assign each part to a block of time or a day. While you do this, also predict and give yourself a soft time limit for each part. This will help you stay accountable and the most productive.
Lastly, sit down and complete the assignment! Do not wait until the last day, and definitely do not wait until the last hour. As a student, you are expected to manage your time wisely, so try your best and do as you are expected!
Preview what you’re about to learn
Before each class, you should be prepared and know what you’re about to learn. This will help you take organized and relevant notes, ask the right questions, not ask the wrong questions, and overall maximize your time and attention.
How do you properly preview the lesson?
If you have a syllabus, study that carefully. If you have a class calendar, find out what the day’s lesson is about. No matter what material you have, find out the topic of the lesson first.
Then, dig in deeper into the lesson (perhaps via the textbook or a lesson outline) and find out the main sections, essential questions, and important concepts/key ideas you’ll be covering. Write these down in your notes before you start and fill in the spaces as the lesson goes on.
Review what you’ve learned
Other than previewing your class and your assignments, you must also review them after. This helps you consolidate the information you learned but were unsure of, sort out confusing points, and remember the information better.
At the end of the day, take out your notes or a copy of the lecture slides/text, and go over each section, paying special attention to parts you were confused about (it can be helpful to circle these during the class).
You can review information in various ways, and I’ve listed some of my favorite methods below:
- Reading over notes carefully
- Rewrite parts of your notes
- Asking questions & answering them
- Test yourself
- Teach someone
Self-study what you struggled with
If you truly want to be at the top of your class, you’ll need to go the extra mile and work harder than everyone else. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses in each area, subject, etc; figure out what your weaknesses are and work hard to strengthen them!
These could be concepts you don’t understand, formulas you can’t memorize, connections you can’t form, etc. Review, practice, and study them extra hard until you’ve got them down.
I find that discussing with my classmates, watching YouTube videos, and digging through a bunch of resources on the Internet can be helpful. Make sure to make use of outside resources while you study!
YOU’LL LOVE THIS POST: 10 Essential Things To Bring To Every Study Session
Discuss with other students
Discussion, communication, disagreement, agreement, entire debates – these are all essential and incredibly helpful for students. They help you build upon what you know, correct errors in your thinking, and apply your knowledge.
I suggest holding regular study sessions– at least 1 per unit, and at least 3 per semester– to hold discussions and prepare for an upcoming test. These can be a gathering at someone’s house, a café, a library, or just a FaceTime.
Before your study session or discussion, prepare some questions for others and an outline of what you want to cover. During your discussion, be super active– write things down, bring up contrasting and supporting points, ask questions, and answer others’ questions.
Discussions are one of the most underrated ways to study, and if you truly want to become a better student with a better understanding of your knowledge, make good use of group discussions!
Maintain healthy habits
A healthy body is the first step toward being a top student. Without maintaining your healthy habits and taking care of yourself, you can’t guarantee good grades, productivity, or anything of that sort.
Here are some healthy habits every student must build and follow diligently:
- Take care of your sleep schedule! Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
- Don’t skip meals (especially breakfast!)
- Drink enough water! I suggest keeping a water bottle with you at all times.
- Get enough fresh air and take walks every day.
- Sit up straight, stretch often, and exercise often.
- Wear blue light-blocking glasses if you frequently sit in front of a screen.
In order to ensure productivity every day, and that the good habits you’ve built actually stick, you need to get organized. This means your physical surroundings, your mental space, your digital files, your future, and everything that’s stopping you from reaching your goals.
One of the most important things to becoming organized is to write things down. Use a planner (check out the Ultimate 3-in-1 Student Planner, made just for students!), make lists, and take notes (of dates, events, tasks, etc).
Everything you need to know is in this post: 10 Brilliant Habits To Organize Your Life. Check it out and get organized!
With these 8 simple habits, you’ll be able to effectively become a better student and retain information with ease. Leave a comment with your favorite study hack or habit!
If you loved this post and want to read more study tips, check these out:
- The Ultimate Guide To Studying From Home
- Complete Organization System For Online Students
- 10 Brilliant Habits To Organize Your Entire Life