Key to Student Success: Being a Prepared Student

Student success is something that is on every graduate students mind, especially considering that going to graduate school is a huge time and financial commitment. Students need to be ready and prepared to tackle this intense process, and the best way to do this is to prepare themselves as an undergraduate. While you are an undergraduate, you should master time management, study, and self-discipline skills because these skills will serve you well in graduate school.

After you have applied and been accepted to graduate school, be prepared for a minimum of 12–15 hours class time each week and 3 times as much study time outside of class. If you are not prepared to work hard and keep up, you can easily fall behind in graduate school, and student success will be unattainable. Gradate classes are often more focused on discussions and less on lectures. Consequently, students must be caught up on reading and other assignments, or they will fall behind.

What specifically are some of the ways to achieve student success in graduate school? First, you should always stay on top of your course materials. What’s the best way to stay caught up in class? Always plan ahead and stay prepared. You can stay prepared by knowing when your assignments are due and by reading ahead. Reading ahead of the assigned chapters will not only keep you up to date but will also allow you to make connections among concepts. Concepts in graduate school often build on each other, so reading ahead will allow you to make connections more quickly. Reading ahead also allows for some human error. If you don’t have time to read an assignment because of some unexpected circumstance the night before class, you will still be prepared for class.

College is a mental game. As with other games, being stressed, unorganized, and overwhelmed are all tickets to failure; however, you can prevent this from happy by organizing your time to make tasks seem more manageable. You can do things in a timely manner if you exercise self-discipline, which will eliminate the stress involved in procrastination and last-minute scrambling. Keeping your time under control will also keep your task list shorter and less overwhelming.

Attending class is vital to any education. Avoid missing class at all costs to stay prepared and to keep from falling behind. If you must miss class, be aware of the attendance policies, and email your professor before you miss. Ask classmates what information you missed in class, and borrow their notes. Make sure to be caught up before the next class, and remember that it is imperative that you receive all missed information.

Following the guidelines to student success laid out for you above may help you navigate your way through the sometimes difficult waters of graduate school.

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