As they pursue their academic goals, students can gather many great success tips from their peers!

That’s why, in our Fall 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked: “Beyond completing assigned coursework (e.g. readings and homework), what steps do you take to ensure that you succeed in a class?” In addition to voting on their top college success strategies (which included reviewing lecture notes, using online resources such as quizzes, and creating reading notes), they volunteered some of their own tips.

Below, we’ve listed just a few of their many responses. Share them with your own students and encourage them on to academic success this semester!

College success strategies and study tips from students

On staying engaged in and with their classes:

  • “Always show up to every class.”
  • “Ask questions during class.”
  • “Be prepared & always email the teacher if I have any questions.”
  • “List everything that may help me in my understanding such as the class, the discussion theme, the topic of the chapter, and what specifically do I know/need to know.”
  • “Listen to recordings of lectures (that were recorded with permission from professors).”

On reviewing and practicing course material:

  • “Answer chapter assessment questions.”
  • “Create fun ways to memorize something, like a song or drawing a picture.”
  • “Attend school workshops to brush up on my writing skills.”
  • “Follow up with assignment grades to see your progress in the course.”
  • “Have someone quiz me, verbally, to see if I can remember what is on my notes.”
  • “Keep a journal of my findings and important notes.”
  • “Work extra credit assignments that not only increase my grade, but more importantly, enhance my understanding.”
  • “Writing definitions of key terms and organizing/rewriting notes for better memory.”
  • “Use practice homework problems.”
  • “I re-do some of the assignments and ask the instructor for extra practice.”
  • “I find developing mnemonic devices helps me immensely.”
  • “Read, read, read.”
  • “If I have completed all my assignments for that week, I won’t just be done for the week. I will look ahead and start the next weeks assignments. Staying ahead has always ensured my success.”

On reaching out to, practicing with, and working with others:

  • “Ask some people I know who have knowledge on the subject.”
  • “Collaborate with fellow classmates and read supplementary materials.”
  • “I have created Facebook Groups for the course.”
  • “Teach/tutor other students to reinforce my own understanding.”
  • “Study little by little each day so you won’t be a mess a day before the test.”
  • “If I still have questions that aren’t answered after doing all of the above, I reach out to friends whom may have already taken the course for advice, or helpful information.”

On managing time and information effectively:

  • “I print the syllabus and a calendar and write down the assignment and test due dates. I also make time for studying and reading on my calendar. This really helped me always turn assignments in on time.”
  • “Creating a to-do list on my iPhone in order to stay on top of assignments.”
  • “My planner is my best friend.”


What college success strategies have your students shared or discussed with you? Tell us in the comments section below!