Every student who comes to Michigan State expects the work to be more difficult than it was in high school. Despite this, many students are shocked by the quantity and quality of work that is expected from their professors. Still others feel like they're working up to expectations and then are completely deflated when they get their scores back from a test. Poor performance -- or the fear of it -- is often the motivator for students to change what they're doing as far as course/exam preparation and more than a few students become frustrated by continually falling short of their desired results even though they report they study "all the time".
There are many reasons why students don't do as well in college as they did in high school. For some, high school wasn't particularly challenging and they didn't have to study to get high marks, the result being they don't know how to study. Some students relied on others to help them manage their time and so are unable to do so on their own. Some students are underprepared for college-level work and don't know what to do to fill in the blanks in the academic backgrounds. One of the keys to succeeding is discovering the area(s) in which you need to change your habits in order to perform at a higher level.
The most successful students:
- Set goals and track their progress toward these goals.
- Manage time effectively.
- Have good classroom habits.
- Work effectively and efficiently outside the classroom.
- Have developed good test-taking skills, helping to relieve test anxiety.
One truth cannot be denied: learning takes time and effort! Many students aren't willing to commit the time and energy it takes to do well in their classes and so settle for lower grades than what they are capable of achieving if they were organized and intentional in their work.
These pages have been designed to help you in your endeavor to be successful in your classes. The information comes from a variety of sources and are all backed by the most recent research data (references provided).