Ten recommendations regarding how to become a better student

Ten recommendations regarding how to become a better student

Jason Johnson

The authors list and discuss ten recommendations designed to make better students.


Students today are much like boats. Some know where they are going, they know the route to get there, and they are prepared to do what they must do in order to get to their respective destinations. Other students, however, seem much less prepared, possibly lacking such vital items as oars and/or a rudder, and may even be adrift and/or may be sinking slowly from sight. For those who are among the latter group of students, and not so much for the former group of students, the following ten recommendations are offered:

1. Like good boy scouts, you need to always be prepared by having all the materials you may need to learn each day in class.

2. You will need to organize yourself. Start by buying a binder for each course, and keep all relevant material in it. If your binder has a clear face that allows you to insert course names and other related information, use it as such, since that will further assist you in your efforts to become better organized.

3. You should develop a filing system that allows you to keep track of past assignments, ones that you are working on now, and ones that you plan to work on in the future. In so doing, you will be better able to complete all of your assignments in a timely fashion, avoiding unpleasant surprises as you do so.

4. You should keep extra materials available that you use regularly. For instance, not being able to find a pen, or running out of ink in your printer’s ink cartridge the night before a paper is due can be pretty catastrophic, and should be avoided, if at all possible.

5. You should lay your clothes out for yourself the night before, especially if you have early morning classes. Otherwise, when morning comes, chaos won’t be far behind.

6. You should “plan your work and work your plan.” Set time aside each day for your studies, unless you are way ahead. If that’s the case, just be sure to maintain the “status quo,” i.e., “Get out of bed and do all you can to stay ahead”

7. You should stay after class and ask your instructors questions regarding recently covered material. In so doing, it will help you to better understand the material, and demonstrate to your instructors your great desire to do so.

8. You should familiarize yourself with all the resources that are available to you on campus (e.g., computers, tutors, librarians), and use them to assist you in your various endeavors.

9. You should be early to your classes and to other events, too, in order to avoid walking in late and looking like a fool.

10. Always go to class with a “positive mental attitude.” Nothing less will do.

Bottom line: you need to respect and cooperate with your instructors and fellow students, don’t make waves, and strive to follow the above mentioned recommendations. For if you do, at least as a general rule, you should do very well in school.


Upper Iowa University

COPYRIGHT 2007 Project Innovation (Alabama)

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning