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Keys to Success

The culture at university is different from high school.  In university you are expected to take charge of your own education, access the facilities and resources available and seek our guidance when you need it.

Here are five key steps to help you success:


1.  Find out about campus services and other resources.

There are many sources of help on campus, e.g. Writing Centres, Math Aid Centre, Counselling and Learning Skills, Personal Counselling, Registrar's office.  Don't be shy about seeking extra help - you'll be glad you did when you marks improve.


2.  Take control of your time.

Plan your study time.  Each week has 168 hours.  If you take out time for sleeping (56 hours), eating (17 hours), travel/commuting (10 hours), class time (15-25 hours), there are still 50-60 hours left in the week.  If you plan it, this should give you time for studying and extra-curricular commitments.

Make up a weekly timetable for yourself as well as a term timetable with all your tests and assignments.  You will find that your courses tend to have tests and essays etc. due in the same weeks during the year so proper planning is crucial.  Work back from your deadlines to decide when you will do what.


3.  Assess your skills.

Try and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a system when you plan your work?
  • Are your notes and class hand-outs well-organized and easy to locate?
  • Do you read ahead before lectures?
  • Do you have time to do the things you want to do?
  • Do you ask for help when you need it?
  • Are you able to set and meet deadlines?

How would you rank yourself in the following areas:

  • Writing skills (essay and note-taking)
  • Reading skillls (speed and comprehension)
  • Memory
  • Ability to assign priorities
  • Ability to stick to schedule
  • Ability to relax

If you need to develop better study habits or time management skills attend workshops offered to first-year students through these departments:


4.  Pay attention to your study environment.

  • Is the place relatively free of distractions (e.g. TV, fridge)
  • Is there good lighting, ventilation?
  • Is there a comfortable chair and proper writing surface?
  • Are you notes readily accessible and organized?
  • There are lots of libraries on campus that are great for studying.


5.  Get involved in college life and extra-curricular activities

It's proven that students get involved in university outside of class do better overall - and it's a fun way to balance your time!