Academic Tips for First Year Students

Tutoring and other activities can help you earn your best grades!

► Sign up for a September Study Skills workshop with the Academic Advising Center!

► Set S.M.A.R.T. goals at the beginning of the semester (see sidebar)!

► Eat well and get good sleep!

► Attend class regularly and arrive on time!

► Practice good study habits on a regular basis - not just when you have an exam!

► Take excellent notes!

► Read the textbook even if the print is small!

► Think critically!

► Use a planner to manage your time!

► Meet your classroom peers and develop study groups!

► Go to professors' office hours and ask questions!

► Go to TA review sessions!

► Learn as much as possible about campus resources and use them before you're in deep academic difficulty!

► Meet with your departmental Faculty Advisor and a Professional Advisor in the Academic Advising Center!

Other Tips for Academic Success

S.M.A.R.T. goals are like direction points on your journey to success!


Goals should be straightforward and emphasize WHAT you want to happen. Be keenly specific and use action words such as 'organize,' 'develop,' 'complete,' 'earn,' etc.


Make every effort to reduce a goal to its most quantifiable form so you can stay on track and reach your targets. Remember, a goal must be within your authority, skill, and knowledge level. 


Pursue goals that are reasonable and attainable.  While it's nice to take moderate risk, don't pursue something so impossible that you will disappoint yourself!


A goal should directly relate to your vision for future success.  If the goal does not correlate with your primary vision, you may subconsciously ignore the goal.


Establish a clear time frame or end point to reach your goals.