10 Habits of Successful Students

From improved organization to finding the right study space, the habits of successful students can be learned by anyone with a little practice

Successful students in school tend to stick to certain habits that help them achieve their academic goals. Truth be told, any student looking to boost their academic performance can find these school success tips helpful on giving them an upper hand in the classroom.

Top 10 Habits of Successful Students

Knowing how to be successful in school begins with learning from the students. So, what are the habits of successful students?

1. Stay organized

Successful students come to class with their materials organized. It’s a good idea to have different notebooks for each subject, and always keep extra pencils, pens, and highlighters. If something isn’t needed in your backpack, take it out! Disorganized students are known to keep old, crumpled assignments in their backpacks, so make sure to clean out your school bag periodically. Good organization is a common successful student habit, so keep those lockers clean and easy to access!

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2. Have an agenda

Successful students tend to plan out their assignments well in advance, especially for long-term projects. Using an agenda book or planner is a popular habit of successful students as it ensures assignments and homework aren’t forgotten about. In addition, teachers nearly always provide a syllabus at the beginning of the school year. If you know a large research paper will be due in two months time, don’t deliberate! Successful students will plan out the process – research, note taking, outlines, drafts – well in advance. As we always say, it’s better to avoid procrastination and space out the work into smaller chunks.

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3. Actively participate in class

Raise your hand, volunteer, and ask questions! Not only do teachers love students who participate, but these students also retain more information and will eventually better understand the material. Ultimately, these same students will develop a more positive outlook towards education by actively taking part in the learning process.

More class participation resources

4. Don’t be a perfectionist

Speaking of the “learning process” – highly driven students sometimes forget the second word in this phrase – process. Nobody is expected to be perfect at something their first try! Furthermore, habits of successful students include knowing when it’s time for them to reach out for help, rather than frustrating themselves further. As we’ve said before, teachers do not expect perfection in most areas of a class. Homework is meant to improve a student’s skills, and making mistakes is perfectly okay.

More resources on breaking away from perfectionism

5. Use additional study resources

As we mentioned, successful students know when to ask for assistance. If a concept isn’t making sense, take advantage of study programs, complete extra-credit assignments, and of course – find a tutor!

More resources for study tips

6. Get a good night’s sleep

Too many students go to bed late and attend classes without getting sufficient rest. Students that get their homework done early and get a good night’s sleep are going to be more alert during class time. The National Sleep Foundation recommends teenagers (ages 14-17) get 8-10 hours of sleep per night, with this figure even higher for younger children. Successful students will plan their schedule in a responsible way that enables them to go to bed at a reasonable time. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for teens’ development, so ensuring you’re giving your brain the time it needs to recharge is another great habit of successful students.

More resources to improve sleep habits

7. Have a study space

As we mentioned in our last blog, a large percentage of students attempt their homework with several distractions around them, ranging from cell phones to TVs. This really isn’t ideal, and successful students will know to complete their homework in a quiet area free from distractions. Rather than setting up at the dinner table, we recommend students find a dedicated area for homework (like a desk in their room) to help remain focused.

8. Get involved with extra-curriculars

Successful students have a positive outlook on the academic process and value education highly. These values begin when students form closer connections to the realm of learning. Whether it’s joining band to learn saxophone or volunteering after-school at chess club, students that participate in extracurricular activities are happier and more motivated throughout their academic careers. Forming these closely held values towards the benefits of academic programs (and the opportunities they provide) instills a lasting respect for education, and ultimately paves the road to success.

Please Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extra curriculars may not be available. Consider virtual or socially distanced activities that students can participate in safely.

More resources on extracurricular activities

9. Use technology to your advantage

In today’s day and age, students have access to the internet, an incredible resource that puts a vast amount of information at our fingertips. Long gone are the days of trudging to the library and thumbing through card catalogs to source a research paper! Students have access to a wealth of information online, including practice problems, instructional videos, and years of published texts. Furthermore, most schools now offer online portals where students can access class schedules, resources, and often their grades as well. Teachers themselves frequently have their own websites with class resources and helpful links. Successful student habits include taking advantage of these resources!

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10. Put integrity and honesty first

When we use the term “academic dishonesty,” it doesn’t just refer to cheating on an exam. The fact is, many students know they can find answers to assignments online, and there’s always going to be a shortcut somewhere. Even if there’s no risk of getting caught, successful students won’t do this because they understand it will hurt their performance in the long run. Although copying an assignment might get you out of one week’s homework, the results will reflect on next week’s exam when the test questions aren’t making any sense. Successful students understand that integrity is important, and academic success requires a large amount of individual responsibility.

Learn successful student habits with Tutor Doctor

Anyone can learn how to be a successful student by learning the right habits and sticking to them. in-home and online, one-on-one tutoring from Tutor Doctor can help. Get to know more about our tutoring programs today!