According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of new college students graduate within four years and barely 60 percent graduate within six years. People fail to graduate for so many reasons, but achieving success in college isn’t as complicated as most people think. The following five actions are proven by research to increase your chances of success in college:
1. Join a Study Group
Fans of the Game of Thrones TV series are familiar with the saying, “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” This couldn’t be truer when in college, especially when it comes to studying!
One of the most important things you can do to help your chances of success in college is to join a study group. Research shows that being part of a well-organized study group can increase a college student’s chances of success; a particular study of 110 students documented an average increase of 5.5 points in the final exams of students who were in a study group compared to those who weren’t.
2. Don’t Joke With Your Daily Sleep Requirement
Many college students believe that the key to success is to burn the midnight oil, but research disagrees.
Scientists have found that lack of sleep impairs attention and working memory, and that it can also affect attention and decision-making. Furthermore, researchers have found that sleeping right after you study is the best way to make sure you recall what you study.
Proper sleeping habits won’t only help you overcome college stress, it will also make recall — and as a result increase your chances of success in tests and exams — extremely easy.
3. Be Active Involved in Your College Education
In a study of 25,000 college students, researchers found that students who spend 40 hours or more weekly on academic work are three times more likely to have As compared to students who spend 20 hours or less weekly on academic work. Researchers agree that active involvement is the most important factor that determines success in college.
While this sounds like bad news for part-time students, all hope is not lost. Effective time management can help you get a lot more out of your time; it also helps if you wake up earlier and work on college activities first thing in the morning. Researchers have found that the most early hours of the day are the most productive for most people.
4. Develop Your Writing Skills
One of the most important skills you can develop to help you succeed in college is your writing skill. Not only will this make it much easier for you to write required essays, but it will also make your other assignments easier.
Research has linked writing and journaling with an improvement in communication skills (even verbal skills!). Researchers have also found that trying to explain a concept — either by writing or verbally — reveals our understanding of the concept, helping us discover and work on knowledge gaps.
5. Effectively Utilize College Resources
Very few students utilize college resources, but research has found that college resources impact student success to a great extent. A particular review of over 2,500 studies concluded that, “The impact of college is not simply the result of what a college does for or to a student. Rather, the impact is a result of the extent to which an individual student exploits the people, programs, facilities, opportunities, and experiences that the college makes available.”
Utilizing college resources was found to be especially effective if done in the first year of college. Make effective use of library resources, academic support services and experiential learning resources to increase your chances of success in college.
John Stevens is an entrepreneur and founder of HostingFacts.com, an online portal that reviews web hosts. He is a regular contributor to Standford’s blog, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and other major publications. Follow him on Twitter @hostingfactsj
All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons’s.