Academic Resource Center

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The Real Secret

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I here?
  • What do I want?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do I need to do to get where I want to go?
  • What is getting in my way?
  • How can I make it better?

As you think about your answers, consider the following:

Attitude
Change how you look at academics. If you are a student, school is the center of your life for now. How much you learn is up to you. You have to work hard to develop this attitude. Become engaged in the learning process.

Responsibility Boring teacher, meaningless assignments, bad textbook—once you pass the Add/Drop period, there are no more excuses. Work hard to find ways to make it work for you. Spend time, make contacts, “work the system.”

Navigational Intelligence
Choose courses that match your interests and strengths and choose instructors who teach the way you learn best. Know what to study and learn how to anticipate exam questions. Make sure you understand the performance expectations.

Appropriate Study Skills
“Maximum grades, optimum learning, minimum time.” Learn effective study techniques and put them in place. Knowing precisely how to approach each subject area is critical. Time and effort are not the keys.

Adapted from What Smart Students Know, Adam Robinson. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1993.