There are many expectations set for college
and university students when they enter the new academic year: good grades,
satisfaction from learning, and a little bit more time for having fun. However,
what to do when these expectations are not met? What if the grades are below
your actual capabilities, and you do not get that much satisfaction from
learning? This is a common challenge experienced by many students during the
year, especially when there is no time to step out from studying.
There are many ways in which you can
systematically improve your academic performance, and enhance your cognitive
skills in the process! Let’s review some good ones:
Action 1: Find
Do you have something in your life that has
always motivated you to work hard on your studies? Whether it is being the best
in class or you were rewarded with something upon graduation, you will need to
invest a fair amount of time and effort now that you’re immersed in higher
education. Think of your new life in college and how worthwhile it is to you
and your future, and then set some realistic goals. An example of a realistic
goal is ‘to get A’s in two or more courses’. Start with something small, and work
your way back to the top. Make sure that the motivation you found in yourself will
get you through the time you need, even if it means a whole academic year. Have
a look at these ways that help students to
as described by Sengage Learning Blog.
Learn how to cope with stress.
Stress in college is an inevitable phenomenon
that will need to be dealt with in a way that prevents it from ruining your
progress. It may quickly demotivate you to stop working towards your goal, and
reduce the quality of your overall learning experience. To avoid this outcome,
you need to find ways that help you to deal with stress, such as taking a walk
in nature, going out with a friend, seeking peer support, or journaling your
Action 3: Talk
to your professors.
Professors are there to help students, and
they can do it more effectively than class lecturers or anybody else. If you
show an effort to get better at their class, but still need a little bit of
help to get those A’s, feel free to seek the guidance from them. Having a
conversation about scheduling a consultation during the professor’s working
hours is a great start because it shows them that you are willing to apply an
extra effort to master their subject. Moreover, a consultation gives you the
opportunity to obtain more information about advancing your knowledge, solving
specific problems, and finding alternative literature on the subject or course.
Action 4: Take
part in extracurricular activities.
Being involved in extracurricular activities
has two major benefits for you. First, it teaches you commitment and skills
that you can apply to your studies, since being a member of these groups
generally requires you to be there and show up prepared. Second, it can help
you develop better time management skills because you are forced to balance
your studies and these activities in your schedule. Moreover, if you join a
group that really interests you, say, an athletic club, you will get a little
bit more satisfaction from being there, as well.
Improve cognitive skills with physical exercises.
Physical exercises are known to enhance
cognitive skills, as many scholar studies have
be successful in college and in your future career, you need to have good
control of your cognitive processes, which can be improved from exercise.
Specifically, scientists say that exercise contributes to more effective goal
setting, self-monitoring, self-control, memory, goal-focused behavior,
attention, and use of strategies. For example, some companies have their
employees take fitness breaks at least once a day to enhance their health and as
a result, improve work performance. One study found that an aerobic running
program enhanced the performance of a group of students in creative thinking
tasks, and contributed to overall academic performance when compared with the control
group. Take advantage of this knowledge by getting involved in a physical
exercise group or club, or perform exercises by yourself, such as a daily morning
Action 7: Ask
a friend to monitor your performance.
Holding yourself accountable for your academic performance in college is a good idea, but having
another person monitor your progress as well usually leads to to studying
better. Find a friend who would be willing to review your performance, and ask
him or her if they are willing to do this regularly. Agree on the action that
should be taken when you underperform to ensure that something motivates you to
stick to the schedule. As a result, you will develop responsibility skills–which
will be useful for your future career, as well!
Over to you!
Let’s be honest: improving academic
performance and enhancing your cognitive skills is a complex task that requires
commitment, skill, effort, time, and motivation. Use these tips to make sure
your road to success is easier and more fun.