1. Get your books early
One of the most hectictimes of each college school year is that crazy few days in the college bookstore before the semester starts. Who needs it. Get your books early. If your professors haven't posted them online, call the bookstore and see if they have a list. If still no luck, give your professor a polite e-mail stating you'd like to get your books early so you can prepare for the class. Ask which books you need to buy.
2. Skim and review before class starts
Review is one of your best weapons against challenging exams. Since you have your books early, spend a few hours skimming and reviewing each one. Familiarize yourself with the table of contents, summaries, bolded text and sidebars. Get the edge.
3. Do not change your diet
Eating more or less can change your concentration, energy level and ability to stay alert. Presuming you are satisfied with your current mental chemistry, avoid changing your diet.
P.S. Studies show 75% of college freshmen put on 7lbs their first semester – keep lean and mean.
4. Decide your main goal
Do you want straight A's, B's？Before you can get anywhere you have to know where you are going beforehand. Choose before the semester starts what grades you want and write it down. By putting it in writing, you are setting an agreement with yourself - after that, all you need to do is not break that agreement.
5. Decide why you want to make A's in your classes
Why do you want to be a good student? Write up a list of reasons and then hang them in a prominent location in your living quarters. When the going gets tough and you don't feel like studying or going to class, review this list. Add to it if you can. Reasons are what keep enthusiasm high.
6. Keep your exercise program going
Hopefully, since you are reading this blog, you have adopted an exercise program. Going to class is no excuse to stop. Stick with it for increased self-esteem, concentration and enthusiasm for learning.
7. Sit in the front row
Studies have shown sitting in the front row is an easy way to improve your grades. Why? You hear better, you have more interaction with the professors and there is no possible way to doze if you are in the front row. So choose the front row and win.
8. Reward yourself after small accomplishments
When you get an assignment or test deadline, right then and there, decide on a reward for completing it successfully. I am not saying you have to get an A. Instead a small reward for simply getting through. Some ideas: A new video game, a toy, tee shirt, DVD. Pick something just for you and do not buy it until you finish your assignment. The fun reward will carry you through to the finish line.
9. Make a habit of studying at the same time every day
Humans function better at different times. When do you study the best? Early morning, afternoon or evening? Work on finding that out and then make a pact that you'll study at that time every day. This works because 1 you'll be in your zone naturally and you will be developing a habit of high quality study at that time of day.
10. Get enough sleep
Staying up late at night watching TV, goofing off or drinking might be fun at the time, but leads to excessive tiredness during classes. It's tough to be enthusiastic if you are dead tired. So pick a time your fun and serious side can agree on, then stick to it. Set a reminder on your cellphone or computer if you need to. Just get some sleep you look tired.