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Student Tips Home

Tips on Becoming a Successful Student

Get Oriented!

  • Find your classrooms before the first day of classes!
  • Get involved with other student activities and events to make contact with other students.
  • Find a friend. A friend can help alleviate "classroom shyness" and can also be a study partner or resource if you miss class and need help getting back up to speed.

Go to Class!

  • Sit in the "T-Zone" of the classroom. Instructors are more likely to notice your attendance.
  • Go to class! Missed class means valuable time lost. Once behind, it is hard to catch up.
  • Go to class! Missed classes can affect your grade. Always going to class and being on time is looked upon favorably and can often bring leniency in a time of need.
  • It is your responsibility to make up missed work and classroom notes.
  • Be prepared to learn--bring computer, paper, writing utensils, etc. to class.
  • Actively listen and take notes. It is statistically proven that you retain 20% more when writing down notes than merely listening to lectures.
  • Know your learning style. What's easy for one person may be hard for another. You decide how you learn best.
  • Save all items or documents that have something to do with your class. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. As long as the work is yours, it is not cheating.
  • Keep all important papers such as forms and information from your instructors and advisor.
  • Don't underestimate the value of your class syllabus. Read and understand it. It's your contract for the class.


  • Don't be afraid to get help. Even excellent students need help at times.
  • Ask about and investigate student support services. PMHS offers a number of support services to help you.
  • Take advantage of MavTime.
  • Don't just talk about getting help for your studies. Do it!

Balance Your Schedule!

  • Budget your time. Equilibrium must be obtained in balancing leisure activities, clubs and organizations, studying, work and sleep.
  • Set measurable academic and personal goals each semester. A key difference between students who succeed and those who don't is that students who succeed have clearly defined goals.
  • Plan your future but don't ignore the present. The present creates who you are and contributes to social and personal growth.

Never Forget these Extra Tips!

  • Build a master calendar. With all of your life activities scheduled (work, classes, study time, practice, etc.), you will be able to see in advance and plan for two tests on one day, for example. You can be proactive rather than reactive in approaching your academic assignments.
  • Get to know your teacher.
  • Honesty is a virtue. It is also a policy. Cheating is not tolerated in any class and is grounds for disciplinary action. Plagiarism is a subcategory of cheating, and a paper can be tested for authenticity via the internet.
  • Accept constructive criticism. Teachers and tutors are here to help you.
  • There is nothing wrong with being confused at first. Everyone experiences it. It is always better to ask questions than to remain confused.
  • Be patient with yourself. Make your own decisions.
  • Remember, you are in school for your education, not for someone else's.
  • Accept responsibility for yourself and your behavior. Only you can be responsible for you.
  • As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." Successful students tend to be realistic and recognize that their success or failure is primarily determined by their efforts.
  • Don't whine. You'll be fine!