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Study Tips Coming From An Upperclassman 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

Reflecting on my first couple of years in college, I can vividly recall the academic struggles I had. I was constantly stressed out, I barely passed many classes and I felt lost because I felt like I had no support or guidance. Now, as an upperclassman, I’ve improved greatly in my classes and want to offer some study tips that have helped me considerably. If you’re wondering how to excel in your classes, here are eight tips.

  1. Get a Tutor

Getting a tutor is such a great tactic for academic success. It’s super helpful to work one-on-one with someone. It is less intimidating than being in a full-sized class, so you can ask specific questions of your tutor without the stress of asking in front of other students. Conversing with someone closer to my age also made me feel a little more comfortable and eager to ask questions than with my professors.

  1. Buy/Rent the Appropriate Materials!

Textbooks and other materials may seem unnecessary or pointless. But if you want to do well in your class, getting the suggested materials will be incredibly helpful. Even if your textbook isn’t required, these resources give you the opportunity to do your own studying and work outside of class time. Additionally, most textbooks have practice questions for different chapters to help with your learning! If you’re looking for a textbook, but it’s way too expensive at Northeastern’s bookstore, try CampusBooks. This website provides a bunch of online textbooks for cheaper! 

  1. Establish a Good Relationship With Your Professor 

I cannot stress this enough! When I first got to college, I didn’t make an effort to know any of my professors, and I truly regret that. If you make the effort to know your professor, you’re more likely to feel comfortable enough to ask them questions and for academic support. Additionally, communicating with your professor shows your commitment to the class and learning, which can lead to a more personalized learning experience and further support from them. Beyond the class, these connections may also provide you with networking and internship opportunities, as well as stellar letters of recommendation. One more thing: Go to office hours! Going to office hours, especially regularly, shows that you’re very committed to the class and will also lead to a positive rapport with your professor.  

  1. Avoid Procrastination! 

I think we all fall victim to procrastination at some point. If you avoid procrastination, you are able to manage your time very well and maintain your focus on your assignments. Consistently completing your assignments and homework on time will also allow you sufficient time to thoroughly understand what you are studying and ask questions if you’re still confused. If you procrastinate, you are more likely to be stressed out, approach deadlines unprepared and, as a result, turn in incomplete and low-quality work. 

  1. Get a Study Group 

Studying and doing work with other people is so incredibly helpful! This facilitates collaborative learning, and discussing content and exchanging ideas with other people helps your own learning and studying by promoting deeper understanding. Especially if you’re confused by something, going over it with other people can help solve the problem!

  1. Use Quizlet!

Quizlet truly saved my life! There are so many different components to Quizlet that help you understand and comprehend information. Not only can you add your notes into online flashcards, you can also take practice tests, utilize an online AI tutor and more! Also, if you don’t have time (or energy!) to make your own Quizlet flashcards, you can use other users’ Quizlets to study, too.

  1. Take Good Notes (And Study Them!)

Technically, these are two points, but they’re connected and both very useful. Taking good notes is crucial for academic success because if you take bad notes, you’re not as likely to fully grasp the content. My advice: do not take notes on every single point! Write down important concepts (using headings for main ideas), underline key words and use abbreviations to make your notes clear and concise. Additionally, study your notes! I used to think that just taking notes was enough “studying.” Just taking notes won’t be enough for understanding or retaining information long-term. Looking over your notes helps you to keep the information fresh in your mind! 

  1. Get Good Study Spots 

Getting a nice, distraction-free study spot is essential for completing assignments and studying effectively. If you’re studying at your desk, make sure to get rid of any distractions and ask roommates to be quiet as possible (if noise will distract you, too). If you do not want to study or do work at your desk, you can find a nice spot on campus, as well. Personally, I’ve grown sick of Snell Library, so I’ve studied at ISEC, EXP, Curry Student Center and Shillman Hall. Good study places outside of Northeastern Campus include the Boston Public Library, Caffè Bene, Jaho Coffee, Pavement and more! If you require silence or quiet music for studying, be sure to bring headphones if you’re going to study in public! 

**One important note: it is important to take our college classes seriously. However we are not defined by our grades. Being a good student isn’t measured by perfect grades. Being smart isn’t measured by perfect grades, either. As long as we try our best, that’s what matters. We should prioritize ourselves over our grades, because we are more important! <3 

Grace Ulferts

Northeastern '25

Hello! I'm Grace I am a third-year Behavioral Neuroscience and Philosophy major. I'm originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is my second year being a part of Her Campus, and I absolutely love it! I love to write, and Her Campus is such a warm and welcoming community! :)