When it comes to being successful academically, many of us simply don't know where or how to start. Elliott Folvig, the Student Academic Skills Manager at Collarts, understands this more than most.
"Research tells us successful students do certain things that make them achieve—it's not an accident," he says, explaining how Study Success is attainable with the right tools. "The thing is, what successful students do can be copied and modelled to work for you."
Pulling together a list of tips for Study Success, Elliott shares his top tips for academic success that can be implemented at any point of your studies—but the sooner the better!
First and foremost, set yourself goals
"Set yourself goals," Elliott encourages, "I like to use the S.M.A.R.T method of goal setting." S.M.A.R.T. Goals have been around for a long time. Basically, it's using goals as a tool to create the criteria that will help you succeed. These criteria should be specific and use the S.M.A.R.T acronym, which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. In short, while anyone can set goals, a successful person will define the who, what, where, when, which and why of those targets—and in turn, set themselves up for realistic achievement.
Complete your tasks by following a method that works for you
Finding a method that works for your study habits and behaviours can be more than helpful; but life-changing in itself. "I always recommend students find a method, whether it's for writing essays or memorising information," Elliott shares. While Essay Writing Methods are available to you as a Collarts student via MyCollarts, Elliott also recommends the Link and Story Method for study memorisation. The Link and Story Method is a simple game of association, where you link items in a list, and join them to a vivid image. "It works by using the flow of the story and building cues for memory retrieval," he notes.
Plan your time to avoid procrastination
When it comes to procrastination, we've all been there. Procrastination always sneaks up on us when we least expect it—or when we invite it in when we want to put something off. "You can actually develop skills to avoid procrastination," Elliot shares, "and the best way to do it is to find a way to make what you do genuinely interesting." From actively learning the signs of procrastination to managing your study time, creating a planner can help you stay on track and be organised—and in turn, build a positive experience with your studies and due dates.
Reflect on your habits and be open to change
Self-reflection is a skill we sharpen with time. Self-reflection is a means to observe and analyse your work in order to integrate the things you learn along the way, which is an important step when it comes to Study Success, especially in the form of Critical Reflection. Critical Reflection allows you to realise what's working and what isn't by having a conversation with yourself. "Self-observe what you have done. Self-decide where it can be improved. And self-select a strategy to do so," Elliott encourages, "by tailoring your habits, you are allowing yourself to change positively."
Control your controlLables and always seek support
Creating a Study Environment is one of the easiest ways to encourage your success. By diminishing distractions and sticking to a routine, controlling your controllables will help you feel more at ease about the goals you've set yourself. Of course, sometimes things can feel overwhelming—but you should never hesitate to seek support, regardless of how big or small your problem appears. "By learning to ask for help, your teachers, peers and Student Support become a powerful means for your own success," Elliott says. "Asking for help is one of the most effective ways to maximise learning and Collarts always encourages you to reach out, grow, and help others as well."