Are you happy with the grades you’re getting? Do you want higher grades but, aside from holding your tutor to ransom, you have no idea how to achieve them?
The best way to improve your grades is to improve your study skills. This means developing your abilities in these areas:
- Time management and organisation
- Note taking
- Essay writing (including academic writing, research, and critical thinking)
- Revision and exam preparation
Now this seems like a scary list I know. But you definitely do not have to tackle it all at once.
I promise you there are simple study techniques out there that, if followed, will improve your study skills and transform your results.
I want to share some of these with you today, broken down into three levels.
But first, sign up to my free resource library where you can download my improve your grades workbook. You’ll also get access to TONS of other printables and worksheets to help you become a happier, more confident and more successful student.
The three levels of study skills improvement
Level one should definitely be the first step for all students looking to improve their study skills. Once you’ve completed this step you’ll be crystal clear about where you need to focus your improvement efforts.
Then I suggest you move onto level two. Some of you may get the improvement you want here. You might stumble upon great techniques that work for you and skyrocket your grades.
But if you need extra help, or you want bigger results, faster – that’s where level three comes in.
A runner might invest in a coach to improve their form and speed, so they can tackle that race with confidence.
Or someone might invest in a nutritionist if they’re struggling with their health and need a tailored plan that fits them and their lifestyle.
A student might invest in study skills training if they’re worried they’re not going to get the grades they want or need. Learning advanced strategies or getting personalised help can help you make greater leaps in less time.
OK, so let’s get on with the learning...
3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR STUDY SKILLS (AND GRADES)
LEVEL ONE > Reflect on your grades and methods
Trying to improve your study skills and grades WITHOUT self-reflection would be like going on a treasure hunt without knowing which direction to head first. If you want higher grades you first need to reflect on where you are and where you’ve been.
Self-reflection involves looking inwards: at your strengths, weaknesses, drivers and goals. Get clear on these and you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
But self-reflection isn’t a one-time thing. It’s like shaving your legs (in summer anyway): you’ve gotta do it more than once.
Good news for you, I’ve created a printable workbook to help you get clear, so you can get those high grades.
Spend twenty minutes with a cup of tea (or wine) and go through the workbook to identify your strengths AND the areas you want to work on to improve your study skills and gain you higher marks.
LEVEL TWO > Test new study techniques
One of my core beliefs is that university doesn’t teach you HOW to study. It can only teach you WHAT to study.
This means we’re largely alone in working out the most effective study methods. (But don’t worry, that’s why I’m here!)
So if you only ever study using the same methods, chances are you haven’t tried enough to find those which will lead to the highest grades for you.
Trying to improve your study skills WITHOUT trying new techniques is like going on a treasure hunt without enough equipment. You find you have to walk the long way round a cliff because you didn’t think to bring rope to abseil down. You end up having to dig with your hands because you didn’t think to bring a shovel.
You still go the job done, but it took you longer and was A LOT harder.
Now, there’s not one right way of studying. The perfect method for you and each of your modules is probably different to the next student.
So I recommend switching up your methods often so you don’t get stuck in a rut.
With every new module, trial some new techniques to make sure you’ve found the best one for right now.
Here’s some of my best resources to help you find new study techniques, improve your study skills, and get higher grades.
Revision and exam preparation
Time management and organisation
- 5 simple steps to the most productive week ever
- How to boost your productivity with the Pomodoro Technique
- 15 ways to overcome studying procrastination
- How to organise your study materials for university success.
LEVEL THREE > Get tailored advice and training
Now there may be times when one-on-one advice or further training is necessary, such as:
- If you’re studying again after a break from education and feel your study skills are a little rusty
- If you don’t feel confident that you know HOW to study
- If you know what you need to do but need someone to kick you up the butt and keep you accountable
- If you’re studying alongside work or a family and need help fitting education into YOUR unique schedule
- If you’re set on achieving a certain degree classification and your grades aren’t high enough at the moment.
Trying to improve your study skills WITHOUT tailored advice would be like going on a treasure hunt somewhere unknown…without a guide. You may be lucky enough to stumble upon the right way, but it would be 100X easier with someone guiding you who knows the area.
As a study skills trainer, I have online courses and coaching packages that can help you:
- Discover smarter study so you can achieve higher grades in less time with lower stress
- Boost your confidence and self-belief so you can achieve grades you never thought possible before
- Get personalised advice and support for your course, strengths and situation
To find out how to level up your study skills to the max, check out my work with me page.
Don't forget to download your free self-reflection workbook to start improving your grades in only twenty minutes.