How to Succeed at University: 5 Tips You Need to Know | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

How to Succeed at University: 5 Tips You Need to Know


University is a really exciting time. You’ll be studying a subject you’re excited about, meeting new people, and perhaps enjoying life in a new town or city. However, life as a full-time (or even part-time) student can be difficult. If you’re wondering how to succeed at university, there are some tips that will help.

From learning how to successfully organise your time and making the most of your university’s facilities, these are five steps to navigating university and being successful as a student.

If you’re preparing for university, this article will guide you through exactly what to do to succeed.

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How to Succeed at University

1. Take Advantage of the Library

Studying in University Library

It’s often the case that many students don’t start utilising the library until their final, intense year of university. However, you’ll set yourself up for success by implementing library time into your routine from the very beginning.

Your university library is the perfect place for quiet study, often with enough facilities (like a coffee shop or ‘relax’ areas) to make it possible to spend an entire day there. But you don’t always need 6-hour study sessions. Try and fit in 30 minutes before or after your classes to fully absorb the information in your notes or prepare for future assignments.

But your library isn’t just a place to study. Your university will have lots of free materials to make your assignments easier, whether that’s literature, journals, newspapers, or other archived materials. Spend time learning what’s available in your first month of university – your future assignments will be all the better for it.

2. Find a Study Group

You might be one of those people that prefers solo study – the quiet, the focus, the chance to concentrate. However, on some courses you might find that a study group is the way to go.

You might meet your study group once a week to review that week’s classes, or to test each other on what you’ve recently covered. Discussing your notes and course information is a great way of helping your brain remember, and you might find that it helps you with brainstorming for essays or tests.

Organising a study group in your first semester of university will also give you a chance to bond with other people on your course and make new friends. Having a support group is important at university, whether that’s for studying or for solving other problems you might be having as a first-year student.

3. Get Organised

How to be Organised at University

One of the best tips we can give for succeeding at university is being organised. This doesn’t just mean knowing your timetable and attending all your lectures or seminars. It means being prepared for all your classes and tabling study time into your days.

Everyone will have a different method for organising their time. Some may find that a virtual calendar, such as a Google Calendar, is the best. Others will work better with a physical diary where they can write down all their assignments. The first step to getting organised at university is knowing which method works best for you. There are also apps that can help you get organised at university.

Being organised also means using your time effectively. You might use your calendar to block out time for studying and relaxing so you know exactly when you’re busy and when you’re free.

4. Don’t lose focus

University is a long experience – sometimes up to four years of study. It’s normal to get tired or lose motivation during this time, but long-term goals can ensure that you don’t lose your focus.

What do you want to achieve with your university degree? Is there anything you’re looking forward to accomplishing after university, like travelling? Clarifying why you’re studying and what you would like to do afterwards can make it easier to stay determined with your studies.

It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do after you graduate! Your long-term goal could as simple as graduating with a high grade. Or, you could make goals each year of university to get you through your semesters.

5. Learn to Switch OFf

Switching Off at University

University isn’t all about work. You’re also here to meet new people, discover a new lifestyle, and find out who you are. To succeed at university also means enjoying time with your new friends and exploring things that you enjoy.

So, when you’re not studying, try to switch off completely. It’s okay to take some time off from your studies – you don’t want to get burnt out and lose motivation. Schedule a few fun activities every weekend, either alone or with friends. This could be visiting a museum, travelling somewhere new, or just enjoying a dinner at home with all your housemates.

You might be on a strict course with very little free time. In this case, try to carve out time for you wherever you can, even if that’s just 30 minutes before bed.


University can be tough, especially if you’re on a very intensive course. However, there are thing you can do to guarantee that you succeed. Purchasing a planner, scheduling time to study and time to relax, and make use of the library: these will help increase your chances of graduating with the grade you want.

Are you still unsure which university you want to study at? Check out our article on Student Reviews Vs University Rankings: How to Decide on a University.

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Written by
Abigail is a freelance writer specialising in higher education. She has lived in London and the Netherlands, and has a Masters degree in American Studies.

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