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Tips on achieving academic success

What is academic success?

Academic success is centered around educational performance, or, GPA and academic standing. However, as mental health takes focus in education, the idea also considers student wellness.

A student can succeed academically, however with destructive habits and poor health, they will not maintain success throughout life. 

As a result, students must define what academic success means to them. This can include defining their elements of student success, personal and academic goals, and means to achieve these goals. 

Tips to achieve academic success


Goal setting is the starting point step to reaching success in any aspect of life. Setting these can be motivational when they are realistic and achievable. This also provides a base for scheduling and time management. For example, goal setting for each class with provide insight into how much time to allocate towards each class. 

This promotes internal motivation, creating an inner drive to use time effectively and reach goals. 


Evaluating your progress for your goals is important. Sometimes, changing course of action is needed when one approach isn’t working as well. 

For example, if you are reaching goals for all of your classes except one, this highlights a need for change. One suggestion is to allocate two more hours to the class you are not reaching your goals in. Don’t be afraid to switch your schedules to accommodate what you need. 


Reflecting on both your strengths and weaknesses can help you in effective use of time. Highlighting your strengths will define what skills you should take advantage of. In contrast, your weaknesses highlight where you need to dedicate more time into improving.

This sounds like a simple process, however it is difficult to understand how to utilize strengths and/or improve weaknesses. This is where self reflection and finding motivation comes into play.

Self prioritizing

With mental health awareness rising towards student wellness, prioritizing yourself and well-being is important for academic success.

There is a difference between a student who succeeds academically but overworks themselves in comparison to one who succeeds with proper time management and attention to their own mental health. 

A student who over-works themselves succeeds but develops habits that can be destructive to long-term mental health and well-being. One who manages priorities effectively can develop healthy habits for academic success that can be carried into the workplace as well. 

Read our blog post to learn more about prioritizing yourself.

Be flexible

Things happen and obstacles occur without warning. Giving yourself flexibility in completing tasks is a key. When your timeline or regular schedule goes off track, it’s important to stay calm and “reroute”. 

Additionally, allow yourself to make mistakes. Accepting and reflecting on them will allow you to learn. As a student, it’s hard to balance everything out. As a result, it’s even more challenging to get back on track when our regular schedules falls off balance. 

Being flexible with your time will build  “quick thinking” skills as you modify your day to accommodate your top priority. Sometimes, a sit down with yourself is useful to re-evaluate time management.

For example, let’s say that your schedule is spread too thin during exam season. Take a look at your courses & work schedule to highlight where you could balance your responsibilities better. 

If days become to crowded, spread tasks out so that you don’t overwork yourself. This will lessen your load during an overwhelming time and give you more time to breath, relax and recollect.

This is crucial for well-being. It’s good to be productive, however it is important to understand your daily limit and know when you need to make changes to your schedule. 

Asking for help

Whether it be from friends, classmates, professors or institution resources, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help for courses can be difficult as you want to avoid “burdening” someone else’s time. However, keep in mind that your professors and faculty are there to help you succeed. 

Take advantage of the resources that are available to you. Admit when you need to reach out. For school or mental health help, it’s important to know when you’ve reached your limits. If you struggle with reaching out for help, read this blog post for Motify’s tips and how we can help connect you to resources. 

Finding how you work best is the ultimate key to academic success. Remember to try different approaches, methods and habits. Put the same effort & time that you put into school right back into yourself through reflecting, learning and self-care. 

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