4 Skills Required for Grad School Success
05/09/2019 by HIGHERGRAD
The reason why only a small percentage of students continue on to a graduate degree program is because it is challenging. Many think four years of higher education is enough or perhaps you may not need a graduate degree for your particular career path. Mentally preparing for graduate school is the best way to achieve success. However, these four skills for grad school success come in pretty handy as well.
Grad school success comes from your desire to achieve and ambition to prepare for a better career. It does not matter if you are in one of the top graduate programs in the country or studying at a local state university, the same holds true. Certainly, some degree programs are more difficult and require more time to complete. Although, many of the same grad school success tips can help you succeed.
4 Grad School Success Tips
The demands of continuing your education can have you feeling overwhelmed in grad school. The best resources for graduate students are available from your university as well as tips from the vast amount of information available on the internet. Use them! Learn as much as you can and ask as many questions as you need to in order to succeed. Many are unable to meet graduate school challenges simply because they have not or are unwilling to seek advice. You should not be one of them. Start with these four tips for grad school success and your time spent will be much more rewarding.
#1 - Know Your Requirements and Schedule Your Time
Time is your most valuable resource. This is even more true as a graduate student. Students that have grad school success while others struggle is because of time management and knowing what needs accomplished. First, start by knowing exactly what requirements you have. Things like assistantship duties, coursework, research, and program requirements should all be known. Next, develop a plan to track progress towards each and schedule time effectively to meet each requirement. If you are lost on the requirements, your graduate school challenges will only increase. Know them and plan your time around them so everything is on track to be completed.
#2 - Organize Your Life
Unlike college, your undergraduate program, grad school can pose additional challenges. For instance, you could have responsibilities for teaching or for research through you graduate assistantship requirements. You could also be working a job outside of school to help pay for graduate school. Use tools like an online calendar, project management apps, and other technology to maintain your life. Be sure to also include time for relaxing, hobbies and yourself. Grad school success does not mean you have to completely forget about living and enjoying life.
#3 - Own Your Work
Assignments and projects now mean something. Own them. Take ownership of your work and the results it produces. Your work is either going to be part of your research, the department's research, or preparing you for advanced placement in a great career. Take time to do the work and do it right. Also, use feedback on assignments constructively and improve at each stage. This is how to succeed in graduate school.
#4 - Invest in Learning and Not Studying
The purpose of studying is to get a good grade. We are not saying you don't have to study in grad school, but there is a difference between studying and learning. One of the best study tips for graduate students is to learn your material and not memorize it. Graduate school is preparing you for your career and professional life. You need to focus on actually learning the material and educating yourself around topics that are meaningful to your future. Ultimately if you learn rather than study, the good grades will come.
Grad school success is not always measured through degree obtainment. It is about the experiences and learning that occurs in those years that takes precedent. The skills to get there, and hold that diploma in the end, are not a secret. It starts with mentally preparing for graduate school and then building on the four skills outlined above.