How to Get Good Grades Without Studying 24/7

Whereas it is important to study hard to gain good grades, no one has time to study all the time. It’s crucial for your health (mental and physical) to take a break from your books now and then. College is about meeting new people, trying new activities, and enjoying life at the same time as earning a degree. You can make time to socialize and do all the other things you enjoy, but still have enough time to study, by following these tips.

1. Find a Source of Motivation

Search for a reason why you want to do well at each of your classes. Just the thought of receiving good grades could be enough, but you may also be intrigued by the topics you’re covering and want to learn more. Alternatively, your long-term goals could be your driving force: a class could be a requirement for your major, in which case you could think about why you want to graduate. Whenever you’re struggling to find the willpower to study, remind yourself of what you want to get out of the class and why it’s worth studying now.

2. Set Goals

It’s also useful to have some specific, short-term goals. These could be to do slightly better on your next assignment than the last, improve your grade average each semester, or increase the amount you study each week by a few minutes. Make sure your goals are realistic — and think about how you’ll reward yourself when you reach them.

3. Stick to a Study Schedule

A study schedule will both prevent you from going overboard and ensure you do enough to gain the grades you want. Beyond blocking out time on your calendar, make a note of what you want to do in every session to ensure you use your time productively. You could use sessions to prepare for an exam, work on a section of a big project, read a particular chapter of a textbook, or review an aspect of the material you found particularly difficult.

4. Take Full Advantage of Your Classes

In addition to attending all your classes, pay attention. Sit at the front of the room where your professor can see you — this will mean you won’t be able to chat and it will be obvious if you’re distracted by something on your phone or laptop.

Take detailed notes you can use later. To ensure your notes are clear, review them soon after class is over. This is a good chance to highlight key points and organize your notes in a way that makes more sense. Plus, this practise will help the information stick in your head.

5. Ask Questions

If you have any doubts, always ask for clarification. This could mean asking questions during class, dropping your professor an email, or utilizing office hours. You’ll be unable to gain top grades if you’re still struggling to understand something.

6. Stay Healthy

You have much higher chances of succeeding academically if you’re healthy. It’s better to sleep than to stay up late studying, as you’ll be unable to take in information and perform well the next day. You’ll also feel prepared to tackle your studies if you eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and spend time relaxing without screens, especially before bedtime.

It’s important to spend your study time productively. This is easier when you don’t face countless distractions every time you sit down to study. The solution is to move off campus and into student rentals — Kingston, Ontario, students have Foundry Princess. You’ll have your own room in a suite, but you can also study quietly in the community study rooms. Either option is equipped with pure fibre internet. Schedule a tour to check out our luxury student housing for yourself.


A Guide to Reselling Old Textbooks

Textbooks take up a big chunk of your budget — and you tend to only need them for a single semester. Reselling textbooks once you’ve finished a class is a great way to regain some of your investment. Plus, since you’re surrounded by students, you have no shortage of potential customers. To maximize the amount you receive from old textbooks, there are a few things you need to do.

1. Avoid Your Campus Bookstore

The most obvious place to sell old textbooks is actually one of your worst options: your campus bookstore. Since the bookstore wants to make a profit, the amount you’ll receive will be much lower than what the next student will pay. Plus, bookstores don’t want to incentivize students to return their books because it’s in their best interests to sell new (rather than used) textbooks.

2. Advertise to Students

A much better option than your campus bookstore is to sell textbooks directly to students. Find ways to reach students who are taking the class next semester — either by advertising in the appropriate building on campus or through social media. Your university may have a social media group dedicated to buying and selling textbooks. Alternatively, search for groups for the class or subject.

3. Research Pricing

Make sure you’re asking the right price for your books. If the price is too high, you may end up needing to wait another semester before you’re able to offload your books. The best way to find out how much to ask for a book is to research online. Check ecommerce sites for the same textbooks in a similar condition to your own.

4. Use Buybacks

Another option is to use a textbook buyback program. Find out what retailer websites are offering and decide if this is better than what you could receive selling to students. To take advantage of these programs, you’ll need to send off your textbooks as soon as the semester ends — if not before. Also bear in mind that some retailers want to receive books around the last week of finals. You’ll need to determine if this is feasible for you.

5. Keep Your Books in Good Condition

Wherever you decide to sell your books, you’ll gain the most money if they’re in great condition. Don’t feel like you need to be so careful that your textbooks are like new when you’re finished with them — using your books to study and do well in your classes needs to be your top priority — but you should avoid unnecessary damage. This means you shouldn’t write in the margins, highlight text, or fold corners to bookmark pages. All of these will be off putting to the next student, as they make your textbooks less effective study aids.

Another way to save money is to move into less-expensive student housing. For Queens off-campus housing that won’t break the bank, there’s Foundry Princess. Apply now for your spot in our engaging student community.


10 Effective Ways to Prep for Finals

No time of year is more stressful for students than finals. However, there’s no need to feel intimidated by exams — with the right preparation, you can gain the grades you deserve and that reflect the hard work you’ve put in all semester.

1. Write a Study Guide

Summarize everything you’ve covered in class by creating your own study guide. This will give you the chance to reflect on what material you need to know for your finals. It should also reveal any weak areas where you’ll want to focus your efforts.

2. Go to All Your Review Sessions

Attend the review sessions for all your classes. These are invaluable for finding out what to expect from each exam, both in terms of the style of the questions and what material the exam is likely to cover.

3. Practise for the Type of Exam

You’ll need to use quite different techniques if an exam will have multiple-choice questions than if it will have an essay question. Multiple-choice answers tend to require an understanding of key terms, whereas long answers mean you need to know how concepts relate to each other and you’ll need to be prepared with examples to use.

4. Condense Your Notes

A great study tactic for all types of exams is to reduce your notes down to the key points. You could put your notes in bullet points or draw them into a mind map that shows how concepts are linked.

5. Begin Prepping as Soon as Possible

You’ll perform much better on your exams if you start prepping several weeks in advance. Pulling all-nighters right before finals is always ineffective — you’ll struggle to retain the information and find that you’re too tired to focus on the exam.

6. Take Plenty of Breaks

It’s equally important to space out study sessions when you’re studying during the day, since it’s impossible to stay focused for hours at a time. Take short breaks to allow your mind to rest and longer ones to fit other activities into your day.

7. Clear Up Any Doubts

Don’t be afraid to ask your professors questions about the material if you’re unsure that you understand everything. Alternatively, a teaching assistant, your tutor, or another student may be able to help.

8. Study in a Group

A great way to seek support and advice from other students is to hold group study sessions. This can bring the material alive, help knowledge stick in your head better, and give you the chance to discuss ideas. Plus, you may find that you understand some concepts better than others in your group, which will give you a chance to explain the information in your own words.

9. Create a Study Calendar

Decide exactly which materials you’ll study and when. It can help to divide the information from each class into logical sections to cover. Don’t feel like you need to spend the same amount of time prepping for each exam — give yourself the most time for the material you find the most difficult. To keep yourself motivated, switch between materials from different classes throughout the day.

10. Make Flashcards

Quiz yourself on key facts and definitions using flashcards. It’s even better if you use questions similar to those that are likely to come up on the exam.

It’s much easier to study for your finals — and study the rest of the year — when you live in a student apartment rather than on campus. Start improving your study practices by finding a room for rent. Kingston students can find a home at Foundry Princess. Choose from a variety of floor plans, all of which give you a fully-furnished, private bedroom and access to great onsite amenities like a fitness centre, grocery market, and swimming pool. Apply now while spaces are still available.


Should You Take Summer Classes?

Although most students take time off during the summer, there’s often an option to continue taking classes. This can be a great opportunity to gain the additional credit you need to graduate, but it does mean you will need to sacrifice some (or all) of your summer break. To decide if this is the right option for you, consider the following pros and cons.

Pro: Summer Classes Tend to Be Short

You’re often able to achieve credit for a summer class in a shorter amount of time than it would take you to complete the class during a normal semester. At most universities, summer classes run from four to six weeks, although they can be as short as two weeks and as long as 10 weeks.

Con: You’ll Lose Some of Your Summer

The main disadvantage of taking summer classes is that you’ll lose out on at least some of your summer break. If the class is only two weeks, this is less of a big deal. However, if it lasts for most of the summer, you’ll miss out on the chance to rest and recuperate, which you may need to prevent burnout. Taking summer classes can also mean you’re unable to pursue other opportunities, like internships, seasonal work, and travel.

Pro: Graduate Earlier

If you’ve fallen behind, such as because you needed to drop a class or you were unable to study full time, summer classes can help you catch up. This will mean you’ll graduate sooner without needing to take more classes than you feel you can handle next semester. It’s always useful to graduate as early as possible and start searching for a full-time job in your field, as you’ll start earning an income to improve your living situation and start paying off student loans that much sooner.

Con: Your Scholarship May Not Cover the Costs

It’s common to need to pay for summer classes yourself, even if you’re using a scholarship to cover the costs of your education, which can be expensive. One possibility is to look for a cheaper option to earn credit, such as at a nearby college. Just be sure to confirm with your university that the credit is transferable.

Pro: Finish Less Interesting Classes

Summer is a particularly good time to take general education classes that don’t relate to your major. You’ll be able to complete the classes in a shorter amount of time to avoid spending an entire semester on material you don’t find interesting.

Con: The Intensity Can Be Too High

You need to be prepared to focus on a single class for several hours a day. If you struggle to learn this way, you may find it overwhelming, especially if you find it hard to connect with the material.

If you decide that taking summer classes is the right choice for you, the next step is to find off-campus housing, since dorms are unlikely to be available. For Queens University student housing, you have Foundry Princess. With a rooftop patio and outdoor swimming pool, it’s the perfect place to spend the summer. Book a tour to see the suites and facilities.