5 Smart Strategies to Help You Succeed in Graduate School

By Ruth on September 23, 2015 in advice, education, money
Attending graduate school is an exciting experience, with only a small percentage of the population
successfully earning a graduate school diploma. When finished, graduate school can have a positive
influence on self-confidence and self-esteem. You’ll also learn work skills that are valuable for any future
occupation or pursuit.

Thriving and Surviving Tips

Source: GraduationSource
Graduate school is an intensely challenging and uniquely rewarding experience. It is a full-time job that
requires you to hone a diverse mixture of skills while simultaneously acquiring new ones. Staying
motivated can help you realize that small progress is more important that evaluating bigger goals. The
following are 5 smart strategies to help you succeed in graduate school.
1. Focus more on learning and less on grades. Graduate programs accept the best applicants, so it
is safe to say that you have spent your undergraduate years focusing mainly on
your grades.
However, graduate school it is less about passing a test and more about critical thinking.
2. Begin Your Dissertation Research As Early As Possible. If a dissertation is required within your
graduate program, begin research as soon as possible. This will make the process less stressful
and allow you to spread the difficult data collection part of the process out over a longer period
of time. Write whenever you can and start with points that make sense to you. Remember that
the topic and even the outcome are less important than the academic exercise of completing
the thesis.
3. Stick to a fixed workday. You will always feel as if you should be working more hours, but if you
stick to a regular work schedule you will find that you can focus easier and get things done
faster. It will also enable you to turn down time-consuming requests that add little to your
4. Realize that intelligence and experience are not the same. The longer you work in a field, the
better you become at it, and the smarter you appear to those with less experience. Remember
this while you are in graduate school, and realize that someday you will be the one with more
5. Make sure not to neglect your basic needs. Basic needs that many graduate students tend to
ignore include the need for adequate sleep, exercise, a healthy diet, downtime, and fun.
Without consistently meeting these needs, the likelihood of meeting your academic
requirements is very low.
If you don’t already have some great organizational skills, graduate school is definitely the time to learn
them. Otherwise, you will do a lot of extra work during the course of your degree, which has little payoff
to you.
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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

1 Comment

  1. Sarah L October 3, 2015 Reply

    Very good tips. Learning is good, a balanced life is very good.

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