It takes more than just being smart to succeed at university. Aside from leading a healthy student lifestyle, there is a range of essential study skills and qualities that every student must have to excel at university. Some of these can be learned, practiced and honed but it’s ideal to have some sort of foundation before you arrive on your course.


Your time at university will require you to demonstrate excellent time-management. You’ll be juggling assignments for different modules, that you will have to complete to a high standard, as well as attending all of your lectures. You may also have a part-time job to factor into your schedule too. Being able to prioritise your responsibilities will see you do well at university.


Having strong organisation skills will make your time at university much easier. Whether it’s working out a detailed study system or simply investing in a lot of folders and binders for your notes, being organised can help you reduce stress and anxiety during busy exam and assignment periods.


Note-taking is one of the most useful university study skills to master. You may be given handouts to refer to in lectures but you’ll be expected to take notes as well. You’ll be given a lot of information by your professor and it is up to you to make notes of the most important elements. These notes will help you with revision for exams and when you’re completing assignments.

Independent Learning & Research

Lectures only make up a small portion of your time at university. You may only have a few hours a week scheduled in your timetable but you’ll be expected to make up the rest of the time doing independent learning and research. You’ll need to know where and how to find the relevant information you need; as well as how to structure your study sessions yourself.

Good Work Ethic

The students that do well at university are hard-working and driven, but they also understand the importance of achieving the perfect study-life balance. Having a really good work ethic means you’re less likely to let things distract you from your academic studies. Attending every lecture, being on time and handing in assignments by the deadline are all qualities of a hard-working student that is likely to succeed.


Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can be a really useful skill to have as a student. It allows you to develop new skills and focus on improving the areas in which you are weakest. Whilst also allowing you to build upon your existing strengths. This means you’re more likely to work more efficiently.

English Language Skills

If you’re studying in an English speaking country, whether you’re an international student or not, you will be required to demonstrate an ability to read and write in English. Correct spelling and grammar is important and having a firm grasp of the English language is vital for your success in your lectures, exams and assignments. From advising you on the perfect English course to helping you prepare for your IELTS exam, our expert team can support in many ways. By implementing the above study skills for international students, you’ll be able to thrive on your university course – wherever you decide to go. Contact IEC Abroad to receive more advice for international students studying abroad.

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