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Study Tips

How do I Earn Higher Grades?

Post-secondary can be exciting and stressful

It has the potential to be a very rewarding experience and you want to do all of it well.

Attend student success workshops, take advantage of learning support services - help yourself be more efficient and effective with your time and as a learner.


All post-secondary institutions offer learners a wide range of support. Learning centres and learning groups led by other students (eg. peer tutors) all contribute to your academic success.

Find out where on your campus you can find help with:

  • writing research papers
  • reading skills
  • computer skills
  • library research
  • preparing for tests
  • digital media
  • online learning
  • presentation skills
  • taking tests
  • stress management
  • time management

One last tip - if you want to gain experience and develop leadership skills, volunteer to work in one of the learning support areas. There are always opportunities on campus!

Writing Help

In many programs writing will be an important skill. Often writing in post-secondary is much different than writing in high school, and even writing styles can be different depending on the program you are in. It is important to realize there is help available. Getting extra writing support, especially for your first few assignments, can make a significant difference. Here are three ways to get additional help.

  1. Your campus will have a Writing Centre or Learning Centre – find out what support services they offer and take advantage of the help available. Writing centres will not proof read your paper, sorry! But they will help you learn how to outline, draft, and format your paper. They can also help with grammar and will provide you with examples of what your instructor is looking for.
  2. WriteAway a great service in BC that gives students at participating institutions the opportunity to receive online writing assistance. Qualified tutors from each of the participating sites staff the service and provide feedback on students' draft writing assignments. There are currently 12 institutions participating in WriteAway. Writing Away operates during peak times each semester.
  3. The online student support centre It's a Juggle has a Communication & Writing centre with 95 difference resources to help you with writing and presentation assignments. This can be a great resource if you are not on campus. It can help you with all aspects of writing - grammar, presentation materials, citation styles, and discipline specific writing questions etc.

Library Help

For most programs it is hard to be successful without using the library. Campus libraries provide orientations on how to use the library and each have librarians on staff to answer your questions. But what if you have a question and you are not on campus? What if you have question that is specific to a research assignment and you don't know where to even begin? What if you have been to the library, but are still confused by all the journal databases and citation styles?

No worries, the librarians in the BC and Yukon have an online chat service where you can ask your questions without having to go to the library. It is open every day and most evenings until 9pm.

There is a librarian on the other end ready to help with:

  • Research questions
  • Citation styles
  • Using the library
  • Finding materials
  • Using the journal databases

Use Ask Away where library help is only a click away.

Open Textbooks

BC offers an open textbook program. Not all programs and courses use open textbooks, but they are becoming more common. Open textbooks are openly licensed using a Creative Commons license, and are offered in various e-book formats free of charge, or print on demand books available at cost. The purpose behind the open textbook project is to support your learning while trying to keep the cost of paying for books more accessible. Even if the course you are taking does not have an open textbook, you can still use open textbooks to supplement your learning. You can find a wide variety of open textbooks available at BC Open Textbooks.

Develop strong study habits and earn higher grades