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Secrets to success that every university student should know


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Aside from having a brilliant time, the main focus for most university students is to get the highest grade possible. But fulfilling your academic potential isn’t always easy, particularly when faced with more distractions than ever before! 

Help is at hand.  Research conducted by caffeine energy stimulant ProPlus has revealed the habits of the most successful students from the last ten years...  

Avoid the relationship status: ‘It’s complicated’

The term ‘it’s complicated’ is a common phrase at university as students make the most of their freedom by having different, sometimes even overlapping, relationships. However, whilst this might sound like fun, it can have a negative effect on academic performance, particularly during the final year.

The ProPlus research, conducted amongst 2,000 former students, showed that 36% of those who failed and 32% of those who got a third said they had ‘numerous’ relationships in their last year of studies, compared to just 11% of those who got a 2:1 and 12% of those who got a first. 

A ProPlus spokesperson said: “Our advice is to have fun but remember that your final year is the time to knuckle down so whether you’re single or in a relationship, try to ensure your love life compliments, rather than hinders, your studies.”  

Put in a little extra and it will go a long way

Whilst many students might think they could never commit or match the work ethic and time put in by students striving for a first, you might be surprised to know the difference in studying hours is far less then you might expect.  In fact, the research reveals that students who achieved a first grade spent only 12more hours studying a month in their final year than those that failed, showing that a little extra really can make a big difference to your overall grade.

A ProPlus spokesperson said: “Those who got a first spent on average, 16 hours studying a week - so use that as your yardstick. Interestingly, 55% of those who got a 2:2 said they wished they had worked harder in their final year compared to just 16% of those who got a first.  So got hit those books and ensure you have no regrets!”

Stay ahead of the game

Planning ahead and creating a realistic work schedule to balance studying and your social life is often not a priority in the mind of most students.  As a result, last minutes rushes to get work done, including ‘all-nighters’, are not uncommon, with some students regularly being penalised marks for missing deadlines.  

According to the research though, being organised when it comes to your coursework can be a key ingredient for success.  For example, 38% of first-class students said they often finished and submitted course-work a few days before the deadline, compared to 19% who got a 2:2 and just 7% who failed.  Furthermore, just 16% of those who got a first said they frequently worked through the night to meet deadlines compared to 39% of students who got a third and 43% of those that failed. 

A ProPlus spokesperson said: “Whilst many of us need the pressure of a deadline to help ensure focus, the research shows that last minute rushing doesn’t always result in the best possible work.  So try planning ahead, allowing yourself a day or two as a buffer and see if your grades start improving.  If they do then thank us later!”

Try and strike a perfect balance

Your housemates are going out and they ask if you fancy joining them.  Why not?  No harm done.  Well indeed, the secret isn’t staying in but simply getting the right balance between studying and socialising.

The simple fact is that students who achieved a first class grade or a 2:1 spent more hours a week studying than they did partying in their final year - those with a first spent four hours more and those with a 2:1 spent 2 hours more.  In contrast, those with a 2:2, third or those that failed all spent more time socialising than they did studying.

A Pro Plus spokesperson said: “Spending longer studying than you do socialising is a simple rule of thumb to follow, but one that could pay dividends.  You can still have a great time but make sure your studies are your priority.  Still not convinced?  Well 83% of those who got a first did this compared to 53% who got a third and 36% who failed.”

Dig out your trainers and get moving

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but did you know it can help you achieve better grades?  Well the research suggests it does.  A fifth of students who got a first and 21% of those with a 2:1 said they exercise regularly to help fight off tiredness compared to just 12% of those with a 2:2, 9% of those with a third and 7% of those that failed.

A ProPlus spokesperson said: “Just a small amount of exercise on a regular basis could really help you by increasing your energy levels, boosting your mood and helping you better manage stress.  So if your gym kit is gathering dust in the cupboard, go and grab it right now!  And whilst sleep is always the best option, for those times when you need to relieve the symptoms of tiredness and fatigue in a hurry, remember ProPlus which contains 100mg of caffeine in two tablets, the equivalent to a strong cup of coffee can help restore mental alertness.”  

So are you curious to know how much of a PRO student you are?  Well ProPlus have created a short, multiple-choice quiz to answer that very question.  Visit to complete the quiz and be in with the chance of winning one of three iPod Airs.


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