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.  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

Writing will be an important skill in many programs and careers. Writing in post-secondary is often 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 big difference. Here are two 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 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 online service in BC that gives students at participating institutions the opportunity to receive writing help online. Qualified tutors from each of the participating schools staff the service and provide feedback on students' draft writing assignments. There are currently 16 institutions participating in WriteAway.  It operates during peak times each semester.

Library and Research Help

For most programs it can be hard to be successful without using the library. Campus libraries provide orientations on how to use their facility and services.  They each have librarians on staff to answer your questions. What if you have a question and you are not on campus, or have a question that is specific to a research assignment and you don't even know where to 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.  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. The purpose behind the open textbook project is to support your learning while keeping things affordable and accessible. Open textbooks use a Creative Commons license and are offered in various e-book formats free of charge. You can also order a printed copy at cost if you prefer. Not all programs and courses use open textbooks but they are becoming more common. Even if your course does not use open textbooks, you can still use them to supplement your learning.  Find a wide variety of open textbooks available at BC Open Textbooks.

Develop strong study habits and earn higher grades