Techniques for Increasing Academic MotivationNovember 27, 2013
Updated November 16, 2022
This post was previously published on eCampustours.com. The information provided is subject to change over time.
Staying motivated to study, complete homework, or attend classes (in-person or virtually) comes easy for some students, while others may need to practice certain methods in order to stay academically driven. Here are eight techniques for increasing your academic motivation.
1. Set Realistic Goals
You may already have a mix of short-term and long-term goals, and those short-term academic goals probably support your long-term career goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to become a doctor, then your short-term goals may be related to class attendance, study habits, and test performance. Make a list of your current academic and career-oriented goals and the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. Your goals should be based on your abilities, circumstances, values, interests, and desires. Review your goal list regularly as it will serve as a reminder of what you are working toward and help keep you motivated.
2. Create a “To-Do” List for Each Day
Daily academic “to-do” lists will help keep you visually motivated. Checking off each task after completion makes you feel accomplished and inspires you to stay on track with the rest of your task list. Download an app on your phone or use a daily planner to record your “to-do” list as well as assignment deadlines, test dates, etc.
3. Schedule Time for Studying
You should set aside time each day that is strictly dedicated to studying and completing homework. Schedule this time on your calendar or daily planner so that you are more motivated to stick to your agenda. Be sure to study when you are most alert and plan your study sessions during your optimal studying hours.
4. Enhance Your Studying Environment
A comfortable, organized, and efficient study area will allow you to study more effectively and increase your motivation to study. To enhance your studying environment, you should:
- Designate a comfortable space that is away from distractions.
- Organize your desk with labeled boxes, a small bookcase, a filing cabinet, a bulletin board, and a calendar.
- Get rid of clutter by utilizing a filing system to keep important documents and recycling old documents.
- Use good lighting by investing in a bright desk lamp
- Create an energizing atmosphere using stimulating colors on the walls of your study area.
5. Become Actively Involved in the Learning Process
When you become actively involved in the learning process, you may find yourself wanting to learn more. Don’t just attend classes and lectures. Instead, participate in class discussions, meet with your teachers and professors, and be over prepared for exams. Your desire to learn will increase once you become more involved in the classroom and in your self-directed study sessions.
6. Adopt a Positive Attitude
A can-do attitude produces positive results in academic performance. You should approach your studies, homework assignments, interactions with teachers and professors with a positive attitude to help increase your academic motivation. When you change your attitude from “I can’t” to “I can,” you will see positive academic outcomes, which will make you want to continue on that path to academic success.
7. Compete With Yourself
Competition is always a good academic motivator. But instead of competing with other students, you should compete with yourself. Each time you have an assignment or test, set a goal to make a better grade than you did on your previous assignment or test.
8. Reward Yourself
Each time you accomplish a goal, mark a task off of your “to-do” list, or earn a good grade, you should reward yourself. Rewards can be as small as spending a few minutes on social media in between study time or as big as splurging on a weekend getaway after you made superb grades on your finals. Giving yourself intermittent rewards will help break up the monotony of academics, allowing you to stay refreshed and motivated for future academic goals and tasks.
For more information about academic motivation, visit your school counselor or the center for academic success at your college.