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University and Interview Success Tips

Tips for University Success

The following are the Top 10 Tips for University Success to help you be prepared and begin your university STEM classes with a great start!

  1. Go to class. Pay attention to lectures, demonstrations, and clicker questions. If you miss a class, get notes from a friend ASAP.
  2. Read before and after class. Keep up on the reading and review your lecture notes before and after class.
  3. Work problems and keep practicing. Do a little work every day, focusing on problems your professor suggests. Use the solution manuals if they are available. Start working the problems on your own and then review them in a group.
  4. Be an active learner. Ask questions, use additional study tools and materials, and make flash cards for things you have to memorize.
  5. Get help. Make sure to attend office hours, supplemental instruction, and tutoring even if you are doing well in the class!
  6. Learn from labs and additional review sections. Connect labs to lecture materials. Keep up with journals and other assignments.
  7. Get materials from other sections and classes. Keep track of handouts, worksheets, and past tests – they will come in handy.
  8. Understand why things are happening, not just the numbers. Link different lecture topics together. Think about the implications of the problems for possible essay questions.
  9. Complete practice exams as preparation for actual exams. In addition to reviewing readings, notes, and labs, complete practice exams before an actual exam. Use a past copy of an exam or ask your professor for practice problems.
  10. What to do if you get stuck on an exam question? Write down everything you know and what the problem gives you. Write down anything you know on open-ended questions to get maximum partial credit.

This content was adapted from a list from Emory University.

Interviewing Tips for High School Students
(A Baker’s Dozen)

  1. Look people in the eye
  2. Know, and be able to elaborate on, why you want the opportunity i.e., student job, scholarship, internship, etc.
  3. Research the department/organization that you are interviewing with to understand their purpose, passions and goals
  4. Be confident in showing them the gifted and talented person you are
  5. Be on time
  6. Prepare a few questions to ask your interviewers (example: What are some of the expectations you have for this position?)
  7. Be prepared to talk about your interests and skill-set
  8. Make sure you have a convincing statement of why you are the best candidate for the position
  9. Connect your skill set with the requirements of the department/organization
  10. Practice mock interview questions with a friend or parent
  11. Demonstrate how you are willing to be flexible to fulfill the department/organization’s goals
  12. Be willing to explore new things and learn new skills
  13. Dress for success

See the University of Tennessee Career Services website at for more information.