Given the nature of graduate school admissions, graduate students are good students. But book-learning, study skills, and good grades do not guarantee success in graduate school. The most successful graduate students realize this and avoid committing the following common mistakes. Undergraduates take classes. Graduate students immerse themselves in a discipline. Undergrads' work ends when class ends, they turn in papers, and leave campus. Graduate students' work, on the other hand, is never done. Meet with faculty, in a lab, and interact with other students and faculty after class they do research. Undergraduates worry about grades and grade-grub. In grad school grades are not that important. Funding is usually linked with grades but poor grades are very uncommon. C's generally are uncommon. In graduate school, the emphasis is not on the grade but on the learning. They juggle many tasks. They must prepare for multiple classes, write papers, take exams, conduct research and perhaps even teach classes. It's no surprise that good graduate students are good at identifying what needs to be done and prioritizing. However, the best graduate students keep an eye on the future. Focusing on the here and now is important but good students think ahead, beyond the semester and even year.

Mistakes made by graduate students

They toss around dissertation ideas early in graduate school and seek feedback. They consider career alternatives and determine what experiences they need to get the jobs they desire.   Those who want jobs as professors will need to obtain research experience, learn how to write grants for example and publish their research in the best journals that they can. Graduate students who think only about the present may miss out on the experiences that they need and may be ill-prepared for the future they envisioned. Undergraduate students are shielded from academic politics and are unaware of the power dynamics within a department or university. Success in graduate school requires that students become aware of departmental politics. There are some faculty with more power than others in every university department. Power can take many forms: grant money, coveted classes, administrative positions and more. Moreover interpersonal dynamic influence departmental decisions and student's lives. Faculty who dislike each other, for example, may refuse to sit on the same committee. They may, even worse,  refuse to agree on suggestions for revising a students' dissertation. Successful graduate students are aware that part of their success relies on navigating nonacademic interpersonal issues. any graduate students mistakenly think that graduate school is only about classes, research, and academic experiences. Wrong. It's about relationships. The connections students make with faculty and other students form the base for a lifetime of professional relationships. Most students recognize the importance of professors in shaping their careers. Graduate students will look to professors for recommendation letters, advice, and job leads throughout their careers. Every job that a graduate degree holder might seek requires several letters of recommendation and/or references. Students help each other by providing advice, tips, and as a sounding board.