Presented by EA Game Changers
Getting into university is one thing; excelling in university is quite another. For most people, the joys of university lie in balancing work with pleasure. A little studying here, a little partying there, leading to an overall well-rounded university experience.
This guide is not for the casual university student. This guide will walk you through how to throw yourself completely into your education in order to achieve the best grades (and the best future) possible. Throw away your juice kegs and break out those textbooks because school is all you’re going to know for the next three terms.
For a breakdown on scholarships and applying to university, see our guide, Discover University: Applying to University!
Of course, it all starts with enrolling and selecting your degree and classes. No matter which degree you pursue, you’ll have to select up to 4 classes per term. Classes change every term so you’ll see new ones available every time you select your classes at the start of term. You can’t change which classes you’ll be taking for your degree; you can only choose the number of classes.
However, Sims have the option of enrolling in 1 elective each term. Electives are fun classes that focus on skills outside of your degree and you will be able to select which elective your Sim will take that term. There are all kinds of electives that span a wide variety of skills. Electives are fully integrated across all packs, so depending on which add-on content you have installed, you may see different electives for skills from different packs.
Electives are optional; your Sim doesn’t need to take any electives at all, but if they do choose to take an elective, they can only take up to 3 other classes. Sims are limited to 4 classes per term in total, so either 4 classes, or 3 classes and 1 elective.
Our recommendation? Take 3 classes and 1 elective every term for maximum academic success. Electives still count as credits towards your degree so taking an elective doesn’t hurt your progress at all, plus your Sim will graduate with a few extra skills thanks to the electives they took.
One term last 5 working days. There is no way to shorten or lengthen a term. They are fixed periods. Sims can begin a new term anytime during the week, but weekends don’t count as term days. If your Sim starts a new term on a Friday, the term won’t end until Thursday the following week. Starting a new term in the middle of the week can be a good academic strategy for dedicated students because it will give them the weekend to catch up on homework and final assignments.
How many terms your Sim needs to complete in order to graduate is entirely dependent on how many classes they decide to take per term. A Sim needs to earn 12 credits in order to graduate.
Here is the breakdown of how many terms your Sim will need to complete based upon their classes:
- 4 classes per term = 3 terms (15 working days)
- 3 classes per term = 4 terms (20 working days)
- 2 classes per term = 6 terms (30 working days)
- 1 class per term = 12 terms (60 working days)
These calculations are based on the assumption that your Sim completes the same number of classes every term. It is possible to take a different number of classes each term (4 classes one term, 2 the next term, for example), in which case the number of terms needed to graduate will vary.
Even if a Sim only takes 3 terms to graduate, they will still spend the majority of their young adult life in university; however, unlike past Sims games, your Sims are not trapped on campus with no way to work or live a life outside of university. Sims can live wherever they want, have a job, and raise a family while going to school, so this balances things out. If the length of university is not ideal for your play style, we recommend turning aging off in the game options while your Sim is in university. That way, they don’t lose any time to climb a career ladder or pursue other life goals.
Of course, you will want to be taking 4 classes every term for maximum efficiency. Sims who don’t mind sacrificing their social life and plan to devote all their time to their studies should take a full course load every term.
It’s important to actually attend class in order to get the most out of your university education. Missing class will hurt your grades. Sims in the area will autonomously try to get to class a little early. Sims who’ve arrived to class early will wait outside the building with the other early bird students. This can be a good time to get some last minute homework finished or to quickly finish the rest of that coffee and snack you purchased to-go at the cafe vendor.
While your Sim is inside the classroom rabbithole, they will have various options available to them by clicking on their portrait, much like the different work options for inactive careers. Click the class icon on the Sim’s portrait to see the various actions they can take in class. Sims can Actively Listen, Take Notes, Sleep in Class, or Chat with Friends. To get the most out of every class, make sure your Sim is taking notes or actively listening. I’m sure we don’t need to tell you that sleeping in class and chatting with friends are not good ways to improve your grades.
If you’re taking a full course load, it’s likely that your Sim will have more than one class in a day, or even back to back classes. Make sure to check the career panel often to keep track of your class schedule so you can budget your time for homework, finals, and self-care effectively.
Ideally, you will want your Sim to attend every single class with all of their homework completed and taking an active role in the class while they are there. This will ensure your Sim gets the most out of their classes and, in turn, gets the best grades at the end of term.
Every course your Sim takes has homework due before every class. When your Sim enrolls in university, they are automatically given a homework notebook in their personal inventory. Sims can complete homework for all their classes using this notebook. Homework takes some time to complete, but Sims with high enough Research & Debate skill complete homework faster.
Sims who stay on top of their homework and pay attention in class will get more out of attending classes and it will have a positive impact on their final grade. Always complete homework before every class and actively pay attention in class for maximum academic success.
In addition to homework that must be completed on a regular basis throughout the term, each class also has a final. Finals are very important and worth a large chunk of your grade. Skipping out on your finals will have a big negative impact on your final grade, so make sure you complete all of them.
Each class will have different requirements for its final. Some classes will require your Sim to write a term paper. Others have final exams and presentations. Look at your class schedule in the career panel to see what’s required of each class.
Exams take place during the last class of the term. If your Sim has done all their homework and attended all their classes, they’re likely to do well on their exam, but Sims can also study for a class using a course book purchased from the university kiosk, a computer, or research station to boost their chances of doing well on their exam.
Don’t miss your final exam! Failing to write the exam results in a big fat zero and will seriously hurt your final grade!
PSST! You can also cheat on your exam by selecting the option on your Sim’s portrait while they’re in the exam… but you would never do that… would you? Getting caught has serious consequences.
Term papers can be written on the computer under the University menu option. A Sim can write and submit a term paper for a class at any point during the term, so dedicated Sims might want to get these out of the way early.
Term papers take a long time to complete, but Sims with high enough Research & Debate skill complete term papers faster. The first draft of a term paper is usually poor quality. Your Sim can submit poor quality term papers, but f they want the best grade, they should spend some time editing their paper before they submit it.
Term papers can be edited until they are outstanding quality. You’ll receive a notification telling you that your term paper won’t benefit from any further editing once your Sim has increased its quality to outstanding. Scrolling over the term paper option in the computer’s menu will tell you the quality of the term paper.
When your Sim is satisfied with the quality of their paper, they can submit it using the computer.
PSST! You can also plagiarize your term papers by selecting the plagiarize option on the computer… but you would never do that… would you? Getting caught has serious consequences.
Your Sim will receive a presentation board in their personal inventory at the start of term for any classes that have a presentation requirement as their final. Presentations function similar to term papers; your Sim will need to compile all of their material on the board, then refine the presentation board until it’s suitable to present in class.
To start, drag the presentation board out of your Sim’s inventory and into the world somewhere, then choose the Capture Information option on the board. Your Sim will spend some time compiling all their material for their presentation onto the board. When they’ve finished, they will have a poor quality presentation board. You can see the board’s quality by hovering over it.
Sims can improve the quality of their presentation by refining and organizing it, and asking other Sims for feedback on their presentation. They can also practice their presentation. Practicing presentations builds the Charisma skill. Once the board cannot be improved any further, you will receive a notification informing you that your Sim’s presentation board looks great and that continuing to fiddle with it won’t improve it any more.
When your Sim is satisfied with the quality of their presentation, they can go to class with the presentation board in their inventory and present it. Presentations do not take place during regular classes; your Sim must click on the class rabbithole and select the presentation option. Presentations can only be given during the day. Your Sim won’t be able to present in the middle of the night.
Final Grades & Starting a New Term
If your Sim has done all their homework, attended every class as an active participant, and completed all their finals with outstanding quality, they should have no trouble getting an A+ grade in every class. However, perfect grades don’t come easy. You’ll find that your Sim has little to no time for extracurricular activities, organizations, or socialising when they are taking 4 classes and trying to achieve an A+ grade in every single one of them. University is definitely a rewarding challenge in The Sims 4, just like in the real world.
Since grades aren’t given out until the end of term, it’s up to your Sim to take a proactive approach to finding out how they’re doing in their classes. They can visit their professors during their office hours or email them on the computer to get an idea of how they’re performing in their classes and how they can improve.
Once all coursework has been submitted, your Sim will be free to enjoy themselves (for once) while their final grades are being processed. Once the final grades are in, you’ll receive a popup with all your final grades for each class, as well as your overall GPA.
From there, you can choose to enroll in another term right away, or take some time off before starting a new term. If your Sim has any scholarships, they must enroll in a new term immediately or they will lose their scholarships. Tuition costs for the new term will be handled at this point as well. Sims can pay with household funds or take out a loan to pay any tuition costs for the new term that scholarships don’t cover.
Your Sim will also be given the opportunity to make different housing arrangements at the start of each new term. They can choose to stay wherever they are currently living, or move somewhere else. This change does not happen right away. Your Sim will have about a day left in their old residence, which gives them an opportunity to pack up any personal items they may have purchased for their living space. A small “Packing Up” event will occur a couple hours before the move to remind your Sim to gather up their things, too.
As long as your Sim continues on the path to success they started in their first term, all their future terms are bound to result in perfect A+ grades across the board. Keep doing that homework, working on those finals, and paying attention in class!
Have any tips of your own for academic success? Share them with us in the comments or come chat with us on social media!