If you’ve ever been to university, you know how stressful it is. It’s no different in The Sims 4, but being a rather realistic life simulation game, you can expect that. The Sims 4 Discover University Expansion Pack allows you to pack your Sims off to university to get a degree. However, university in The Sims 4 is no picnic. If you want your Sim to get the highest grades, then prepare for a long, hard slog. If you are unprepared for this journey, then you might find yourself having a nervous breakdown, not just your Sim. That’s what this guide is for, to give you tips for The Sims 4 Discover University on how to get through university without losing your sanity. Find out what you need to do to make sure your Sim’s time at university is as painless as possible.
The Sims 4 is available free-to-play on PC, Mac, Xbox and PlayStation. Discover University can be purchased for $39.99 USD.
Make sure to check out our other guides for The Sims 4:
- Fears Guide
- How to Have Triplets
- World Guides for Tartosa (My Wedding Stories Game Pack) and Copperdale (High School Years Expansion)
- Jungle Adventure Tips
- Cheats for Base Game, Expansions, and Game Packs
Learn the Research & Debate Skill ASAP
Sims at school get homework. Sims also get homework at university, but there’s a lot more of it and it takes longer to complete. If your Sim is doing the maximum of 4 classes per semester, that means they’ve got 4 different pieces of homework. With every homework taking ages to do, you may find that it takes over your Sim’s life while they’re at university.
This leads to the first major tip for The Sims 4 Discover University: learn the Research & Debate skill as soon as you possibly can. Specifically, get to level 3. At this level, your Sims will complete their homework faster. They won’t zip through it, but there will be a difference. You should learn the R&D skill as soon as your Sim enrols in university, or ideally before.
There are a few ways to learn the Research & Debate skill. You can learn it from a skill book, but experience is the best way. You can Practice Debate using a mirror, or use the podium from the debating club. In my experience, the best method for learning R&D is by using the research computer at the university library. This isn’t like the other computers in the game. This special computer allows you to research different skills, gaining skill in them as well as R&D. By using the research computer, your Sim will quickly rise to level 3 of R&D, while learning a few other skills as well.
Why stop at level 3? As you climb the ranks of the Research & Debate skill, you’ll unlock many useful things. At level 4, your Sim will study faster. At level 5, they can persuade other Sims to do their homework for them. At level 6, your Sim can complete presentations and term papers faster, another time-consuming task at university.
Whenever your Sim has a free moment, get them to work on their Research & Debate skill. At the very least, get it to level 3 so you can get that homework done faster, meaning you’ve got more time to do other things.
Do Homework As Soon As You Get It
Completing classwork is compulsory if you want your Sim to do well at university. Not doing it can have a big impact on your Sim’s final grade. Here’s your second major tip for The Sims 4 Discover University: if you want your Sim to succeed and get the best grades, get that homework done ASAP.
When you begin a new term, you’ll have new classes, and new homework to complete. Do it as soon as the new term begins.
If you find juggling all the homework a struggle or you don’t have time to do it all at once, a general rule is to prioritize which homework to do first. Start with the one whose class is coming up first. Look at your class schedule and find out when all your classes are. Here’s an example on how to prioritize homework. If it’s Sunday in your game, do the homework for the Monday classes first. If you have more than one class on Monday, do the homework of the first class of that day, then the next, and so on.
Don’t leave homework until the last minute. Chances are you won’t have time to finish them. Even with level 3 Research & Debate, homework takes time. If you have half-finished homework before heading to class, when you finish, the progress for that homework will reset and you’ll have to start again.
Another tip for The Sims 4 Discover University is to do some homework while you’re waiting outside your next class. If you’re organized and let your Sim automatically head to their classroom an hour before class is due to start, you’ll have some time to kill. You can use this time to complete some homework. You won’t get it all done before class, but it gives you a head start.
On top of having a level 3 R&D skill, it’s generally a good idea to head to the university library to do your homework. Your Sim should be more focused and work faster. It’s a good place to work as well, the library being much quieter than a hectic dorm.
Do Term Papers and Presentations Early
As well as attending classes and doing homework, you’ll have term papers and presentations to complete. Every degree you do has these. You’ll likely have one or the other – or both – per semester. A good tip for The Sims 4 Discover University is not to neglect either of these extra homework, if you want to pass the class with an A+.
Like homework, term papers and presentations should not be left until the last minute. Term papers have to be edited and then submitted via a computer, and presentation boards have to be assembled and then presented in a classroom. On a day where you’ve got classes, organization meetings, part-time jobs and managing your Needs, you don’t want to submit a paper or presentation in a rush.
As soon as a new semester starts, find out if you have any term papers or presentations to do. Prioritize any outstanding homework first, then once that’s done, you can focus on the paper or presentation. You may not feel like it after hours of scribbling away in an exercise book, but it has to be done. Putting together a presentation and writing up a paper isn’t too strenuous, but they both take time.
To write a term paper, you need a computer. Your Sim can buy a computer if they don’t own one, but they are pricey. If your budget is limited, you can find a computer in a few places. You can find PCs at libraries, including the university library, or in the dorm, if you’re staying there. Term papers are easier to do than presentations. Your Sim will write up a first draft, and you’ll get notified when it’s done – except it isn’t yet. It won’t be the best quality, so if you want that top grade, make sure to edit the paper. Continue doing this until you get a new notification that your Sim has done as much as they can with their paper. This means it’s ready to submit. At this point, it should be ‘Outstanding’, guaranteeing your Sim a good grade. Make sure that the paper isn’t Poor or Normal before you send it off.
Make sure the paper has definitely been submitted before the end of the semester. You must submit it once your Sim has finished with it. Writing it isn’t enough to complete the task. Your Sim won’t get the extra points for it unless they send it away to be marked. You’ll see that it has been submitted in the Work panel, with this task struck off in gold.
You can also submit a plagiarized paper, but this is highly risky and can have serious consequences if your Sim is caught. A tip for The Sims 4 Discover University: don’t resort to cheating!
Submitting presentations comes in two stages; putting it together and then presenting it. At the start of the semester, a blank presentation board will appear in your Sim’s inventory. These can be dragged out of your Sim’s inventory so they can work on it. Find a big enough space, ideally somewhere quiet, so they can get to work on it. Like term papers, your Sim produces an initial board, but it’s not the best quality. Your Sim will have to Refine and Organize it to get it to an Excellent quality. As your Sim works on their board, you can visibly see it coming together. An Excellent board looks very different to a poor quality one.
Once the board is done, the final stage is to actually present it. This involves your Sim going to their classroom. One vital reason you mustn’t leave your presentation until the last minute is because performing this task is rather restricted, hence why this tip for The Sims 4 Discover University is so important. You can only present your board between the hours of 9am and 4pm, and not at weekends. This can be tricky if your Sim has classes during the day, but you will have time to do your presentation, even on a max four-class schedule. The presentation only takes an hour of your Sim’s time, so as soon as they’ve finished their board and they’ve got a free hour, send them to present it. You can initiate the presentation by clicking on the board and selecting Give Final Presentation. Once the presentation is over, the coursework will be marked as completed.
Attend All Classes and Exams
Attending classes at university is the equivalent of your Sim heading off to work. They head over to a building and disappear for over an hour. Class attendance may be a bit of a chore, but it’s part of the university experience, and your Sim should go. Missing a class can have a negative impact on their final grade.
Sims can have a maximum of three classes per day, depending on the degree and the number of classes they’re taking. Ideally, they’ll have two classes each day on a maximum schedule. This leaves them some time to do their homework, any term papers or presentations, tending to their Needs, as well as organizations or jobs.
An hour before class is due, your Sim should automatically head over to the building where their class is. Let them do so, as it can sometimes take them ages to get to class. If your Sim gets there early, they can do something to pass the time before they head in. A tip for The Sims 4 Discover University: use this time wisely!
Once in class, your Sim has a few options. By default, their activity is set to Attend Class Normally, which doesn’t do much, but if you’ve completed the homework for this class, you should still do well. If you want your Sim to be a guaranteed straight-A student, get them to Take Notes as soon as class starts (another major tip for this guide for The Sims 4 Discover University). They can also Actively Listen, which increases the skill of the class they’re learning. They can also socialize with other students, which helps with the Social Need but not their class performance. You can also choose to Sleep in Class, if your Sim is tired and you’re not fussed about gaining anything.
When class is over, you’ll see a message telling you how well your Sim did. Those wanting to get A+s will want to see a message that your Sim is confident about doing well. You don’t want to be told that your Sim could have done better.
If your Sim isn’t doing a term paper or presentation for their class, then they’ll do a Final Exam on the last day of class. Before their exam, make sure your Sim has done everything to be prepared. Make sure your Sim has done their homework, and if you’re worried about your grade, do some extra studying. The final exam happens in place of your normal class. Make sure your Sim attends! Missing it is not a good idea. The only options available during exams are Attend Normally, Sleep and Cheat. Just let your Sim get on with it and hopefully you’ll have done enough to get a good grade.
Do Some Extra Studying If You Think You Need To
As long as you attend all classes and exams and are attentive, as well as completing all homework, term papers and presentations, you should be all set for that A+ at the end of the semester. However, if you’re not sure you’re going to bag that top grade, you can always do some extra studying, a tip you should keep in mind for The Sims 4 Discover University.
Things may crop up during your time at university that may affect your grade; your Sim might have missed a class or two, or even the big exam. You may have forgotten to do that term paper or presentation, or you just ran out of time. Perhaps your Sim neglected their homework or didn’t pay enough attention in class. Accidental or otherwise, these things can negatively affect your final grade. Luckily, you can do extra studying to bump up your grade.
You can study via two ways. You can purchase a book on the course you are doing. This is available from the university stands around campus. You can also study from a computer under the University option. A few hours of reading should notch your grade up. Note that you cannot study after the final class or exam of the semester. The fate of your Sim’s grades are in their professor’s hands!
If you’re unsure of where your grade stands, you can check in with your professor by using a computer. They’ll give you a message hinting at how they think you’ll do. If you’re set for an A+, they’ll tell you you’re doing a great job. If you’re about average or on track to fail, they’ll let you know, suggesting you might benefit from some extra studying.
Don’t Neglect Your Sims’ Needs
Needs play a big part in The Sims. A Sim with low Needs will function poorly. They’ll be unhappy, constantly complain, and won’t be in the mood to do anything. All these are bad for your Sim’s time at university. You can’t expect your Sim to study or work when their Needs are in the red.
With your Sim being so focused on their studies, Needs can sometimes take a back seat, but they shouldn’t. It can be a real struggle to maintain your Sim’s Needs while reaching for that A+, on top of everything else, but it is doable. A big tip for The Sims 4 Discover University is learning how to organize your Sim. Here’s how you can manage all six of your Sim’s individual Needs.
Of all the Needs, Hunger is the top priority. This you must never ever neglect. If it hits rock bottom, your Sim dies, as simple as that. Hungry Sims also complain a lot and are in a bad mood, so you don’t even want the Hunger Need in the orange.
Between all the classes, studying, assignments, and everything else, it can be hard to find a moment to stop and eat – but you have to.
If you live in a dorm, despite there being no kitchen, there should be at least one Sim putting out plates of food for Sims to help themselves. These won’t spoil for hours once they’re served up, and they fill your Sims up nicely, so take advantage of them. However, if for some reason dorm food isn’t being dished out, there are other means of getting food.
If you live in a dorm and you find that food isn’t being served up, get yourself a mini fridge. Build Mode isn’t available, but you can get one from the university shop. They’re not very expensive. If you’ve got the extra cash, you should also get yourself a microwave. You can place it on top of the fridge and heat up some quick and easy meals to keep you going.
The two campuses, University of Britechester and Foxbury Institute, have food stands. This is useful if you want to eat food on the go. There’s only four choices available, but it’s better than nothing and they’re not expensive. The food stands aren’t always open though, so this may not always be an option. If you have Seasons installed, seasonal food stalls may also pop up, so take advantage of these while they’re around.
Another option is the Pepper’s Pub, located not far from the library. They serve the usual bar grub to fill you up, so long as someone is at the bar. It’s a good hangout place too, if your Sim wants to socialize and fulfil their Fun Need with the TV, stereo, and ping-pong table.
If your Sim quickly needs a snack to keep them going, consider getting fruit and veg, anything your Sim can eat on the go.
With so much going on at university, your Sims can find themselves getting tired. Try not to let this happen. With classes and coursework, your Sim needs to be focused and alert, not crashing in bed – or on the floor.
A good tip for The Sims 4 Discover University is to make sure your Sim has a proper bedtime routine. Try not to have too many late nights; some classes start early in the morning. You should send your Sim to bed no later than midnight if you want them to get a decent night’s sleep.
If your Sim does find themselves getting tired during the day, find a free few hours to catch up on some Zzzz’s. Grab a nap in bed, or even on a bench if you need to. If your Sim’s Energy is low and there’s no time to sleep, if you have a spare 400 satisfaction points, buy a Sleep Replacement potion from the Rewards Store to fill up their Energy Need. Your Sims can also catch a nap during classes and exams, but if you want your Sim to get an A+, it’s best not to unless you’re really desperate.
Bladder is easy to take care of: just go to the toilet! It can be easy to neglect the bladder Need though, if you’re focused on your Sim’s studies. When it dips into the orange, finish up what you’re doing and get them to the restroom. Also, if your Sim goes to class with low bladder, the Bladder meter may fill up while they’re there.
When your Sims are fully focused on their coursework, the Fun Need can easily be forgotten. A tip for The Sims 4 Discover University: don’t forget to let your Sims have some fun! They will not be happy otherwise. If your Sim’s Fun Need is getting low, wrap up whatever university work they are doing and find something fun to do. Dorms have a few fun activities available, such as the TV, stereos, game table, and computer. For a quick fun boost, your Sim can browse the internet or play games on their phone. You could also carry a book around for your Sim to read.
Studying and coursework can be isolating, hence the Social Need might become neglected. It’s pretty easy to get your Sim’s Social Need out of the red. At university, your Sim is never alone. There’s always someone around to talk to. This is especially the case if you live in a dorm. Your Sim has their phone as well, so they can call or text someone. You can socialize during class time, but this may have a negative impact on your Sim’s final grade, so save the chit-chat for outside of class hours.
Hygiene’s another Need that’s pretty easy to deal with, yet easy to neglect as well with all that studying. The dorms have shower stalls that you can use for a quick wash, or just wash your hands or brush your teeth at the sink if you haven’t even got time for a quick shower. Just don’t let this Need get into the red. Stinky Sims aren’t happy Sims.
Save Money Where You Can
Here’s a big tip if you’re playing Discover University: spend what you need, save what you can. It might be the case that you’re playing as a starter Sim, or you’re just low on funds. Going to university in The Sims 4 isn’t free. You get charged 75 simoleons for just enrolling, and you have to pay for every semester. There’s also books to buy, as well as other stuff you might need. Therefore, attending university can sometimes get expensive. However, it doesn’t have to drain your Sim’s pockets. There are ways to save money at university.
Your Sims can live on campus in a dorm. This costs money per semester for your board, but dorms offer plenty of ways to spare your bucks. Your fellow roommates can conjure meals out of thin air, saving you having to buy food or spend money to cook it yourself. You can also harvest fruit and veg from various worlds and neighborhoods so you can snack on them as you go. Dorms also guarantee a place to sleep, have fun, socialize, and tend to other Needs such as bladder and hygiene. You can’t use Build Mode while living in a dorm, but you don’t really need it. You have everything you need already.
Saying that, you can choose for your Sims not to live on campus. Your Sims can study and live at home. You might miss out not living on campus, but it saves money on board, so this is an option if you wish.
While at university, you may be tempted to buy a laptop that you can carry around everywhere or your own mini fridge to provide snacks and quick meals, as well as study books in case you fall behind. Truth is though, you don’t really need these things. They cost a lot of money, and you can manage without. If you do have plenty of cash to spare, by all means get them, but don’t feel that you have to. Computers are available at the library, and there should be at least one in your dorm. They may not be high-end PCs, and you might have to boot another Sim off of them, but they get the job done. You can get food in plenty of places, so a mini fridge isn’t really necessary. Study books are expensive, and chances are you’ll buy them and then never read them, so don’t waste your simoleons. You can use the computer to study anyway, and if you keep on top of your classes and assignments, they won’t be needed.
If your Sims do find themselves short on money, there’s plenty of ways to get some. Get a part-time job, do some odd-jobs, find and sell collectibles, tutor a class, make something for profit, sell stuff you don’t need; the possibilities are endless. There’s always a way to make money in The Sims 4.
Schedule Too Hectic? Reduce Classes Per Semester
University is an unforgettable experience like no other, but it can also be stressful. There are classes, assignments, managing Needs, your Sim’s social life, clubs, and jobs. All this can easily get on top of you and your Sim. Having a hectic and unbalanced schedule can lead to something getting neglected, whether it be your Sim’s grades, their Needs, or their work performance. Don’t let your Sims suffer. University is very rewarding, but don’t take on too much. If you’re new to the university experience, taking a max of four classes may not be the best idea, unless you want a challenge. If you’re struggling with four classes and everything else, here’s another Discover University tip for you: reduce your schedule.
Your Sim can take at least one class per semester and a maximum of four. If you find juggling four different classes a struggle, scale it back. Reduce the number of classes to three, or two, or even just one. Taking less classes per semester may mean spending more weeks at university, but this does give your Sim more breathing space, plus more time to focus on other things. Freeing up class time will give you more time for your social life, keeping your Sims happier, or taking on a job or club. If you feel like classes and assignments are taking over your Sim’s life, don’t be afraid to scale it back.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend forever on your degree, take the max of four classes per semester. Each class gives your Sim credit towards their degree. They need to pass 12 classes altogether to graduate from university. This means that the shortest time your Sim can spend at university to get their degree is 3 weeks. If you just do one class every week, it’ll take 12 weeks altogether! If you want to get through university fast and want to focus on your coursework, that’s fine, but this might mean having to sacrifice other aspects of your Sim’s life. They may not be able to attend an organization meeting if it clashes with class, or they may need to prioritize a presentation over meeting with friends. Then again, you may find a way to juggle everything. Organization is key.
Final Tips for The Sims 4 Discover University
Here are a few final tips for attending university:
- Unhappy with university? Do you feel you’re wasting your time with the degree you’re doing? Are you not happy with where you’re residing while studying? You can change university, the degree, or your accommodation anytime. You’re presented with this option at the end of every semester. If there’s something you’re not happy about, you can change it. Don’t feel obligated to finish a degree or stay in one place throughout your whole time. Also, don’t forget that you can drop out of university altogether if you’re really not happy and don’t feel that you’re gaining anything.
- Unsure of what degree to do? Consider what you’d like your Sim to do as a career. If you don’t know the answer to this, think about doing something that might interest your Sim. What are their highest level skills or interests? Remember that you can swap degrees if you change your mind after starting.
- While you’re at university, you should consider joining an organization. These are exclusive to those enrolled in university and they’re unlike any other club or activity. Just make sure your hectic class schedule can accommodate it!
- If you’re planning to study for a career that comes in an Expansion, Game or Stuff Pack, you may need to take an Elective Class so you can study for a skill not available in the degrees. For example, the Gardener career from Seasons has the Flower Arranging skill, which you don’t learn in any of the 12 degrees, but you can take an Elective Class for. However, this means not being able to do the max 4 classes per semester, extending your time at university. If you want to avoid this, simply learn the skill you’ll need for the career by other means, such as from a skill book or hands-on experience.
- Your Sims will be at university for at least 3 in-game weeks, which can really eat into your Sim’s lifespan. Consider turning off aging while at university, or setting the lifespan to Long.
- Make sure you don’t miss your Sim’s graduation ceremony! This usually takes place the morning after their last official day of classes. You can find out the exact time by opening up the calendar. Make sure the ceremony doesn’t clash with anything; you might want to cancel any other plans. If you do happen to miss it, don’t worry. Your Sim will still graduate.
- After the graduation ceremony, your Sim has the chance to pack up any stuff they may have scattered around their dorm. Make sure you don’t leave anything valuable behind, such as mini fridges or computers. Even if you don’t plan to keep these, you can still sell them for money.
That rounds up all the tips you need to know about succeeding in university in The Sims 4 Discover University Expansion Pack. Let us know in the comments how you manage university life in Discover University!