The grades you get in college, and the amount of time you have for extra activities, depends on HOW you study. One can study for hours, and still not do well in classes. The secret is in knowing the right study skills. The ability to study well and to learn increases your grades and the quality of your education. In the end, the choices you have for a career are impacted by your grades, and therefore your study skills, since those students with the highest grades get the best jobs. In addition, good study habits give you more time for extra curricular activities.

Knowing how to study brings many other rewards, including a well functioning brain. As upi get older, this will help ward off degenerative brain diseases and age-related mental decline. No two people study the same. Everyone is different; what works for one person may not work for another. However, your success in college is dependent on your ability to study effectively. Poor study habits result in wasted time, frustration and low or failing grades. It’s your life, your time and your future. Good information skills are essential for successful professionals.

Some pointers for good study habits include:

  • Do difficult tasks first. (i.e., study your hardest class first; write the most difficult paper first).
  • Break large tasks into smaller tasks. Don’t try to write a paper, learn math, etc., all at once. Start with smaller, more attainable elements.
  • Have a special place where you can spend your most beneficial time studying. Be sure the lighting is good, and you can relax your eyes by looking out a window or a picture; whatever works best for you. Have paper, and other supplies available.
  • If you get tired or bored, switch to a different subject or task.
  • Study for twenty minutes, stop a minute and look around and go back to studying. After fifty minutes, get up and walk around; get a coke or drink of water, etc., for about ten minutes then go back to studying.
  • Have a calendar for deadlines for papers due or tests. Then go through your syllabi and mark the calendar. Check the calendar often.
  • Start your papers early. You can write and rewrite your papers and let someone other than yourself read the paper for comments and make changes. (Allow others to make comments, and take them seriously. You are writing the paper for a reason; one of them is to get a good grade, another is to learn about a subject, as well as to learn how to write. It is counter productive to refuse to make changes because you cannot handle others’ remarks about your paper). One good place to go is the Writing Center in Douglas Hall.
  • Start studying for an exam at least a week, preferably two weeks, before an exam. Twenty-four hours before the exam, stop studying and let your subconscious take over (you may study for another exam, take a hike, visit a friend, but do not study for this test). Go to bed early and get a good night’s rest. Eat a good breakfast and go relaxed to your exam. You will be amazed how much better you do.
  • Have a goal. If you do not know yet in what you want to major, come in to Student Support Services, or Academic Support to do a career inventory and find out about your interests. The following are links to study skills posted from other universities. Since Student Support Services is not the author of this material, we cannot take direct responsibility for content. However, we liked the information found on these sites and are pleased to be able to make these links accessible for you to get the information to help you study in the way that is best for you.

Online references
Study Strategies Homepage
Preparing, Learning, Studying
Professor Freedman’s Math Help