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establishing good study habits
Efficient Use of Time
"I'm here to tell you what I think is a key to academic survival and success.
The first and most important thing I feel, at least to survival and success
in the classroom, is efficient use of your time outside the classroom. Remember,
there are 24 hours in a day. Set aside two to three hours each day for studying.
This will leave you with five to six hours -- after we subtract time for
our classes, meals, and a good night's sleep -- to do those things that we
like to do much more than studying. The next thing that I feel contributes
to survival and success in the classroom is periodic review of your lecture
notes and the appropriate chapters in your textbooks. Periodic review and
beginning to study for your exams early will save you time in the long run
and it will prevent cramming. That way you can be well rested and more motivated
and less anxious on test day. The last thing you can do to help get good
grades is take advantage of all the academic resources at your university.
It can only help you."
|- By Dante Battles
|The Power of
"Education often looks like competition. We compete for interest in school,
for grades when we're in school, and for jobs when we leave school. In such
a climate it is easy to overlook the power of cooperation that is developed
through study support groups. Study support groups feed you energy. People
are social animals and we draw strength from groups. Aside from the comradery,
the fellowship and the fun, support groups can assist you by elevating your
spirit. There will be days when you just don't want to work on your education.
Other members of the study group, however, can support you and encourage
you. In addition to drawing strength from the group when you're down, you
can give support to others yourself as they need it. A study support group
is also a good place to build rewarding relationships with people. So remember
your friends and classmates when you study."
|- By Mike Brown
|Mixing Studies with Social
"The most successful students balance social activities with good study habits.
A diversion from studies will alleviate stress and help prevent you from
becoming fatigued. So make sure you take a break for an hour after studies
to meet with friends, to play some cards, work out at the gym, or to gab
with a new acquaintance. You'll find your concentration sharpen when you
do study, if you plan a social activity afterwards. To develop a healthy
social life, develop routine study habits. After supper, lug your books and
homework to the library, find a comfortable and quiet niche, and study for
two or three hours, taking intermittent 10 minute breaks every 45 minutes
or so. Make a friend with whom you share similar study habits, and share
a table or a study space with them. Remember, after you've completed your
work for the evening, take time for a social activity before retiring for
the evening. You'll wake up feeling refreshed and prepared for another day."
|- By Mark Crilly
|Setting a Comfortable
"Are you frustrated at not performing at a level equal to your potential
in your courses? This tip is to help maximize your academic efforts. A good
grade in a course is almost never the result of luck. The key is to set yourself
at a comfortable pace for studying. What is your comfortable pace? Once you
determine this, consistency is the secret. Setting aside time for focused
study every day will probably result in a higher grade point average. Make
falling behind a thing of the past! Also, for each course you have, rate
your interest level and the type of course, list the course requirements,
set a goal for the grade you wish to earn, and establish a study schedule.
A study schedule will guarantee better grades and may actually reduce the
study time you spend now. Be sure to incorporate some review time each study
period. Your study schedule must be convenient and you must adhere to it.
Increased study time with consistency will spell success. I have seen it
work for students."
|- By Jean Fera
|Changing Your Habits
"How are you? I'm Dr. John Feldmeier with an Academic Survival Tip. But first,
I want you to find a pencil or pen so you can write down what I'm about to
say. Ready, please write this down. The past does not equal the future. Once
again, the past does not equal the future. Next, I want you to take what
you have written down and place it where you will see it each and every day.
Okay, what does it mean? It means those poor study habits such as not completing
assignments, missing classes, and staying up too late before your next class
do not have to be repeated in the future. Who can make these changes? Yes,
you're correct. You, and only you, can change the future to achieve more
success and productivity. Remember, don't let the past be your future. Make
these changes for a better life."
|- By John Feldmeier
"We all know the importance of maintaining a car. We can push it to the limit,
but sooner or later it starts to run poorly. By setting aside some time for
a little maintenance, we can keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, we tend to forget these simple truths when they're applied
to college life. We push ourselves to keep up with demands and ignore warning
signs such as decreased productivity and a negative attitude. We fail to
recognize that some time spent on rest and relaxation may actually save time
in the long run. People often notice that their mood improves and they work
more effectively after taking a break. Personal maintenance may include very
simple and inexpensive activities such as taking a walk in the snow, having
dinner with a friend, or listening to some favorite music. So take a little
time out today to do something fun and relaxing -- your system just might
run a little smoother tomorrow."
|- By Gary LaBine
|Immediate Review of Class
"The study suggestion that I recommend is the one that I am still working
on applying in my last semester of graduate school -- that is, to go home
and review as soon as possible what you have heard and learned in class.
Otherwise, 80% of what was learned will be forgotten. So, as soon as you
can after class, review the class notes or the related chapter text. When
you do this type of review, you may have the satisfying experience of ideas
relating, making sense, and fitting together for you. At times, you may also
experience a very interesting phenomena. Sometimes it feels like light bulbs
are going on in your brain when these connections are made. And that's the
good side. The other side is that this requires self-discipline and requires
planned effort. Yes, I mean a planned study schedule. But it is a rewarding
learning experience and I recommend it to you. This may also be done in reverse
and this may also be easier. Immediately prior to a class, read the chapter
text material that will be covered in the lecture that day. You will be one
of the few students who will understand the lecture, be able to answer questions,
ask questions and thus participate. And you will feel "real" knowledgeable.
This has an instant positive feedback effect and will also enable you to
retain more information. So, schedule daily study time and schedule one or
the other of these techniques into your planned study time."
|- By Nina Maddalon-Perino
"There are times when, no matter how interesting a subject might be, it's
still very difficult to stay awake when studying. Say you have several chapters
to read for the next class. You have the time to do it, but you're having
trouble keeping those "baby blues" open and focused. Try this. First, buy
an egg timer, one of those little white ones that clicks off the seconds
quietly. Set the timer for ten minute intervals. Read until the timer goes
off. Then get up and move around for a couple minutes -- maybe sip some fruit
juice. Then set the timer and repeat the process. If the moving around and
sipping isn't enough, try some deep knee bends, sit ups, or muscle-stretching
activities. The idea is to keep the blood moving through the brain. You'll
be surprised at the amount of information you cover in a short period of
|- By Donna Patterson
|Put Academics First
"As a Department Chair, I have the opportunity to talk with many second semester
freshmen in my area; unfortunately, some of them are on academic probation
or have lower Q.P.A.'s than they want. And the reason I hear most often is,
"Well, I goofed off the first semester and didn't really study that hard."
That statement causes me to advise students to do two things:
Put academics first and really mean it. This might include studying in a
quiet place, reading assignments more than once, taking copious notes, and
starting on your papers at least a week before they're due.
Get enough sleep and eat well. Don't stay up late night after late night
talking with your friends; try getting up for breakfast and studying before
class. This means, my friends, that you can socialize only on weekends and
still not much in the beginning until you see where you're going to stand
Remember, you don't flunk out if you miss parties; you flunk out when you
miss classes and don't commit to doing your best work."
|- By Marilyn Sheerer
|More About Time Management
"Are you having trouble remembering information when you take a test? Do
you feel overwhelmed with the amount of material you need to learn? Information
stored in short-term memory can begin to decay within a short time unless
effort is made to place the material in long term memory. Research indicates
that unless you review within 24 hours, 80% of the material can be forgotten.
By reviewing information as soon as possible you will not only increase the
amount of material you will remember, but you will also decrease the hours
of study needed before an exam. You can build review sessions into your daily
schedule by following a few simple steps. First, avoid scheduling back to
back classes. Use the time in between your classes to review your notes.
Dot your "i's", cross your "t's" and write out abbreviations. This will only
take you two or three minutes and will aid in retention of the material.
Second, use small amounts of time to review. Try to avoid marathon study
sessions, since they tend to be overwhelming and cause students to procrastinate
even more. Third, time wasted in line at the bookstore or waiting at the
laundromat can be used to review and organize notes. The key is time management.
Learning to budget your time will give you more time for frequent reviewing
so that less time is spent cramming."
|- By Kate Strosser
"You know, it's really easy, especially during this time of the semester,
to look at all the things you have to do, and -- well -- panic. Some people
even go into withdrawal because they don't know what to do -- they are overcome,
and do nothing at all, and of course the worst happens. The solution to this
problem sounds flip, but it really isn't. Don't look at the whole picture.
Keep your attention focussed only on each individual step. Focus on your
math assignment -- don't also worry about your English paper and communications
project. Or, write that first draft now, and worry about the final format
later. But, above all, do it now. If you keep up with each step, the whole
will take care of itself automatically. You don't have to worry, and who
knows, you might even get some sleep."
|- By Peter van den Honert
|Studying Can Be Fun
"I run across countless students who view studying as arduous, if not painful.
I would like to share a few tips that might help you approach studying in
an agreeable and productive fashion. First, schedule a block of time each
day that is created specifically for studying. Choosing the right time is
crucial. Some of us study most effectively in the morning; some in the evening.
The key is setting a study time that fits you personally, i.e. when you are
at your sharpest. If your difficulty is finding time to study, chances are
good that you're in the habit of doing something else that takes away from
your studies. Second, choose your studying place and be faithful to it. This
includes choosing a place that is nearby, quiet, and one lacking distractions.
It is also important that you find a place that is only associated with studying.
Many students often with good intentions make the mistake of choosing their
bed as their special studying place. Unfortunately, these students find that
what was going to be their study time turned into their nap time. Third,
create a pleasing atmosphere in which to study. Put on your favorite slippers
or make yourself a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate. Make your time special.
The trick is to change your feelings about studying. If you can do this,
your studying time can be more pleasurable and productive."
|- By Chris Mazzarella
|Why Fail When You Can
"When I was the Dean of Students at Philander Smith College in 1965, I did
a research project to determine why students fail. What I found to be true
in that survey of study habits more than 30 years ago still rings true
today--students fail because they don't know how to study or they don't know
what it means to study. The best advice I can give you to enable the achievement
of academic excellence is to develop sound study skills. First, make sure
you have a good study environment, a good desk, a sturdy chair, good light,
comfortable room temperature and a quiet atmosphere. That means you should
eliminate all external and internal distractions. Second, get a good overview
of your assignment before you start your work. Know what skills, facts and
ideas you are expected to master and the ground you are expected to cover.
Start with your most difficult subject first, while your mind is freshest
and most receptive. Develop a study schedule and stick to it. Schedule your
study time when you know you are at your best. Successful students agree
that a weekly schedule works best and provides the flexibility necessary
to make adjustments according to assignments. Finally, study your professors
as well as the subject matter. Ask faculty for study tips specific to the
subject at hand. The faculty in the Department of Academic Support Services
can provide additional assistance to you in developing good study habits."
|- By Frank Pogue
|Preparing to Participate in
"I have a very active schedule and couldn't accomplish the goals I've set
for myself if I didn't take time for preparation. Preparation can aid you
as well. You'll find that going to class is much more enjoyable if you're
prepared to participate. Not only will a professor take notice that you are
ready for class, but you'll find that you are also able to assist your classmates
by engaging them in discussions of that day's material. It's up to you to
decide if you want just a college degree or if you truly want a college
education. Prepare in advance so you don't find yourself behind the "eight
ball" when it is time to study for that all-important class or test. As a
recent non-traditional student at Edinboro University, I know what I'm talking
about when I say preparation is the key."
|- By Kip Allen
Since December 1999 - last modified: October 09, 2008