Study Skills

A systematic and strategic learning method is a key to success that motivates students to progress along the road of academic learning.

The process of study can be divided into different steps within which there are key strategies to improve reading and writing outcomes. In this section, a number of study skills that help achieve the outcomes is listed and discussed below.

  • Analyzing learning style
    • “Learning style is a multidimensional model that examines the factors that influence how a learner processes information” (Piscitelli, 2009, slide 9)
    • By using a questionnaire such as VARK, it may help students to catalogue his/her own preferences of learning style
  • Setting goals and time management
    • Goal settings enable student to identify the priorities of work. In order to set your goals, try to be clear for the following points:
      • Your goal should be positive
      • Your goal should be realistic
      • Your goal should be achievable
      • Your goals should be worth what it takes to achieve them
      • Your goals should include a time frame
      • Expect your goals to change as your life changes
  • Building a study schedule
    • A study schedule is a plan to decide what and when a student will study. It includes specific times for studying particular subjects as well as specific times for writing papers, conducting library researching, and completing homework assignments for each course.
      • Reasonable amounts of time
      • Set priorities
      • Try to combine activities
      • Plan ahead

In addition to the information by the University of Wolverhampton cited above, some other useful sources can be accessed. Below are some examples.

The Open Univesity (United Kingdom)
On the page about study skills, OU particularly highlights the key difficulty that a college student faces when s/he starts his or her college life. It states:

“In college, new students quickly find that they need to be organized and use their time efficiently. As opposed to high school, college instructors will not be there to constantly remind students to go to class and complete assignments on time. At this stage, students are expected to act like adults and are treated as such. Therefore, it is important for college students to learn good study skills to be effective and successful.”(Retrieved on 22nd August 2013 from http://www.openuniversity.edu/study-skills)

To help college students have a more effective learning, OU focuses on five areas: stress relief, better learning environment, organization skills, time management, and further helpful resources.

The Pennsylvania State University
According to PSU, “studying involves learning a complex set of skills, such as note taking, test taking, etc., that must be practiced in order for you to become a good student” (Retrieved on 22nd August 2013 from http://dus.psu.edu/academicsuccess/studyskills.html)

As OU, PSU provides a number of areas that are considered essential to learning: reading comprehension, note taking, test taking, writing, understanding, study math/science, team working, and additional sources.

College of DuPage
Dr. Lynn J. Fancher of the Department of Biology at the College provides “some very good advice” (Biology 1100 Survival Manual) on effective study. Her advices highlight: daily tasks (5), using textbook, preparing assignments, preparing for exams, and some final suggestions (Retrieved on 22nd August 2013 from http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/study.htm).

College Atlas: Encyclopedia of Higher Education
A study skills guide can be accessed in the website of College Atlas. There are five categories in the guide: general, reading and writing, test taking and preparation, time management, memory techniques, and subject specific study skills (Retrieved on 22nd August 2013 from http://www.collegeatlas.org/college-study-guides.html#study).