How To Improve Your Study Skills

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You’re well into the new academic year and you’ve already received some important feedback from your professors. A couple of tests, a pop quiz, and several writing assignments have revealed to you that your grades need to improve. Habits learned in high school have to be adjusted for college, because you only have a few months before your class is over as the semester will soon come to an end.

If you’re knew to college, making the transition from high school can be difficult, especially for freshmen who are not used to the rigors of applying themselves academically.  Many students quit at the end of their freshmen year finding themselves ill prepared to continue their education.

One of the keys to succeeding academically are your study habits. Disciplined studying will result in better grades, a habit that should be developed in the freshmen year. Some ways that you can improve your studying skills include:

Recognize Who You Are — Do you learn verbally or visually? Perhaps both? Some students learn best by what they hear while others by what they see. If you find that you learn differently from the way you are being taught, you’ll have to redouble your efforts to understand what the professor is teaching you. You may need to meet with your professor(s) to explain the difficulty you have comprehending, otherwise be prepared to stay extra focused and ask a lot of questions.

Take Notes — How many of your classmates take notes? Unfortunately, many do not. Even if you understand everything, you won’t remember all things. Instead of writing down what the professor says verbatim, be prepared to jot down highlights, just enough information to help you recall what was being taught to you.

Study Often — Disciplined studying will help you remember subject material and to build upon what you’ve already learned. If you wait until the last minute to study, you’ll be stressed out, miss out on things, and be too tired to take a test or bring a report to completion.

Follow Directions — How often do your fellow students mess up on an assignment because they didn’t follow instructions? If you’re not certain about something, ask. You may have an idea on how you want to go about an assignment, but if your idea doesn’t match what the professor wants, you could be penalized.

Absent Often — Even one or two absences can make it difficult for students to catch up. Never miss a class unless an emergency comes up — you’re there to learn and your professor is there to teach you.

Many freshmen find that their new found freedom causes them to lose self control and quickly fall behind on their studies. You’re on your own now, but don’t take that freedom as a license to fail. Even if you were to quit college, you’ll still have to work and the workplace isn’t nearly as forgiving as academia to people who are undisciplined and unwilling to apply themselves.


Adv. — Federal Pell Grants and PLUS loans are two options you have to pay for your college education. Visit SayStudent.com to find our library of articles covering your many financial aid options including scholarships, grants, private student loans, and more.

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Categories: Study Tips