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Tips for Studying and Academic Success

In order to move past one’s personal self to develop a professional self, it is vital for a student to acquire and operate from a professional knowledge, value, and skill base.

  1. Exposure to such a knowledge, value, and skill base comes, in part, through formal education.
  2. It is ultimately up to each individual student to cultivate and apply his/ her professional knowledge, value, and skill base in a manner that is consistent with current practice standards.
  3.  The more seriously a student does this, the more competent a professional he/ she should become.
  4.  Once basic professional competence is achieved, the importance of continued learning and application cannot be underestimated for the professional who is striving to maintain and further develop his/ her competence.

Tips that can help you toward academic success include the following:

  1. Establish academic and personal objectives.
  2. Select courses carefully.
  3. Be aware of and use academic resources, including study groups, tutoring labs, your instructor’s office hours, the library, study guides, and etc.
  4. Get help right away if you find yourself heading for or in academic trouble.
  5. Don’t assume that an instructor can anticipate your needs; be assertive in getting what you need.
  6. Get to know faculty.
  7. Be an active learner.
  8. Be good at listening.
  9. Continually work to improve your written and oral skills.
  10. Try out differing learning procedures to see which ones work best for you and the material.
  11. Find out how successful students learn but don’t assume that the learning procedure that works well for another person will automatically work well for you.
  12.  Find ways to increase your motivation for learning.
  13. Research has shown that motivation has a lot to do with what we get out of experiences.
  14. Know class requirements and follow these.
  15. Start early.
  16. Start preparing papers, projects, and presentations well in advance.
  17. Start studying for tests in advance.
  18. Study as you go along.
  19. Develop good time management skills.
  20. Set deadlines using a term calendar.
  21. Avoid absences when at all possible; if you are to be absent make certain that you communicate this to your instructor and inquire about any make-up work in a timely fashion.
  22. Attend every lecture, remain alert while in lecture, write down all that you can.
  23. If you miss a lecture, get notes from 2 or more people.
  24. Be good at note-taking.
  25. Order and organize your notes after taking them.
  26. Write notes in your own words in a succinct and true way.
  27. Write notes in a legible way.
  28. Write notes instead of underlining as this promotes greater understanding.
  29. Read over the material to be covered before class and make an outline of it when at all possible.
  30. Spend at least one hour each day reviewing your notes.
  31. When studying for a test, condense the material and write out quiz questions and their answers to test yourself with.
  32. Remember that you are considered an independent adult learning, so do not rely on your instructor to provide you with all of the information that you might need to master a course.
  33. Seek out supplemental materials to augment material covered in the class when you do not understand.
  34. Research what you don’t know.
  35. Apply the material as you study.
  36. Try to associate what you’re learning with what you already factually know.
  37. Find a place to study that is free from distractions and that allows you to concentrate; keep this place only for studying.
  38. Gather up what you need before you start to study and remove distracters.
  39. Avoid competing activities when studying.
  40. When studying, focus only on the material.
  41. Don’t mix work and play.
  42. Avoid relaxing while studying to create a work atmosphere.
  43. Study during the day and early evening.
  44. Study before going to bed unless you are overly-tired because it may help your retention.
  45. Set study goals before you begin to study.
  46. Build in variety to avoid boredom.
  47. Reward yourself for good periods of study.
  48. Start with shorter study periods and gradually make them longer to increase your concentration.
  49. Identify and spend extra time on those subjects that are most difficult for you.
  50. Remember that you must actually learn the material before you can review it.
  51. Review regularly to avoid forgetting.
  52. When reading, overview the reading and then study it by breaking it into parts while keeping the whole in mind and relating the parts to the whole.
  53. Quiz yourself as your read through material.
  54. Take notes on what you read.
  55. Review your notes when your study of a chapter is completed.
  56. Pay particular attention to material in the middle because material that comes in the middle is more likely to be forgotten than is material that comes in the beginning or at the end.
  57. Reword things in your own words as you go over material while making certain that it is true to what’s being said.
  58. If you are an auditory learner, spend more time reciting what you are learning orally.
  59. Remember that the best time to review is after learning has taken place.
  60. Remember that you must study frequently to avoid forgetting.
  61. Don’t waste time on easy material and don’t waste time overlearning.
  62. Concentrate on the most significant things which usually are the fundamentals, major ideas, concepts, patterns, and trends as well as the details in some cases.
  63. Look for similarities and associations between material to help you memorize.
  64. If an idea is hazy to you, work to clarify it.
  65. Remember that the more background that you have on a subject, the easier it is to make association.
  66. Synthesize the material.
  67. Remember that a good memory is one that is well-organized and well-maintained.
  68. Categorize material into relevant bunches to learn it better.
  69. Remember that disuse leads to forgetting.
  70. Remember that we are more likely to forget things that are unpleasant to us.
  71. Remember that we forget when we have not learned the material well and have not forcibly impressed it into our minds.
  72. Remember that we are more likely to forget when we believe ourselves forgetful.
  73. Develop confidence in your ability to remember.
  74. Concentrate on what you’re learning.
  75. Remember that motor learning is better retained.
  76. Remember that forgotten material can be relearned more quickly than original learning can take place.
  77. Remember that emotional problems, anxiety, relationship problems, distractions, learning disabilities, and certain kinds of substance use can interfere with learning; seek help if you need it.
  78. Remember that inattention is often due to a lack of interest; generate your interest.
  79. Make material meaningful for you.
  80. Do not learn the material with too much dependence on the way its phrased because you might not be able to recognize it if it appears in another form.
  81. Concentrate on accuracy and not on speed when learning; make yourself notice and correct your learning errors.
  82. Rehearse new material frequently.
  83. Remember that learning is more than recognition.
  84. Eliminate accidental and unrelated associations.
  85. Eliminate previous learning mistakes.
  86. Prioritize what you need to learn in order of importance.
  87. Remember what has motivated you to go to college.
  88. See learning as a positive opportunity that no everyone is privileged to take part in.
  89. Make college your job.
  90. Be prepared to sacrifice more pleasurable activities in order to devote time to learning.
  91. Remember that most distractions come from you.
  92. Learn how you manipulate yourself out of studying and combat this.
  93. Remember that learning takes time.
  94. Use mnemonics when possible.
  95. Use study cards when possible.
  96. Participate in study groups only as these really help you learn.
  97. Remember that, if you do study with someone else, study with someone who really cares.
  98. Read, read, and read.
  99. Write, write, and write.
  100. Practice, practice, and practice.
  101. Impress your teacher by being early, being interactive and engaged, presenting yourself well, being prepared, and appearing teachable.
  102. Plan to review for tests well in advance.
  103. Review for tests using shorter study periods rather than using one big long cram session.
  104. Try to be appropriately relaxed when taking a test (versus being too tense or being overly-relaxed).
  105. Try using positive self-talk when preparing for and taking a test.
  106. Try seeing the test as a positive challenge.
  107. Try seeing the test as a chance to show what you’ve learned.
  108. Try to associate when taking a test.
  109. Make certain that you get proper rest.
  110. Seek out help for test anxiety as needed.
  111. Believe in your abilities realistically.
  112. Consider that:
    • You will remember about 10% of what you read.
    • You will remember about 20% of what you hear.
    • You will remember about 30% of what you see.
    • You will remember about 50% of what you hear and see together.
    • You will remember about 70% of what you say if you think while you are speaking.
    • You will remember about 90% of what you do.