Tips for Success

Note-taking SkillsOpens in new window

Study SkillsOpens in new window

Accountability and Organization

The ABCs of Student Responsibility include:

  • Active  participation in classes and in the learning process.
  • Be organized and prepared; employ a scheduling tool as a part of your academic strategy and time management.
  • Communication with professor and\or persons who can assist in your successful completion of the course like faculty, student service professionals, campus staff and other departments on campus.
  • Decide how successful you want to be in your education. Determine what your degree program means to you, assess why you decided to pursue a degree in higher education. Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them.
  • Evaluate factors in your life: creating balance in the various aspects of your life. Balance will help you to stay organized and will assist you in keep your stress at a healthy level.

 

Learning Styles

One of the key elements to academic success is understanding your own personal learning style. A learning style refers to the specific way your brain processes and retains information; the main learning styles are: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (hands on). Once you determine your personal learning style, you could consider shaping and adjusting your in-classroom behaviors and your study techniques to complement how you best retain information.

  • Visual: This learning style is primarily focused on what the student sees. Pictures, visual depictions or displays, charts and graphs are helpful. During lecture, visual learners like to take detailed notes and observe the professors facial expressions and nonverbal cues to help remember the content of the lecture.
  • Auditory: This learning style is primarily focused on what the student hears and listens to. Auditory learners appreciate hearing the lecture, and may utilize a tape recorder to play it back at a later time. Additionally, discussions and debates are helpful as well as working in study groups.
  • Kinesthetic: This learning style is primarily focused on what the student is doing. Kinesthetic learners learn best through hands-on approaches; a worksheet, lab or activity may be helpful in becoming more engaged in the material. Also, it might be helpful in class to take notes in a "hands-on" and interactive way like building a diagram or a chart.

 

Reading Strategies

Often times students are overwhelmed by the amount of reading expected of them in their courses. They also tend to spend large amounts of time reading every word on every page, but to their own frustration, they often to do not recall a lot of the information. There is a reading method that may be helpful in assisting students to read more efficiently and to retain more of the information that they will need to succeed in the course:   SQ3R Reading Technique

Survey: Get an idea of what the chapter is about by reviewing the highlights: 

  • Read the title, headings, and subheadings;
  • Take note of words that are italicized or bold; 
  • Look at charts, graphs, pictures, maps, and other visual material; 
  • Read captions; 
  • Read the very beginning and end of the chapter.

 

Question:As you survey the text, ask a question for each section. Ask what, why, how, when, who and where questions as they relate to the content. Here's how you can create questions: 

  • Turn the title, headings, or subheadings into questions.
  • Rewrite the questions at the end of the chapter or after each subheading in your own words.

Write down your questions. Questions help you pay attention, understand the text better, and recall the information more easily later on.

Read: Read one section of a chapter at a time, actively looking for an answer to your question for that section. Pay attention to bold and italicized text that authors use to make important points. Be sure to review everything in the section, including tables, graphs, and illustrations, as these features can communicate an idea more powerfully than written text.

Recite: At the end of each section, look up from the text and in your own words recite an answer to your question for that section. Then write down your answer. Be sure to provide examples that support it.  At the end of each section, look up from the text and in your own words recite an answer to your question for that section. Then write down your answer. Be sure to provide examples that support it. Now repeat the Question, Read, and Recite steps for each section of the chapter or assigned reading. First ask a question for the next section. Then read to find the answer. Finally, recite the answer in your own words and write it down. The written questions and answers will help you study in the future.

Review: After completing each chapter or reading assignment, review your notes. Identify the main points of the reading by looking for the most important idea in each section. Recite, or write, a brief summary of the chapter or assignment. Review your study notes every week to help you remember the information. When it's time to study for your tests, you'll find you've created an invaluable guide.

 

Time Management Skills

The three steps to efficient time management are: Organizing, Prioritizing and Scheduling.

  • Organization usually involves the use of lists, calendars and other strategies to help you to be aware of all of your tasks and responsibilities.
  • Prioritizing usually involves understanding which tasks are the most important and should be handles first, versus which tasks can take a backseat or even be delegated to someone else.
  • Scheduling usually involves a daily attempt to keep your tasks and responsibilities organized in a way that feels comfortable.

 

If you're endeavoring to improve your time-management skills, ask yourself:

  • How am I currently managing my time?
  • Where do I really spend my time?
  • Do I use my time wisely to focus on the things that are most important to me?
  • What am I doing to reduce my stress and anxiety in how I manage my time?
  • How am I attempting to use time wisely to balance my life?

 

Identify where your time management challenges lie:

  • Limitation of time?Are you always trying to add more hours to the day? Perhaps it would be helpful to start utilizing a planner or daily organizer to keep you on track with how much time is actually available to you each day.
  • Balancing your time? Are you neglecting certain tasks or responsibilities because you're too focused on one area of your personal or academic life? Working towards balance requires an honest inventory of how you spend your time now, and what changes you could make to balance things out.
  • Minimizing work time?Are you spending too much time working towards perfection on each task or assignment? This is unnecessary and only adds stress to your life. Work hard to accomplish your goals, keeping in mind that your best work is good enough.
  • Setting your priorities?Are all your tasks on the same level of importance? It is helpful in managing your time to understand the organizational importance of setting priorities and goals for task completion. Consider organizing your tasks in terms of importance and/or necessity, this may help you to feel more focused.

 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

  • Be Productive: Determine the times of the day in which you do your best work.
  • Prevent Problems: Communicate your needs and goals to others and be prepared for things to not always go as planned.
  • Protect Your Time: Say "No" when necessary, it's OK. Also, delegate tasks to people you trust when it is appropriate to do so.