College Students Guide to Improving Study Skills

ASO Staff Writers
Updated September 19, 2023
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How to Assess and Advance Your Study Habits Before College

For most individuals, college will provide the biggest challenge of their academic career. And even though it usually takes two or four years to a college degree, it only takes one semester to sink a GPA or substantially delay graduation. Therefore, it’s important to brush up on study habits – or even learn new ones – before college begins. After all, students can expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 24 hours per week studying in college, and it’s important to make every one of those hours count. This guide is here to help students determine their current study effectiveness and equip them with the study skills they need to succeed.

“One of the biggest mistakes high school students make entering college is underestimating the amount of studying they will have to do. Students may believe that because they like the subject or excelled in it in high school, that it will come easy in college.”Dr. Marquita S. Blades

“Your attitude is key in dealing with the stress and anxiety of college. Approach your studies with a positive attitude.”Rita Schiano

4 Crucial Study Skills to Master Before College

The following is a list of study skills you’ll want to make sure you have before your first day of class.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see with my students is time management with procrastination being the biggest culprit. For some people, doing assignments very close to the due date works for them because the adrenaline helps with focus. But for many, that is not the case and stress and anxiety set in.”Rita Schiano

Common Study Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

If you can’t reach your academic potential, there’s a good chance you’re victim to at least one or more of the following college study pitfalls.

“Studying with friends can be a mistake. Students don’t always know their learning styles so studying with people who learn differently can actually be a waste of time, not to mention, a general distraction.”Dr. Marquita S. Blades

Study Methods for College-Bound Students

There are almost as many methods to study as there are classes to study for. Below are some of the fundamental study methods most college students will need to learn to reach their college potential.

“Students should also be willing to try several study techniques in order to find what will work and have patience with themselves as they navigate this transition!”Dr. Marquita S. Blades

“Create a dedicated study space, whether in the dorm, library, or campus study rooms. Make a schedule and devote blocks of time for studying. During that time, it is critical to put away the cellphone and disengage auto-notifications from social media sites.”Rita Schiano

8 Apps to Improve Study Skills

If you’re heading to college, you’ll probably have a smartphone, tablet or laptop and can take advantage of one or more of the following apps to help you study.

“With today’s generation being much more digital than ever, I recommend that students find an online resource with videos that they can watch to support their study efforts.”Dr. Marquita S. Blades

“Set study goals. Before you begin studying, summarize a few objectives, gather what you will need, and determine a general strategy of accomplishment. Lastly, reward yourself upon completion.”Rita Schiano

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