College Study Skills


The question that many students ask themselves is which skills can you develop that would boost your chances of academic success? How to write an essay like a writer? Avoiding procrastination is obvious, but how can you escape the habit of cramming the night before the assessment and become more organized? Top students begin to study well in advance. They plan, gather all available instruments and develop specific study schedules for each subject.

This article aims to lay out the most effective methods of taking notes and preparing for tests and explain how to deal with test anxiety. Regarding homework, you always have the option to read some free essays online on for inspiration. Take control of your study skills and avoid unnecessary stress!

Time Management

This skill is valuable in many aspects of life, but when it comes to studying, it is essential. You must find the right balance between studying, work, family, friends and other commitments, otherwise, your academic career will suffer. You need to be aware of how much time each commitment takes up. Then schedule accordingly, setting priorities in the meantime. Strong time management skills allow you to set boundaries, which lead to success in all spheres of life. The four basic rules of time management are outlined below.

Getting organized means recording the initial position and setting priorities. At this stage, you also choose which planning tools to employ to organize yourself and finish tasks.

Creating a schedule that would outline tasks at hand is important to have a bigger picture available. Monthly schedules should have more general goals, whereas weekly or daily schedules should be specific.

Becoming a project manager means creating a mindset that life is your project and you are responsible for it.

Stopping procrastination is key to success – learn why you do it and see how you can change it by focusing on the task and avoiding distractions.

Taking Notes

Mastering this skill makes the difference between excellence and mediocrity. The five steps are:

·        Active listening presupposes not just writing down, but hearing what is said and relating it to personal experiences.

·        Cognitive processing means connecting information to your prior knowledge by employing your own words to explain it.

·        Recognize important cues by understanding what lecturers emphasize. A range of classic techniques can be used for emphases, such as pauses, gestures, vocal emphasis and the amount of time spent on a topic.

·        Record main ideas with relevant examples: find the balance between writing and listening, so as not to miss anything of value.

·        Review and revise material to keep it in your head for when you need it.

Different methods of note-taking work best for different students, but, firstly, you need to find out whether you are a read and write learner or visual learner. Experiment with several renowned methods to see which one works for you. Read and write learners prefer the Cornell Method or Outlining, whereas visual learners like mind mapping, although some methods work for some subjects, but prove ineffective in others.

Remembering Information

Top ten tips for retaining information:

·        Mnemonics can be useful to remember the order of important facts by their first letter;

·        Use flashcards to memorize concepts, facts, and figures. Carry them with you. Revise regularly whenever you get a free minute;

·        Read your notes out loud. It may sound funny, but this genuinely improves memory retention;

·        Create connections and associations between concepts using mind maps;

·        Do practice tests regularly or create your own based on the material learned;

·        Try to teach somebody the material in your own words. Alternatively, you can just lecture to the mirror. When you become comfortable doing it, you know you have made good progress;

·        Visualize information by drawing diagrams;

·        Rewrite notes;

·        Record lectures and replay them at home or on the go;

·        SQ3R method is handy for learning sections of textbooks. It involves surveying the chapter, developing questions based on chapter headings and finally reading the chapter and answering questions, reciting the questions and answering from memory, then reviewing your answers.

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