Study Skills

Study skillsacademic skills, or study strategies are approaches applied to learning. They are generally critical to success in school,[1] considered essential for acquiring good grades, and useful for learning throughout one's life.
Study skills are an array of skills which tackle the process of organizing and taking in new information, retaining information, or dealing with assessments. They include mnemonics, which aid the retention of lists of information; effective reading; concentration techniques; and efficient notetaking.
While often left up to the student and their support network, study skills are increasingly taught in high school and at the university level.
More broadly, any skill which boosts a person's ability to study, retain and recall information which assists in and passing exams can be termed a study skill, and this could include time management and motivational techniques.
Study skills are discrete techniques that can be learned, usually in a short time, and applied to all or most fields of study. They must therefore be distinguished from strategies that are specific to a particular field of study (e.g. music or technology), and from abilities inherent in the student, such as aspects of intelligence or learning styles.

We all learn differently, and we each have our own style of studying. No two people are exactly the same when it comes to study preferences. To get the most out of your studying, it's important to better understand what works for you, and what doesn't. To get started we recommend printing out the study skills checklist below. Once you've done this, read each statement and determine if it applies to you. If it does, then mark Y. If it doesn't, mark N. The purpose of this checklist is to provide you a basic self assessment of your study habits and attitudes, so you can identify study skills areas where you might want focus on improving.

1. Y__ N__ I spend more time than necessary studying for what I am learning.

2. Y__ N__ It's common for me to spend hours cramming the night before an exam.

3. Y__ N__ If I dedicate as much time as I want to my social life, I don't have enough time left to focus on my studies, or when I study as much as I need to, I don't have time for my social life.

4. Y__ N__ I often study with the TV or radio turned on.

5. Y__ N__ I struggle to study for long periods of time without becoming distracted or tired.

6. Y__ N__ I usually doodle, daydream, or fall asleep when I go to class.

7. Y__ N__ Often the notes I take during class notes are difficult for me to understand later when I try and review them.

8. Y__ N__ I often end up getting the wrong material into my class notes.

9. Y__ N__ I don't usually review my class notes from time to time throughout the semester in preparation for exams.

10. Y__ N__ When I get to the end of a chapter in a textbook, I struggle to remember what I've just got done reading.

11. Y__ N__ I struggle to identify what is important in the text.

12. Y__ N__ I frequently can't keep up with my reading assignments, and consequently have to cram the night before a test.

13.Y__ N__ For some reason I miss a lot of points on essay tests even when I feel well prepared and know the material well.

14. Y__ N__ I study a lot for each test, but when I get to the test my mind draws a blank.

15. Y__ N__ I often study in a sort of disorganized, haphazard way only motivated by the threat of the next test.

16. Y__ N__ I frequently end up getting lost in the details of reading and have trouble identifying the main ideas and key concepts.

17. Y__ N__ I don't usually change my reading speed in response to the difficulty level of what I'm reading, or my familiarity with the content.

18. Y__ N__ I often wish that I was able read faster.

19. Y__ N__ When my teachers assign me papers and projects I often feel so overwhelmed that I really struggle to get started.

20. Y__ N__ More often than not I write my papers the night before they are due.

21. Y__ N__ I really struggle to organize my thoughts into a logical paper that makes sense.

If you answered "yes" to two or more questions in any category listed below, we recommend finding self-help study guides for those categories. If you have one "yes" or less in one of the categories, you are probably proficient enough in that area that you don't require additional study help. However, no matter how you score it's always advisable to review all study guides to help you improve your study skills and academic performance.
  • Time Scheduling - 1, 2, and 3.
  • Concentration - 4, 5, and 6.
  • Listening & Note taking - 7, 8, and 9.
  • Reading - 10, 11, and 12.
  • Exams - 13, 14, and 15.
  • Reading - 16, 17, and 18.
  • Writing Skills -19, 20, and 21.

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