Study skills

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Study skills or study strategies are systematic ways to improve learning. They are needed for success in school, especially for college and beyond.[1] Study skills include numerous techniques and skills that help in acquiring and retaining information. Some are assessment tools that help a student see where they need help most.

Study skills might include a learner's ability to listen, read, understand, concentrate, remember and organise their learning material, and manage studying time.

Learning strategies[change | change source]

  • Time management is an essential skill. Teachers have found a connection between students who can manage their time well, and their GPA (grade point average). The better they manage time, the higher their GPA. Britton and Tesser (1991)[2] found that measuring the time management skills of freshmen was a better indicator of higher GPAs than their SAT scores as seniors.[3] Most students find that by analyzing their use of time, much of it is wasted.[3]
  • The SQ3R Method. This is an acronym for survey question, read, recite and review.[6] SQ3R was developed by Francis Robinson in 1941.[7] Students learn to survey the reading materials, not by reading every word, but by getting an overall sense of what it is about. The next step is to form questions. Look at the end of chapters or books to see if there are questions. Read the materials to answer the questions. Next, recite what you have learned out loud. Reciting helps the learning process much better than reading alone. Review the information a few hours or even days later. This keeps it fresh in your mind.[7]
  • Skimming and Scanning. Skim reading is a technique to gain the most from reading something in the least amount of time. It is looking at chapter headings, bullet lists of key points in sidebars and key words in sentences.The first sentence of a chapter often is a abstract of the chapter.[8] Scanning involves moving your finger down the page as you read. The object is to try to absorb at least 50% of the text. It is then compared to what was skimmed.[8]
  • Study Groups. Colleges and universities encourage students to form study groups. A study group can divide tasks and each member concentrate on one segment. Students who teach or share what they know with others learn more.[9] A study group uses active learning, a very effective way to learn.[10]
  • Taking effective notes. Note taking skills learned in high school are rarely adequate for college. In college, good note taking involves critical thinking.[11] Professors often lecture at a fast pace. Do not try to write down everything, try to establish what are key points. A good clue to key or important points is that a teacher or lecturer may repeat them during the lecture.[12] It is important to develop good listening skills.[11] Key skills to good note taking are:
  • Pre-reading the materials. This helps in understanding lectures.[11]
  • Review your previous class notes.[11]
  • Have everything you need at hand. Make sure you have pens, pencils, notebooks, and textbooks.[11]

References[change | change source]

  1. Dianna Van Blerkom, College Study Skills: Becoming a Strategic Learner (Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2012), p. xxvi
  2. Bruce K. Britton; Abraham Tesser, 'Effects of time-management practices on college grades', Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 83(3) (Sep 1991), pp. 405-410
  3. 3.0 3.1 Myron H. Dembo, Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management (New York; London: Routledge, 2001), p. 14
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dianne Evans Kelley, Common-Sense Classroom Management for Special Education Teachers, Grades 6-12 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2007), p. 81
  5. Wong (2014) 'Essential Study Skills', Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Accessed 7 July 2014
  6. "Study Skills". Ministry of Education, Jamaica. 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "SQ3R Method". Columbus State Community College. 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mark Pennington, Essential Study Skills (El Dorado Hills, CA: Pennington Publishing, 2009), p. 28
  9. "Study Skills: Study Groups" (PDF). Academic Success Center, Iowa State University. 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  10. Ph.D. Hansen, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (New York, NY: Alpha, 2008), p. 107
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Myron H. Dembo, Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management (New York; London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 218–19
  12. Paige Ruschhaupt 2011. Listening to lectures and identifying important information during a lecture, University of Houston – Victoria, Access date 7 July 2014

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