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3 Important Study Skills for College Students

May 23, 2018

3 Important Study Skills for College Students

study skills for college

Ready for college? Make sure your study skills are on track with these tips from Honolulu tutor Jinan B...

Doing well in college is often a balancing act: you are learning so many new things, being exposed to new ideas and people, making friends, and having fun. Having good study skills will ensure that you both succeed in your classes and also make the most of your study time, so you also have time to experience the many other facets of life that college offers. As a professor at a large university, here are some tips I offer my students to enhance their study skills for college.

1. Confusion is good.

That’s right, I said it. College is a time of great exploration, and learning requires making errors and experimenting. The key is to use any confusion you encounter as a jumping off point for digging deeper into the material. Welcome confusion as a chance to understand something more profoundly instead of becoming frustrated and giving up. College is an opportunity to develop a true sense of curiosity in learning, rather than simply memorizing material. You can also use confusion as a stimulus to engage and get to know your professor. As a professor, I am always appreciative when students bring me challenging questions with the desire to further their knowledge and understanding. It is also very clear to me that students are deeply invested in learning the material if they visit me during office hours to discuss any questions they have about the material.

2. Make use of all the resources you have.

Colleges and universities offer an incredible network of support to students. This includes librarians, study skills centers, teaching assistants, and other students. Consider these individuals part of your path of learning, and you will reap great benefits from their advice, knowledge, and experiences. If you’re struggling with an assignment, reach out to another student or the teaching assistant in the class to troubleshoot. If you’re studying for an exam and don’t know how to approach the huge amount of material, sign up for a session at the study skills center. Or, perhaps you’re writing a paper and need help finding rich source material; check in with the librarian who may have excellent ideas for how to locate good materials. You can also find a private tutor to help you.

3. Study for the midterm and final from day one of the class.

By learning the material in an organized, methodical way you will be in very good shape when exam time rolls around. Most college students wait until the last minute and then try to cram a few days before exams, but if you put in a few minutes a day of focused learning, you will be much better able to learn large amounts of material. When you are reading the assigned material, make it a point to write down the key ideas. This is one of the best study skills for college students to establish, as your notes will serve not only as a study guide later, but also as a way to concretize your understanding by writing the ideas in your own words. This makes you an active learner rather than simply passively reading the material. If you’re having trouble finishing the reading assigned for all of your classes, consider taking a speed reading class, which may be offered at your study skills center.

Remember, college is a unique experience, so make the most of it by studying efficiently so you can both succeed and have time for extracurricular activities as well. With these tips, you will be poised to learn, succeed, and enjoy the journey!

JinanJinan B. tutors in Life Science in Honolulu, HI. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, teaching various courses including Community Nutrition, Concepts in Nutrition Education, and Advanced Child and Adolescent Nutrition. Learn more about Jinan here!  


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