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How to Succeed In College: Survey of Study Skills

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As August meets its end, the new school year meets its beginning. For students who are in the process of beginning their new life at college, I empathize with the difficulty of change and overwhelming uncertainty they may face. However, with higher education, one thing REMAINS certain, one thing WILL ALWAYS be a constant, one thing WILL NEVER change: SUCCESS IS VITAL!

With that said, I exhort to all students:

Now is the time to buckle down and get serious about academics, if you haven’t already.

Adapted from Georgine Materniak’s “Study Skills Survey,” University of Pittsburg Learning Skills Center, below is a preparation checklist that can help you generally assess your strengths and weaknesses within the realm of your study habits.

Knowing your areas of strength and weakness, weakness in particular, allows you to identify and eradicate deficient habits that will frustrate your efforts to “make the grade.”

Organization and Motivation

Do you find yourself studying in order to “complete” the assignment or do you study to gain knowledge?

Rather than requiring a particular environment for optimal study focus, do you make choices that allow distractions and disruption?

Is it difficult to find a study routine or follow through with a consistent study schedule throughout the course of the week? Why?

Do you tend to procrastinate or miss deadlines?

Is your ability to accomplish assignments based upon your current mood or disposition? For example, if you are tired or perhaps depressed, do you put off your studies?

Do you allow anxiety to hinder your study motivation?

Do you make goals and task lists?

Do you refer to a calendar or timeline for deadlines?

Reading Comprehension

When you are given a reading assignment, do you highlight significant information?

Are you able to discern significant information from the text?

Do you tend to daydream while reading?

How much attention do you pay toward details, such as captions, charts, headers, etc.

Do you take the time to understand each thing you read, or do you continue to read on bewildered?

Do you read and reread portions of text for a complete grasp of the literature’s content?

Do you feel a quick read-through is adequate?

Note Taking/Lecture Comprehension

Are you able to discern significant information from the lecturer render it into notes?

Do you take the time to rearrange your notes into an understandable and easily reviewable form?

Do you note information in an outline based upon its level of importance?

Do you take the time to research or become acquainted with the lecture content or reading materials prior to its presentation?

Do you make an effort to correlate information from the lecture to textbook or reading material?

Do you remain focused on the lecturer during his or her presentation?


Have you identified a technique that best enables you to remember significant information?

Do you know which information should be memorized?

Do you understand why it is information that should be memorized?

Do you rely solely on repetition, visual aids, or other tools for remembering key information?

Do you consider an all night cram session as the best memorization method?

Do your review sessions last for hours without a break?

Do you seem to have to relearn things you were already taught or should have already known?

Time to Evaluate

After reading through this checklist, take time to evaluate which areas need improvement and seek ways to develop and cultivate better, more efficient study habits.

This is just the beginning…

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Tara almost 10 years ago Tara

Anna, thank you for your comment. I am not aware of any paid university research studies. However, newspapers, message boards, etc., will often advertise upcoming paid research studies. Be careful of internet searches as these often turn up a scam.

Anna almost 10 years ago Anna

Tara, you seem to have alot mentioned, so I ask if there are any paid University Research Studies you know about open to the public? Kind regards, AnnA