Success Quick Tips

Stay Positive

  • Attitude is everything. Being positive actually allows learning to happen.
  • Give yourself latitude – you are not the expert – you are in the PROCESS of learning.
  • Ask for help. It is ok to do so.
  • Reward small successes.
  • Believe in yourself. 

Time Management

  • Make school your top priority. Investing in you now will assure future success.
  • Set specific academic goals. For example, “I will earn an ‘A’ in MATH-0930 for the fall 2009 semester.”
  • Schedule, schedule, schedule. Schedule everything, not to fill every minute, but to keep you on track.
  • Use a “to do” list and learn to say “no.”
  • Be flexible.

Study Skills

  • Know your learning style. Understanding how you learn new and difficult information will aid in learning.
  • Recommended study cycle: 20 minutes of studying followed by a 10-minute break, then repeat up to two hours.
  • Study the hardest subject first.
  • Give yourself permission to study and set the intention to learn.
  • Create a study routine and dedicate a space to study.
  • Use baroque music (barely audible) as background noise.
  • Create and use mnemonics, flash cards, summary sheets, content maps, and other study aids.
  • Review, recite, review. Review and recite daily – notes and study aids.
  • Read the correlating chapter from your textbook BEFORE attending lecture.

Note Taking

  • Attend class every day.
  • Use color – either paper or pen.
  • Pay attention to main points and points emphasized by the instructor.
  • Create and use a uniform system of punctuations and abbreviations.
  • Review your notes immediately after class to fill-in any missing information.
  • Review your notes daily. Cover up the notes and ask yourself the questions you wrote in the left column.

Navigating the Textbook

  • Read the introduction or learning objectives first.
  • Read the summary.
  • Write definitions to key terms and answer any chapter questions.
  • Preview the chapter – look at headings, subheading, maps, pictures, charts, diagrams, and tables.
  • Read one paragraph at a time and limit the amount of pages read daily.
  • Take notes in your textbook (write question in the margin after reading the paragraph). You will retain more information if you write in your book.

Test Taking

  • Begin studying from the first day of class – seriously.
  • Participate in class and study groups.
  • Stay relaxed, confident, and alert during a test.
  • Read the directions first and then preview the test.
  • Answer the questions you know, then those with the highest point value. Save the more difficult questions for last.
  • Use test anxiety to your advantage. Let it give you the energy to propel you through the test.
  • By the way, cramming does not work.