Study Skills Information
Being a college student is difficult. Balancing a social life with homework, exam preparation, and regular course review requires effective time management practice as well as an understanding of what is actually possible in any given time period. It is important to remember several things whenever you sit down to study.
- Your environment should be conducive to learning.
- Turn off your cell phone
- Turn off distracting background noise like the television or stereo
- Make sure you are physically comfortable; if necessary, grab a beverage and/or snacks so you don't have the urge to keep getting up
- If your room is the distraction (roommate issues, friends dropping by, loud neighbors), complete your studying somewhere else like the library
Set realistic goals; if you expect too much from one review session and you get disappointed, you may feel like you can't be a successful student.
- Begin studying with a specific goal in mind and reward yourself after you complete the goal. For example, tell yourself that once you finish rewriting the notes for your class, or reading a chapter from your text, you can check your Facebook page
Effective time management is critical to your success.
- Use a daily planner, a calendar, or a time management worksheet and write down the following items as soon as you know them:
- Class/lab times
- Your work schedule
- Dates for homework assignments, exams, essays, etc.
- Tutoring appointments or supplemental instruction sessions
- When you plan to study and for what class
- This is especially important if you have an hour or two between classes or if you need to use the library or computer lab
- Special activities like a favorite television show or playing a video game with your friends
- Continuous review is important. From the first day of class to the last day of the semester, you have homework. If you fall behind, catching up will be difficult.
- Preview each chapter before it's discussed in class; pay special attention to section headings, any terms that are defined, and the chapter summary
- In your own words, write a summary of each chapter to be sure that you fully understand the information
- Rewrite your notes as soon as possible
- Review homework assignments, quizzes, and exams to make sure you understand the information on which you've already been graded
- Everybody has intellectual strength. Fully understanding yours can help you compensate for something in which you feel limited. For example, some people are good at writing while others are good in math. A good writer can learn to also be good in math, as can the mathematician become an effective writer. Identifying your strengths can help you to utilize them when it comes to studying a topic in which you are weak. A kinesthetic learner can learn how to write better by manipulating objects when learning the parts of a sentence. A subject could be something common, like an apple, and a verb can be all the ways that you can move the apple.
Below, Mark Smith (2002, 2008) summarizes the concepts identified by Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
- Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
- Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence
- Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
- Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related
- The Personal Intelligences
- Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
- Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.
Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008). 'Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences', the encyclopedia of informal education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm. Accessed March 19, 2009
Our academic support programs can help you improve and develop your study skills. Other resources are also available. The following online resources can provide you with detailed strategies for specific courses and general study skills that can help in all courses.
- Provides helpful information on how to study and how to write for specific subjects (biology, other sciences, economics, math, psychology, and many more).
- Information on taking notes; time management; learning styles; how to read textbooks; test anxiety; and other topics is also available.
- Online Math Resources
- web2.paulsmiths.edu/~collind - Online assistance for Modeling for Decision Making (Finite Math), College Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus and Pre-Calculus