How to be a successful student:
1. Muscle Reading
The first step to being a successful student involves flexing "reading muscles."
According to one study-skills handout, "The two most common problems students encounter when trying to read are procrastination and short attention spans."
The Teaching and Learning Center counselors recommend breaking reading into three phases.
The first phase is to pry out questions. Preview the assignment, read the summary and inspect any visuals.
- Next, based on the preview create a rough outline and fill it in while reading.
- The last step of the preview phase involves developing questions a professor may ask pertaining to the assignment.
The next phase to reading is to find the answers.
- The counselors recommend reading in sessions, sitting at a desk, underlining only the most important elements, and filling in the answers to questions on the outline.
The final step to "muscle reading" is to recite, review, and review again.
The hand out recommends vocally repeating difficult concepts, work in groups to compare, review the material within 24 hours, and make a weekly review time.
2. Class Counts
The second step to getting good grades involves being active in the classroom.
The counselors list reading all materials before class as a must to being active. They recommend reviewing notes before class.
Notes, they advise, should be dated and concentrate on main ideas and significant details only. Also, the handout recommends copying everything a professor writes on the board, says after consulting his/her notes, or appears excited about.
Asking questions to clarify information, or asking a professor to repeat information, can be invaluable when it comes time to study notes, according to the handouts.
3. Study Scheduling
The third step to achieving academic success involves dedicated study time.
The study handout recommends students set a realistic goal of studying at least two hours or more a night.
The counselors recommend studying during a time of few distractions, work in short sessions or alternate subjects to keep it fresh.
They also advise studying difficult or boring subjects first, using a regular study area, and avoiding studying in bed.