As a veteran teacher and one who has spent her life in college and high school classrooms, I didn’t realize how much I took basic study skills for granted until I was helping a friend study for her first college course earlier this week. She is in her 50s, hasn’t been in a classroom since high school and has signed up for a 3-month phlebotomy course so she can work in a phlebotomy laboratory.
College Study Tips for Students – A Refresher Study Course
Those who are accustomed to going to classes, taking notes and knowing how to study tend to forget that folks new to the college arena might have forgotten the basics. In addition, they are often afraid and have a variety of preconceived notions that may keep them from doing their best.
Students new to the university or community college environment should keep following tips in mind when it comes to developing their college study skills:
College Study Tips – Suggestion #1:
The idea that younger college students have an easier time studying and learning material than do older students is a myth.
Older students often think that younger students in a college class will naturally learn more easily than they will because they are used to going to school. This assumption is total fallacy.
Older students have distinct advantages. They appreciate the value and cost of the educational experience because they have experienced the complexities of making a living and maneuvering in the workforce. They have made a conscientious decision to achieve a goal and will work toward that goal. Their experience in day-to-day living has exposed them to all sorts of learning they don’t even realize they possess. They can connect new concepts and materials to their extensive life experiences, of which they will most likely have more than do their juniors, if only because of their age.
College Study Tips – Suggestion #2:
Students in a class should not consider dropping out during the first week because they fail a test or two or because they think the work is too difficult.
In any class, there is a honeymoon period. Low scores on tests are often a norm. There’s a dance instructors must engage in with students in order to discover where they are in terms of ability, accumulated knowledge, study habits and needs of the class as a whole as well as individual students in the class.
Effective professors assess their students even before covering material in order to determine how to best teach the objectives so that students will learn.
So, trust your instructor. Join in the dance. You’ll be reaping the rewards before you know it.
College Study Tips – Suggestion #3:
Learn how to read your textbook.
Even though it might appear ominous, the textbook is a student’s friend. It tells him what to study. Look at it. What is the title? Most likely, the title will guide your study. Keep it as the bright star you’re driving toward.
As we worked through the first chapters of my friend’s phlebotomy text, polysyllabic words that stretched across half lines of her pages frightened her. I reminded her that she wasn’t studying to become a doctor. The textbook was on phlebotomy. Yes, those words would be important, but she didn’t have to know pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis or how to perform a craniotomy or cure diseases of the lymphatic system.
Her book, and her instructor, would guide her through.
Textbooks feature a table of contents that students should survey the first day or two of the course. Knowing there’s an entire chapter devoted to one of the many areas in the first chapter or two should reassure students that there will be later opportunity to gain understanding of the topic.
At the beginning of each chapter, there will be goals, objectives and pin-pointing of what students should know by the time they finish the chapter. Students should use these pointers just as travelers read the map when on a journey to reach their destinations. Detours and side trips are neither required nor helpful in arriving..
Bold headings, subheadings and bold or italicized words should speak to you. Learn them. Turn them into questions. Then read the text to answer the questions. Learning begets learning.
Answer questions in workbooks and at the end of the chapters, even if your instructor doesn’t assign them. They contain points that will aid you in understanding other material in the course. Even if you don’t write down the answers, figure out what the question is asking and formulate a correct answer in your head.
Textbooks contain glossaries and lists of words and terms in the back of the text. When you encounter a term, flip to the glossary and read the definition. Each time you encounter the word, review its definition until you know what the term is.
College Study Tips – Suggestion #4:
A daily review of material covered in class, class notes and material in the textbook goes a long way toward helping students absorb and acquire authentic knowledge.
Sources: Personal experience