Effective Study Skills And Academic Performance

3827 words - 16 pages

Introduction

Effective study skills are necessary for a college student to excel academically. The student must develop these skills in order to retain information learned in the present for their future benefit. Study skills can be a combination of several techniques, including time management, note-taking, self-testing, and test-wiseness, to name a few. There is no one best way to study, therefore, techniques can be tailored to the needs of the student to achieve the most optimal result. However, diagnostic testing is also available to assist students in assessing their weaknesses in their learning behaviors and study habits. Research has shown that effective study skills lead to ...view middle of the document...

Gettinger and Siebert (2002) concluded that effective study skills lead to positive results across multiple academic fields. Research has even shown that study skills yield "benefit[s]…in areas beyond improving their academic performance" (White, 2004, p.38). Study skills are vital because they help to improve one’s retention of information, aid in strengthening one’s performance in classes and in evaluation, and to assist in applying information in real life or in work setting.

Effective study skills can take the form of a range or combination of various learning strategies and techniques. All, when performed properly, increase the possibility of improved academic performance. Additionally, the amount of time spent studying in class can also increase a student’s likelihood to perform better academically. Research shows that it is unclear whether the amount of time spent studying is more important than having effective study habits. While a majority of college students lack the skill sets for effective studying, many researchers argue that it is the time spent studying that will have the greatest effect on performance. One study shows that upon entrance to college, most students are less prepared than their counterparts from decades ago (Nonis and Hudson, 2006). As the demands of college-level work increase, the motivation and time spent studying must also increase to maintain or improve academic performance. However, since 1987, time spent studying outside of class has steadily been on the decline (Higher Education Research Institute, 2003). Surveys taken by college freshmen from 413 of the nation’s colleges showed that only 34 percent of these students spent six or more hours per week studying during their senior year of high school. The assumption was made that study habits were carried forward into college and explain the lack of preparedness for students completing college-level work. In another study of college freshmen, the correlation between time spent outside of class on academic activities and the student’s grade point average was tested and found no evidence proving a direct relationship between the two variables (Nonis & Hudson, 2006). In contrast, research was conducted with college students and found a direct relationship between amount of time studied and exam scores (Barbarick and Ippolito 2003). While the amount of time spent studying may have an unproven impact on academic performance, it is very important to acquire good study strategies to enhance the productivity of any time spent studying. According to Adams, Hurst, Petscher, Prevatt, and Proctor (2006), there is a link between study skills and academic success that has been supported by various studies. Although most educational structures are based on the assumption that students possess good study habits, many college students exhibit difficulty with various skills including: note-taking, ability to select main-ideas, test-wiseness, information processing, and...

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