Study Help!

I have for the past ten years served as the Director of Learning Assistance at Maranatha.  This means that I have had ten years to observe and analyze students’ study habits. Students who struggle with getting assignments in on time and with studying for tests usually have one thing in common – poor time management skills. I believe that elementary and secondary teachers can do students a great service by emphasizing time management and by encouraging parents to realize that this will be a determining factor of college success.

Let me give you a couple of quick tips for time management.  I have found that, on the college level, what works best is for a student is to use a chart showing the whole week with the hours of the day. You can find this chart HERE. They indicate on the chart the times they plan to attend classes, eat, work, sleep, etc. They then can see how many hours of each day are available for study. By using the daytime hours that are open to them and not waiting until the evening to start studying, they can often get in two hours of study before dinner another one or two after dinner. This way they have the rest of the evening to relax, do laundry, call home, etc. This plan can be used by parents to help their children realize that if they work before they play, there is usually quite enough time for play.

Another area in which college students struggle is the area of reviewing class notes. I continually emphasize to our students that they need to plan a time every week to simply read over all of their notes to date in each subject. This constant review will help them to be ready for tests. It will also help them come out of the semester actually knowing the material and retaining it. Statistics show that students who do not review their notes remember only about 10% of the information. Note the “Curve of Forgetting” chart below.

Curve of Forgetting

Time management is part of self-discipline. Self-discipline is an area that we all can continually work to improve!