Learning & Study Strategies

Upon entering college, most students will need to make significant changes to their study habits and strategies.  No longer will mom, dad or another family member be there to wake them in the morning, make sure they eat breakfast and attend school.  Often times, high school studying may consist of the day before the test, and students received good grades.  Most of your assignments are related to completion of homework assignments based on an individual chapter of information. 

In college however, students are confronted with larger quantities of information which can make preparing for a test a major challenge.  So cramming the day before the test will not provide the student with mastery of the information and often result in poor grades.  Students in college often turn into night owls, getting less than eight (8) hours of sleep if any at all.  This makes getting up for an 8:00 am class very difficult.  In addition, some courses only offer a midterm and final examination, so if you fail one, you have failed the entire course. 

This section of our website is resource rich, with a variety of contexts and media forms, in an effort to provide students with a one stop location to enhance your academic success.  If you feel you need help with general study strategies, we offer the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory or LASSI free of charge.  Take advantage of this opportunity to maximize your academic success in college.

We will frequently make updates, so check in with us regularly!  If you have suggestions for content that is not located on this website, or you find other websites that have great information, please send me an email, stephanie.bramlett@unh.edu.  Good luck with your studies!  :-) 

There are ten (10) general areas related to Learning & Study Strategies:

Anxiety can be related to attending college in general (pressure from parents and family), or nervousness about an upcoming test or examination.  Students that are anxious are typically unable to focus in class.  The anxiety resources page has information on how to best manage stress and anxiety during college.   

Having a positive attitude and being able to understand reasons for your attitude changes are important to your overall success.  You will have classes that you feel are unrelated to your studies or you may have a class that you are passionate about but the amount of time you study does not match your exam grades.  The attitude resources page has information on how to best manage your attitude during college.   

The ability to concentrate can significantly impact your college career and academic success.  Students often have trouble concentrating when studying alone or taking notes during lecture and sometimes when taking tests.  The concentation resources page has information on how to best monitor your concentration and focus during these times, so you optimize your success during college. 

Information Processing
Information processing, or how one understands subject matter and processes the information is another critical component.  How you process information significantly impacts your ability to remember information, take notes, how you prepare for tests, etc.  Students learning styles vary, but knowing how you learn best learn is key to being successful.  Do you know your learning style?  Do you study best in the morning or afternoon?  The information processing resources provide you with a variety of tools to help you be academically successful and become knowledgeable about your own learning style. 

Students are motivated by different things.  Sometimes the motivation is getting money from a grandparent if they have A's & B's their first semester, this is external motivation.  Sometimes the motivation is internal, meaning a student wants to be successful because it is a lifelong personal goal.  Perhaps they want to be an occupational therapist or teacher for example.  Students sometimes lose motivation during the semester.  This happens typically when plagued with financial problems or an unexpected grade in a course.  The motivation resources will help you to acknowledge where you are and create a plan to accomplish your goals. 

Selecting Main Ideas
Many students have trouble selecting main ideas when taking notes in a lecture class.  Selecting main ideas can also be difficult when reading course materials, where everything seems to be important.  The selecting main ideas resources, will examine some key language used and behaviors of professors, when something is important.  These resources will also provide information about a various reading and note taking strategies, so you can make the best use of your time.   

Self Testing
Self testing is really about the actual steps you take to prepare for a quiz or examination.  Many students are unsure about how to best prepare and often ask: should I make note cards? Or create a study guide?  Do I just re-read the chapter(s)? Or read over my notes?  Many students are also uncertain about the actual amount of time they need to study:  7 days in advance, daily review of notes, cramming, or 3 days before.  The self testing resources will provide a variety of ways on how you can best prepare for quizzes, tests and examinations with a variety of formats, including: true-false, short answer, matching, essay, multiple choice, fill in, identification, etc. 

Study Aids
Study aids are all of the resources available to help you learn the information and pass your examinations, quizzes and tests.  Study aids are plentiful, usually right under your nose and easily unnoticed.  For example, many textbooks have links to websites with supplemental materials like practice tests, quizzes, videos and study guides.  Other study aids include your professor, who is the direct link between you and the course content.  Campus Resources are also available, like the Math Center and the Writing Center.  The Center for Academic Resources has tutoring for eligible students.  Perhaps the most underutilized study aid is the most accessible, your professor's office hours!  The study aids resources page provides information and strategies to help you be successful.     

Test Strategies
Test Strategies looks not only at how students prepare for tests, but the actual strategies they employ when taking a test.  While this may appear a simple concept, often times students run out of time during tests because they do not plan their time accordingly, or spend too much time on one specific question.  The test strategies resources page may overlap somewhat with the self-testing resources page, but include specific examples of what to do before the test, during the test and after the test for optimal success. 

Time Management
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  This should be every students mantra!  Students who do not plan how they will spend their time, will no doubt experience repeated periods of stress, missed assignments, and sometimes their final exams!  Time management is critical before the semester begins, during the semester and every week in between.  The time management resources will help you better understand where your time is going, how to make better use of your time, and how to plan a study schedule for midterms and final examinations.