The study skills you need to succeed in college could more appropriately be called "life skills" because their acquisition affects your life far beyond the classroom. Participation in club activities, maintaining a job or home, playing sports, and learning new hobbies all require the same skills necessary to achieve mastery of the college curriculum. For example, to retain even a part-time job demands good time management if you are to be punctual in work assignments. It is important for you to remember that no one activity will make you academically excellent. Rather, your success in school requires a number of skills that, when practiced often, become productive habits in all areas of your life.
Your first step to developing better study skills lies in organization, both physical and mental. You are not likely to be mentally organized if your physical surroundings are chaotic.
If your study center is at home make sure that your desk, or table, and chair are comfortable. Keep this area as free of clutter as possible, and remember: Good lighting is essential to keep you alert while you study. Lying down on a bed or sofa to read tends to relax the body and the mind, resulting in untimely sleep. When studying in the library, try to locate a spot as free of distractions as possible to help you focus on the task at hand. At home, keep your study center equipped with extra supplies such as pens, pencils, calculator, folders, paper and any other items you anticipate needing throughout the semester.
Some inexpensive organizational tools include: pocket folders (one for each class), index cards and file box, an assignment book or daily planner, and monthly calendar. Place any handouts distributed in class in a pocket folder designated specifically for that class to avoid misplacing important course …