Office of Academic Services

First Year Retention Programs

Study Skills Resources

Let’s "triage" your time management and study skills:

triage

So you think you manage your time well? Think again!

  1. First, let’s review how you spend your time on a typical school day: My Daily Schedule
  2. Next, let’s do your weekly schedule.

Surprised? We are not. Many college freshmen experience difficulty transitioning from high school’s rigid schedule. Classwork hours in college are fewer, and poor time-management skills highly contribute to freshman academic woes.  Go here to learn more about the differences between high school and college.

And now that you know there is a problem, let’s start the "treatment":

prioritize  It is time to prioritize. Remember that studying should be your main priority. The rule of thumb is to allocate 2 hours of quality study time for every hour in the classroom. In other words, if you are taking 16 credits, you must find 32 hours in your busy schedule. Go back to the weekly schedule and make changes –cut, cut cut!–until you have the needed study-time hours. Those hours should be allocated as blocks of around 50 minutes each. Never procrastinate your planned study session!
keepcalm Study smart. When and where you study make all the difference! Do not allocate study hours too late in the evening after a long day of classes. Do not “cramp” study time between classes that run close to each other. As importantly, maximize your concentration by choosing a study space that it is free of distraction. Turn off that cellphone! Before you go any further, read this very important article on how the brain learns best and 10 Smart Studying Strategies.
planner1 Next, get a planner. An old-fashion printed planner. You’d be surprised how well they work! Mark down the class times and the 32 hours of study time that you have allocated each week. First thing in the morning, check what’s planned for the day. Look at your planning regularly, and write down appointments, important reminders, and assignments/tests schedules.You can also go online to app.mystudylife.com to create an e-planner.Watch the video Six Minutes to Success — Time Management.
planner2 Prioritize and plan your assignments. Some assignments are easy to plan, but others are more elaborate and require careful planning. Go to the assignment calculator to create a timeline for a research paper, lab report, presentation, etc.: sparc4.senecac.on.ca/assignmentcalculator or app.mystudylife.com
laptop Review and edit your class notes within 24 hours and you will retain 50% of the material.  If you wait longer, you will only retain 20%. Do not take notes with a laptop.  New research demonstrates that student who write notes on paper actually learn more.
study Use the academic support available. There are many great programs and resources at Rutgers, such as tutoring, academic coaches, study groups, videos, etc., available to you. Take advantage of them!

Other resources to help you manage college life:

  • Test Preparation and Test Taking
  • Apps that can help students manage college life

Study Skills –  Test-Taking Strategies

Here are some Learning and Studying Techniques that are very helpful:

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