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Study Skills in College

College is a new academic experience that may be very different from your high school experiences. Many college students discover that the study techniques that helped them succeed in high school don't work as well in college.

Because this is such a common experience, the University created the Learning Center to help Carolina students develop study skills that will help you succeed in the college academic environment. Other Carolina resources can help with your study skills as well.

Good Study Habits

  • Decide what to study (reasonable task) and how long or how many (chapters, pages, problems, etc.). Set and stick to deadlines.
  • Do difficult tasks first. For procrastination, start off with an easy, interesting aspect of the project.

  • Have special places to study. Take into consideration lighting, temperature, and availability of materials.

  • Study 50 minutes, and then take a 10 minute break. Stretch, relax, have an energy snack.

  • Allow longer, "massed" time periods for organizing relationships and concepts, outlining, and writing papers. Use shorter, "spaced" time intervals for rote memorization, review, and self-testing. Use odd moments for recall/review.

  • If you get tired or bored, switch task/activity, subject, or environment. Stop studying when you are no longer being productive.

  • Do rote memory tasks and review, especially details, just before you fall asleep.

  • Study with a friend. Quiz each other, compare notes and predicted test questions.