Academic Support Programs

In addition to time management, effective study skills are an essential part of mastering class content and helping you succeed academically.

To master your study skills in college, you must come up with your own study schedule and stick to it. This can be challenging at first, especially when many new social opportunities and responsibilities have also been added to your life; however, if you invest some initial time analyzing your activities and setting up a personal study schedule, you will find it easier to succeed in your studies and have time for a social life too.

Analyze Your Time

Try this: Find a friend or peer who's really good at a study strategy you want to develop, and talk to them about how they worked on this habit. Are there ways that you can study together to stay accountable? You can also look up study strategies online - check out this one on study skills from Columbia College

Establish a Routine

Set Goals

You can use this worksheet to start identifying your goals for the academic quarter and year.

Make the goals for your study sessions 1) specific, 2) measurable, 3) actionable 4) relevant and 5) timely. These are called smart goals and will make it easier for you to hold yourself accountable.

Try this: At the beginning of every quarter, reflect on the questions, "What do I want to achieve this school year? What are my measures of success?" Write down your responses and share them with peers, friends, or roommates to hold yourself accountable! Use this Beginning of Quarter worksheet to help identify your goals.

Reward yourself with a fun activity like visiting the IMA, attending an event on campus, getting bubble tea on the ave, or catching up with a friend!

Now that you've set up some specific goals, here are some tips for daily maintenance of your study skills!

Keep up with each day's classes

Try this: Write down specific questions that come up as you review notes from lecture, and bring them to office hours!

Organize your study sessions

Try this: Study for one hour, then take a 10-minute break. It's important to give yourself mental breaks while studying so you don't burn out!

Studying on the Run

Form a study group

That's the simple idea behind study groups. By participating in a study group, you take advantage of one of your best academic resources at UW: other students. You can discuss your approaches to the same problems and develop study strategies that work for everyone! Study groups also bring a social quality to your study time.

"Group studying can help glean new perspectives, battle procrastination, break up monotony of studying alone, and learn new study skills."

Guidelines for a Successful Study Group

Roles Within a Group

Some groups like to assign members certain roles to keep the group functioning smoothly. You might like to try:

Some Uses of Study Groups

As you work in a study group, remember to utilize other campus resources in combination to your group work. Visit professor and TA office hours, study centers, the Odegaard Writing Center, and CLUE just to name a few!

Try this: Do your homework problems individually before study group. Then have group members teach each other how they solved the problems. Concentrate on the reasoning process, how you thought your way through the problem.

Adapted from Active Learning: A Study Skills Worktext by Rory Donnelly (1990).