Study Self Assessment

Study Attitude

Study Goals

Study Tips

Time Management


Study Groups

Lecture Listening

Lecture Notes

Effective Reading

Textbook Note Taking

Coping with Tests

Test Taking Strategies:

Objective Tests

Essay Tests


Concentration Power


Better Remembering


Ideas to Consider


Teacher Relations


Study Activities


College Stress

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Copyright @ 2011 by 

Tom Siebold

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Establish Clear Study Goals

Begin each study session by establishing an achievable goal(s), a workable time frame, and some kind of reward for a job well done.

1. Set Realistic Goals. Take a moment at the beginning of each study session to establish just exactly what you want to accomplish.  This study goal should be stated or, if you prefer, written in a simple declarative sentence: “I will read two critical essays and ‘brainstorm’ for my English paper, ultimately narrowing the topic to one or two possibilities.” 

Warning: “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” is certainly applicable to your study habits.  When you sit down to study, don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself.  Don’t try to do the impossible or push yourself beyond your capabilities.  The resultant pressure will only lead to discouragement and an unhealthy dose of frustration and hypertension!  Know you limits and work within them.

2. Establish a Time Schedule.

When deciding how long you will spend studying, consider factors like your energy level, pressures from family or friends, class schedules (you want to be fresh for upcoming classes), assignment due dates, and , of course, your own study stamina (two shorter sessions may be more productive than one longer one.)

Hint: Learning researchers know that long, marathon immersions into a single subject is not the most productive way of studying.  After a moderate length of study time it is usually a good idea to switch to another topic.  Pounding away on one topic hour after hour becomes increasingly counter-productive.

You will find it helpful to map out your study sessions by creating daily study schedules.  (Examine the sample schedule that follows.)

Sample Time Schedule


Read the first of two critical essays, Understanding Falstaff.”



Short break, perhaps a sweet roll would be OK.



Read the second critical essay, “Falstaff and Cowardice.”



Brainstorm for essay topics.  Don’t forget to check topics listed in the handbook.  Pay careful attention to the assignment instructions.



Select and write two possible thesis statements.  Then sleep on them and see how they sound in the morning


3. Promise Yourself a Reward.

Upon completion of your study session, you may want to give yourself some positive reinforcement.  After all, you set a goal, you achieved it, and because of that, you owe yourself a little “morale booster.”  Watch a favorite TV program, take a refreshing walk, visit with friends—whatever you choose to do, think of it as payment for the work you have accomplished.